Initial Thoughts: God of War 3

Ahem. I’m just going to jump right into it. This has got to be the manliest game I have ever played. In the first five to ten minutes I felt like I was injecting myself with testosterone. The manliness level is over 9000. You could run around in a tattered leather mini-skirt and short shorts kicking Gods in the teeth and you could care less-

Oh wait. You’re already doing that in this game.

Mind you, while I’m typing this, I am grinning like a madman (well woman in my case), so the first paragraph is not a complaint. This game is pretty rockin’!

For those who have never played any of the God of War games, it’s a hack’n’slash action game where you control Kratos, the most manly Spartan ever on a quest for revenge against… well, pretty much everything over the span of the series – Destiny, Fate, Death, Titans, the Gods, but hey, you’re doing it with pretty good reason, all those people messed you over first. Kratos is one angry, angry man/god/ghost/something-of-a-Spartan who exists to fight.

'Grrr' says Kratos

God of War 3 is the last game of the series and even the beginning the game starts off with a huge bang. The introduction/credits plays like a movie which recaps what Kratos has been doing over the span of the first two games – ‘300’ style. When you see it, you’ll get what I mean. It’s full of blood splatters, slow-mo movement that speeds up and silhouettes – that kind of thing. While the intro is long and the originality is sort of lacking, it’s fun to watch so it’s not tedious.

As soon as that’s done you’re thrown right into the middle of battle, climbing Mount Olympus to try and beat the crap out of Zeus and his cronies with Titans at your side. Yeah. You also see a poor innocent bird or something get smooshed by a falling rock in an explosion of blood, but moving on. From the first couple of minutes I was enraptured by the whole game. The character/monster designs, the environments, the music – everything. For their take on figures, creatures and places in mythology, Santa Monica Studios have done a bloody outstanding job.

That's ONE tiny bit of Poseidon. Oh look, there's tiny Kratos!

Onto gameplay, if you’ve played any of the God of War games, it’s nothing new. Mash square with a couple of triangles or something and you’ll beat everything to death. For those who haven’t played, press the square button like it’s labelled as the ‘Win’ button. Because that’s pretty much it. There are other combinations of buttons you can press to achieve really pretty looking fighting animations, but square is your best friend.

There’s still the awesome finishing animations you can get with monsters/bosses too. After you beat an enemy up within a sliver of their life, a symbol for a button usually glows above their head to start a kind of button pressing mini-game to kill the enemy in a cool way. Like with a Gorgon – a half woman, half snake monster which turns things to stone (amazingly not you…) – after you battle one for a bit, an ‘O’ shows up above it, you press ‘O’ like a good little obedient gamer and the subsequent button combination indicated and you end up tearing the Gorgon’s head off. Pretty much every enemy has this – you don’t have to do it, but you get rewarded with extra health recovery or something if you do. Plus it’s fun to watch.

This button interaction/combination thing happens with bosses – I think it has to happen so you can beat them, but it’s SO AWESOME. I don’t know who came up with the boss fights, but I give them bonus points for making the fights so awesome. One of the first bosses that you fight is Poseidon and wow. Especially how you finish him off – you’re literally kicking him around like a rag doll – and you see it all from Poseidon’s point of view. Ouch. You also get to throw Hades around and do this hilarious thing of ramming his head into the ceiling. Repeatedly. Even though he’s like five times the size of you.

I'm going to kick you in spleen, Hades.

The one thing I can gripe about is probably something only I have encountered and no one else has a problem with. I’ve only been through maybe two hours of God of War 3 and I have died a lot. From bosses? No. From the minions? Oh, no. Then what? Frickin’ trying to double-jump. I kid you not. Trying to jump over gaps some reason was ridiculously difficult for me – if anyone else has encountered this problem please tell me because I feel like a dork. For all the monster slaying and God killing Kratos can do, I can’t make him jump over a gap easily. What the hell. Press ‘X’ to jump, twice to double jump, but if you hold ‘X’ on the second jump you can glide with wings. Okay, when I try to jump, most of the time the second jump doesn’t happen and Kratos tries to glide for all his worth into a wall and fall to his death because he wasn’t high enough to reach the other ledge. Sorry buddy.

Double-jumping issues for me aside, I am digging this game something fierce. It is quite manly, brutal, action-packed and bloody, so if that’s your thing you should really pick up a copy – or any other God of War game. Unfortunately I don’t see much of a difference between the games or anything new, except for continuation of storyline, but I don’t feel as though that’s a negative point for the game at all. Santa Monica Studios has found a winning balance of graphics, gameplay and storyline so they’re running with it – why change it if it’s great already?

Do not want Kratos as your chiropractor...

Alright, so my parting words for this article are: if you ever feel the need to man up, just play this game and you’ll be on your way!

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: