The latest game in the franchise and possibly the last one in the series with Kratos (considering the ending.)
If you have played the previous God of War games, you have pretty much played this one. The gameplay is almost exactly the same. There is still the quick time events for all the major boss fights. You essentially just hit the boss enough times until there's a button on the bosses' head. Hitting the button will lead into an epic quick time event ending in the boss' death.
One of the main criticisms I've had for these games is that if you fail in a sequence during the quick time events, you fail completely. I would actually like to see some sort of branching path in the QTE. ( I mean, if I cut the minotaur's stomach with my blade, and then stab his back, he should still be hurting even though I missed the stab to his eyes.) You have to restart the entire sequence again. This isn't a big deal (because I rarely miss), but I think it can be improved.
God of War was never really known for the depth of its story. All three games are about a really mad bald character who is trying to kill a bad guy and will stop at nothing at achieving that goal. Though the story formula is about the same, this version lacked the drive for the player to complete the task. In God of War I, we are shown the reason why Kratos wanted to kill Ares. Ares had indirectly caused Kratos to murder his own family. In God of War 2, Zeus tricked and killed Kratos. It makes perfect sense that Kratos wanted to kill Zeus. In God of War 3, Kratos is still angry from the second game. We don't really see Zeus do anything to Kratos. I didn't really have the same
The first game introduced us to the fantastic world. It ended with Kratos killing Ares and becoming the god of war. The second brought in the concept of the Fates, which was a major part of the whole Greek Mythology. Kratos used the looms of fate to change to allow the Titans to come back into the 'present time', launching an offensive against mount olympus. The third game doesn't really introduce any concepts we haven't seen before. We get to see the Labyrinth, which was pretty well designed, but it doesn't have the impact of the things from the other games. The end of the game was completely lackluster. Kratos gets his vengeance, and then nothing. We get no satisfying conclusion. It felt empty, just like Kratos after his revenge.
I love that when each god dies, their associated 'domain' gets messed up. When Poseidon died, the ocean flooded to the mountain. When Helios died, the sun went away. It was great to see the world transform with each god that dies. I expected Kratos to destroy the entire Olympian god structure at the end of the game. There would be no titans or gods left to control the elements, and there would be no need anymore. The world would be able to exist without any gods. Essentially, I wanted the God of War world to transform into one like our own.
After the climactic battle of the game, there was a long cutscene between the ghost of Athena and Kratos. Athena wanted Kratos to give her whatever was inside Pandora's Box. Kratos insists that the box was already empty when he got there. It turns out that when all the evils of the box was released in the end of GoW1, they flew into all of the gods of olympia, turning them into paranoid assholes. Hope (which was the power to destroy the gods) got inside Kratos, but he couldn't use it because of all his anger. At the end, Kratos worked out his anger issues by forgiving himself and was able to kill Zeus.
The game was pretty good up to this point, but then they had to add in this hope bullshit into the story. There was a minute of dialogue from Athena explaining that the power of HOPE was inside Kratos all along! Hope beats everything because hope is powerful!
This ending felt like a non ending. Instead of giving Athena the power, Kratos ends his own life and 'hope' was dispersed into the world. Kratos lies down on the ground, bleeding to death. After the credits, there's a trail of blood leading to a cliff. The end.
Summary: I like this game. It just didn't live up to the hype. :(
Could have used a bigger character transformation for Kratos since this is his last game.
Keep your gamer hopes up for FF XIV!
Until GW2 for 2011!
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