Just about every major title that enjoyed significant success on Xbox 360 or PS3 will get the “remastered” treatment, it seems. I’ve already grudgingly accepted that this is a trend that will continue until the current consoles hit their stride with experiences built specifically for new(ish) hardware.
God of War 3 is a natural choice for a current-gen remake, given that just about all of Sony’s flagship titles are heading (or have already headed) in that direction. One of the Playstation 3’s heavy hitters, God of War 3 blended the excessively-brutal antics of Kratos with spectacular presentation. How well does it handle the jump to the PlayStation 4?
Wrath of the Titans
“Decently” is what I would say. God of War 3 Remastered is as technically impressive as it’s older sibling on the PS3, but otherwise brings little in the way of new bells and whistles to the table.
The game already looked amazing on PS3, and Remastered looks… better, but not by much. Held up against other remastered titles from before (Tomb Raider and The Last of Us come to mind), the amount of graphical improvement in Remastered pales in comparison.
Some textures are a little sharper, lighting and shadows are enhanced in certain spots, but nothing really jumps out. While this may sound like a knock against the game, it’s a testament to how incredibly beautiful the original God of War 3 was.
If you ran the PS3 and PS4 versions side by side, the differences wouldn’t be immediately obvious to the casual observer. However, after seeing it in motion for a while, one thing is clear: The PS4 boasts a much better framerate.
God of War 3 ran pretty well at 30 FPS or so, with the (very) occasional stutter when the action got a little messy; Remastered, on the other hand, runs at a silky-smooth 60 FPS (or close to it), bringing with it a level of fluidity not seen before in the series.
Olympus Is Falling
The gameplay in Remastered is completely unchanged from God of War 3. No tweaks were made whatsoever to the game mechanics, and Kratos is still the violent sociopath that you know and love. Gods, demons, and mortals alike are subject to all forms of over-the-top abuse by our favourite son of Zeus, and it has never looked or felt better. The lack of manual camera controls may turn off some hardcore action gamers, but if you’ve kept up with the series since the beginning, you already know this.
We’ve come to expect cool extras in our remasters/remakes, and this is where God of War 3 Remastered disappoints. There’s a fancy new Photo mode, and it works well enough, but it feels like it was included because someone had that feature on a checklist somewhere.
All God of War 3 DLC is also comes bundled on the disc, but we would be hard-pressed to call that a real bonus, especially considering that there isn’t really all that much extra content to begin with.
In The End, There Will Only Be Chaos
I have rather mixed feelings about God of War 3 Remastered. It’s not a bad game if you judge it by it’s own merits. I’d go so far as to call it an amazing game – if I ignored the fact that this is a remaster of a last-gen title.
Remastered’s existence reinforces the notion that the original God of War 3 was already a technical achievement that is difficult to surpass, given that the differences between the two are almost indistinguishable without close scrutiny.
If you’ve never experienced the conclusion to Kratos’ epic journey before, then God of War 3 Remastered is for you. There’s really nothing quite like it, and it’s absolutely worth a single playthrough at the very least. But if you’re looking to relive Kratos’ quest for bloody vengeance once more, I’d recommend you dust off the original version on PS3 and give it a whirl instead. You’ll find that it still holds up remarkably well today, 5 whole years later – it’s difficult to justify paying full price for what is essentially little more than a texture and framerate upgrade.