Sunday Thoughts: 07/03/10

In 24 hours from now (to the minute) we’ll be publishing our full review of the long-awaited God Of War III. Without pre-empting the review itself, it’s safe to say we rather enjoyed it as a weekend dedicated to the game will attest – but there’s the rub: a game that’s been in development at least two years beaten in two days.  Is this ever a fair assessment of the true qualities of this, or indeed any, game?

The issue with reviews is that when you’re playing through this landmark title, you’re not actually playing it at all, you’re reviewing it. The two might seem similar, but in reality they’re as different as you can imagine.  Take, for example, any of any game’s sticking points – if you’re simply enjoying your £40 purchase then you’re likely to gloss over it, but when reviewing you have to reload it, several times, to see if it really was that bad.

Thankfully, Kratos’ latest doesn’t really have any major negatives, but it’s not perfect.  No game is, of course, but under the microscope of a keen eye and a strict deadline such niggles are magnified and amplified until they’re meaningful enough to warrant a line in my notes, and thus a mention in the review.  Most gamers won’t either notice, or mind, but I’d be doing myself a disservice by not bringing them to your attention.

And, thus, spoiling the experience for myself.  It’s a joy to play through a game without my reviewing head on, but being tasked with summing up Santa Monica Studio’s epic work in a thousand words is far too much like hard work.  Thankfully, once the review is up and out, I can reset my save game, and start it again with a fresh outlook, but capturing that sense of innocence and ignorance won’t be as easy as it might sound.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to try out Titan mode.