Sony has claimed that upcoming hack-and-slash God of War III is only doable on the PS3, prompting gamers everywhere to point out “Yes, because you own the IP.”
In the struggle between Sony’s PS3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 for dominance, key exclusives are seen as the road to success: The Xbox 360 may have Mass Effect 2, but the PS3 has God of War III – widely seen as a system seller. Speaking with CVG, GOW3‘s UK product manager Claire Backhouse reinforced the idea that the mythology-slaughtering carnagefest was only possible with the power of Sony’s sleek black machine, just like they’ve claimed with every other PS3 exclusive since freakin’ Resistance.
“The dynamic lighting solution employed in GOW III is only feasible through the computing power provided by the Cell SPUs,” said Backhouse. “For example, using the High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDRL) technology, the camera – when using Kratos’ sightline – will emulate the human retina, causing players to feel a sharp brightness when Kratos exits a dark area and enters a sunlit area, similar to how the human eye would need to adjust.”
Okay, I get that GOW3 looks pretty, yes, but something in me finds this to be… less than the most stellar example Backhouse could have used. Not only does this have little to no effect on gameplay (unless Kratos will be spending most of the game from a first-person view repeatedly entering dark and bright areas, which I doubt), it’s not the best example to use given that this effect has already been accomplished in a game, and that game was most decidedly not on the PS3.
This exact same visual effect – making the transition between sunny spaces and dark ones jarring to the eye, and simulating how things look blurry when backlit – was used to great effect in Ico, which was a PS2 game (an early PS2 game, even). Now, while I’m sure that God of War III‘s version is technologically superior and that Ico was just compensating using stellar art direction and sleight-of-hand, doesn’t that suggest that similar effects could be done without the raw power of the PS3, but with developer creativity?
Don’t get me wrong, I like my PS3 and I think GOW3 is going to be one fun experience (even if Bayonetta‘s combat makes Kratos look sluggish) but if you’re going to trumpet the power of your game, you should really use an example that actually shows it off.