God of War III Remastered Review – Sacrilegious Brutality (PS4)

God of War III finished the trilogy that originally began on the PlayStation 2, in a series begun by the irreverent David Jaffe. While the original game released in 2010 on the PlayStation 3, it has been touched up and re-released onto the PS4. But has time been as good to a video game interpretation as it has been to the ancient Greek myths? Let’s find out.

Familiar Fun

If you had previously played God of War III, then you’ll fall into your old gameplay tactics here in no time. Since the game is the same as when it first released, there are no real surprises to be found anymore, unless you haven’t played the game in a long time and have forgotten most of it. I found myself very quickly pulling in enemy after enemy, with a combo count in the hundreds, as if I had been playing the game on a regular basis in the meantime. It shows just how simple the control scheme of God of War III is, and yet the game retains its characteristic difficulty level — expect to die several times on Normal mode, and at almost every boss encounter on Hard or higher modes.

God of War III is still like no other game that has come before or after it. The beginning sequence, which sees you killing Poseidon in a gruesome, first-person view, sets the tone and reminds you that when it comes to brutal violence, none can top Kratos. Other games still feel tame compared to God of War III. This is not a game you play in front of children. Kratos is rage incarnate, and you learn to appreciate just how much vitriol he has towards the Gods in a short amount of time.

Audio Video Greatness

Audibly, the same score and sound effects are here in full force. I’m not sure there was any room to improve on the original God of War III’s audio work, as most of it was loss-less or nearly so, and in 7.1 surround sound no less. Every sound effect, from the groan of a lost soul in Hades to the moans of pleasure of Aphrodite as you…entertain her are crisp and of the highest quality. Whether on headphones or a home theater setup, you’re sure to feel every hit that Kratos dishes out.

Graphically, God of War III already looked incredible on the PlayStation 3. So, beyond some extra bloom effects, there’s not much to really be amazed by in the remaster. However, this version does appear to maintain a near-constant 60 frames per second, so everything that you loved looking at in the original version, such as the city of Olympia under siege or the massive titans fighting Greek gods, looks buttery smooth as the camera sweeps and pans to show you the action.

That camera is still stuck in a fixed position, which is a product of the series that it is in. God of War never had a freely-movable camera, with the right stick tied to making Kratos dodge, and this Remaster stays true to that formula. For the most part, the camera shows you all that you need to see, but occasionally it will zoom in on a rock or some other random section of a level for seemingly no good reason. This isn’t a deal breaker and is expected in a game like this, but it’s bound to get on someone’s nerves.

Take a Shot

There is now a new photo mode, which allows the player to not only freeze the action at a moment’s notice, but also get the perfect shot to share their finest moments while playing God of War III. You can zoom and pan (but still not rotate) the camera, pick a border, apply one of several color filters, choose that filter’s intensity, and finally hide the UI so you can use the DualShock 4’s Share button to snap a pic.

With no real major upgrades to what was already a great game when originally released, this would be a tough sell at full price. Thankfully, God of War III Remastered is only $40, and that price point is quite a bit easier to swallow. If you’ve never played a God of War game before, and you either don’t have a PS3 or don’t want to play the previous games, you won’t really know what’s going on as it picks up towards the end of the anthology, but the story plays a secondary role to the gory action anyway. This still remains the best entry in the series to date. Pick it up if you want to see Kratos at his greatest.

Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.

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9.0Gold Trohpy
  • Kratos returns, in ever-crisper detail
  • Same visceral combat as before
  • Epic conclusion to the original trilogy
  • Same exact game as before