Year of the Console: March Review. God of War 3 Remastered.

God of War 3 Remastered. Sony Santa Monica Studio (2010, remastered 2015), PS4. A single-player, third-person, action-adventure game set in Ancient Greece.

Welcome back to the TLYW Year of Console Gaming, in which we attempt to play 14 retro and contemporary games in 14 months, on the PS4 and Xbox 360, in order of the historical period in which they are set.

March was Month 3, in which we left behind two months of pre-history and moved forward into Ancient Greece, to follow the adventures of an angry man called Kratos who is trying to take revenge on his father by leaping up a big mountain and hitting things with flaming swords. Here’s where I’ve abandoned Kratos, probably for ever. Standing on a platform. You are supposed to grapple across to another platform but I kept falling off and dying until I couldn’t take it any more.

God of War® III Remastered_20170327221550

That largely summed up my experience, actually. This game was a tough one, the gameplay was well outside of my usual style and repertoire. There was a fair amount of puzzle-solving and there seemed to be a heavy requirement to remember combinations of Playstation buttons in order to execute dramatic combo moves. The combat is almost all melee. Being able to mash buttons on the handset very hard and fast is an essential skill and so there were significant periods of time where I was hammering buttons frantically while grimacing, clutching the handset awkwardly and making it all sweaty. Then I would inevitably die and have to do the fight again. It was not very dignified.

Everyone says the graphics are nice and they are not lying, it is fairly impressive scenery. This is a platform game so you have to move through the landscape on a set trajectory, which was unfamiliar to me as a player of open-world games; I kept wanting to change direction and finding that there weren’t many places to move.

Here are some screenshots of the scenery and general action.

I relied heavily on walkthroughs to help me figure out what I was supposed to be doing, and even then it took me ages to catch on to things like destroying vases and jars to gain experience points.

Thumbs up: The outdoor scenery and some of the buildings are quite nice. The action was quite exciting.

Thumbs down: It was just too linear and platformy for me and there was too much extreme button-mashing. I prefer a slightly more thoughtful, slower-paced sandbox game with a wider choice of in-game activities. Also, Kratos’s world is very dark and gloomy when it’s not on fire and I missed the glorious sunshine and unspoiled nature of Far Cry: Primal and Ark: Survival Evolved which we played in January and February.

Return to? Probably not, I’m afraid. The rewards weren’t sufficient to keep luring me back in for consistent play throughout the month. I think I completed about 20% of the content before giving up. However, it was certainly a learning experience and expanded my console gaming skills. I would never have played it if I hadn’t embarked on this Year of Console Gaming project and needed something set in Antiquity. So I’m quite pleased that it delivered this new experience even though it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had.

It’s almost April, Month 4. I’ll announce the new title for the month on Saturday. I’m very excited to begin and to share the news so stay tuned.

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