God of War 3 Preview
In anticipation of the March release of God of War 3, we go hands-on with the demo
God of War III is a forthcoming title in the fan favourite and critically acclaimed God of War series. Much like its predecessors, it is exclusive to Sony’s platform and will be released on the PS3 in mid-March. It is the fifth and final chapter in the current story arc, after God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP), God of War, God of War: Betrayal (Mobile), and God of War II all told their part in the glorious legend of Kratos. Ever since the game’s initial announcement at E3 2008, fans have been waiting with growing anticipation for this major title. With the game’s full release mere weeks away, many have already had the chance to play through the God of War III demo – the same one that was featured at E3 2009. The demo is not available publicly as of yet though, and the only way to acquire it is to pre-order the game, purchase God of War Collection, or purchase District 9 film. Our copy of the demo came with the purchase of the excellent GoW Collection (which comes highly recommended to anyone who owns a PS3 and has yet to play through this excellent action series). We’ve played the GoW3 demo before, and then after completing both God of War games in the Collection, as to fully immerse and contrast the experience. And boy, was it grand.
The story of GoW3 is set to begin right at the moment where the previous title has left off. However, to avoid obvious spoilers, the demo takes places at a later date and features very few story-based elements. Kratos finds himself in the midst of battle once the demo begins, as a titan attacks the city and Sun God Helios flies overhead. As you make your way through the city, you will eventually get to shut down Helios from his sky chariot and engage in combat which results in, as seen in tons of trailers and promotional images for the game, the Sun God losing his head in a gruesome fashion. In the game, his head can then be used in a similar fashion to those of Medusa and Euryale from previous games. The head emits a very strong light, and can be used to blind enemies and reveal hidden entrances in plain sight. Kratos has also kept his Icarus wings from the previous games, and the flight ability is showcased at the end of the demo. Just as Kratos is about to slam head-on into the titan attacking the city, the demo ends - leaving the player breathless and wanting more. It is exactly the kind of effect that many demo versions try but fail to produce.
Anyone that has played the previous God of War games, be it on PS3 or the originals on PS2, will be instantly familiar and comfortable with the controls. Not all attack combinations are unlocked in the demo, but at least you get to play with not just the Blades of Chaos, but also the Cestus, a pair of fist gauntlets shaped like lion heads. This new weapon has a very blunt feel, but can also be extended via chains, giving it decent range and a variety of attacks. Extending the Cestus though leaves the player very exposed and unable to counter until the attack either fails or completes and the lion-shaped heads are drawn back in. Developers have stated that more weapons will be announced and will be more user-friendly than the sub-weapons from previous titles. Combos from previous titles will also make a return as well as new combos. The ability to use harpies as temporary flight transportation is also used heavily in the demo, and could be a vital element in the gameplay throughout.
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