God of War III is still an excellent title in the action genre pantheon. Having played through the HD makeovers of the original two games earlier this year, I was well placed to get stuck into God of War III again and it’s aged wonderfully over the last five years.
If you enjoyed God of War 1 and 2 on PS2, but found yourself picking up an Xbox 360 over a PS3 last-gen (thus missing out on God of War III), you’ll certainly want to take a look at this remastered edition if you now own a PS4. This is a grand finale to the main trilogy that any action fan deserves to experience and there are certainly cases to be made that GoWIII is the best entry to the series.
For anyone with a PS3 who didn’t get around to playing the game, you too may want to consider this polished version at some point. Owners of the original will want to listen up now too. As you may have gathered by this review’s title, there really isn’t much here to encourage a second purchase.
The game now runs at 1080p and 60 frames per second compared to the original’s 720p and 30fps. Let’s be honest though, the original game was blisteringly hot on PS3 and the leap isn’t actually that noticeable compared to what you may remember. The cutscenes haven’t been upgraded and the resolution on the animated ones looks a bit shabby. I thought the increased frame-rate would have been more noticeable in combat, but it doesn’t have the same visual impact to gameplay as the recent DmC: Definitive Edition, which plays, feels and looks much faster than the original version on PS3.
There was already an extensive collection of making-of videos to watch in the original game, but it’s undeniably disappointing that there are no new ones here. How hard would it have been to put together a series retrospective piece? You do get the paid DLC costumes bundled in, but using them disables Trophies thanks to their game balance modifications. A new photo mode has limited use too.
But let’s talk about playing the actual game for a bit. The action resumes with Kratos and the Titans climbing Mount Olympus so they can exact their vengeance on Zeus and the other Gods. Things are never that simple though and before you know it, Kratos has fallen out with the Titans too. This at least gives the story a good excuse to let him engage in some truly gobsmacking boss fights.
As if the opening encounter against Poseidon wasn’t one hell of an opening scrap (that first-person bit where you see Kratos kicking in Poseidon from the Sea God’s POV is as memorable as ever), the encounter with Cronos is still arguably yet to be beaten by anything else in the genre. That scorpion fight isn’t too shabby either.
As I mentioned in my review of the original, the combat could have done with some extra combos to spice things up as there’s definitely a bit of ‘if it ain’t broke’ vibe on in that department. Not that the Blades of Exile aren’t enormously fun to wield, but I wish I couldn’t get away with spamming L1 + Square as much as I do. That was until I found the Cestus gauntlets though, as once again I barely took them off for the rest of the game.
The platforming is still a bit borked, as Kratos’ double-jump can occasionally be unresponsive and the Harpy-hitching is still a mess. The R1 chain grapple points seemed to work much better though than they did five years ago, so maybe they’ve been tweaked a little.
Story wise, it’s a suitably fitting end to the trilogy, with a ruthless theme of bloody vengeance. Kratos comes off as pretty damn unlikable though. He’s a bit of a dick, actually. Fingers crossed if there ever is a God of War IV, he’ll have a little more depth to him and will have chilled out a tad as the constant ‘up to 11’ aggro has become tiresome after six games overall.
If you want a more in-depth report on the core game, it would make more sense to read my review of the original God of War III to save me waffling on here. Ah yes, speaking of the other games, for the asking price, I feel God of War: Ascension really should have been in the mix. Sure, it was treading water by the series’ usual high standards, but it would have provided a better incentive for those who missed it on PS3.
Today, you can generally pick up God of War III: Remastered for between £25 and £30, which without the inclusion of God of War: Ascension is a bit too much to be honest for what you’re getting, much like I predicted when the game was originally announced. So maybe wait until it’s closer to £15, especially seeing as you can buy the PS3 original from as little as £4 preowned or £10 new. PS3 or PS4 though, you’re getting one hell of a game.
- Still a fantastic action title
- Those boss fights
- Undeniably gorgeous on PS4…
- …but not a massive leap between generations
- Overpriced for just one old game
- No new extras
The Short Version: While admittedly good-looking, there’s not much here for anyone that played the game five years ago. For newcomers, especially those without a PS3, Kratos’s bloodthirsty pursuit of vengeance is a titan of the action genre. You may want to wait until the price is right though.
*Pictures captured by author.
Developer: Wholesale Algorithms / Sony Santa Monica