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Review: God of War III

Jordan Deam | 18 Mar 2010 13:00
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The environments in God of War III are practically (or, in one case, literally) characters in themselves. Daedalus' labyrinth doesn't contain a minotaur in God of War III - by now you've killed dozens of the beasts, anyway - but it does include some of the most challenging platforming the series has featured to date. Hades palace, meanwhile, is built around a giant iron statue of the god of the underworld beside the suspended coffin of Persephone, his beloved and queen. To progress through that level, you must drive the coffin into the statue's chest, perhaps the closest to "poetic" that a game about a bloodthirsty psychopath can get.

And there are the levels that truly are characters - in God of War III's case, the Titans. Kronos returns to the series after being banished to the hellish netherworld of Tartarus, only to attempt to exact his revenge on Kratos. It's one of the most jaw-dropping boss battles of any videogame, ever: One moment you're pinched between Kronos' thumb and forefinger, frantically trying to escape his crushing grip, and the next moment you're driving an onyx stake through his chin before drving the Blade of Olympus squarely into his forehead. If you don't find yourself cackling with glee at some point in the course of this 15 minute sequence, then you may as well stop playing games, because you're pretty much immune to pleasure.

Simply put, God of War III is not one of those games that does one thing well and one thing only. It's a game that sets out for perfection throughout the course of its eight or nine hours of gameplay and very nearly achieves it. On a purely technical level, it's one of the most impressive games the PS3 has to offer: It shifts perspectives effortlessly across a number of highly detailed environments without so much as a hiccup and with almost nonexistent load times to interrupt the experience. But in a broader sense, God of War III serves as an example of how to deliver astonishingly varied gameplay in a cohesive package. The God of War trilogy may be over, but something tells me Kratos' reign will go unchallenged for a long, long time.

Bottom Line: God of War III is more God of War on the PS3. And when a series is this consistently excellent, why mess with the formula?

Recommendation: Buy it. God of War III's gameplay and presentation are so solid that you'll quickly forgive it for only being as good as one of the best PS2 games ever released.

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