The showdown with Zeus

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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When you are about to put a potentially illustrious video game under pressure, writing a review becomes a very delicate matter, especially when it is so awaited and "pumped" by the community, with real delusional scenes in every film or information released. Obviously it also becomes a double-edged sword when the approach to the game takes place when you are too loaded and who knows what is expected, and every judgment or thought must be weighed and analyzed perhaps with a cold mind, before proceeding with the drafting. the final. But here we are talking about that Kratos, a shady figure who quickly entered the ranks of the most charismatic characters in the videogame universe and perennially pissed off with everyone and indistinctly, violent beyond all measure and exponent of a genre, that of action adventure, still among the most popular on the market.



The God of War saga has a hint of mystery in its backstories, as each episode has seen its Game Director capitulate for causes that have never been fully clarified. And so after the most famous David Jaffe it was the turn of Cory Barlog, suddenly resigned at the beginning of the development of the third chapter, to finally get to Stig Asmussen, who at this point we suppose may have the hours counted starting from next March 17th. The strength of ideas and the awareness of what is being done, however, has never changed, the Santa Monica Studios have been able to benefit perfectly from the greatest computing power available, to conclude in the best possible way what started a few years ago on PlayStation 2. .

Zeus! Do you hear me?

God of War III begins exactly where the second chapter ends, when Kratos after a first clash with Zeus wants to complete his revenge and is therefore on the back of the Titan Gaia while he is climbing Olympus, accompanied by the other giants willing to recover what was taken away after the Great War . However, Zeus still has many allies in his ranks: Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, Elio and others, united for a clash that promises to be epic and no holds barred. A distinctive feature of every episode of God of War has always been to start "with a bang", catapulting the player immediately to the center of the most total action and making it clear that spectacularity and large scale are fundamental components to make an action adventure in the 'more apt meaning of the term. Imagine then if the thing could not repeat itself with this third chapter. Indeed, the first hour of God of War III it is one of the moments with the highest adrenaline rate ever seen in a video game, a crescendo of action, emotions and elements thrown on the screen that return an impact that is absolutely out of parameters.



Specifically, as always, we find a boss of enormous size to be faced on several occasions, fights on the back of the titans in motion, a camera that always captures the moment perfectly, many effects on the screen, destruction of the scenario and an impressive polygonal size, so much so that yes he struggles to metabolize everything he experienced in the first person after this first wave, when the title returns to the tracks for a moment after the initial outburst. Do not despair, the title lives precisely in these situations, huge and spectacular boss fights, use of the ad hoc camera to increase the degree of identification and the glance, extreme wickedness of the main protagonist, which is never reproduced as in this chapter. perfectly and justified in narrative terms. Kratos must carry out a revenge and has no pity for anyone who stands in front of him, such as when he detaches Elio's head to take possession of his ability to see "hidden" areas or when, always in the orgasmic hour mentioned above, the victim Poseidon is seen being subjected to butt heads, knees and more until he is blinded, while the camera skilfully moves in first person, making the scene visually even more bloody and spectacular. God of War III, as announced by the developers, concludes the trilogy at a narrative level, and actually Kratos finds himself settling accounts with practically anyone and even more, to arrive at a long, structured ending and also with an epilogue that is anything but obvious, which maybe it closes the circle on the former god of war, but certainly not on all the events that concern him. The fundamentals of the game are obviously well known, we are dealing with a third person action and adventure title based mainly on fighting, but with different puzzle sections that become more and more prominent in the second half of the game, resulting more airy than to the past. Santa Monica Studio has in fact rebalanced these sections, eliminating the more tedious ones of the past (the memory always goes to those where, for example, you had to carry a statue uphill while being attacked continuously) and making them more structured along the path of Kratos.



The changes to the gameplay are actually much more interesting than they initially seem and have touched practically every main aspect, from the control system to the management of weapons and spells, to the actual fighting. No particular changes or innovations, mind you, but each element has been refinished, eliminating unnecessary frills that sobbed in previous chapters and trying to make everything more fluid, dynamic and with fewer dead moments. First of all, weapons and spells now move in symbiosis with each other, each weapon that is obtained is associated with the digital cross, which in turn brings with it a different spell, which can be activated immediately with the R2 key. The blades supplied by Kratos have for example the phalanx of Sparta, the claws of Hades can release souls of various kinds that attack enemies and so on, and the beauty is that each weapon is suitable for different types of enemies or to have the best on some objects, which leads to varying their use depending on the situation, while the preference for one or the other remains. This great interoperability is also reinforced by the fact that all weapons can be changed "on the fly", using the aforementioned digital cross or with the combination L1 + X, which allows you to not interrupt combos while attacking enemies. Other moves in Kratos' repertoire include a claw grip to execute a headbutt, the ability to ride some enemies to take advantage of their greater attack power, or use others as a shield and run madly to overwhelm anything, also because the ladder of the fighting has increased compared to the past, and it is also possible to face dozens of enemies on the screen at the same time. To make everything even more dynamic and fluid, in addition to dodging, counterattacks and so on, this third chapter introduces a third energy bar, dedicated to the use of the objects that the main protagonist acquires during the adventure. For example, we have the bow, which can incinerate enemies and elements of the scenario that block the road, to switch to Hermes' boots that allow you to throw enemies into the air with an acceleration while running and reach high places otherwise inaccessible.



The quick time events, of which God of War was one of the greatest supporters after Shenmue, are obviously well present and dedicated to the final killing of bosses and rather difficult opponents, they accompany as always bloody and spectacular actions and also in this case they are have been slightly modified, as the front keys of the pad appear on the four sides of the screen, leaving the full focus on what is happening. The only big note that we feel we have to make to the control system lies in the choice of the R2 button for the immediate activation of the spells, quite irritating given the extreme sensitivity of the triggers of the Sony pad, which represent one of the weak points of the controller. Obviously there are some notes to make about the game, but often you have to get out of the context in which it arises. The gameplay is in fact only marginally based on the skill of the pad in favor of brute power and rhythm, albeit more dynamic as mentioned above. Paradoxically, the initial part of the title is so incredible that replicating it in the later stages is practically impossible, even if the game is full of these moments, but of a shorter duration. It is therefore necessary to make it clear that the new title of Santa Monica Studio brings to the nth degree all the elements that have made the saga successful, but does not have the ambition to redefine the genre or conquer new followers in the ranks of those who never they appreciated the saga in terms of gameplay, but this is a discourse that can be carried on with many similar examples. In our test we completed the title in 10 hours and 50 minutes, good time but not excellent, while apart from the extras, which we refer to the appropriate box, the replayability of the main adventure is entirely dedicated to a higher level of challenge. or the desire to appreciate the spectacular side of the game, since it always starts over and the special power-ups can only be used at the difficulty level already completed.

PlayStation 3 Trophies

God of War III provides 36 trophies, including 18 secrets set not to reveal important parts of the boss and plot. The "known" ones are obviously dedicated to completing the game, maximizing all available energy bars, making a 1000 move combo, killing a certain number of enemies according to specific techniques and completing the extra modes that unlock. It is possible to get all the trophies on the first round, but it must be completed directly at the highest difficulty level initially selectable.

I care nothing

It has to be honest, after playing God of War Collection, the high definition reissue of the first two chapters which among other things benefited from a frame rate of 60 frames per second, the impact with this factor in God of War III it becomes an unsettling moment, as the third episode is anchored instead to 30 frames per second, always stable in any case, with different peaks upwards but which in any case make you feel a different sensation in terms of fluidity and speed of the whole. Fortunately, everything is in getting used to, to leave room for the good things that appear before the eyes. As mentioned, the first hour of the game is something extraordinary in every aspect, and is a clear and strong demonstration of what the graphics engine of the game offers for the duration of the adventure: an incredible polygonal mass covers the bosses, structures and Kratos, who as never before is detailed in detail, in his facial expressions and in the various animations at his disposal. But this thing is only the apex of a technical production at the highest levels, where the effects of bloom, light, dynamic shadows make the title a pleasure for the eyes, and where the setting, which ranges from Olympus to Hades, passing for many other elements of Greek mythology, it has, as always, an impeccable and fascinating artistic realization, made of landscapes saturated with color, softness of the stroke (accompanied by a rather good anti-aliasing) and a design of enemies and structures clearly not common in the development in the videogame field.

Another element that contributes in an important way is the camera, which remains managed directly by the engine and by precise choice, as can also be seen from the Making of the game: in doing so, the programmers have always chosen the best point of view, and they are not uncommon. the moments in which the visual contributes in a decisive way to making the action interactive or not and truly spectacular, which would otherwise be impossible if the control were left to the player. This "policy" already comes from the two previous chapters and obviously the fact that it has been so perfected does not make us regret a manual management of the camera, at least in this specific case and obviously not as a general rule, where we have many excellent opposing examples. In any case, the programmers have introduced several "points of interest" which, when selected, allow you to move the view and zoom it using the two analog sticks of the joypad. However, such a high graphic standard also has some burrs that are not in line with the rest, in particular the interaction with water and fluids, or the textures, which although varied and often well defined, are among the most swinging, perhaps in indoor or "quiet" sections from the point of view of level design. The sound sector follows the lines of that of the first two God of War and can boast of four different composers, "hired" to give precise identity to different moments of the game, with musical pieces rearranged on the basis of those already known but also some unpublished and impeccably made, even more pressing to better emphasize the action of this chapter.

The dubbing is completely in Spanish both in the texts and in the voices, it is of good quality in almost all the interpreters and in line with that of the previous episodes. We must say, however, that the English one, also for the perfect synchronized lip, is more incisive and atmospheric in its realization. In God of War III therefore, when all these positive factors mentioned above work in unison, and this happens not infrequently, the result is absolutely devastating, and once again we are faced with a title that manages to return a graphic impact to the top of this generation of consoles and which is also accompanied by rather interesting technological solutions such as the absence of installation on the hard disk and the complete lack of uploads between one section and another. All this contributes to making the experience fluid and exciting also from a visual point of view.

Extra My Love

The title of the Santa Monica Studios offers several extras that are obtained after a first completion of the adventure, albeit not sensational from the point of view of the actual gameplay. It starts from the classic additional difficulty level, up to the possibility of facing the game again with the hidden objects that are scattered around the environments, and which allow you to enable infinite energy, increase the damage inflicted and suffered, the final combos and so on. , bearing in mind, however, that trophies are deactivated. Then we have the Challenges mode, which offers several clashes with some specific rules and finally the combat arena, which is unlocked after successfully completing the first mode. Last but not least there is the possibility to view the videos of the game and a complete and extensive making of, divided by topics and fortunately also available with subtitles in Spanish, which can be chosen through the appropriate game menu.

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God of War III is the purest exponent of action adventure, a title where an extraordinary technical sector, the artistic side, the creativity of the developers and the spectacularity all go hand in hand to return an engaging, adrenaline-filled and full of twists and turns experience. start at the end, with violence at the service of a gameplay refined in all its aspects and made more dynamic and pressing. It obviously remains anchored to a precise context and does not claim to redefine or evolve the genre, but brings to the nth degree all the characteristics that have made this saga famous and is the closure of a trilogy that will leave, once again, an indelible mark. on all video game lovers.

PRO

  • Dynamic and refined gameplay
  • Devastating graphic impact
  • Always high and spectacular pace
  • Fascinating story
AGAINST
  • The 60 frames per second would have been the icing on the cake
  • A little more could be done in terms of replayability
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