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God of War III
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that God of War III is a breath-takingly violent and gory action game. In fact, it's one of the most violent videogames we have ever reviewed. Where some parents allow teens to play M-rated games, this is one that we do not recommend at all in any way for teens. As with its predecessors, you play as Kratos who uses all kinds of weapons to destroy creatures big and small in a number of creatively violent ways, such as pulling out eyes and slicing open bellies to spill innards across the ground. Kratos can use his chained, wrist-mounted blades to chop his enemies, as well as a bow, magic, or fists to snap the necks of creatures. Blood sprays out of enemies' wounds, limbs and heads can be torn off, and creatures cry in pain. Mythological beasts make up most of Kratos' victims, but he also kills humans (on purpose or by accident) as well as gods in human form. The game also has a sex-based mini-game, scores of bare-breasted women and female creatures, and some strong profanity.
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What's it about?
Sony's biggest and baddest action game series is back with GOD OF WAR III, set once again in the realm of brutal Greek mythology and starring ex-Spartan warrior Kratos. Armed with his wrist-mounted chain blades, daredevil acrobatics, and for the first time in the trilogy, magic, this fallen god must avenge those who have betrayed him in a 3D world four times larger than the last game. This single-player epic also retains some of the platforming elements found in its predecessor, which includes jumping over chasms, climbing up mountains and shimmying across ledges. Plus, gamers can now mount huge, ride-able creatures to bypass obstacles, solve puzzles, or inflict damage on swarms of enemies (we're talking roughly 50 creatures on the screen at once, thanks to the processing power of the PS3).
Is it any good?
Yes, absolutely -- but only for those 17 years of age or older, as the over-the-top gratuitous violence, sexual themes and strong language means this game is most definitely not for kids. However, for those who crave visceral action, God of War III delivers the goods, and the controls are just as tight and responsive as the previous God of War games for the PS2 and PSP.
Kratos also has access to new weapons, such as a bow and fiery arrows. Plus, he can pick up enemies and decide whether to throw them or put them on his shoulder like a linebacker and run into walls to bash their heads, use them as meaty shields, or drop them into crowds and set off a bomb to blow all the baddies into the air. PS3 gamers anxiously awaiting this mature sequel won't be disappointed with the experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why a game like this is so popular. Is it because it lets them live in a fantastic world populated by enormous creatures? Does it deliver a virtual, visceral thrill for mature players, perhaps making them feel like immortal warriors? Is the experience so far removed from our daily (and often mundane) lives that it feels like pure fantasy?
Families can also discuss the game's depiction of the female form. Did you find the countless bare breasts on display distrurbing, or does the game's setting give them artistic purpose?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.