By Doug Norris
The long-awaited fourth installment of the immensely popular and highly acclaimed GOD OF WAR franchise hits stores next month, but fans can get a sneak peek by purchasing either the GOD OF WAR COLLECTION for PlayStation 3 or DISTRICT 9 on Blu-ray. Albeit brief, the demo is packed with enough hack-’n’-slash bloodshed to leave both casual and die-hard fans salivating for the game’s impending release.
What has changed since the Ghost of Sparta’s previous-gen days are the graphics and the gore, making this installment a must-purchase come March. After laying waste to dozens of enemy pawns early in the demo, Kratos encounters one of the newly designed creatures, an armored centaur that can be defeated through the familiar minigame button sequence. The GOD OF WAR tradition is to provide bloodlust-quenching death scenes, and the next-gen installment doesn’t fail to deliver. Causing and watching the centaur’s disembowelment in HD quality should remind owners why they bought a PS3 in the first place, if not send them to regularly meetings with a therapist. Later, the demo treats us to the decapitation of the latest god in Kratos’ path, Helios. Watching Kratos rip and then dangle Helios’ lifeless, hollow-eyed head from his wartorn body puts the PS3’s capabilities to good work, bestowing enough graphic realism to make players think they’re looking at crime-scene photos from LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL MYTHOLOGICAL UNIT.