It's Good to be A God
God of War III is coming, and we got to see it. Got to see how it plays, got to see what's new and, yes, we finally got to see what it looks like. Want to know what we know? Step inside, let's chat, shall we?
Published: February 13, 2009
But first things first. There's a ballista up on a ridge that could be used to help the Titan out, but before Kratos can get there, he has to fight his way through a handful of enemies, including a flock of Harpies that scattered when the Titan roared onto the scene. There's a more pressing matter first, however: a Centaur has clomped his way into the fray along with a handful of soldiers. Ordinarily, these demonic grunts wouldn't be more than a rabble, but with the Centaur in tow, they're more organized, more intelligent -- or at least that's what Sony told us; they still fell to the might of a bunch of quick weapon changes and some clever use of a fire bow to light one enemy on fire, then catch the rest of the bunch aflame too.
The Centaur was another matter, though. Kratos still had his last-second block that would open up enemies for counter-attacks, but it took quite a few (including a couple of sections where a quick button press would deal more damage in typically God of War-esque over-the-top fashion. No amount of familiarity with Kratos' knack for punishment readied us for when, after flipping the Centaur over his head and opening up the telltale Circle Button prompt, he jabbed a Blade into the critter's belly and split him stem to stern, spilling his innards out into the open.
This unflinching approach to ending enemies in as gruesome a fashion as possible continued when Kratos ran to the ballista. Before he could launch an attack that would help the Titan defend itself against Helios, however, a silhouette rose into view right in front of the camera. A Chimera, part-goat, part-lion, part-snake, leapt into view, and had to be dealt with one "part" at a time. This involved lopping off the snake tail, pounding it into submission and then tearing off one of its own horns and ramming it into its head. It was apparently one of many little sub-boss fights that would crop up in the game, though it was really only one that we saw.
Ballista opened up for free use, Kratos waited for the right moment and let it fly, blowing one of the wheels off Helios' chariot and sending it right into the waiting hand of the Titan. A little crushy-chrushy and a huck onto a far-off platform and the Titan was free to keep climbing. It left Kratos without a means to cross a rather wide chasm to get to Helios, however, though the exodus of the Titan brought that flock of Harpies back into the picture. Perfect.
See, one of the other new things God of War III is offering is enemies that can be essentially used as vehicles. Kratos demonstrated this aptly by leaping out onto a Harpy and then, ramming his Blades into it to egg it on, moving it closer to the platform at the other end of the chasm. Just as one harpy was about to die, he'd tear it apart while leaping to another one, and after chaining the winged creatures as rides, he arrived at the platform where Helios lay coughing, apparently mortally wounded. Before Kratos could attack him, however, a handful of shield-bearing guards dropped in, setting up a phalanx with their shields around the Sun God. Kratos' attacks -- even with the Cestus -- weren't getting through.
Right on cue, a Cyclops dropped in, and, thanks to it too being a "rideable" creature, Kratos hopped on his back (after slicing his way up the beast's belly, creating slashes across his skin), dug the Blades in and started using its massive club to clear away the enemies. What was impressive was the sense that Kratos was forcing the creature to do these things; every plunge of his Blades into the creature cause it to buck and lash out in a way that almost made us feel sad for the poor thing -- and when Kratos flipped around to his head, reached in and started puuuuuuuling its eye out, optic nerve hanging on for dear life, it was absolutely brutal.