I have thoroughly enjoyed every installment of the God of War series and the third finishes the story off very well. The following are some random thoughts and opinions on this game which will obviously contain spoilers.
My recorded time in-game was 11 hours playing through on normal difficulty. The majority of that playtime was excellent and I loved it (probably about 9-10 hours). I had a few hours of frustration, some of which was included in the 11 hours and some of which far exceeded it! I spent an hour pummeling a scorpion boss in the game and it would not die. I was over a 1000 hit combo on the thing when I thought it must be a bug. There were a couple other sections like the Icarus flights and musical bits that annoyed me but eventually my perseverance was rewarded! After completing the regular game I still had enough energy left to complete the challenges. So in total gameplay time I would estimate 15-16 hours with one play through of all features. If you suck less than I do and die less than my appalling 108 times you will probably shave a few hours off that. At the end of the game I had about 62% of the trophies.
I was sort of used to getting all the same powers back in God of War by a different name. I was happy and surprised to see them mix it up a little this time. All your powers are new and you get some cool items. In addition to that you get the craziest titan and boss fights that I have ever seen!
I didn’t play the challenges in any of the other God of War games, but I really enjoyed them in this edition. There weren’t to many and from the description they didn’t sound too hard. Hah. Took me a few hours to get through them all and each has a little trick to it. The hardest one for me was the gorgon’s turning you to stone 10 times. Then I figured out that if I try to grab one it triggers them to try to turn me to stone. Then it was like clock work. I enjoyed finishing these.
I sat through every video that unlocked when the game was finished. It was suprising how similar some of the footage was to the God of War 2 making of I had watched a couple months back. These guys are very energetic but obviously pretty tired by the end of making a game like this! The making of footage is worth watching and has an interesting commentary on the new director for the game, who I think did a great job! If you are at all interested in how games are made, these are very well put together interviews with all of the staff that helped make the game.
If I had complaints
Hmmm…if I had to criticize what would I say? One thing is that the game’s story kind of just flows like you have already played all the other games. The title screen has a nice montage video but really you are thrown into the thick of it. Luckily the story develops more towards the end of the game. I like that they assumed people had played the last games but I still think the beginning of the game was a bit slow from a character and character motivation standpoint. I also think that the voice acting picked up near the end of the game and the initial dialogue was a bit campy and under delivered. The end of the game was awesome.
Bugs…as I mentioned I got stuck fighting and invincible scorpion. That sucked. I had a few other characters that just wouldn’t die fighting them either until I found odd tricks to kill them. I don’t recall a tutorial on how to do those tricks either. I used the tried and true mash buttons until something works.
No mention or respect for Chains of Olympus. The PSP entry in this series was actually one of my favorites, and also shipped the most units!
This final act in the series was the first that I feel pulled me into being Kratos. Every previous game I felt bad about killing civilians or sacrificing people to achieve my objective. For some reason this game let me just slaughter as Kratos without batting an eye. It is by far the most gory experience I have ever seen in a game (worse than Phantasmagoria).
This game is truly next-gen. I was personally hoping that it would surpass Uncharted 2 but I think Nathan remains the PS3 champ. However…Kratos gave him a run for his money and is the second best game I have played on PS3. I will miss Kratos…but remember to watch to the end of the credits to find out why I might not miss him for too long!