Angry man remastered.
Remastering games is nothing new for this console generation. We have seen almost every relevant franchise return in some form or fashion. With a lack of backwards compatibility on PS4 (and Xbox One for the most part, though they did just introduce it) companies can make a quick buck on sprucing up last generation’s titles and tossing in all the DLC that came along with them. God of War III sits in a weird section of this phenomenon. The game is still one of the best action games of last gen, and its visuals are some of the best the PS3 produced. It had no DLC, and a rather brief campaign. So why bring it into the PS4 generation? Why not a collection at least including Ascension?
The only reason I can conceive is that this is for the many gamers who switched from Xbox to PlayStation this generation, and there are a ton of them. Sony Santa Monica has certainly crafted the definitive God of War III experience here, and for those that missed out, it is definitely worth the ride. However, the lack of any noticeable upgrades definitely stings.
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
Let’s start with the visuals. Sure, they are gorgeous. 1080p running at 60 frames per second and it never misses a beat. God of War III is a beast when it comes to set pieces and atmosphere. The boss battles are massive, and the worlds are gorgeously painful. This is a game that showcased what the PS3 was capable of, and still impresses even on next generation hardware. Sadly the cut scenes are noticeably lower resolution. It was jarring going back and forth between them and the actual game play.
As with most remasters, Sony has also tossed in a photo mode, which definitely leads to some awesome vanity shots, but it also shows why God of War is so technically impressive. The series has always had a fixed camera, and now it makes sense why. The photo mode does not allow 360 degree panning of the environment. So no special angle shots, just screenshots with better framing or filters. This is likely because the off-screen action is not rendered, allowing for more detail to be added to what is currently going on onscreen. It is a cool trick, but one that makes the photo mode feels a little useless.
The game itself is a visceral trek through the continuing saga of Kratos. Sure, by the third (numbered) game, I felt plenty of fatigue, but the action and screen-filling boss fights kept me going. As I mentioned, the game is a visual masterpiece, and massive bosses are becoming less and less common in today’s gaming world. I loved every minute of this adventure, but it is brief. I hammered through my PS4 play through in less than ten hours. Granted I have cleared the game three times before on PS3, but it really is the equivalent of a Summer action movie; lots of spectacle, not much substance.
The combat remains solid. Kratos’ attacks have weight behind them, and the combo system is a symphony of button mashing, with some hidden depth buried beneath the chaos. It is extremely satisfying.
Sadly, once completed, there is little reason to return. Collecting all the Gorgon Eyes, Feathers, and such only takes a keen eye to snag on the first play, and as I mentioned this game stood on its own. There was no DLC or anything added to this version, so the $40 asking price feels a little much considering the content found within.
God of War III Remastered feels like an empty shell of a great game. It is fantastic for those that never had a chance to experience it, but the price tag hurts the most. If it had included Ascension or any of the previous games it would definitely be more enticing, but as just one stand alone title, this is one remaster I feel needs a serious price drop before considering diving in. Once it hits that threshold though, everyone needs to experience this visceral example of superb action gaming.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.