OK, so before I get right into this review I need to make a confession. I’m sure it’s going to leave me open to plenty of criticism but it’s best to get it out anyway…I am not really a fan of remastered games. To some that will be blasphemy but to me I just feel that at the moment the video game market is being flooded with remastered games at a time when release dates are getting pushed back and fewer and fewer original games are coming from the AAA developers and publishers. For me I feel like that time spent on remastering a game could be better spent coming up with a story for a new game in the franchise or pushing resources into a game already in development in order to iron out the bugs and get a game out on time.
So I say all that and then I open myself up to even more criticism when I think about what I am about to write next…God of War 3 Remastered is an absolute masterpiece! No you’re not going crazy, the guy who just said he isn’t a fan of remastered games has just called this Remaster and masterpiece.
Believe it or not it’s 10 years since we first laid eyes on the physically imposing, brutal, take no prisoners character that is Kratos. The absolutely brutal fighting style of Kratos mixed with a remarkably simple control scheme lead to an intuitive fighting experience that set the standard for an action-platformer and may have inadvertently led to other studios taking a misguided interpretation of how QTE should be used in a game.
God of War 3 completed the trilogy that was the main God of War story arc and I must admit, I still find it a bit strange that we have a remaster for 3 but nothing at all for 1 & 2. Apart from a quick recap video at the start of the game, there is very little context or explanation provided so anyone new to the series is going to struggle from a continuity perspective. For the old timers, like me, you have the luxury of being able to just jump right in to this remaster knowing full well what or muscular God has been up to.
Everything that made God of War 3 special is faithfully recreated here on PS4 but the visual upgrades make this remaster something truly special. The brutality that Kratos is renowned for is brought to life like never before thanks to the 1080p graphics and frame rate of 60FPS. The power of the PS4 has been well used to create much more dynamic lighting effects and textures that are miles ahead of anything we have seen in God of War in the past. If I were to split hairs then I’d have to say that the only downside is that every now and again the frame rate will drop. It doesn’t happen all that frequently and the massive improvement to the visual presentation, namely the way it brings the world to life, makes it a downside that is very easy to forgive and overlook.
When it comes to combat mechanics, God of War was, for a very long time, the gold standard. Those same mechanics have been faithfully reproduced for the PS4 remaster and for that I say to Sony, I am eternally grateful. A touch of the D-Pad or quick tap on L2 will have Kratos switching between his formidable weaponary faster than Mitchell Johnson can knock over an Englishman in an Ashes Test Match. Stringing together devastating combos is as easy as pressing the main four buttons on the face of the controller.
There is one aspect of the game that I kind of wish received a bit of an overhaul, that is the camera. God of War 3 keeps the traditional fixed camera view that is a relic of platformer games. In this day and age where players are free to control the movement of the character and camera, a fixed camera lends itself to trouble every now and again. Be it a piece of the environment getting in the way during an intense battle, loot being hidden from view or accidentally getting stuck on something, the fixed camera just doesn’t seem as relevant any more.
As expected with a remastered package, all of the previous DLC is included straight out of the box which immediately adds to the value. One of the modern additions to God of War 3 is a Photo Mode. At any time during the actions a player can stop the action and perform some basic camera movements and apply some filters to capture some unique screenshots. Unfortunately the fixed camera remains in Photo Mode so you can’t pan around to a different angle, zooming and moving horizontally or vertically along the screen plain is fine but that is it. Word of warning, Photo Mode is activated by pressing the left side of the Touch Pad. It’s way too easy to accidentally initiate Photo Mode during an intense fight so your first exposure to it is likely to be by accident.
God of War 3 Remastered was made to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Kratos’ first appearance and what a celebration it is! God of War 3 an absolute behemoth of a game when it was originally released and everything that made it special is retained in the Remastered edition on PS4. The upgraded visuals take an already amazing game and manage to make it even better with textures and lighting that brings God of War to life like never before. If you are a fan of God of War then this is an absolute must buy, don’t question it just get out there right now and buy it. If you are new to the series but love action platformers then do yourself a favour and buy one of the best games ever made for the genre. All those years ago God of War set the standard in gaming, now 10 years on, God of War 3 Remastered is setting the standard for how a game should be remade.
- Visual Upgrade Brings God of War to Like Never Before
- Classic God of War Combat Mechanics Remain Untouched
- All DLC from Original GoW 3 is Included
- The Standard in Remastered Gaming
- Fixed Camera is Dated
- Photo Mode is Too Easy to Hit by Accident