DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE GAME, THERE WILL BE DISCUSSION OF ADULT THEMES LIKE VIOLENCE AND SEX. GIRD YOUR LOINS!
Okay, let's get this thing started.
Kratos, as a character, was beautifully rendered. I'm not talking about merely the graphics here, though those were impressive. I'm talking about his appearance generally. It is refreshing to have a protagonist who, while clearly very fit and strong, isn't beautiful.
Things I also appreciate: his loins are appropriately girded. It seems to be a small thing, really, but I really loved this level of detail on the practicality of his garb. Let's face it, climbing, fighting and running around heaven and hell, it helps to keep your tackle tucked nice and safe away.
His expressions were sometimes a little on the comical side - unintentionally, I'm sure. It's just the developers wanted to make damned sure you knew that he was a miserable man.
I have never seen a mouth achieve handle-bar moustache shape before. The closest that came to it was this guy:
Oh, and can we talk about the eye-liner?
I have to say, the voice acting was a little on the nose at times, though otherwise fantastic. There were moments that called for a calmer voice with a little less Batman, so to speak, which were not delivered. It's a small gripe, really.
I said it before, but it was great. Plenty of action and gore, with the fights being quite challenging at times (fucking kung fu fucking fighting satyrs and their fucking acrobatics and fuck! I died again!). It was nevertheless very smooth and entertaining.
The visceral kills were particularly great.
Better yet were the puzzles. They were simple enough to be interesting and challenging without being frustrating to the point of anger. That said, the room of spikes in the labyrinth was something else! I died more there than anywhere else, and that's saying quite a bit!
I have absolutely no complaint about the game play.
I also really loved the cut scenes. I'm a huge sucker for story, and this game had it in spades. The scenes were not over long, and served the story very well.
That said, I'm a little disappointed that a less bloody path was not an option in this game when it came to civilian lives. It was tough hearing cries for help and not being about to do anything, tougher still when the game gave you no option but the kill innocent people. I would have liked the ability to not, you know, kill people who weren't the subject of my wrath.
I suppose they were trying to make Kratos out to be rage manifest, but he was human enough to develop a bond with Pandora, wasn't he?
It can be no surprise in a game like this that it is something of a male power fantasy; from the design of the protagonist, his ability, and attitude... and how the women in the game are treated. Ahem... Aphrodite.
To be clear, I was not insulted or upset, but I was wryly amused. I'm fairly certain amusement and eye-rolling were not the responses the developers were hoping for. For those of you who don't know, in the course of this game, you meet Aphrodite, the goddess of love... only she's really more of the patroness of porn stars in this imagining.
Everything about it screams porn performance, from the manner she sits on the bed, to the touching of herself during her monologue (which might have been effective if it wasn't done so quickly and if done during a relevant part of the monologue), and rolling around on the bed for no reason. I get that it's supposed to be a seductive thing, but it was a laughable attempt clearly created by men whose idea of seduction did not meet with mine. I laughed and laughed, it was so silly. I couldn't help it. It was utterly ridiculous.
There were any number of things they could have used to present Aphrodite as a sexual woman. Literally anything but rolling around on the bed like a really bad cam girl.
The sex scene also had me laughing... so hysterically that I failed some four times because I was laughing too hard to pay attention to what I was supposed to be doing. First of all, you see nothing of the actual sex, only the reactions of two of Aphrodite's sex kittens as they indulge their inner voyeur. Their reactions are so over the top it's funny. Also, they'll have fun with each other just as Aphrodite climaxes off screen (if you go near their hide away once you're done with Aphrodite, you can hear them giggling together in the dark).
About that, Kratos seems like the WORST bed mate ever, despite the design of the game trying to tell you otherwise.
He is utterly quiet.
The only pleasure seems to be Aphrodite's as she's the only one who's making any noise. Kratos? Not even a grunt. As woman, if my partner was silent like that, it'd be really fucking off-putting. Aphrodite didn't seems to mind, though. Perhaps that's her thing?
Incidentally, I researched it (because I was curious, okay), and Kratos isn't so quiet in them all.
That said, she gives you a fair amount of XP if you go for it, so go for it! Before and after you kill her husband, you callous bastard.
There is also a young woman, more of a child, that proved to be far more interesting. I adored Pandora's character. She was young and spunky and even managed to tell Kratos off a few times. He deserved it, incidentally. She was brave and kind, without being a doormat.
I would have loved to see more of her, or another woman with her pep telling Kratos what for.
These were the two stand-outs of the game, though both for different reasons.
The final boss of the game is, no surprise, Zeus. As a final boss, he's actually quite disappointing. He's not as difficult as a final boss ought to be. In service to the story, it was great.
As a final battle, it left a little to be desired - though the darkness in between the stages of battle is quite cool.
I love the way this story ended. SUCK IT, ATHENA!
It was a great little bit that made me "aww." It felt like the perfect way to end the game and the series. At least, it was supposed to be the end of the series. It would have been the perfect end.
But no. There's a God of War 4 coming. Here's the trailer:
Anyway, the ending of the third instalment of the game was great. It was the perfect bittersweet note to end the life of rage made manifest, god-killing, chaos-bringing Kratos.
Oh my goodness, I loved this game! There was plenty of action and gore, and I'm a fiend for those things. There was also an excellent story. I am very into games that do more than challenge a player's skill. They must also tell a story for me to truly enjoy them. And this story is very compelling.
Bearing in mind, I haven't played the previous two God of War games, I have a general idea of that they're about. I'm pretty sure most people are at this stage. Because of this, I'm a little fuzzy on why Kratos is on the rampage again, but it doesn't really matter. The gods pissed this guy off, and they're going to regret it.
The game play was beautiful and smooth, though I died a lot. Like, a lot.
I loved the brutal kills! It was fun to disembowel centaurs, and break sirens in half, and tear a god's head straight off his body. The level design was gorgeous, though often made play feel a little claustrophobic. That might be part of the design, though. It would certainly be in line with the character you play, whose rage pushes him forward in his quest for vengeance, with no option to quit.
There were a few very laughable moments which I suspect were not supposed to be humorous, but it was still a fantastic game.
I now want to grab the first and play through the entire series in order.
What about you? Have you played it? What did you think?