Squint or you'll miss God of War protagonist Kratos in new screenshots released by Sony today. Click through them here and I'll explain what in the world is happening via captions next to each shot.
The shots were captured from the briefest playable sequence of a major game that I've ever been asked to try. Last month, Sony was showing its early 2010 line-up a couple of blocks from Kotaku's New York City office and I charged over with expectations to cover God of War III. I could play it, but I couldn't cover it — for a month. Still, people around the demo station showing the game seemed giddy about the 90 or so seconds that were available to play.
The first shot sets things up just about where the playable sequence started. Kratos is on some terrain that, if you'd been paying attention to teasers for the game during the past year, you'd recognize as the back of a Titan — essentially a massive Greek super-God. See that Titan face over to the left? Over to the right, that Alien-looking thing was a water-and-crustacean enemy. Not necessarily a boss. As Kratos I fought the enemy, using some wrist-blade attacks with reckless abandon. (Click the next image.)
The "surprise" was that this was all happening on the Titan's arm, and all happening in-game, in-engine, in real-time on the PS3. See how small Kratos looks? That's how it looked to me even as I retained control of him. This is what the development team is really proud of, this step up of the Shadow of the Colossus idea of making a big level exist as and upon the body of a giant. (Click the next image.)
The Titan, Gaea, can turn her arm over, which turns the whole level over. The developers made Kratos' ceiling-cling automatic, so players need not worry about plummeting to Kratos' death. No, they can focus on continuing to whack at the enemy on Gaea's wrist. You do see Kratos here, right? He's the guy whose wrist blades are causing that red and white flash.
The demo had Gaea moving her arm all over the place, which can allow the level to be inverted or turn into a wall climb or whatever. Use your imagination, because Sony was only showing this brief bit I've described. I was told by a Sony developer that the extent to which Gaea moves her arm and flips the level is more a matter of what the player's stomach can handle rather than any strain on the PS3. (Click the next image.)
All that said, next time you see a screenshot like this, which appears to show Kratos strolling across another landscape of violence, just wonder in the back of your mind if he's on the back of a giant. And, well, that's about it. God of War III is set for a March release exclusively on the PlayStation 3.