Final verdict: B
Final playtime: 32 hours
Sup. Since I’ve beaten this game in Chaos mode I guess it’s about time I reviewed it. So. God of War III. The God of War series has always been consistently good so I don’t think anyone expected anything less from this one. And guess what. You were not wrong. Sure, as usual, it’s not quite as good as what Devil May Cry tends to be, but it’s still a hell of fun game.
God of War is interesting in how it appeals to the mainstream more than other action games. How does it do this? Simple. It allocates more of its resources to the overall experience rather than concentrating exclusively on the gameplay. Now don’t get me wrong, the gameplay in GoW3 is good. But it settles for good rather than excellent and instead uses its resources on other things, because the developer knows that joe shit average casual gamer couldn’t even tell the difference between good and excellent. No, he’s just going to play through the game once and only wants to break some fools, rip off some heads, and see the most amazing shit happen. This is what God of War is all about.
For one thing, it has a better story than your average action game. Oh sure, that ain’t sayin’ much, but after the facepalm inducing cutscenes of Bayonetta, the ones in God of War III were pretty damn refreshing. Which is a good thing, considering you can’t seem to skip them (what’s up with that anyway?) The voice acting is pretty good. I especially like Kratos’s voice actor. He just sounds so dramatic in everything he says.
Next, as per tradition with the God of War series, this game just exudes epic. It probably has the most satisfying kills in anything, ever. Every enemy has their own special death sequence, be it ripping their head off, snapping their neck, breaking their spine, ripping their intestines out, pulling their eye out, etc etc. And hey, I ain’t gonna complain. Because it looks fucking awesome. Same goes with the boss fights. Although they do tend to be well designed and a lot of fun (some more than others), that’s not what people are gonna remember. Nope, what they’re going to remember is how you’re ripping hearts out, smashing heads in, cutting legs off, pulling teeth out. Yep, this game is brutal. Now you might be thinking that’s too much violence, but you know what they say. Too much of a good thing, is an awesome thing.
GoW3 also seems to straddle the line between action game and action-adventure with the amount of puzzles it throws at you. Yep, while action games have sort of wised up in recent years to the fact that people are not interested in wasting time going through the motions of solving a pointless puzzle in a game that is about fighting dudes, especially after multiple playthroughs, God of War still has plenty of crate pushing and lever pulling.
Another nice thing about this one is that the different weapons are actually useful, rather than the default blades automatically making everything else obsolete. Though this is most noticeable with the cestus, which is pretty good stuff.
But how’s the gameplay? Welp, like I said before, it’s pretty good, but not without its flaws. Probably the most noticeable one is that the dodge in this game just doesn’t have enough invincible frames. It has some, but definitely not enough. You wanna see how a real dodge is supposed to work? Look at DMC and especially Bayonetta. That’s how you make a fucking dodge. But in this? A lot of the time you’ll get hit anyway even if you dodged. Also, it works in such a way that you actually had to have rolled out of the attack’s hitbox or you’ll still get hit. Now, that might make sense realistically speaking but FUCK you, that’s not how games work.
Look. If a bigass sword is coming down on my ass and I roll towards it at the moment it hits, I’m supposed to avoid damage because a dodge is supposed to have invincibility. I don’t give a shit if I’d get my ass cut in real life. This is how games are supposed to work, ok? Another gay thing about the dodge in this game is that it’s pretty easy to get stuck somewhere when you’re trying to roll away. And since it doesn’t have invincibility, getting stuck somewhere equals death. In a proper action game, even if you’re in a foot wide corridor, as long as you dodge, you’re not getting hit. But in this? Good fucking luck. So what happens if you’re surrounded by enemies and got nowhere to roll off to? In a proper action game, it doesn’t matter. You can just dodge right there and avoid damage. But in God of War, you’ll just end up accidentally rolling into one of the enemies surrounding you and getting raped. Which brings me to my next complaint.
Guess what. The jump also needs some invincible frames. DMC3 did this right in that the startup of the jump acted like a mini-dodge so that if you’re completely surrounded and trapped, you can jump at the moment an enemy attacks you and get out of there. But guess how hard you get raped if you try that in God of War.
It’s just the principle of the thing though, because this game isn’t really that hard, even on chaos. Of course, no one expected it to be. This is God of War after all. As far as I can see, the only difference seems to be that enemies have more HP and deal more damage. Which works, but is still the lazy way out. One thing I fully endorse is the complete and utter lack of crutch items in this game. No medipacks, no bullshit. That being said, GoW still has its fair share of get out of jail free cards in the form of magic and rage of sparta. I’ve always thought magic in the GoW games is… I dunno… kinda brain-dead. You just press a button and gain full invincibility while everything gets raped. That’s generally how it works, although it is interesting how with one weapon you can summon the souls of enemies and do something like summon a gorgon to turn an enemy to stone and then break it.
Rage of Sparta works similarly in that by activating it your power increases to the point where 99% of the time you’re for all intents and purposes invincible for the entire duration. So yeah, instead of something you just bust out when you want to save your ass and shit on everything in the room or when you’re like “Enough o’ DIS!” how about something that actually complements the gameplay? Just sayin’.
Another thing is that the moves you can do in this game are quite limited. However, keep in mind that simply putting in a million moves isn’t a solution, because the player will always use the one(s) that kill stuff most efficiently. No. You have to give the player an incentive to do something other than the one move that is raping shit the most. DMC3 addressed this with the style meter, giving you a bad score for using stale moves and rewarding you for keeping it interesting. Of course that’s just one example. There are other ways to solve this. But God of War doesn’t, which is a bit of a shame.
So there you have it. God of War III isn’t exactly going to blow any minds but it’s still a good game and a lot of fun so you won’t go wrong by buying it.
Final Verdict: B
Final Playtime: 32 hours