After the first two God of Wars, I can’t imagine other games that were as hyped as God of War III especially because it was the series’ first outing on the PlayStation 3. Santa Monica Studio and Sony teamed up again and released the third game in 2010 to massive critical and commercial success. Kratos returns to strike his vengeance on the Olympian gods with the help of the Titans. How does his third adventure stack up against his first two? A new power is granted… the ability to forgive but will Kratos still excel in this God of War III review?
God of War III Plot:
If you will recall from my God of War II review, Kratos had made a pack with the Titans to kill the gods on Olympus. The third game starts as Kratos and Gaia arrive at the top of Mount Olympus quickly killing Poseidon! (Already, so cool!) Poseidon’s death results in the oceans flooding around the mountain. Their next target is Zeus who Gaia raised as a child but he is much tougher than Poseidon and is able to push Kratos and Gaia off the mountain. Gaia catches herself, but Kratos isn’t so lucky. He asks for Gaia’s help but she shuns him claiming he was nothing but a pawn for her and the Titans.
Kratos falls into the water beneath Mount Olympus and floats into the soul river that leads to the underworld. His power is drained and he loses his weapons. Weakened and clinging to life, Kratos finds Athena’s spirit who tells him she is now a higher-being with a new vision of the truth. She tells Kratos in order to kill Zeus, he must put out the flame of Olympus and defeat him. As long as Zeus rules, mankind will have no future. Kratos receives the Blades of Exile from Athena as she disappears.
Making his way through the underworld and completing numerous quests, Kratos finds Hades and kills him releasing the souls of the underworld in the process. Kratos makes his way back to Mount Olympus and finds a wounded Gaia begging for his help. We all know that Kratos is very forgiving and merciful but to my utter shock he cuts off Gaia’s arm as she falls from Mount Olympus. Later during the climb, Kratos comes across Helios, the God of Light or the sun, either way, he is important for daylight. Helios is battling a titan as Kratos interrupts the fight and shoots him down. The death of Helios plunges the world into darkness, but Kratos literally rips the head of Helios off and uses it to light his path! How epic is that! Big points in my God of War III review!
The next several hours of gameplay Kratos kills or interacts with various gods and beings such as Hermes, Athena, Hercules, Hephaestus, Cronos, Hera, and Aphrodite who you know Kratos was going to rail. (He does and you watch, oh the joy of the old God of Wars)
During these battles, Kratos discovers he needs to find the real Pandora to open up her box to give him the power to kill Zeus. The box is protected by flames and only Pandora herself can open it. After rescuing Pandora and bringing her to the box, she sacrifices herself to reveal an open box. Zeus crashes the party and begins to battle with Kratos. Meanwhile, Gaia has climbed back up Mount Olympus and tries to kill both Kratos and Zeus who defeat her before continuing their fight.
During the climax, Kratos stabs Zeus with the Blade of Olympus against Gaia’s heart. It is believed that Zeus is dead until his spirit attacks Kratos causing him to lose his powers and weapons. Kratos goes into a trance where he is visited by Pandora and then the spirits of his wife and daughter who he slaughtered long ago. Finally able to forgive himself for his wrongdoings, Kratos snaps out of his trance and kills Zeus once and for all.
Athena appears and asks Kratos to return what he took from Pandora’s box. It’s revealed that the box was not empty but had hope in it and that it manifested into Kratos. He decides to stab himself with the Blade of Olympus and releases the hope from his body to the race of man. Kratos wanders off leaving a trail of blood and disappearing.
God of War III Gameplay:
The God of War series has always had fantastic boss encounters and with every installment, the boss fights become more epic. During my God of War III review this trend continued as I took down Olympian Gods one-by-one. One of the more clever ones was when you fight Hades in the underworld. Hades doesn’t try to kill Kratos but instead snatch his soul away with his weapon, slowly pulling away at it as the battle rages on. It’s clever and shows the care that the creators used when crafting this world.
Unfortunately, it seems that every God of War starts with Kratos being stripped of his powers so easily. It’d be nice not to have to work your way back to full strength. Just like the last couple of God of Wars, you’ll hack and slash your way through various stages, solve puzzles and collect objects to power up Kratos. It seems like I’m cutting the gameplay section short in this God of War III review but if you want more in-depth mechanics just read the previous God of War reviews as it’s the same. It’s not a bad thing at all, I love that they kept the same gameplay, it’s what makes God of War so special.
The conclusion of the trilogy is fitting. I loved the entire saga in ancient Greece and I believe they gave Kratos a proper send-off with his vengeance satisfied. Kratos forgives himself and that’s something I thought would never happen. It sets the stage for the events of the next God of War where we see a much more mature and calm Kratos. From the first game to the third, Kratos faced epic danger around every corner, it was a pleasure to play. Kratos is one of the best video game characters created and it was a roller coaster to watch his arc play out. I’m happy that in the end he found peace, and even more happy I was able to complete this God of War III review.
I asked for God of War III one year for my birthday and received it from my mom. It took me almost three years to complete my God of War III review as I simply didn’t have time. This was my favorite installment of Kratos.
God of War III Review Score:
Kratos gets his wish of revenge on the gods and in a surprising twist is able to forgive himself for his terrible sins. There was no let down at the end of this trilogy with every boss fight better than the last. It’s not often you cheer for a blood-crazed, mass-murdering selfish jerk but God of War had me cheering for Kratos to win.
God of War III scores a 9.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your God of War III review? What was your favorite god or titan to kill? What was your favorite God of War from the original trilogy? Do you remember the hype around God of War III? Let me know your thoughts and memories, I’d love to read them!
If you want to own God of War III you can purchase a preowned copy of it for the PlayStation 3 on eBay for at least $8.