God of War III Remastered: epic and brutal old game shines on new console

SCE Santa Monica Studio, PlayStation 4, £29.99

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The Independent Tech

After the positive reception to The Last of Us remaster on PS4 last summer, Sony is hoping that a few more updated PS3 titles can plug the gaps in their release schedule, with God of War III arriving this month and the Nathan Drake collection to follow in October. One of the best-loved series on previous PlayStations, God of War's third instalment provides a suitably brutal conclusion to Kratos' epic quest for vengeance.

Epic is perhaps an understated adjective when applied to a game as celestially endowed as God of War III, which takes the most violent parts of classical Greek mythology, pumps them full of steroids and prepares for battle on a grand scale.

The game begins with a superb opening sequence as our Spartan protagonist fights his way up Mount Olympus on the back of Gaia, Mother Earth herself getting heavily involved in the combat. Kratos battles increasingly powerful gods and monsters, intent on defeating Zeus, who lies in wait at the summit.

There's no doubting God of War III was always a beautiful looking game, and this remastered version improves upon the original in several ways, featuring full 1080p support at an almost unwavering 60 frames per second, which improves both visuals and combat. It also houses a photo mode, allowing players to edit pictures and share them with friends, although getting the right angle can be tricky without complete freedom of camera movement.

God of War III still operates with an efficient mix of button mashing and QTEs, the 'press circle for monumental destruction' kills as effective and satisfying as ever. The combo-based combat excels, with a good variety of weaponry and magical attacks ensuring players have plenty of options for slicing centaurs and murdering Minotaur.

For a five year old game, the controls hold up very well - the only slight complaint is that with a majority of games these days employing the right stick to adjust camera angles, God of War’s locked viewpoints take some getting used to. For the first few hours, instead of getting a better look at the battle, I found Kratos performing forward rolls off a precipice or into the blade of an opponent’s attack.

This remaster presents a great opportunity for fans and newcomers alike - God of War veterans will welcome the buttery smooth framerate and resolution bump, whereas new players will get a fresh look at what has been one of Sony Santa Monica's great successes.

4/5 stars