God of War 3 Review

How big is big enough? Our verdict on the face-melting conclusion (or is it?) to the God of War trilogy.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, March 8, 2010


At the heart of any consideration of God of War 3 lies the hoariest of debates, a dispute as gnarled and fissured as a Titan’s fingernail, as intense as the flames of Tartarus, yet as monotonous as the River Styx. If you’ve played the demo, you probably have an inkling already. I’m talking about our old friend “innovation versus refinement”. Giant conceptual leaps versus deft baby steps. New stuff versus not so new stuff.

The third God of War is as far to the right-hand side of the equation as you can get. It looks big, talks big, wears big, meaty shoulder guards a-drip with gore and shaders, stalks cavernous, creatively lit environments murdering enormous, billion-polygon enemies, but its technical and cinematic accomplishments are essentially sleight of hand. And the conjuring trick is getting old.

Playing this game, in an age of morally faceted space opera and physics-driven sandbox ingenuity, is a little like making conversation with the school bully right at that point in time when bulk and muscle cease to predominate in the politics of the playground. The chunky bastard still has a certain handshake-crushing charisma, and that pubescent growth spurt has added several cubic feet to his BMI, but his day has come and gone. He just doesn’t know it yet. Besides, there’s a hot chick in the year above.

Auxillary tools include the fire bow, of some service when progress is blocked by flammable undergrowth. Or flammable people.

Auxillary tools include the fire bow, of some service when progress is blocked by flammable undergrowth. Or flammable people.

There are some benefits to keeping the brute company though. For one, you get to play more or less the exact same thoughtfully paced, gratifyingly pissed-off hack and slasher your great grand-daddy once fed into his wheezy old PlayStation 2, right down to the challenges and battle arena that spawn post-story-completion. Which means you’ll once again be picking bones with the gods in the form of the eternally-at-boiling-point Kratos, failing to spare the whip on battalion after battalion of anomalous mythical no-good-niks, square-buttoning them until they detonate under the pressure of bottled-up experience points, right-stick somersalting through gaps in the throng to buy your weapons some cool-off time – time enough, perhaps, to let rip with one of your slower but vastly, vastly more satisfying overarm triangle blows, rebounding particle and bad guy alike skyward, allowing them a brief mid-air respite before star-hopping into their midst to continue the punishment.

Larger and less easily broken opposition rears its head (or heads) with clockwork punctuality, and evasion accordingly becomes more of a priority till at last, by dint of much hit-and-running, the Minotaur or Cyclops or whatever collapses beneath the weight of a huge, spinning circle icon. You rush in jabbing the button, and Kratos promptly launches into the sort of scripted micro-Armageddon that might otherwise be achieved by stuffing a cruise missile full of beef and firing it into a paintball factory. Further jabbing is required. You oblige, Kratos bellows a lot, tendons snap, arteries gush, the orchestra thunders to a halt and your health and magic bars sop up the remainder of the victim’s lifeforce.

107 Responses to “God of War 3 Review”

  1. Balf says:

    oh well, there is always a web that trolls great games like this

  2. .............. says:

    I guess this site is looking for attention. It certainly got it. GOW fans are attacking ur servers in 3, 2, 1..

  3. Issun says:

    Well, honest review.
    I can hear the sound of a million fanboys crying:P

  4. Jaffe says:

    I agree, the GOW series WAS good, but they ruined it. Time to put the old horse kratos out to pasture.

  5. gadget says:

    who cares
    xbot site on MS payroll, nothing more.

  6. azzabikebir says:

    HAHAHAHAHA what’s the fucking troll, 8/10 ….. HAHAHAHAHAHA xbox jalous

  7. video games daily website killer says:

    This site is fucking garbage anyway, this site had a 6 month penis sucking contest with gta 4 prior to its release, but gow 3 inst scored higher then
    Dante’s Inferno. That is why this site inst on par with other sites like IGN, 1UP or Destructoid! Garbage ass site is going to lose hits behind downplaying one of the best games of this generation.

  8. wang says:

    wow i thought this site closed down a long time ago.. i havent heard much news or anything about this site.. i guess this is why u gave god3 an 8 to keep the doors open just for one more month.

  9. It got an 8, boys and girls, because I thought it deserved an 8. For reference, here’s what our scoring guide has to say on the matter:

    “An eight from our reviewers signifies a firm recommendation. Most of the games you’ll find clinging to this rung of the ladder are those that preach to a long-established choir, and will perhaps be a little (just a little) inaccessible to newcomers as a consequence. The design quality and technical accomplishments will speak for themselves. Here one tends to find the bulk of the big budget “incremental sequels” – gorgeous, well-featured titles which opt to address the flaws of an already excellent predecessor rather than carve out their own identities.”


  10. ginx says:

    Bayonetta 9
    Cod MW2 9

    and gow3 a 8 ??
    muhahaahah troll site

  11. regis says:

    Wow this site is bad remind me never to never come here again- by pulling a stunt like this you not gaining support- quite the opposite

  12. jh says:

    boycott this website

  13. juan says:

    gow3 is first game on ps3 after gow collections and this site gives it 8/10 seriously that is so gay.

    never will take u guys seriously. big pile of shit

  14. gadget says:

    denial xbot site begging for its 15 minutes of glory.

  15. Colin says:

    Hey Edwin, good review. I am getting the game as it’ll be fun but you are correct nothing has changed in the gameplay mechanic dept to give this a 10. It’s neither evolution nor revolution, it’s just a good game. It’s a shame the fanboys don’t see that. I say to you thanks for a solid review as opposed to all those other “legit” sites that give a game automatic 9′s and 10′s because of HYPE.

    • Hi Colin, thanks for the non-sweary, coherent response . Glad you’re getting the game, as it’s thoroughly worth getting if you’re into hack-and-slash. Re. other sites and their scores – there’s really nothing more sinister at work here than a difference of opinion. Long-established writers tend to be reasonably hype-resistant (i.e. jaded) :p

      • Daniel Lawson says:

        I’m sure you’ll be a PS3 “dick sucking site” if you score Reach an 8

  16. thissitesucks says:

    i was gonna flame this site then i saw all the japanese faces and understood why they didnt like it.
    8 isnt a bad score never the less.

  17. Bahbo says:

    So clearly obvious that the purpose of this review is to increase traffic. Pathetic.

    • Agent Ghost says:

      Yeah imagine the nerve, a review site the writes reviews for traffic.

  18. GotMe says:

    Fucking morons. I can’t believe I clicked on this site. Kikizo? Who the fuck on the internet has ever heard about Kikizo.

    I shouldn’t blame this piece of shit site, I should blame Metacritic for taking into consideration such a piece of shit site.

    It’s like taking any review into account,even the ones from the forums.

    Seriously guys. You suck big time. You are the reason why games like MGS4 and GoW3 become victims of their own hype.

    For every great definitive game, there are a few idiots and attention whores who shit on them for the sake of some clicks. Just fucking screw you.

  19. vito decostello says:

    honestly this review sucked all you talked about was the negatives this game is phenominal it makes me sick that unqualified jerk offs like you low ball a great game stop playing x-box live put away the vasiline and go try to get laid then maybe you will know what a great game is edwin

  20. Athlon says:

    So this is your quote from the review “Kratos is a frequent visitor to the Underworld; perhaps it’s time he stayed there”

    Tell me you’re not biased based on that remark. You say you can “firmly recommend the game.” However, you wish the series ended? That’s nice and classy journalism at its best /end sarcasm. You deserve all the critique you’re getting for such a biased review.

    • You pick one line out of a 1500 word review and hold it up as evidence of overall bias? Did you read the several paragraphs of praise for the lighting and soft-body physics, for the fundamentals of combat, for the characterisations? Let me simplify things for you: this is a great title, one of the finest in its genre, but it’s patently unoriginal, and I’m not sure where they could take the formula from here short of totally reinventing it i.e. wiping the slate and starting over. Go buy it. I insist. Just don’t expect the heavens to open (well, other than in the game :p).

  21. Geoff says:

    Edwin, the balance of the universe seems to be making you pay for Michael Jackson’s (RIP) sins – you’re getting abused by teenage boys…

    PS: If you want to give a game 10/10, you should review Fifa… :-)

  22. Iceveiled says:

    Guys an 8 isn’t a bad score, jesus. Quit attacking one man for his opinion. Just because he didn’t give it a perfect score (NO VIDEO GAME IS PERFECT) doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it more than he did.

    Grow up and quit attacking people for their opinion.

  23. wwii says:

    “Kratos is a frequent visitor to the Underworld; perhaps it’s time he stayed there.” x This is the line that made me come here to troll but the I thought: it is not worth it, this site sucks anyway…

  24. Smithers560 says:

    Sure is butthurt fanboy in here.

    Great review, looking forward to playing this.

  25. IB says:

    Been moved to comment by the (frankly disgusting) comments on here by others. Don’t take it to heart; it’s your opinion. I did take issue with one thing, however. You seem to forget that this is the conclusion of a trilogy and, as such, one would not expect bold re-inventions of the formula. I would think it extremely odd if a game completely switched up things at the conslusion of a trilogy.

    • Thanks for the support, mate. You make a reasonable point there, but I think it’s fair to ask for something in the way of a “bold rebirth” a hardware generation on from the preceding game. So much more could have been done with “Titan gameplay”, for instance – look at what Team ICO achieved with Shadow of the Colossus, and imagine it running on the God of War 3 engine. Glorious :)

      • Daniel Lawson says:

        Hiphopgamer brought that up in his interview as a way to do multiplayer… I doubt anyone even thought of something like that… it would be pretty epic though

        • To be fair, there’s a fantastic battle in the plains of Tartarus about two-thirds through that pretty much nails what I’m talking about. More of that sort of thing and I’d have scored this higher.

  26. Alucard says:

    Sure guys, let’s rate every hyped game with a 10 out of 10 rating and discard any criticism. That way we can buy any game the media tells us to and if we eventually don’t like the it, we can convince ourselves that it’s good because everyone says so ;) .

    Opinions are different for a reason, and it’s a good thing they are. I love GOW and I’m definitely going to buy GOWIII, but I also appreciate this site for being objective. From what I saw in the demo, GOWIII is a great game but it isn’t all that different from GOWII. In my opinion this rating is totally justified. And even if I wouldn’t have agreed with this review, I still respect people for not following the crowd but sharing their own views. That’s what reviewing is all about. If you have to write the same thing everyone else does without sharing your own thoughts, why write a review anyways?

    The reviewer gets my respect for his honest opinion and this site gets a place in my bookmarks.

  27. Athlon says:

    You say the game is patently unoriginal. Care to make any suggestions as to how it can be improved? It’s game based on Greek mythology. Exactly, how much can you change up the gameplay without it looking over the top and unbelievable. Kratos is a Spartan for crying out loud. He’s not character with long slender legs that twist every which way with guns at the tips of them or walks upside down on ceilings. This game is the end to a critically acclaimed trilogy. This isn’t like the 5th iteration of a horror survival game the desperately needs a reboot. For example, Modern Warfare 2 did absolutely nothing to propel the series and turned out be nothing but a glorified expansion pack, yet it got critically acclaimed reviews. You giving this game an 8 serves no purpose other than drawing hits to this site. Are you honestly going to tell me that Bayonetta having no plot centered around an orgasmic witch, average graphics deserves a 9 over this game? From reading your review, you seemed to have basically snoozed through the game, flippantly comparing it to its previous iterations on the PS2 as if you were forced to play and review this game against your will. Let someone else who is excited about the game play it.

    • “Care to make any suggestions as to how it can be improved?”

      Off the top of my head: new weapons that aren’t reworkings of the Blades of Chaos; new AI routines; a more systematic and involved form of “Titan gameplay”; enemy patterning that amounts to more than big-thing-surrounded-by-little-things; new kinds of exploration (might be worth expanding on the Zelda parallels, even); branching QTEs; multiplayer. As regards the risk of becoming “over the top and unbelievable” – come on. This is a game in which you use somebody’s head as a flashlight, a game in which giant stone women fight tentacle-crab-men made out of water. How much more “over-the-top” can you get? :p

      Again, I gave this an 8 because I felt it deserved an 8. It’s a good game, but not quite remarkable. If you think otherwise on the strength of the demo/gameplay footage/other reviews, fine. But kindly spare me your conspiracy theories.

  28. Raiden says:

    Wasn’t this site supposed to be dead? Perhaps it’s time it did die and stayed dead for good.

    I sure hope all the hits you’re getting from this attention-seeking stunt is worth it. One last whimper before fading into obscurity I guess!

  29. Zamato Elite says:

    Trolling at its finest.

    Well played Edwin, well played.

    I hope your happy about vandalizing God of War III’s metascore. Was it worth the lulz? Or did you do it for the few extra site hits?

    God of War III, a victim of its own success…

  30. Brush says:

    Let’s hope these guys don’t read Edge’s review of Final Fantasy 13

    Because the community there don’t take kindly to missplelling of dis magnatude.

    To be fair….I think my complaints re the ‘reasons natal will fail’ article, was a touch more erudite, I spelt every word correctly in fact…which places me a level above dese god ov wor fanz (it does in my head anyway)

    This was/is entertaining. Have to say, the graffex on this one look gud tho, it looks a lot of fun, I fancy trying it.

  31. Stas says:

    This game is a 7/10. It’s obvious. This site is too generous and you guys all love sucking IGN’s cock. LOL.

  32. hermes says:

    Did you seriously put “multiplayer” as a way to improve the game?!?! That statement alone makes your criticism a joke. The game is a continuation of the other games and plays as such. It is significantly improved from the previous titles. I would argue that the insane camera work never seen before in a game, the lighting, grand scale of levels, new combat, and new weapons make this game more on the left side than the right.

    • Daniel Lawson says:

      it’s because you have no imagination… Titan vs Kratos can easily be done… not to mention that QTEs were more complex in games that came before it much less games that came after the series… branching QTEs would have added something and the grapples the the effing same… the game is a giant scripted event and that’s fine for a game of this type, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table… for me the only thing that would make me want to go through another God of War game is if I get to play Herc and beat the shit of Kratos… the dude is a giant asshole and I don’t like playing him at all

  33. Kadir says:

    @32, maybe I may end up agreeing with you after I play the game, but your comment begs the question, how do you know about its achievements and advances within the series/genre, as compared to the comments in this review? Either you have played it (i.e. you’re a reviewer who has it, or work for Sony), or you’re just repeating what some of the other reviews say? Not knocking you I think you have valid comment, but how would you back this up?

  34. hermes says:

    @33, I am about 3/4 of the way through it and I am none of the above :)

  35. Rupert Higham says:

    I haven’t had the opportunity to play the game yet (much like many other presumably omniscient readers), but even without doing so it seems like a solid and respectable score. It’s a crazy world we live in when an 8 is viewed as trolling. God of War has never been a genre leader – it has been an exceptionally solid, spectacle-driven sub-division of the genre that Devil May Cry invented and Bayonetta recently perfected. It was always going to be an essential play-through for anybody with any interest in the genre, but unlikely to be the game that warranted five or six play-throughs like Bayonetta to accomplish some level of mastery.

    Furthermore, surely any accusation of 360 bias is rendered utterly moot by the fact that Bayonetta (the game this site rated one earth-shattering point higher) is also available on PS3. A grip needs to be got.

  36. vito decostello is a idiot says:

    vito decostello…your a dickhead. How does getting laid relate to videogame reviews? You sound stupid dumb little cunt. I hate when people say something just to show how dumb they are. I bet your some 15 year old little bastard whos balls have not even dropped yet, but you have the nerve to tell someone they need to get laid.SMFH

  37. LocoPuyo says:

    Maybe it deserves a 10/10 if you only factory in other PS3 games. But if you factor in Xbox 360 and PC games it clearly is not a 10.

    Broaden your horizon beyond your blu-ray box nubs.

  38. i hate this site says:

    you my friend that reviewed this game deserved to be slashed to pieces by Kratos himself. You can not give this game with a right mind anything lower than a 9. You just can’t. its blasphemy.

  39. Ben says:

    Funny, The reviewer has played the game, yet 99% of us havent. Id say that puts him in a much better position to rate the game.

  40. niph says:

    u are in great troubles now.
    i wil ask my father to buy this site (yes he has the money) … and if he does, the first thing we are going to do is kick u all out.
    u will never ever again rate a gow game.

    bye bye

  41. dean says:

    ok i understand gow is not everyones cup of tea, and they probably prefer playing mass effect 2, cod 2 etc. Gow is a button masher, it is the button masher that defined its own genre, much like cod deined and set the benchmark for fps or gta set sandbox games. Gow is the crowned king of button mashers and contenders like dante, darksiders and conan couldn never dethrone Kratos
    I love god of war3, i know what im expecting, a button masher that makes you want to stick your thumb in icecold water after playing on god/titan mode. Making it down because it plays like a gow game is like saying gta should play different from gta, to change gow’s controlls makes it a game that isnt gow, and people with this mentality gave gtav a 10 and cod2 and they played like their and gow by the same standard is marked down cos it plays like the prior gow wtf????????????? do game testers also play through gow on easy where they cant use all the combos and take advantage of the combat mechanics as they were meant to be played because you kill a cyclops in 2 hits just so they can review the game? it isnt reviewed properly if this is the case. Gow 3 is god of war on acid, high def gfx and insane bloodshed, if your squeemish it isnt for you it says its an 18 game those who played gow and loved it know what to expect except its supersized. for me this will be 100% and goty if this reviewer doesnt like it thats his decision, hes entitled to it but he may have just been trying to inflame the majority who love gow button mashing genre lovers by purposely slating gow to get inflamed attention, if so he is not worthy to be a reviewer

  42. forward says:

    With the bad economy and developers and game designers losing their jobs, it is odd stupid sites like this exist. Why couldn’t the bad economy destroy jobs in the gaming media like this site so we won’t have to read the crap reviews. oh well.

  43. Raid says:

    Jesus Christ, what a bunch of whining fanboy bitches there are on this site. GoW3 has some seriously incredible graphics backing it up, but beyond that? Nothing that Ninja Gaiden, DMC and Bayonetta don’t absolutely piss over in gameplay terms.

    Sure, they don’t do it as beautifully since they were constrained with budgets that couldn’t purchase a third world country. And hey, the setpieces in GoW 3 are incredible. It’s just a shame that the gameplay’s so underwhelmingly average in comparison.

    Kikizo, hold your head up proudly. You’ve not given in to hype and you’ve pissed off a bunch of losers who deserve nothing less than all the unhappiness they glean from these honest reviews.

  44. Chester W says:

    gow3 scored 8.0
    bayonetta scored 9.0
    onestly opinions are opinions, and reviews are evaluation of a product (games in this case) made with professionality.and here there’s a lack of professionality.all this praise and favor of the gaming media and expecially by reviewers for games like bayonetta is irritating all the gamers.this is the same for many other garbage games scored as AAA titles. reviewers , you have lost credibility.gamers don’t trust you anymore.

  45. Contra says:


  46. aesha says:

    Very well-written review. The frustrating thing is that amongst the necessary criticism – that the clamoring victims of Freudian Displacement seem to treat as if it actually matters in the grand scheme – are phrases of praise that other reviews (which gave the game a 10) can’t come close to matching.

    Unfortunately, it just goes to show that all that counts (haha) is the number attributed at the end of the review.

  47. James says:

    People are really crazy, and offensive. I haven’t played the game, but i can see where you came from when you reviewed it.

    For me Kratos is beyond redemption since the first game.

  48. Tyler says:

    Imagine: having so much time on your hands as to come to a site to bash the review, the reviewer, and the site just because it gave it 1 or 2 points less than you think (despite not actually playing the game for themselves yet).

    Thank you for being honest and giving a FAIR review, and not just blindly giving the game a 10 to avoid the hate.

  49. Joe Redifer says:

    Come to the forums to discuss this. There should be a link to the thread in this review, not sure why there isn’t. Fix it, Edwin! Or I will buy Adam and fire both of you!

  50. Jon A says:

    Why did you take down 2 points for it being familiar to the first two games. I say if it isn’t broken, why bother fixing it. That is what they did with FFXII, and now a lot of the older fans felt alienated to FF. I don’t want the mechanics to change…especially now that we’re at the end of a trilogy. It’s your opinion though. I hate all these rude people in here too. If you have something to say, say it nicely and coherently! 8 is still a good score, and this game will stand as one of the best this generation of gaming neverthless.


Kikizo Classic: