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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: SCE Studios Santa Monica
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written by: Marcus Prunty

March 15, 2010 - In less then 24 hours the rest of the world will get the opportunity to see how the journey of Kratos will end, and if he gets his vengeance on Zeus. This culmination of the Kratos saga has been 5 years in the making; every since March 2005 and the release of God of War. The game begins with a short rehash of Kratos’ journey to this final game, and why he is riding on the back of the Titan Gaia. For those new to series, the short rehash will sum up the exploits of Kratos in the first two games, preparing you for story that drives God of War III. For the fans that have played the two previous installments on the PlayStation 2, this will just give you a refresher of all you have been through with Kratos as you seek your vengeance.

This game took around 3 years for Sony Santa Monica to bring the final part of Kratos story to the Playstation 3. Sony Santa Monica attempts to harness the raw power of the PlayStation 3 to push the limits on visual presentations within videogames and thanks to their dedication and the Blu-ray format, they accomplish this. The beauty of a tried and true formula is that nothing needs to be changed, only enhanced for the new console and that’s exactly the case with God of War 3. The fighting mechanics within God of War 3 are exactly the same as in God of War and God of Ware 2, only this time more refined in every way possible. God of War 3 is massive; everything about it is grander. All the gods you battle as well as Titans and other enemies are bigger then life itself. The Titans in the game take over the whole screen, and the word “scale” takes on a completely new meaning. Sony Santa Monica didn’t hold anything back and the extent of many sequences in the game give you the feeling that their King Kong and you are a tiny bee trying to sting them. My words cannot possibly convey the greatness and the grandiose characters and world you are immersed in during this game.

The increase size and scope is very overwhelming, impressive and it lends itself to creating amazing visuals. In addition, this game is visual. I believe this game is one of the most brutal games you will ever experience. This is a very hard M-rating. The amount of blood and gore, and dismemberment that occurs in this game finally lives up to the story and the time. If you have an ultimate warrior like Kratos who loves fighting, does not hold back, kills, and destroys everyone in his path; why would he not be violent. This game gives the player the true experience that we were missing from the previous games. The use of massive combos can be unleashed at a moments notice just like in previous games but with a little tweaking to the combat. Each weapon has now been paired with a magic attack, as well as the player can now switch weapons in game by using the directional pad. For example ‘Up’ is for the Exile Blades which are the upgraded form of the Chaos blades that Kratos has been using since the first game. The exile blades are paired with a magic attack that surrounds you with shields and attacks with spears all around you. You can switch to the 3 other weapons that you acquire along the way mid combo if u chose which makes the combat very fluid.

Being able to switch between multiple weapons with magic abilities are more important than ever has you are no longer able to simply repeat the same combo over and over on the enemies within God of War 3. For those of you that are new to the franchise, the most common combo used in the other games was the square, square, triangle combo which has Kratos slashing twice at enemies and then pounded the ground and the enemies. This combo is no longer viable as the enemies in this game are a lot more aggressive; even on the easy difficult level. You will be swarmed by enemies within almost every encounter so attempting to use this combo the whole way through the game can result in many deaths. The need to roll away from an attack, block and counterattacking your enemies are now an integral part of your combat strategy, which takes away the cheap feeling of using the same move to progress through the game. The need to use other weapons other then the Exile blades has also been improved. Whereas in the first two games, you could just upgrade the chaos blades and use it the whole way. An example of this is when you acquire the Cestus which are two huge metal like gloves that give you the ability to pound the ground and pound on the enemies. There are enemies that have emerald shields, which are hard to defeat without the Cestus because the Cestus can destroy their shields whereas the other weapons you acquire do not put a dent into their defenses. Paying attention to the enemies, their defenses and what weapons work on them is very important and in my opinion makes a more challenging game which immerses you into Kratos journey that much more.

Another change in the gameplay mechanics that most of you are aware of from playing the E3 demo of the game is the Quick Time events. In the previous games, the button that you had to press was over the target you were attacking or the door you were trying to open. This was all well and nice but it got in the way of seeing the action. Sony Santa Monica decided to tweak this by following the button layout and matching it to the screen. Therefore, the square button is on the left, the triangle is on the top, the circle button is on the right side of the screen and x will be on the bottom. This helps out greatly by making it easier u don’t actually have to see the button anymore just have to notice which part of the screen the button was in and you know what you have to press. Moreover, these button prompts are not in the way of the stunning visuals that you are witnessing while performing the QTEs. This is one of the tweaks that I was pleasantly surprised and loved the most because now I am able to see what the developer and designers envisioned for the scene and not has to imagine what it truly looked like.

Now when it comes to the action adventure genre or any massively hyped game like God of War 3, you usually have problems somewhere. One of the main problems in many games that no one seems to fix that much is the camera. The camera is always getting in the way causing numerous cheap deaths by not allowing you to gauge how high or far a jump or where you can or cannot walk. The camera in God of War 3 is very cinematic at times, it looks like you are watching a movie as you are battling your way through ancient Greece and like in previous games, and you cannot control the camera as you can in other games. The camera is set at a fixed point during each sequence and does not get in the way of the visuals or makes it difficult for you to judge distances, though there are some instances where it seems like a different camera angle could have helped. Moreover, when I say cinematic I am not talking about cutscenes, which by the way there are not any to speak of really. All things that would be considered cutscenes in any other game are rendered in real time via the in-game engine so everything seems seamless.

With all the greatness within God of War 3, it is like many other games, far from perfection as there are little things here and there that keep the experience from being “perfect”. This game looks amazing as the characters models and level designs are well detailed and lit very well. There are times when you have to squeeze through a crevice and light is shining over your shoulder, which reflects off of Kratos’ armor and adds another touch of realism. However not all aspects of the game are given the “perfect” polish as other areas of the game. Everything and everyone are created equal within our society, but not in God of War 3. The larger than life enemies are given more time within the polisher to improve their visual presentation, while smaller enemies don’t seem to share the same level of polishing. The difference in polishing is not that big of a deal as when you are dealing with the smaller enemies, there tends to be several of them on the screen at one time. The level of detail and polish may not be as grand as the larger enemies, but it is still highly detailed and better visuals in other games within its genre. Another thing that is not as perfect and airtight is the story in God of War 3. In the previous games the story was more simplistic, whereas in this game the story is a lot more complex and entails a lot more Gods and Titans that you do battle with. I will admit I got so engrossed in the action the holes in the story did not bother me all that much, and doubt it will bother most players either.

God of War has always been about the epic boss battles and the various puzzles. God of War 3 does not disappoint in this aspect. Some of the boss battles you will go through are Poseidon, Hermes, and Zeus of course. I will not go into some of the other ones, as they will be pleasant surprises. Nevertheless, suffice to say that whose who of the Greek world is in this game and everyone has picked a side unfortunately none of them chose to side with Kratos but who cares. The fights are brutal and might make you cringe. The blood and unforgiving violence that Kratos perpetrates makes me surprised that the whole world was not red and covered in blood. A word or description that you will come to love is hamburger cause that what you will pound people into. The puzzles are on a grand scale as with the boss battles. They will require some attention to your surroundings and thinking, the usual hint as to which direction or what you might need to use to accomplish this is there, but figuring it out can be a tad bit trickier then usual.

Sony Santa Monica also included a bunch of extras like those that it did with the previous games. There is behind the scenes footage, challenges and a battle room. The battle room can be reached only when Challenge of Olympus has been defeated. There are four difficulty modes with Chaos being the hardest of them all and unlocked once you beat the game the first time. There are also videos of the making of the game, and other clips that deal with level design and music, and visual effects. This is all typical of the God of War franchise with the only difference this time around is its all in high definition.

The journey of Kratos has taken 5 years and has gone through many challenges, and battles. He has and will kill several gods to get his ultimate vengeance on Zeus, his father. It all began with Ares and it will end with Zeus, Sony Santa Monica took this game and; impossible to believe, made it grander than most movies that are produced in Hollywood these days. The incredible scale of the monsters; the fact that their bigger then the screen that they occupy is amazing. The intense brutality of having Kratos fully unleashed in HD and on the PlayStation 3 has made this game what we all have hoped it would be from the beginning. The sound and music of the game is amazing, the new feature of the quick time buttons being on the edge of the screen where they no longer block the action is another advantage. The few holes in the story are passable and you won’t even care or notice them unless you look for them. The lack of polish on minor characters is not that big a deal, because the ones that they did go into incredible detail on including Kratos are sheer amazing. The use of lighting to display these details was a lot of hard work and I am very happy that they did it.

Kratos journey ending on the PlayStation 3 with this game is truly epic and glad he was able to go out bigger and better then ever. As you read this review and your mouth waters as you attempt to imagine all of these amazing things I have talked about, don’t worry too much cause in less then 24 hours you will be able to get your hands on this game and see for yourself what I have been talking about. This game is a definite buy I think its one of the best-looking games ever created let alone on the PS3. So go out get the game and let us help Kratos get his vengeance on Zeus and anyone else who gets in his way. Cause he will forever be the GOD OF WAR!!!!!


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