E3 09; God of War III hands-on impressions
The highly anticipated God of War III made is playable debut at E3 and we had a chance to sit down and play with Kratos in all his HD glory. What we demoed was an extended version of what was played at the Sony Press Conference. It is filled with the undead, huge monsters, and gods. It is the epitome of Kratos’ adventure and everything we have come to expect from Sony.
The demo begins with Kratos killing his way though demon enemies as he rushes by crowds of people running in the opposite direction. Don’t worry, if they get in your way you can just slice right through them with your Chaos Blades. Right from the start you are treated to visuals like no other. The graphics are crisp, the motions are fluid, everything looks amazing. You then travel across a gap by shooting an arrow using your fiery bow at a harpy and latching on to it with your blades. You then float across to the other side before ripping it in half as a thank you.
Then as you reach the center of the area, you are greeted by a giant molten lava man who seems to be pissed off at Helios for some reason. Perhaps it’s because he is getting fire balls launched in his face, although that doesn’t make much sense because he’s made of lava himself. Anyways, after a brief video it’s back to disposing of a few more enemies, including a Centaur. The best part is when you damage it enough to go into a reaction command in which you rip open its horse-like body and let its guts spill to the ground. Did I mention this game was very violent?
As you approach the lava man, you must fight the mini-boss of the level, the Chimera. This creature, with the head of a goat, the body of a lion, and the tail of a snake, puts up quite a fight, three to be exact. Using all of your weapons including the new Cestus Gauntlets, which look like a giant pair of boxing gloves, you must perform three different reaction commands on the Chimera before you dispose of him for good. Battling this boss proves to be rather difficult. Dodging his attacks while getting in some of your own can be tough. The controls could use a little refining as the transition between attacking and dodging isn’t as smooth as it could be. There is a small delay between the two but we imagine that this will all be worked out in due time. The fight ends with Kratos ripping the horn off the head of the creature and thrusting it through its eye. Talk about a blood fest.
Finally you are able to the ballista and aid the molten man in grabbing Helios and launching him into a nearby cliff. Now a bunch of harpies return to help you get across a broken bridge. You much chain a bunch of the ‘grab and rip apart’ moves in order to reach the other side. Make a mistake and you fall to your death. It was actually quite easy to accomplish this by the fluidity of the controls and that available harpies to grab are surrounded by a blue aura.
Once on the other side, you slash your way through a few more minions till you reach the downed, yet still living Helios. As you approach him, his personal guards swarm out and form a protective wall around him. With your weapons having no effect on the shield, what’s Kratos to do? Why mount a Cyclops and bash through them of course! Though a little nifty maneuvering, you’re able to control the hulking beast and swing his giant club at the soldiers. Once you’re done with them, there’s no reason to let the Cyclops live, right? You then proceed to rip his one good eye out of its socket and kill the thing for good.
Now it’s time to deal with Helios. Grabbing his head, you must use all your strength to rip it from the rest of the body. Be too slow with the reaction commands and Helios lets out a deafening howl/glow and you must start over again. How many reaction commands have there been so far? Too many to count.
With Helios dealt with and his glowing, flashlight of a head in your possession, you’re now able to travel through the dark caverns before you reach a chimney leading to the surface. It’s the perfect opportunity to test out your Icarus Wings. Ascending in the updraft, you must navigate your way though falling boulders and beams, being sure not to hit your head on any of them and fall all the way down to your doom.Thus ends the demo and our time with Kratos. We miss him already.