The gaming industry is taking different turns, experiencing with different formulas, trying to figure out new ways to deliver what they have to.. well.. deliver..
One thing for sure, many are focusing on how the graphics and polygons blow your mind in drool-effect.. And this year, it's been quite amazing "visually".. Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy, and now FINALLY God of War 3..
Note: am Not saying that they're the only visually good games, but they're the one i reviewed so far, so yeah.. (Yay for self-promotional stunts)
So, after managing to find a smuggled copy in our "thriving" market, and having to play it through a HESITANT submission period (which is not due yet, since it's pushed every day), finally managed to rip my way out of the games story..
11 hours later (well, 10:58), the story has laid it's final piece of the trilogy (not if you count the PSP release).. In the end, Was this game the send-off this series deserves?
If there's anything that can describe the first hours of gameplay, using the word "Epic" would be an understatement.. In this little time, GoW3 already raised the bar massively to what you should expect from any action game.. With what this game managed to deliver as a first impact to it's players, both visually and gameplay, you can't help but drool.. The game came with the premise of the being the last in the series, and it sure started with a Bang..
Do you see that little red dot? That's Kratos during GAMEPLAY!!
Technically, the amount of technology in the works, and how the game redefines scale and proportion (with minimum to almost no frame drop), the intro of the game is an achievement.. You'll know it when you play it + Santa Monica included a separate documentary to detail the intro alone.. I think it's really safe to say that the intro is as equally strong as Uncharted 2's train scene, if not better (well, maybe not)..
The graphics are almost perfect at parts, while a bit neglected at other parts, but you can't even argue that this game is a big milestone achievements in compare to it's previous parts, and it offers the market a new challenge, in terms of attention to smallest modeling details, the lighting and the directing of both the boss fights and small fights.. I fell involve with the Camera's depth of field effects, it just added that extra push to make this game visually entertaining as it is to play.. And the amount of dedication to the art work and graphic design of the visuals of the game is astonishing and really worth the pixels it consumes.. I admire the work put, and it's really something visually beautiful to look at it.. Not as original as you might think, but it's a great scene (it seems at points they got OVER inspired by 300, the movie, and the intro seems like a James-Bond spin off..)
The fighting is the same version of previous installments, with maybe minor tweaking here and there, and you can tell in how the game smoothly connects combos, while giving you the ability to change weapons mid-combo, creating a visually stunning blood bath, and you'll end up feeling like a Spartan Bad-ass..
You can't kill the feeling of how familiar the gameplay is, and it's not bad in a way, because the gameplay in previous already rocks and it's formula is probably the main driving force to how popular the game managed to become.. When you think of God of War, do you really care what Gaia did or what Zeus said or what Athena thinks? Seriously? It's the gameplay that stands out greatly, and not to mention the gore.. Gore is maybe one of the highest achievements this game managed to deliver, with anatomical details and splatter effects, this game is bloodier than ever..
Kratos is angry, violent, and now he can prove it to you in HD.. And with a soundtrack this has been the back bone to my memories of the previous games, it just enhances the gaming experience, and builds up to the famous GoW theme by the end of the game.. I really appreciated the musical thrill this game adds to it's fighting, setting the line between a generic action game, and a game where you kick Zeus's ass..
However, midway through the game, you might begin (or already began) to notice some of the loose bolts and screw ups here and there.. Not big enough to ruin the game for you, many finished the games not noticing, but i can't help it.. There's a saying in Arabic called (Fazlook), loosely means Nitpicking, and some already might call it that, but i have my reasons..
Of course I'll list them..
- The fighting in this game is the best in the series, that's a fact, and not a debatable one (IMO), however, i can't say the same about the game mechanics.. Having to triple click the X just to double jump properly, you can't help to feel like Kratos is a bit heavy and stiff, not that fluid or easy going as the one in GoW2.. Which is a bit confusing, because they seemed to do well then, what the heck happened this time?
And At other points, you'll have to precisely place yourself infront of the chest to open it, and Saving locations tend to ignore you at points, or realize you're there a bit slower than you'd expect from any normal game, let alone a game this big.. Maybe there sacrificed some code space for the graphics, but those coding can't be this big to actually kill two main aspects of an action game: DOUBLE JUMPING, AND CHEST OPENING.. Like i said, it's a bit unnoticeable at first, but it can get annoying to die more than 3 times just to jump to the platform infront of you..
- The game is LONG compared to the story's content.. I couldn't help by find a ratio problem.. You take a dozen fights, several diversions (i won't dignify them by calling them puzzles), to reach a cut scene, and then rinse-and-repeat all the way through the story.. Unlike the previous parts, where battle vs. puzzle was decent and thrilling enough to keep you entertained, GoW3 is boring compared to them (compared to them, not a boring game on it's own, ok? Sheesh)..
- Inconsistency, not in the story, but the game itself, highlights the ratio problem.. You might think that different parts of the game were designed by different people, every couple of months, because you can't find the same delivery all through out the game, either in terms of environmental rendering and effects, to the 3D modeling of enemies, to the boss fights even.. I mean, the boss fights are already too damn easy on Normal (easier than you'd expect), but they're not equally epic's (can i say epic'ish?) Some bosses turn colossal on your behind, tearing your screen apart in a massive fight, and some fight you man-on-man without any creativity put into them as much as the others.. And am not talking about those small mini-big fights when you're introduced to a Cyclope or a Gorgon or whatever side-dish enemies.. Am talking about Plot-related big bosses.. Some screw you up, and some you'd laugh at how screwed up they are.. The delivery of the thrill just goes up and down with this game, and it can get annoying..
- The environments have the same flaws.. At some points in the game, you're a couple of pixels away from a completely realistic environment with glorious lightings effects and jaw-dropping environmental scale, while at the other points the textures and lighting effects can turn too awkward, making the game almost look like it's previous parts.. And you can tell in a second which parts of the game were focused on, and others were completely ignored (i can take "slightly ignored" because of the production time and value, but not in this way)..
I'm not going to dissect the Story and Plot of the game, as boring as it was in this chapter, because I'm sure that Jaffe's intent behind the first GoW, and the way it was carried out in GoW2 and GoW:CO, story is not the aim of the game.. The story is just a trivial stab to Greek mythology, and it gives a flat portray of what ended greek gods period over earth.. The way the story develops is simply desrcibed as such..
Zeus - Revenege - Athena - Revenge - Haba haba - Zeus - ZEUSSSS - REVENGE *GoW theme*
It's fun to pick around the actual facts to the greek myths, but i don't think it's the main aim of what this game is trying to deliver.. It's a game where your'e supposed to kill, kill and kill some more, and enjoy the trip with both what you see and hear, and maybe the silly jokes and easter eggs here and there.. What you understand is almost none in this game, and i don't think you should care.. The game is driven by Kratos's rage, for whatever reason.. I just loved the game for being a game, and it was worth it's money, and it's a game that you can easily recommend without feeling embarrassed about.. Well, maybe if you recommend it to mature adults only, because the game is a bit explicit at some parts, and it seems there was a sale on boobies, because they're everywhere.. From gods, to enemies, to even weird looking birds.. No wonder the greeks were gay..
Anyways, that's a different point..
The point here is, the game does have it's flaws, but there's enough up-points to enjoy and feel in the game that it can be easily ignored.. Not very sure about the ending of the game (seemed more like Max Payne on ancient steroids), but the main objective of the game is make you feel like Kratos, and feel the power (and lack of double jumping) he can pack in his fists (or legs?).. Kratos rocks, for whatever it's worth :D
I wish the game ended with a big bang like it started, but maybe am asking for too much.. It is Santa Monica (ZING) nah am kidding.. or am i?