Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware

God of War III: Kratos is Back and Bloodier Than Ever!

The release of God of War III will be here before we know it, but to whet our appetites, SCEA is releasing their E3 Demo. While I got to play it at E3, this demo is actually far longer than what I had the opportunity to experience, so I am glad to get to pursue this area further. Once again, we control the Spartan warrior Kratos, only this time, he not only wields the Blades of Athena and comes rocking Icarus' wings, but he's also got a new toy - the Cestus. The Cestus are a pair of metal gloves, for lack of a better term, that are shaped like a lion's head and the damage that they do is about on par with an angry lion running thorugh an obstacle. They are serious weapons and will be Kratos' new best friend when he encounters tough enemies or obstacles.

To start, Kratos is assisting the enormous, smoldering rock god Perses in his battle against the annoying god of the sun, Helios, who insists on taunting both Kratos and Perses by flitting about in his flaming chariot. Kratos will have to make his way around the area, killing undead minions and warriors, while innocent citizens, or fodder if you prefer, get in the way. One poor soul even had the misfortune to be hanging from a ledge when Kratos needed to get by. Needless to say, Kratos didn't rescue him.

As you progress, you'll see Perses battling Helios and his harpies in the background and when you finally get close enough, you'll have the opportunity to take a timed shot at Helios yourself. Well, you'll do that a few times before you finally hit him, unless you are super lucky or a really good estimator of timing. Once you do finally get to kill Helios, well, you'd be disappointed if it wasn't done in a grand fashion. Let's just say that Helios' head serves as a revealer of secret areas for Kratos' later use.

A new mechanic that they've throw into the mix is Kratos' ability to sink his long-range chain blades into the back of a harpy and hitch a ride on her back, jumping from harpy to harpy. The funny thing is that you beat them the whole trip over, so it's somewhat humorous to watch, in a cruel way. A blue glowing highlight will appear above a harpy when she is in range for Kratos to make his jump, but if not, you will plunge to your death. This is a cool, new mechanic and one that I'll enjoy in the full game, but for God's sake, I wish those harpies would put on a toga already. Sheesh, they are nasty.

Another new twist is Kratos' ability to have an unlimited supply of arrows. I really don't recall this in the past games, but instead remember having the arrows as a gift from one of the gods that functioned using Magic, which as any God of War player knows, is not unlimited. Here, however, as long as you put the arrows "away" even for a second, they instantly refill and are fairly powerful and have an auto-target to boot. Nice!

Then there's facing the mini-boss in the form of a huge cyclops. Does Kratos kill him? No, that would be far too easy. Instead, he hooks into his eye, jumps up to ride him and uses his eye hook as a set of reigns to lead him around, crushing the enemies below. It's a nice touch, and very Kratos indeed. Oh, of course he eventually kills him.

Finally, the last part of the demo found Kratos using his Icarus wings to catch a fast ride on an air vent. The view changes to first person and you have to dodge obstacles or crash through them, taking a health hit. This is old school gaming at its finest, but with the slick gloss of gorgeous next-gen graphics.

One new thing to note is when the timed button-presses come up, instead of always appearing on one side as in previous installments, this time, the button will appear in correspondence to where the button appears on your controller. (X) will pop up at the bottom and (Square) to the left, (Triangle) at the top and (O) on the right. It was disconcerting at first, but is something I'd imagine any gamer will quickly adapt to. Further, it will probably make things easy once you get used to it, because you won't even have to stop and think of what button just popped up. It's location will tell you all you need to know.

Although I was very selective in my choice of screenshots, make no mistake. When Kratos reappears, and on your PS3 for the very first time, he will bring with him bloodshed the likes of which we have never seen. Mutilations and eviscerations will be standard operating procedure in God of War III, so prepare yourself for Kratos' next great war with the gods of Olympus.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
Related Links:

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.