He’s faced the Olympian gods. And now, Kratos has survived the test of time as well.
Five years after its initial release on the PlayStation 3, God of War III hits the PS4 as God of War III Remastered. It’s a triumph over age for the franchise, which manages to retain nearly all of its luster and fun, successfully making the transition to a new console. In 2015, with a new and detailed coat of paint, God of War III is just as beautiful and enjoyable as ever.
This despite some odd timing. If you haven’t played the rest of the God of War franchise, if you missed the first two PlayStation 2 releases and didn’t play the pair of PSP games (Ghost of Sparta and Chains of Olympus), the story of God of War III can be jarring. Everything in this game happens immediately after the ending of God of War II, making this a rather odd first title to remaster in honor of the franchise’s 10th anniversary.
But God of War III was the first PS3 title in the franchise, though, and that, perhaps, helps this remaster. Sony does a terrific job rebuilding the visuals, and Kratos has never looked better, shiny new details adorning his armor, the entire world awash in a slight coat of HD glossiness.
That this title fits into the PS4 world can’t be overstated; a half-decade later, this is still a terrifically good-looking game. The redone Kratos is the headliner, but there’s plenty of added detail in the world, and the backgrounds come to life as well. The lone shortcomings occur in a handful of characters, Helios among them, where lower-resolution textures still exist.
The simple hack-and-slash mechanics of God of War III remain a standout as well, and they’re actually something of a breath of fresh air in the PS4/Xbox One gaming era.
Really, the current era of gaming doesn’t have a truly elite hack-and-slash action game, and God of War III is just that. The franchise’s combat found its height in this game, finding that perfect balance between fluid and easy combos and variety.
That still holds up today, and it’s as satisfying as ever to control Kratos in boss battles and smaller encounters alike. There’s a dose of light puzzle-solving in several areas, but not enough to take away from the pace of the game.
If there is a shortcoming to the gameplay in God of War III, it lies with the static camera. That’s not something you see often in gaming these days, and when you work through those puzzle moments, on occasion, you’ll wish you had the freedom to look around. Save points, another relic in 2015 gaming, also remind you of the true age of God of War III.
But none of that takes away from a fantastic game. God of War III Remastered isn’t the easiest entry point to the franchise.
But it is a fun way to jump into Kratos’ adventure.