God of War III
God of War perfectly married the grandiose narratives of Greek mythology with the wanton death dealing of hack'n'slash action games while creating in Kratos a new, and very angry, videogame icon. When the sequel arrived in 2007, at the tail end of the PS2's life cycle, it laid claim to being the console's biggest, boldest and baddest-assed game.
Needless to say, the final chapter of Sony's epic franchise, and first on a now-gen console, carries with it expectations as heavy as the weight of the world on Atlas's shoulders. Knowing this well, God of War III begins with one of the greatest opening set pieces in gaming.
There's no subtly on hand here, like the atmospheric reveal of BioShock's Rapture or the slow emergence from Vault 101 in Fallout 3. Instead, it picks up precisely where the previous game ended, with Kratos storming Mount Olympus on the back of the colossal titan Gaia. Consider it a clever visual nod to the series' past entries by having the Spartan warrior standing on the shoulders of giants.
After battling Poseidon to the death, causing a biblical flood that drowns untold millions, and doesn't bother Kratos a whit, Zeus casts his rebellious son back down into Hades. Yes, again. The rest of the game involves climbing out of hell and back up the mountain to extinguish the Flame of Olympus and banish the pantheon of Greek gods once and for all.
The graphics, cinematography and high-end production values are yet another landmark for the series, and although the gameplay is familiar, the sheer scale and intricacies of the violence will gobsmack you.
As intense as the previous chapters were, the improved visuals of part three make it that much more visceral as you traverse the ornate puzzle-platformer environments, slicing, dicing, decapitating and disembowelling everyone standing in the path of your revenge. And that is the only rub.
Anti-heroes are great and all, but Kratos is by now so brutal, so insane and so unsympathetic that it's a little hard to get behind his increasingly sadistic quest. Whether intentional or not, you begin wondering why you're so hell bent on killing the gods and slaughtering their followers.
Yes, the tale ultimately explains why the Greek gods are now mere myths, and the game is an astounding experience. But when all is said and killed, God of War III is all spleen, but no heart. (Sony)
ReviewsSep 09, 2014
Destiny, the new IP from Bungie, the acclaimed creators of Halo, is the most expensive videogame ever made at a cool half-billion bucks. The...
ReviewsAug 29, 2014
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace AttorneyNintendo DS
Pop culture loves its crossovers, be it Spidey teaming up with Superman in comic books, Aliens taking on Predators onscreen or the Simpsons ...
ReviewsJul 24, 2014
80 Days is not actually named after the 1980s, though the iOS game is something of an homage to that decade's beloved Choose Your Own Advent...
ReviewsJun 26, 2014
Shovel KnightWii U / 3DS / PC
Summer may be blockbuster season for movies, but apparently even otherwise pasty-faced gamers like to play in the sunshine. This pretty much...