So, it’s not a great surprise to learn I am eagerly anticipating the release of God of War III for the PS3. Also rather cool is the fact that there’ll be a God of War Collection, which comprises the first two instalments of the franchise (but not the PSP’s Chains of Olympus) in HD format together with a juicy voucher to use on PSN for an exclusive GoW III demo.
I’ll take one of those too Mr Computer Game salesmen, thank you very much.
I remember way back when, during an afternoon in Grimsby town centre no less, where I first got my mitts of the first God of War. What I loved so much about the game was the sheer level of bloody, visceral action but with a puzzle solving, adventuring-cum-platformer element to it. Levelling up skills and magic also lent the game a flavour of the RPG about it with all the tedious character building and endless pointless questing.
I liked (though ‘liked’ isn’t really the right word) Kratos, the central character, so much that he became part of the inspiration for Tsu’gan in the Salamander stories. All that rage and feelings of entitlement of being done wrong by the powers that be – it was the perfect vessel for one of Third Company’s angriest members.
God of War, unsurprisingly, became a franchise and what a franchise. The launch of the sequel provoked quite a bit of controversy with a promotional campaign that included sacrificial goats and half-naked warrior gods. The game’s arrival on PSP was of the best selling titles ever released on the troubled system, really stretching its boundaries and limits, and even opening the door for other ‘big’ game franchises to find their way onto the portable handheld (Little Big Planet, Soul Calibur and Assassin’s Creed to name three).
Aside from the brutal gameplay and it’s central figure, one of the things that has remained consistent through each iteration is the monsters. God of War has some of the best and most brutal beasts ever conceived. Greek myth is a wonderful stomping ground for its creatives and I have fond memories of slaying gigantic hydras, basilisks and gorgons, amongst other horrors.
It’s not all about the hack n’ slash, either – a souped up Golden Axe for ground-ups this is not (not that there’s anything wrong with Golden Axe, you understand – that’s my misspent youth at the Empire Arcade in Cleethorpses that is). God of War is a step above not just because of the graphics, the story, the creatures, the character or the combat – it’s the gameplay. It’s riding a pegasus whilst fighting off hordes of harpies, it’s cracking ludicrous difficult puzzles, it’s freeing titans to reach the next part of the level, it’s climbing up columns of flesh embedded with razor blades in the realm of Hades – it’s all of this mad stuff and more.
So, why babble on, why take up our time with all of this God of War back slapping? Well, God of War III is soon to hit the shelves and the good people at IGN.com have put together everything they know about the game so far in one handy little article. Have a butchers and, if you don’t mind the sight of blood and violence, you should definitely check this game out. There are loads of screenshots and videos too.
It’s one of the game I’m looking forward to in 2010, along with a few others (Dante’s Inferno is also looking extremely good and I’d suggest borrows quite a bit from God of War’s uncompromising ethos).
And while we’re at it, here’s the games I’ll be shelling my pennies out for in the New Year… (keep going after the pics – there’s more…)
Cripes! I’ll be having nightmares after this lot!
Seriously though, everything I’ve seen so far makes me believe that these will be the games for me next year, so speaks the Console King!
Coincidental, they all have a sort of gods & monsters theme to them, too. Dante’s Inferno is obviously about one knight’s descent in the depths of Hell, God War III speaks for itself and Darksiders features War, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, hunted by demons and angels at the world’s ending.
Epic stuff indeed. Here’s hoping they’ll live up to the hype.
So, brave readers, what’s floating your boat for the New Year? Answers on a blog comment-shaped postcard please…