‘God of War III Remastered’ Review
Platforms PlayStation 4 Genre Action-Adventure
Developer Wholesale Algorithms Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Kratos has finally made his debut on the PlayStation 4, in the form of God of War III Remastered. Unfortunately this isn’t a new entry in the highly praised franchise; instead PlayStation 4 owners get to experience what I believe is the best entry in the long running series. God of War III Remastered isn’t a drastic visual leap from its original release, nor does it bring many new features to the table to sweeten the deal, but it does provide a sound improvement over the original PlayStation 3 version, easily making it the best way to experience God of War III.
Unlike the original 2010 release, God of War III Remastered provides a 1080p visual display. Unfortunately the graphical improvements seem lacklustre, which is a testament to the original God of War III‘s visual excellence. Kratos is as detailed as ever, with his golden armour glistening with detail, as it becomes gradually stained with the blood of his foes. Kratos certainly looks his snarling best in this remastered version, with his angry expressions flourishing with detail. This is the same with the environments, which all benefit from the 1080p resolution boost, providing a crisp and detailed visual display. However, due to the graphical prowess of the original release, God of War III Remastered doesn’t offer a drastic improvement in visuals. God of War III Remastered certainly looks gorgeous: just don’t expect to be blown away with the graphical leap.
God of War III Remastered also aims to deliver 60fps gameplay, though the experience isn’t locked at 60fps. Fortunately I didn’t experience any drastic dips in frame rate, even during the most crowded battles. The frame rate improvement makes combat a lot smoother, with Kratos’ destructive attacks being delivered with great beauty. Aside from the frame rate boost, God of War III Remastered’s combat is basically identical, which is a good thing. God of War III is one of the most diverse and precise combat experiences I have ever enjoyed, and I’m happy to say that is still the case five years on.
Aside from the improved graphics, frame rate, and new set of trophies to hunt down (not combined with the original release), there isn’t much more that has been added to God of War III Remastered aside from the new Photo Mode. However, the experience feels lacking due to the set camera, which keeps players from being able to have full 360 degree control of their photos. This is due to the fact that parts of the environment haven’t been rendered and don’t exist because of the controlled camera in the original. Players can mess around with borders, lighting and slight camera control, but it is disappointing that there isn’t full 360 control over the feature.
God of War III Remastered seems to fall flat when it comes to offering an explanation of events to new players. Even myself, someone who has beaten every entry in the main trilogy struggled to remember elements from previous games, which makes me wonder how new players will be able to follow the experience. There is still a lot of fun to be had in God of War III Remastered without understanding the plot taking place, but it certainly helps knowing the basics. The history of Kratos is briefly alluded to throughout, but I think there could have been concessions made to help new players fully understand what was going on.
Where God of War III succeeds is the tremendous assortment of boss encounters. Each battle is drastically different from the last. Though many of these events turn into QTE set pieces, the grand scale and satisfying brutality makes them an absolute pleasure. God of War III also includes a variety of challenge maps that can be enjoyed after the main campaign is complete. These offer typical challenges with goals such as defeating a number of enemies within a certain time, or smashing a number of pots before the timer ends. With no multiplayer component, these bonus challenges do a nice job at offering extra activities for those seeking a tougher challenge.
Improvements aside, some problems from the original release are still apparent. The set camera is still an issue throughout hectic combat situations or platforming sections. Sometimes the camera just won’t showcase a platform you want to reach, or it won’t position itself well enough within combat. Puzzles throughout God of War III become monotonous quickly, due to the over use of pulling levers, moving items, or turning cranks. Most of the puzzles are not intuitive and don’t provide much challenge, instead feeling more like roadblocks simply filling in time. One of my biggest issues with God of War III is still the third act, which is one of the most monotonous and drawn out endings I have experienced in gaming. From annoying puzzle platforming, lengthy linear sections and drawn out moments, God of War III‘s climatic conclusion is hindered by such a poor final act.
God of War III Remastered is the best way to experience God of War III. From the visual and frame rate improvements, God of War III Remastered delivers the best incarnation of the best God of War game to date. Fans of God of War III may want to relive the adventure in its best form, but aside from that there isn’t much incentive to experience it once again. Aside from new trophies and Photo Mode, God of War III Remastered doesn’t offer much else.
New players may also find jumping into the final entry in this trilogy confusing, due to the fact God of War III Remastered doesn’t do a good job at explaining past events. But those wanting to ignore the story and enjoy a well made combat system, will certainly have a great experience.
Combat is better than ever.
Excellent boss encounters.
The best way to visually experience God of War III…
…Just don’t expect a huge graphical improvement.
New players may struggle to understand the story.
Monotonous selection of puzzles.