by Ryan Cope
previewed on PS3
“Zeus, your son has returned, I bring the destruction of Olympus,” roars Kratos as he rides atop the back of the giant forest titan Gia. What, that’s it? I want more! These were my thoughts at the end of God of War 2 and I’m sure it was the same for you. Well, if you didn’t know already; the blood hungry, gut wrenching, god slayer Kratos is returning to finish his furious quest for revenge.
God of War 3 starts exactly where the last left off, climbing mount Olympus with an army of titans in order to bring war to Zeus and his gods. The war is going to be a large part of the story; it’s still Kratos’ tale but the battle rages on around him as he gets ever closer to the vengeance he has long craved. The development team has remained quiet about the stories main plot points. They have however stated that the ending will have a shocking revelation and a satisfying climax for fans.
Now that the God of War franchise has moved to the PS3 the development team wanted to start the game engine from scratch, allowing them to use as much of the PS3’s technology as possible. It now takes them three times as long to create a character, meaning that the team has expanded from sixty people to one hundred and thirty. With the power of the PS3 to play with and the last game in the trilogy, the development team wanted to make God of War 3 spectacular. And spectacular it looks to be.
Now able to make more enemies appear on the screen, fights are much bigger and more epic than in previous games. The environments are more dynamic and one of the main new features is that the titans are living, breathing, giant levels. That’s right, I said it; the titans themselves are moving levels. As they slowly ascend mount Olympus, Zeus and his generals will send down legions of minions to thwart their attempts. Having allied himself with the titans, Kratos must protect his colossal friends from attack by fighting atop them. Created with their own unique AI, the titans live, move, climb and fight the entire time you’re in their environment. Kratos can use these surroundings to slaughter his enemies, hunt for treasure and solve puzzles just like before.
The scale of these titans is so big that you can take Medusa’s lair from God of War and fit it in the palm of Gia’s hand. You can also take Colossus from iGod of War 2 and fit it in the titan’s hand like a doll. It has also been claimed you can walk around them for hours. Because of the power of the PS3’s engine, if you zoomed all the way out you would find the titan completely rendered, while Kratos would become a tiny pixel.
Kratos himself has been vastly improved visually. His muscles clearly stretch and bulge as he moves around and his scars and wrinkles stand out on his skin, making him look very much the rough and mentally scarred war veteran he has become. Another enhancement to Kratos is that after a vicious and gory fight his body will become covered in blood, including his feet, meaning that as he walks away he will leave bloody footprints in his wake which leads me onto my next point: Gore.
The God of War series has been known for its excessive use of blood and violence, particularly in the brutal finishing moves used to dispatch enemies. Well, God of War 3 doesn’t disappoint. With the PS3’s graphics supporting it, the crazed bloodbath that you can create is now in HD and awfully more life like than anything seen before.
We’ve seen all of the new gameplay features in their gruesome glory. On his quest towards the top of Olympus Kratos must face the Greek sun god Helios. After shooting the fiery god and his flaming chariot out of the sky with a ballista, he makes his way over to the crash site. On the way he faces legions of undead warriors, pesky harpies, grotesquely large cyclopses, the sinister chimeras and a harrowing centaur commander. Kratos must then traverse his way across a chasm by stabbing his blades into harpies, ripping them apart and jumping to the next one. Arriving at the other side he then crashes his way through a group of undead in the coolest way possible, by riding a cyclops.