Let's get this out of the way: the opening 45 minutes of God of War 3 are indescribably brilliant. Make no mistake; you won't have seen a video game with production values anywhere near this. It is utterly incredible, and a sequence that blows me away every time I play it (four times and counting). But it is just 45 minutes out of a game that spans 10 or so hours. Does the rest of the game live up to such a show-stopping introduction to the series on PS3?
Perhaps inevitably God of War 3 struggles to better the glorious mastery of the console it achieves in its opening, but, even during the moments when God of War 3 seems somewhat subdued in comparison to its own high standards, it's still more epic than any other hack 'n' slash I've ever played. Kratos has finally made his way onto the PS3 and is more bad-ass than ever.
Slight spoilers for God of War 2 are coming, but seeing as GoW3 picks up directly after the end of that game, it can't be helped. It begins with the titans scaling Mount Olympus, all trying to get to Zeus, the king of the gods. Kratos is hitching a ride on the back of Earth titan Gaia, as he too tries to reach the god of the sky and thunder. Poseidon, god of the sea, is sent down from the top of Mount Olympus to deal with Gaia and the in-tow Kratos, and from then on you're set for 10 hours of carnage, mayhem and Greek mythology and melodrama.
Following the formula laid down by Nintendo's hugely influential Metroid series, Kratos begins God of War 3 as a hugely powerful warrior, with full health and magic meters, and a devastating whirlwind drill attack. But before too long you're stripped of your fully levelled up abilities (swimming through the river Styx will do that to a person) and handed a weapon, the Blades of Exile, by Greek goddess Athena. Throughout the rest of your adventure you'll gain three more weapons, each one taken from a key enemy, and a number of items. Revealing them all will spoil many of the boss encounters, but expect to get hold of a bow for projectile attacks, as well as an enemy-stunning item (which also doubles as a way to hunt treasure), speed boost boots (useful for evading enemy attacks and climbing vertical surfaces), and numerous brilliant magic attacks.