REVIEW – If there is one game, which truly stands out from the crowd of other PS3 exclusives (like the tall and angry figure of the Spartan warrior: Kratos himself) than God of War III is the perfect example. It was one of the most beautiful hack’n’slash game ever made on the system and also the best entry in the series so remastering this excellent game seemed like a logical step. Or is it?
Let’s not delve into the deep discussion, whether remastering so many titles for the PS4 is a good idea or not. There are pros and cons. If you never had a PS3, missing out on the best exclusives is almost a crime against yourself, but on the other hand it’s true, that we are being flooded with remasters, instead of getting brand new games.
What’s everyone remember about the game is how marvelous looking it was back in 2010 as a PS3 title and it looks very good even by today’s standards. To make a personal confession: God of War III was in fact the very game which turned me into a PlayStation fan, because I mainly played on Xbox 360 and PC until this game. It became my all-time favorite hack’n’slash title and also made me play the older episodes of the series – including those on the PSP.
Flash forward to 2013: I liked very much God of War: Ascension as well, but perhaps it was a tad less outstanding, than God of War III in 2010. It missed something indiscernible, which was present in God of War III and also the hack’n’slash and God of War formula was also done to death by this time. That that in account, once again: is it a good idea to resurrect the third bloody adventure of Kratos?
Is God of War III worth a second, 1080p and 60 FPS look, or is it better left lying within our sweet PS3 memories?
Let the hate flow within your veins!
Before we go deeper into the esthetic changes let’s just explain a bit to newcomers, what’s God of War III is about and why was it such state of gaming art in 2010? Basically God of War III is the same kind of hack’n’slash game as were his predecessors but it still succeeded in shaking the whole series thanks to its outstanding graphics and breathtaking fights against (and on top of) giant Olympian gods at the very beginning of the game. It was perhaps one of the most memorable scenes ever made in a video game, ending with a victim of Kratos (one of the gods) being massacred from his very own point of view. Yes, it was a bit over-the-top but that’s what God of War games basically are.
God of War III is also a very solid action game experience with an old school fixed camera view (which was already old at 2010 but still intensified its very own cinematic style) deadly fights against smaller minions and Olympic bosses and some excellent sub-games (for example in one of them we must fly through obstacles very fast with Kratos – yes, our hero has wings by the third episode.)
Like in every God of War game, the action is not only fast-paced, but truly epical, even when you are just surrounded by minions. There’s a decent upgrade system with your different weapons, which lets you have new and stronger attacks. Let’ see, how all this stands by today’s standards…
An old hero with a perfect figure and a few wrinkles
When the remastered version was announced many people complained how it’s pointless to re-release a game with better graphics which was already beautiful to begin with? Also we still remember, how God of War I and II were remade on PS3 and and PS Vita: it was just a HD version with 720p graphics on PS3 and 60 FPS not a real remaster. I replayed God of War 3 just before receiving the Remastered version from Sony to be able to compare the graphics. So just for the record: the Remastered version have in fact upgraded graphics, better lighting and better textures than the PS3 one, so this time around it’s not just a “quick and dirty” HD release like it was the case with God of War I-II. Most of the time the game looks marvelous, truly like a beautiful current-gen title.
We have to mention however, that not everything had a graphical face-lift. While Kratos himself and most of the gods and monsters have with crisp, extremely detailed textures, some of them looks blurry (like Hephaistos) which is not only a bit of a let-down, but it can also look disturbing, when they are put side-by-side. It’s a shame, because if everything had full graphical upgrade, God of War III – concerning its graphics – would feel like a true current gen PS4 title.
Concerning the action in 60 FPS: it’s a nice addition, although I didn’t noticed the difference that much, maybe because the PS3 version’s 40 FPS is already pretty nice.
Besides esthetics, God of War III feels and plays like a very solid, albeit a bit outdated hack’n’slash game, if we take in consideration how the whole genre has evolved. DMC: Devil May Cry in 2013 was a bold step in the good direction and we have the DMC Remastered Edition on PS4 as well. Yes, I am an absolute God of War fan, and I like the DMC series as a whole a lot less, but it must to be said, that GoW didn’t evolved much. God of War: Absolution’s half-baked success was due to the fact that fundamentally it’s still the very same game as the first one was. While at the beginning of God of War III has one best gaming moments ever, the rest of the game (besides some cool sub games) is pretty much traditional.
Oh and if you don’t like quick times events at all, forget God of War III, God of War being one of the daddies of QTEs.
With or without you?
Basically God of War III Remastered is an essential game if you are rather new to the PlayStation world and didn’t have the chance to play it on PS3. In this case I can just envy you, because you’ll have to experience one of the most epic hack’n’slash games of all-time. Yes, its combat mechanics are slightly outdated, yes it’s using fixed cameras, but it’s still a no-brainer that having a PS4 you should own and play this revamped classic of all time.
If you already played through the game on PS3 you should be aware, that it’s exactly the same game and there isn’t any significant content added – just the upgraded graphics and the action in 60 FPS. Since God of War III is a totally linear game, its replay value depends on whether you are in love with the brand and the game or not. For me this wasn’t even a question to be asked.
+ If you are new to PS, it’s a MUST HAVE title!
+ Graphics are mostly well updated, 60 FPS
+ Opening scene is outstanding
+ A solid, still working hack’n’slash gameplay
– Already played the PS3 version? nothing new besides graphics
– Weak storyline
– Some graphical left-overs from 2010
– Hack’n’slash kind of games evolved a lot since 2010
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developer: SCE Santa Monica, Wholesale Algorithms
Genres: action, hack’n’slash
Publication: July 14, 2015 (USA), July 15, 2015 (Europe)