From the spectacular opening set-piece through to its earth-shattering final moments, God of War III wants to be the biggest, bloodiest, brawliest game you're ever likely to play. The fact it manages all that and more besides is little less than a miracle. If you think you can take the pace, you owe it to yourself to check out this astonishing action game
By the Gods
Picking up right where God of War II left off, Kratos' latest adventure sees him dead set on getting revenge on everyone who has ever wronged him. Since that includes all of the gods of Mount Olympus - including Zeus, the big daddy of the ancient world - he's got his work cut out for him. And so do you, as you guide the raging Spartan on a blood-soaked rampage through the classical world, handing out all manner of two-fisted justice to everyone he comes across.
It's an incredible ride, taking you from one huge set-piece to the next as you climb all the way from the vile pits of Hades to the gleaming columns and temples of the city of Olympus itself. Every 20 minutes or so the game flings another huge boss at you - it's generally a god, and it generally results in a frantic punch-up with a devious twist or two thrown in - and even when you're simply mowing through armies of skeletons, slicing open centaurs, or battling the odd harpy, it's handled with such grim spectacle that you could be mistaken for thinking you're watching the world's most expensive action flick.
Yep: the game's beautiful to look at, pushing the PS3 hardware into realms you might not have considered possible as the screen fills with huge arenas, flaming wreckage, and arcing splashes of gore. And yet SONY's machine is up to the job, with smooth action, and a steady frame rate throughout. This is simply the best looking game we've ever seen.
If someone asks if you're a god... You say YES
But it's smart as well as pretty, with a brilliant combat system that sees you chaining combos together with blood-soaked abandon, and revelling in some really gruesome weapons as you slowly piece together your god-killing arsenal. Flaming arrows? Check. Metal boxing gloves shaped like growling lions? Check. Electrified claws perfect for popping gorgons' heads off? Double check. Expert pacing means that the game never bogs itself down with mere brawling - instead, each fight remains a real event, as you take on the hordes of Hades against some spectacular backdrops, using skill and timing to emerge victorious from some of the most brutal battles you'll ever witness.
And now and then, there's a puzzle to keep you on your toes. They're pretty simple for the most part - although one of the last ones is brilliantly devious - and, if nothing else, they allow you to have a well-earned breather and take in just what a beautiful world SONY's designers have conjured up, whether you're plodding through the rippling halls of Poseidon's home, or climbing the vast Chain of Balance that connects the underworld with the home of the gods. With an itinerary like this, even a dodgy double-jump that will see you falling to your death a few times too many won't really both you much.
There's no multiplayer, and not much in the way of bonus combat, but when the core experience is this good, none of that matters. So if you're looking for a stunning fighting game, or eager to catch up with one of SONY's greatest franchises, or even if you just want to show your friends what the PS3 can really do, you simply have to check out God of War III. Kratos is waiting for you - and you don't want to make him angry.
- Stunning looks
- Brutal finishers
- Massive Bosses
- Platforming can be fiddly
- Wish it was longer
- Don't want to wait for the next one