Title: God of War III Remastered
Platform: PS4 (Reviewed on)
Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio
Release date: Out Now!
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I’ll start by saying that I have never played a God of War game before. It’s fair to say that I jumped in to this as a complete novice with an unbiased view on the series.
I’ve actually owned every PlayStation since the original and some of my good friends were massive fans when God of War first came out. Despite the high praise and egging on to play it – the game continued to evade me.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that I’m a big fan of Capcom’s Devil May Cry series so I was quite confident that I knew what type of game I was going to be playing. That said, as much as I enjoy the DmC series, I believe that the characters made it. The gameplay could often get quite repetitive and couldn’t merit frequent playing.
Nevertheless, with a fondness of Greek mythology and some knowledge surrounding it… I was keen to give this a go.
After all, interest in the mythology aside, if the game merited being remastered… it had to be good, right?
Players take on the role of Kratos, a fictional character who the developers have dubbed the son of Zeus. In mythology, Kratos was actually the son of Pallus and Styx… so the game was taking a bit of a free for all and only loosely staying true to the mythology. It’s not by any means a deal breaker but it was established quite early on that the game would be taking it’s own route within the Olympian era. Something I’m sure I would have understood if the remaster included the first two titles.
I mentioned that I had never played any of the God of War games but it was made clear that Kratos had slain the previous God of War, Ares… thus assuming the title. The player is on a quest for vengeance to slay Zeus which in turn means saving Pandora, opening Pandora’s box and thus being able to complete his mission.
From the offset, I was quite hooked. The visuals, the quick time events (QTEs) and large scale fights seemed like I was in for a good treat. Unfortunately, I felt that the pace immediately slowed and the game peaked all too soon. A little excitement crept back in when fighting Cronos but once again couldn’t really match up to that later on.
Whilst I appreciate the the Devil May Cry games can often be quite tedious in terms of the gameplay, the fights were often enough to keep me going.
God of War III, credit to it… keeps the fights bearable with a selection of different weapons and abilities that are easy to switch between to keep the battle going and switch it up effortlessly – which I liked. It was just a shame that two of the three obtainable weapons practically matched the first core set of blades just with a different set of moves. Not to mention, QTEs were practically essential as the game progressed as certain enemies would award various coloured orbs upon a kill of that nature.
You use gathered red orbs as experience to power up your weapons which seemed all too familiar to the aforementioned comparison title whereas green orbs replenished health, blue replenished magic and gold would power up a special attack of sorts – it never felt all that special because I often forgot I even had it and managed to get through the fights quite easily. Anyway, that’s where the QTEs could come in handy based on the enemy rewards.
Additionally, various items (Minotaur horns, Gorgon eyes, Phoenix feathers) would allow me to boost my health, magic and item bar upon collecting three of one type.
Multiple enemy types were a welcomed way to break down the fights and utilise the new abilities/items you would get along the way but nothing ever seemed to pose too much of a challenge.
One thing I do have to say is that whilst I’m all for a bit of violence in the creative industry, whether it be games or otherwise… I actually got quite sick of the needless calibre of gore in this game.
I feel weird saying it given the nature of games I’ve played in my lifetime but chopping off limbs, actively encouraged to kill NPCs that are literally of no threat to you… just seemed unnecessarily brutal.
The latter, I had to do just to gain access to a chest with health orbs in it. There were moments alongside that one where I immediately killed defenceless NPCs as I was going for actual enemies. The whole thing made it feel like violence for violence’s sake rather than as a creative measure.
I’ve never once had anything negative to say in regards to gaming violence but this one actually annoyed me – and I am a Grand Theft Auto player. The difference I felt was that games like GTA keep it fun and take the seriousness out of it. This game was seemingly just mindless slaughter at parts.
In terms of the story itself, it wasn’t strong and it wasn’t weak. I’d say it was bang in the middle as playable. I got through it, though the enjoyment waned as I continued and it just wasn’t compelling enough to merit a second play through to use some of the godly powers I unlocked along the way.
I felt like I was just playing what I had played before, only with different character skins and by the end, struggled to accept why it was remastered for the next generation.
I fully accept that my entry into the series at the third game might have made me a miss an awful lot of the backstory that led up to this point but nevertheless, feel the above is a justified statement. If Sony had remastered the entire collection, I might have found a little more love for it.
If they do release the rest I think my experience of jumping in on, what I’m led to believe is the conclusion of the series, would leave me inclined to give it a pass. That said, elements of the game did make me fully appreciate why many consider this a classic of the PlayStation back catalog.
- Large scale boss battles on occasion.
- Good fighting system with multiple weapons/abilities.
- Unnecessarily brutal, frequently.
- Repetitive gameplay.
- Mediocre story (though I don’t know the backstory of the previous games).
Undoubtedly made for the more mature audience. Features extreme violence, nudity and even a sex mini-game with Aphrodite herself.
With thanks to the developers for providing a copy of the game for review purposes.