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Published on June 7th, 2009 | by Cameron Woolsey

E3 2009: Hands On: God of War 3 with Cam and Craig

A city in ruins, death and bloodshed surrounded by warfare, a chariot ablaze as it approaches a fiery titan. Centaurs, Chimera, Cyclops, and undead warriors fill the streets. Chaos is everywhere you turn and as a platoon of undead soldiers chase down innocent civilians only one man has the strength to fight this battle. This is Kratos; this is “God of War 3”

Cam: Nice intro, Craig…

Craig: Why thank you. I think it set the mood…

Cam: I believe everyone out there has been looking forward to this game since the cliffhanger ending to “God of War 2”.

Craig: Agreed, and this demo is what everyone has been hoping and waiting for. Right off the bat everything feels natural and you are right in there playing the game.

Cam: Forget what you have seen from previous trailers; this game looks even better. The colors are richer, the textures are more advanced, and Kratos’s character model is incredible.
Craig: The fighting controls are responsive, deeper, and extended move sets allow for larger scale battles.

Cam: Yeah, in previous God of War titles you would only see a dozen enemies at once. Now, battles feature twenty or more enemies on screen and often a mini-boss as well. During the first battle, you are introduced to a new move coupled with the classic grab button. In previous titles, pressing the square button while holding an enemy would simply tear him in half. Now, pressing the button causes Kratos to throw the poor bastard over his shoulder, then charge through the remaining enemies before tossing him in the facing direction. Where the player may toss the enemy is important since throwing one into another enemy can cause damage. Or, you can just throw him into a wall, a pillar, or anywhere you damn well feel like. Why? Because you’re Kratos.

Craig: Which really helps in close quarters combat when you get swarmed. Also new to the series is a platforming mechanic. For example when I reached an obviously impassable chasm, I would gain the attention of a harpy (via an arrow through the neck) then I would hold R1 and circle to pull myself to the harpy. Now using my unfortunate victim as a ride I would hit X to go from harpy to harpy until I reached the other side.
Cam: By the way, you can also you that same pulling move, to close distance between you and your enemies. This is very helpful in the boss battles against the centaur and the chimera near the end of the demo. For instance, the centaur uses a long ranged weapon which obviously makes it difficult to get near him. Using that move I can pull myself to him and momentarily stun him after breaking his nose with my forehead allowing me to get a couple quick jabs before jumping away as he regains his composure.

Craig: I used the same technique against the chimera to avoid the flames he would launch at me. Fans familiar with the first two games will find similar platforming elements such as climbing on walls and shimming over ledges. The Icarus wings are still present in this game and can be used to cover short distances.
Cam: Going back to the subject of controlling enemies—like the harpies—we were able to gain control of a Cyclops in the later part of the demo. After bringing the Cyclops’s health down, we were able to complete a quick time event (QTE) where we jumped on its head and took control. Using the strength of the Cyclops is best against enemies that are well shielded.

Craig: After riding the Cyclops for a set amount time Kratos then rips the eye from its socket, nerve endings and all…

Cam: Ha! That was freakin’ awesome.

Craig: …which brings up the point that this is a more violent “God of War” game than its predecessors. There is an instance where a guy has his head ripped off and you can see the tissue tearing as well as the muscles being separated.

Cam: Saying that violence is being increased for another “God of War” game sounds redundant, but after disemboweling the centaur mini-boss, it immediately became clear to me that this game is not being built for the squeamish.

Craig: Maybe not but we can tell what this type of people this game is being made for: the kind who simply like kick-ass games.

Closing Comments

Craig: “God of War 3” is my pick for Best of Show at E3 2009. It was downright AWESOME! This game puts you right into the action and never lets up. The sense of scale that has made the other “God of War” games so impressive is clearly apparent in this one. Fighting is fluid and fun, graphics are crisp and clear, and character and level design is well done. With a March 2010 release date it is very hard to wait for this title, but if this demo is indicative of the final product it will be a wait well worth it.

Cam: Above when I said that gamers have been waiting for the next installment since that damn cliffhanger ending, I could have very well said that it was me waiting instead. Though I saw that ending barreling down upon me like a semi with cut breaks, I still felt surprised and saddened at the sudden cut-off to such a glorious game. I, like other fans, have been waiting ever so patiently for the last chapter of the Kratos legacy. If the demo is any indication to what the final product is going to be, then I feel that even having to wait until next March will be well worth the patience. Kratos is coming back, and it will be epic.

Check out the video clip right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qB4OEdHwQw

Be sure to leave comments or questions!

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About the Author

Video game journalist since 2006, and gaming since he was old enough to use an Atari joystick. Follow me: @Cam_is_16bit

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