Failure is not an option

Every platform has its exclusives that should make the difference, including Sony’s PlayStation 3 of course. Where we can expect Zelda, Mario and Metroid on the Nintendo platforms, Microsoft has it well in order with franchises such as Halo, Forza and Fable. Sony has been doing it for a long time, let’s say generations well with series such as Gran Turismo, Ratchet & Clank and of course God of War. Part 3 of the latter franchise has now arrived on console, and I think most can’t wait to get their teeth into this, and rightly so!

God of War III is a title that has been awaited since the launch of the PS3. Hack ‘n slash is a hot genre this year, but everyone knows that games like Bayonetta, Darksiders and Dante’s Inferno don’t come close to this powerhouse. So expectations are high, but was the developer able to live up to it this time as well? The game showed itself extensively playable at GamesCom and then it turned out that we are dealing with a really brutal game. The gameplay is far from child-friendly and the graphics also leave much to be desired. The also not so friendly Kratos takes on Zeus in this part. With that everything seems to be said, but during your way you will encounter the necessary bosses that will make it very difficult for you. Enemies like Harpies, your brother Hercules and Helios will come your way and I can tell you that it is only fun.

Hugely varied

Where in the past you could simply chop until you drop, nowadays RPG elements are of great importance, including in God of War III. For example, after flattening opponents you can expect credits, also called spheres in Dutch, that will float towards you that you can then exchange for extra abilities. These abilities are linked to a weapon and button combination that you can then use. Of course you also have special action moments that you can invoke that consume some kind of mana. These are also linked to the weapon, and vary widely. The weapons can level up again to a maximum level cap of 3, whether or not 5 and thus become more and more functional as you progress through the game. That’s not all, because you can also find treasure chests in which special objects are hidden, which you then have to save for upgrades of, for example, your health bar. In total you have 3 bars that are important, namely your health bar, the mana bar and a ‘bar’ that refills itself after a short time and is needed for special actions, including using sunlight to blind opponents, or use your bow.

Those RPG elements are very simple and better than those of, for example, Dante’s Inferno. But of course it’s all about the action, and it’s nowhere as brutal as in God of War of course. The ruthlessness that reigns in the game really makes this game tougher than competing games. The special massacres that you can perform when an opponent is near death are of course the height of rudeness, but also the new first person look where you can regularly see Kratos hacking into someone makes it all a bit extra brutal and compelling. Sometimes a grin would appear on my face when another bizarre on-screen attack happened, and you can count on you, too, to frown every now and then with the action on your screen .

In addition, you also have the mini platform elements, and those are also simply better quality than those in other games. Where they were too long-winded in Darksiders, and added little in Dante’s Inferno, there they are perfectly balanced again in God of War III. The points in which you simply have to think about it to progress add some extra variety, and do not cost too much time, so that the speed remains nice. The steering is also neatly in order, although it is as we expected. Personally, I sometimes had some problems with flying, which didn’t always react well, so every now and then you can fall into a black hole and be back to square one. The game is also slightly spicier than other games that appeared in this genre earlier this year, but that’s okay. One criticism is that the game is not really replayable. You’ll have to make do with the single player, which, while a great experience and will last a little over 10 hours, is 100% linear, so you won’t be playing the game again anytime soon. However, you will undoubtedly not forget the game once you have finished it, because you are certainly an experience richer.

Perfect transition

What perhaps deserves the biggest compliment are the graphics of this hack ‘n slasher. God of War III looks stunning, both ingame and in terms of cinematics. Everything flows smoothly into each other and sometimes you hardly see the difference between cinematics and in-game gameplay. The transition has been very well worked out. The use of the camera is similar to that in Dante’s Inferno, and is therefore static. However, I could not experience any real drawbacks, since it runs nicely and will never get in the way or work against it. The game may have been downgraded to 720p, which has been upgraded again, but it looks really sharp. Also the light effects in caves that shine through the cracks of the stone, and the environments are truly breathtaking. An excellent achievement for the visual designers of Santa Monica. It is also enjoyable in terms of sound, although it is of a slightly lower quality. Real bass is often missing and the voices of characters are less than those in, for example, Darksiders, which really hit like a bomb and were crystal clear. The soundtracks, on the other hand, are very epic and fit well with the atmosphere that they want to create.

Sony has done it again and has once again released a high-quality game. God of War III shows why it easily beats the competition. The story may not be overly complicated and deep, but the evil atmosphere makes up for a lot. The action and gameplay are laughably crude at times and certainly not kid-friendly, which makes the adventure even more captivating than you might think. The single player adventure has a perfect balance, the platforming elements are well interspersed with constant hack ‘n slash action, and the bosses that emerge each need their own approach. I can tell you, they can sometimes be called very impressive, and reminded me a little bit of the Batman: Arkham Asylum quality. Revolving views and cameras, great detail and immense satisfaction are the result. Unfortunately, the game is too linear and static to enjoy the adventure again with the same pleasure, but that does not mean that the first playthrough provides an unprecedented experience.

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Author: Jeroen Janssen | Genre: Hack | Release: 2010-03-14 | Publisher: Sony | Developer: Sony Santa Monica Graphics: 9.7 † Sound: 8.2 † Gameplay: 9.8 † Controls: 8.5 † Playback: 6.5 9.0+ Visually a gem+ Excellent gameplay balance+ Great bosses- Flight functionality doesn’t always work- Too linear to relive-

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