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God of War 3 Remastered Review

by William Schwartz

God of War 3 from Sony’s Santa Monica Studio was one of the very best first party exclusives for the PlayStation 3.  It was a technical masterpiece which showcased the console’s power, and a fitting conclusion to the storyline in a multi-console running trilogy.  We’ve seen more of Kratos since the original 2010 release, but this third major installment still holds the crown among many God of War fans for the best game in the series.  Sony, however, has run into a interesting problem with the PlayStation 4.  Simply put, there are many gamers out there that didn’t own a PlayStation 3, and God of War 3 Remastered feels like a game made explicitly for those that did not catch it the first time around.

God of War 3 is an action-packed thrill ride, a game full of massive boss battles, brutal combat sequences, and controversial quick time events.  At its launch on the Playstation 3 many called God of War 3 the best-looking game to have ever been made for consoles — you’d be hard pressed to find someone to disagree at the time.  Five years later, God of War 3 on the PlayStation 3 is still a very, very good looking game — on the PlayStation 4 the 1080p 60fps presentation refine only slightly what was already near perfect.

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This isn’t a game that was begging for a remake, nor does this remaster have many additional features that warrant the purchase for those who’ve already been on this bombastic adventure.  A photo mode is the most notable inclusion, but again, not something you’ll necessarily rush to purchase.  The good news is, God of War 3 Remastered is not full-priced.  It’ll launch at $39.99, more easily digestible for those who’ve played the original, and a bargain if you haven’t. Regardless, five years later God of War 3 still holds up in terms of presentation and gameplay, while the story is just as ridiculous as ever.

Assuming the role of Kratos, an ex-Spartan warrior, God of War 3 picks up at a climatic point for the story, one that’s pretty easy to pick up on, even if you haven’t played the previous games on the PlayStation 2.  It’s clear that Zeus and the other gods of Olympus are the primary targets of Kratos, who will take a bloody journey from the depths of Hades to the heights of Mt. Olympus before all is said and done.  If Greek Mythology is your thing, you’ll get all you can handle in God of War 3, at least Sony Santa Monica’s spin on things.  You’ll meet a who’s who cast of Greek Gods, and other not-so godly entities from the ancient tales.

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God of War 3 redefined scope and scale for action hack and slash titles.  It didn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel when it came to combat, and it most certainly didn’t shy away from using quick time events to convey some of its most graphic content.  There’s not much that I can say about God of War 3 that hasn’t been said before, five years ago.  It’s an incredible roller coaster ride of a game, be it linear, be it lacking in replay value — for any of the game’s shortcomings, it’s still, to this day, a fun romp.  A mixture of puzzles, combat, quick time events, and incredible visuals.  Something jaw dropping is always just around the corner in this game — From the opening moments where Kratos is riding on the back of a Titan to scale Mount Olympus, to the numerous boss battles with Olympian Gods that you’ll encounter along the journey.  God of War 3 is not short of awesome, gruesome things.

So is God of War 3 worthy of a remaster?  That’s an entirely different question.  We’ve seen no shortage of remasters, and if you’re digging into the catalog of PlayStation 3 games that you want to take with you into the next generation, God of War 3 is certainly one of them.  The problem is, for someone who’s played the game before, God of War 3 doesn’t hit as hard as it does the first time around.  I mean, there’s only so many times you can see the gruesome and gory things of this game and be shocked.  Does it play smoother and look better than the original?  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to play them side by side.  I don’t remember God of War 3 being a particularly bad looking game, nor have issues with frame rates on the PlayStation 3.  The PlayStation 4 version certainly feels smooth and looks great, but worthy or needing of a remaster, after finishing it, I’m still not so sure of that.

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Is God of War 3 a good game?  Yes, yes, yes.  This one stands the test of time for sure, without a doubt.  God of War is one of the best hack n slash franchises we’ve ever seen, and to this day, very few, if any, have pulled off the incredible sense of scale found in God of War 3.  Still, it’s hard to shake some of the cold hard facts here though.  There just isn’t much by way of extras, the likes of which we’ve seen from other remasters.  It doesn’t have an extensive bill of downloadable content included.  There’s no multiplayer.  What’s here is a fantastic single player experience, that you’ll need to eek extra play time out of by heading into a second or third playthrough.  What’s here is good, but given that so many remastered games have launched with extensive GOTY Edition downloadable content and extras, God of War 3 Remastered feels a little sparse.

The Verdict

God of War 3 Remastered is for two types of people.  The first is the PlayStation faithful, the person who has a strong nostalgia for the series that simply must have this in their collection. God of War 3 holds up well enough in the gameplay department to have fun with, but there’s just not much more to see here.  The second is the curious PlayStation newcomer that hasn’t played this game before and wants to see what all the fuss was about in 2010.  That person is going to get the most out of God of War 3 Remastered and probably shouldn’t miss it.

"loved"
loved

God of War 3: Remastered

  • Available On: PlayStation 4
  • Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developed By: Sony Santa Monica
  • Genre: Hack and Slash
  • US Release Date: July 14th, 2015
  • Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
  • Quote: "God of War 3 Remastered feels like a game made explicitly for those that did not catch it the first time around."
Review Policy

The Good

  • It's effing God of War 3

The Bad

  • It pales in comparison to the content of other remasters
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