God of War III Update: Rushing Olympus

Where Kratos treads, gods tremble. We tackle the opening scenes of Sony's upcoming action game.

God of War III is set to kick 2010 off with a bloody bang for the PlayStation 3. The game will wrap up the story of its main character and poster boy for carnage, Kratos, who's had a bone to pick with the Greek pantheon for a while now. GOWIII has impressed us ever since we first saw it last year. A playable demo--complete with centaur gutting and sun god mangling--as well as a compilation disc of the first two games in the series ensure that fans will be suitably riled up for Kratos's big finish. Sony recently held an event to show off an essentially final version of the game and let us play through the opening sequence. While the opener was pretty brief--roughly 25 minutes or so--it definitely sets GOWIII up to live up to the incredibly high expectations set for it.

The game's opening has all the makings of an old-timey joke that starts something like "A rage-filled demigod and a pack of crabby Titans go into Olympus…" But, unfortunately, "and the gods all died horribly" doesn't work as a satisfying punch line. However, it does all work pretty spectacularly as a game opener. GOWIII picks up right where the previous game ended, with Kratos and a mob of Titans scaling their way up Mount Olympus eager to give the surviving Greek gods a whuppin'. The gorgeous opening cinematic, all rendered in real time via the game's jaw-dropping graphics engine, zooms around to give players a dazzling view of Olympus and the surrounding land before resting on Kratos who's just itching for a fight as he rides on Gaia's shoulder.

As fearsome as Kratos's mob may be, the gods aren't exactly trembling in fear: Zeus, Hades, Hermes, Helios, and Poseidon are more than willing to throw down with the oncoming mob, which is exactly what each heads off to do. Poseidon is the most pressing threat in the opening because he creates a watery creature to yank the advancing Titans off the mountain. Your immediate concern when you get control of Kratos is to deal with the various enemies appearing on Gaia intent on stopping you. Once Gaia is nabbed by Poseidon's creature, you'll have to deal with that as well. This isn't much of a problem due to Kratos's powered-up status at the start of the game, and given what the last two games were like, we don't expect that will last, but it sure is nice.

The short sequence we played was a dynamic rollercoaster that saw Kratos skittering up Gaia's arm while the Titans crawled up Olympus and dealing with assorted enemies, including Poseidon's water creature, as well as the sea god himself. The intro offered another showcase for the impressive Titan gameplay that has the environment change around Kratos on the fly. In the space of a few minutes, we were running normally, hanging upside down, and crawling up--all off of Gaia's arm. The cinematic shifts looked great and helped mix up the game's pacing to good effect. Along the way, we got the chance to do just about everything we were expecting as Kratos (stabbing, punching, eviscerating, and goring anything in our way) along with some new perks (using enemies as a battering ram; a much more visceral way to kill) that fit in nicely. At the moment, we're big fans of the evolving levels courtesy of riding a Titan, and we can't say enough about the new mechanics involved in deicide. While the series has always been on the cutting edge of god-murdering, we'll go out on a limb to say GOWIII offers the most visceral experience the series has seen yet, thanks to a good mix of button pressing along with a wicked use of the R3 and L3 buttons.

God of War III's visuals handily set a new high watermark on the PlayStation 3, thanks to their insane level of detail, sheer scope, and impressive art direction. One key thing to note is that the game looks a lot better than the recent PlayStation Network demo. The static environments are gorgeous, and the Titans--living, moving environments in their own right--look fantastic. The assorted enemies on display, both big and small, are a sight to behold--and that's before Kratos guts them. The violence in the game is as over the top as ever with the added benefit of HD viscera and blood…so much blood. Our favorite element so far is the creative camera work that zips through first-, third-, and second-person angles during god murdering. At the center of everything is Kratos, who's never looked better. The package is topped off by some jaw-dropping lighting effects, smooth animation, and a steady frame rate that we haven't seen waver--even when things onscreen are going nuts.

The game's audio is the perfect complement to its stunning visuals. The franchise's score has always aimed high and helped sell each entry's scale. The music in God of War III stays the course and serves up some truly epic accompaniment to the onscreen action. The score we've heard so far has matched the onscreen action perfectly and packs the punch of a movie score. The voice acting in the game is a top notch as ever, rooted in Linda Hunt's fantastic narration and T.C. Carson's rage-filled voicing of Kratos. The supporting cast seems to be stepping up to Hunt and Carson's level--for as long as they're alive anyway. Did we mention there's a whole lot of dying going on?

While the expectations of God of War III border on incredibly high, the game looks like it's most certainly ready to meet them. So far it's hitting all the notes fans of the series would want and adding more than a few new ones to boot. God of War III is slated to ship March 13 for the PlayStation 3.

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355 comments
deadreign22
deadreign22

gow is corny cant believe ps3 made a third gow

Jajathinx
Jajathinx

an epic game that is a must for all PS3 owners. I am playing the GOW collection, that is also epic, so that I can lead up to a second playthrough on GOW 3. Maybe even a third, forth, fifth, sixth...

DevilSiew
DevilSiew

Just finished the game last weekend! Hahaha, very fun to play and very nice graphic!

issa3703
issa3703

awesome game and every thing for god of war3 i beat this game 5 times and i continue for it but i dont know if i want to buy g.o.w collection or its not important?

PUREPL7YA
PUREPL7YA

What are you doing here? Go get this game now!

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I beat the game last night after my last post... now i'm using the relics or whatever they call them to make it easy to find them all. I think i only need 1 or 2 more. Personally i think i enjoyed the spectacle of the level designs and bosses more than the actual game play, which i found to be more like a type of torture. If you like hard games, this is for you, i won't even bother putting it on the Titan or harder settings unless i get extremely bored enough to want the challenge.

eddytuco
eddytuco

GOW3 is one of the best games you have to play. Personally was my motivation to get a PS3. It is a must have for all the fans of the series and is the more elaborated and balanced of the 3 titles, exactly what is needed for closing the saga with style. If you never played GOW, please tease yourself and got the collection (GOW and GOW2) and the GOW3, and play it in order. The best investment for a gamer interested in adventure, action, combat and myth.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

I've made it to the labyrinth where you fight the giant scorpion and i'd have to say the game is great, but i cannot say it deserves a perfect 10 mainly because of the controls which are way too laggy for this type of demanding actioin game. The double jump wing glide is way too low regarding boss fights, it works fine for the average enemies, but is a joke for the boss fights. the dodge move is also way to small when fighting boss fights. Controls are very important if they are going to make the game this tough, and to me the controls come up just a bit short, so i'd have to give it around a 9/10 as well. Only because of the controls which is a huge factor in the game. also, many reviewers have praised the way they took the QTE button prompts and positioned them to the extreme right, left, up and down to match the controller layout, i HATE it, because many times there are so many enemies and crap happening you can't even see the X button amidst the chaos etc, it sucks. They should locates the sequences centered in the screen again.

dantefenix
dantefenix

you cannot expect a multiplayer from this sort of hack and slash adventure....so pls don even think of it....jus get this game and enjoy this badass for his final adventure---truely deserves a 10

Kubilius
Kubilius

I would personally give it a 7.0, since it's way to similar to PS2 game, camera is still dumb sometimes, no multiplayer, etc. BUT it looks so damn good!!!!!

georginio75
georginio75

god3 can not get a 10... and this is only my opinion... because it is only a single player game and not a multi-player game.

advanracer
advanracer

Who cares about the Ratings..If you like it then then i guess..that's a 10 in your list.

gerald4201
gerald4201

best game ever made 9.0 i don't understand that 10 out of 10 this game looks amazing went first put the game in it was more then i expected this game is the best

izonekid
izonekid

Um a PS3 fan from Malaysia.When GOW3 will be avalable here in Malaysia??How is the price is going to be??For me,GOW3 is AWESOME!!But why GAMESPOT only gave 9.0???

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

It will be a blockbuster of a game. Start limming up your fingers for this hack and slash epic.

skywalkerforce
skywalkerforce

Im not really excited for this one. Although Chains of Olympus was pretty cool forthe psp other than that, not big fan. There are a lot of games I am looking forward to that are the PS3. My girlfriend has my HDMI cable right now so Im without my PS3 until next week. And all I have for my 360 is Halo3 and a couple other games that I have beatin into the ground.

kornogaphy93
kornogaphy93

what other good games for ps3? just god of war

TheManCalledTee
TheManCalledTee

March 16th cant get here fast enough. I am so ready for this! Kratos rules!

absolut_gamerz
absolut_gamerz

throw away your dumbass X360 into the dustbin and start saving your money to get a new PS3. trust me everyone, its really worth it.

monker490
monker490

the guy who came up with kratos is soo going 2 hell

GiRiSh1982
GiRiSh1982

@ cuchikapoor: dude...I know exactly how you feel. I've been waiting for this game for ages as well and it's finally here. pre-ordered the pandora version, damn...can't wait to get my hands on it...

dwaynec567
dwaynec567

god of war is still going to be a easy game even on its hardest level like devil may cry

ginop73
ginop73

kratos is the god of video games

GlobalStrike
GlobalStrike

anyone wanna give a poor xbox fanboi a real console? :'(

RHoque92
RHoque92

LOOKS FREAKIN EPIC!! GOD OF WAR IS GONNA RIP ALL THE OTHER GOTY CONTENDERS TO PIECES!!

TheFox-13
TheFox-13

Looks like one hell of an adventure! Can't wait.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I really enjoyed the demo. Looking forward to this.

Du_Hast_Mich
Du_Hast_Mich

Yes I can't wait. Its shaping up to be such an amazing game, graphics, gameplay, soundtrack and everything. Also i encourage everyone to click on this link and watch the video of Shattering the Skies Above by Trivium. Song was made for this game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoUf1bbMTa8

HershalCrusto
HershalCrusto

I played the Demo last night, this is shaping up to be a strong game of the year candidate,

sabrewulf1880
sabrewulf1880

@artcore - Simple. While DI does take quite a bit from GOW, it doesn't do those things quite as well as GOW does. Like the same comparisons between GTA and Saints Row. Just because things copy each other, doesn't mean they will be as good as each other. Generi-Coke doesn't taste anywhere near as good as REAL Coke.

g_dubble
g_dubble

Day One purchase!!!!!!!! Long live Kratos!!!!!!

artcore777
artcore777

Why is everybody saying 'Dante's Inferno is not a great game' and 'GOW is the best', when at the same time they say that 'everything in DI is taken from GOW' ? Makes no sense!

jr_camaro_zl1
jr_camaro_zl1

The demo was great.....this was my first time playing a god of war game and man was it incredible.

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

Just to clarifiy the full game has the fallowing difference over the Demo on PSN for both fanboys, and non fanboys: 20 real Dynamic lights per object, 50 per character model Cell CPU MLAA (IE the same kind used in Uncharted 2) Full motion Blur via Cell CPU quad layered Textures All at a smooth 30 FPS...... This game proves that 30FPS is where console games should run at not 60 like on the Box. Just imagine how good halo would of looked on the 360 if Bungie did the game at 30 FPS instead of 60? It would of looked close to Killzone 2. In fact Bungie announced on their forums that Halo Reach is going to run at 40 FPS instead of 60 to help ballance out the new engine and it's higher detail models, and textures. IMHO if all consoles would do this then the games would look ten times better then on any PC. Gears of War 2 would of looked and ran much smoother at a 30FPS cap. Imagine CODMW2 with a 30 FPS cap? It would of looked as good as crysis thats for sure. Game developers need to get off the 60 FPS junk for Console games. (Keep it for PC titles please, we have the hardware to run it that way) And move over to 30 FPS because it allows you to pump that much more power out of the hardware your on, and extend the life of the games you develope per platform graphicly by years not just months.

freakyt_666
freakyt_666

I had to lose my job a few weeks before I was planning to buy a ps3 and this game....f*ck you sisters of fate! :(

AkaRai
AkaRai

He asked if they were able to include anything in this game they had to cut out of the last two. I remember in the bonus material for GoW2 they talk a lot about an Atlantis level they had to cut, and some enemies and a boss for that which were also removed. Hopefully we get to go to Atlantis this time. I doubt the fluid flight will be implemented though. Most of the other stuff was game specific,and so can't be revisited.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Wait...this game is coming out on a Saturday? I only thought games released during the week day...

boom234splat
boom234splat

Visceral the word of the day at GameSpot? Thesaurus.

FiFa_kirikiki
FiFa_kirikiki

@S2DP I have the rights to share my opinions and different points of views, other than just saying I love this game and else. This is a public site and you kind of got offensive.

kingsc453
kingsc453

yeah i enjoyed the demo can't wait to play the real thing

puppypunter101
puppypunter101

played the demo. the demo is beast. The game is gonna be Great

Lingleface
Lingleface

Did he really just say "no more jazz hands"? He really just said that, didn't he? Great, now I won't be able to play GoWIII without picturing Kratos dancing a little jig atop Helios' bloody remains.