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In celebration of the 10th anniversary of God of War, Sony Computer Entertainment has remastered, exclusively for PlayStation 4, the final entry in this incredible, award-winning trilogy. God of War III Remastered will transport you back to the brutal realm of Greek mythology to relive Kratos’ epic adventure—or experience it for the very first time—in glorious 1080p at 60 frames-per-second.

A PlayStation 3 masterpiece reborn

god-of-war-package2.jpgI still vividly recall the awe of playing through God of War III‘s opening scene on PS3, which has you, as the ex-Spartan warrior Kratos, battle Poseidon’s mammoth water steeds on the astonishingly colossal Titan Gaia. At one point during this cinematic, visual tour de force, the camera zooms out to show the jaw-dropping size and scope of Gaia, with Kratos being no bigger than a minuscule ant by comparison. It was a gorgeous intro, showcasing the full power of the system.

As awesome as the sequence was visually, with the advent of much more powerful PS4, even the best looking games from Sony’s last console are starting to show their age. Fortunately for us, Sony’s been hard at work porting over some of their best PS3 games to their shiny new console, letting new players experience these classics for the first time, and diehard fans relive these adventures in stunning HD.

God of War III Remastered, the latest game to receive a PS4 makeover, polishes up the graphics to stunning 1080p picture quality, doubles the game’s framerate, and adds sharp new details to the characters and environments. The result is a breathtakingly beautiful game that is bigger, bolder, and better than its PS3 brethren in every way.

god-of-war-iii-remastered-screen-04-ps4.jpgPlatform: PlayStation 4

Developer: SCE Santa Monica Studio, Wholesale Algorithms
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: July 14, 2015
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

So what about that intro battle with Poseidon? God of War III Remastered’s graphics are so impressive, that immense feeling of awe was back again in full force. To see just how gorgeous the game is, you can see a gameplay still shot of the Poseidon boss fight to the right, and below is the game’s official launch trailer:

god-of-war-iii-remastered-screen-02-ps4.jpgSignature gameplay returns

With the extra muscle of the PS4, the familiar, fluid combo attack system the series is known for is back and better than ever in God of War III Remastered. The Blades of Exile, your primary weapon consisting of deadly dual blades attached to wrist chains, swing even more elegantly given the large framerate boost in this enhanced version. The result is faster, more precise combat overall―even when the screen is filled with enemies.

Just like in the original God of War III, you begin the game with items Kratos acquired in the previous game, such as the Icarus Wings used to glide long distances, the Golden Fleece to deflect attacks, and Poseidon’s Trident to swim underwater. Plus, over the adventure you’ll acquire new items from conquered foes, like Heracles’ powerful gauntlets, the speedy Boots of Hermes, and the soul-sucking Claws of Hades. All your weapons can be powered up using red orbs collected from defeated enemies or treasure chests, typically increasing the weapon’s strength and unlocking even more combos. Despite Kratos getting his strength zapped near the beginning of the game, by the time you reach the final battle with Zeus you’ll feel more powerful than the gods themselves.

god-of-war-iii-remastered-screen-10-ps4.jpgGraphical touch up

Significant graphical improvements also make combat more exciting to watch, with your blades producing eye-popping blur motions to full effect (shown in image above.) Seeing Kratos unleash a flurry of blade attacks that cut swaths through his enemies is immensely satisfying, especially when you chain together multiple moves for a massive combo.

Those with a weak stomach though be forewarned: battles are much more graphic this time around, as the developers took extra care to ensure Kratos’ bloody killings are presented in vivid, high-definition detail. In particular, the savage beat downs Kratos inflicts on the Olympic Gods and Titans are especially violent and intended to shock you with their utter brutality. Of course, if you’ve played past games in the series, these scenes are on par with what we’ve come to expect from this vengeful former God of War.

god-of-war-iii-remastered-screen-20-ps4.jpgRevenge against the Gods

God of War III Remastered‘s story isn’t the best in the series (that honour goes to the brilliantly written God of War II), but it has enough intrigue and impetus to keep you hooked until the end credits. The culmination of Kratos’ “revenge against the gods” story arc sees our protagonist transition from anti-hero into a full-blown villain willing to do whatever is necessary—including zoom the entire Earth—to kill his father, Zeus.

There’s really not a lot of character development however, as Kratos spends the entire game slaughtering what remains of the godly pantheon one-by-one. If you’ve never played God of War or God of War II, you’ll have little understanding of why Kratos is so pissed off, so if you’re in that boat I do highly recommend going through the first two games in the series before this one. There is a tiny recap at the beginning of the game, but it’s not enough to make you appreciate Kratos’ motivations for wreaking havoc upon the gods.

god-of-war-iii-remastered-screen-09-ps4.jpgPhoto Mode and other bonuses

As far as extra features go, God of War III Remastered is pretty bare bones. The biggest addition is an all-new Photo Mode used to freeze the action at any time and snap pictures of your adventure. There’s a surprising number of options here, including adjusting the camera (zoom or pan), adding frames and filters, or tinkering with the shot’s overall intensity. All photos can be saved to your PS4’s hard drive to share with your friends and family.

All the God of War III DLC is also included, which ranges from new costumes for Kratos to a pair of fun Challenge Modes to test your skills. For the most part though, this is a straight port of the PS3 with all the aforementioned graphical and gameplay enhancements noted above.

gow-image.jpgFinal thoughts

God of War III Remastered is exactly what you would expect: an enhanced version of one of PS3’s all-time greatest games. The graphics at 1080p resolution are gorgeous, and the consistently smooth 60 frames-per-second are stunning to behold. If you’ve never played God of War III before, or want to relive the epic adventure in vivid HD, you owe to yourself to check this definitive version out. It’s a bit of a letdown that there aren’t more bonuses or extra content included, but with its value price you really can’t go wrong.

+ Beautiful HD graphics

+ Silky smooth gameplay

+ One of the best action-adventure games ever created

– Would be nice to see more bonus content

– Story will be hard to understand if you haven’t played the first two games

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 4/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5

Overall Rating 4/5 (80%)


Paul Hunter

By Paul Hunter, Editor Gaming


I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player.  I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. You can follow me on Twitter @NextGenPlayer