If there's one thing the semibeleaguered PlayStation needs, it's more high-profile exclusive games that can drive system sales. After all: brand loyalty aside, it's the actual games that sell systems, and a big hit (such as Microsoft's Halo) can add considerably to a console's fan base.
Those expecting a major departure (aside from greatly improved graphics) obviously are not familiar with the addictive charms of angry Greek demi-god Kratos. The series is basically Bulfinche's Mythology filtered through the UFC. Guide your bald-headed killing machine through ancient Greece and the underworld, slicing and dicing pretty much everyone you run into, from foot soldiers to giant Clash-of-the-Titans-style beasts.
If finding a successful formula and repeating it works for Hollywood, there's no reason game makers can't follow suit. The main differences we found in the PS3 version of God of War is a somewhat smarter camera system, bigger, more-detailed environments, and some new oversize monsters (and cool classic beasts such as a minotaur).
The most surprising thing about God of War III is that it's going to miss the all-important holiday selling season, having been scheduled for March 2010. That takes a major contender out of Sony's holiday arsenal, making other exclusives such as Uncharted 2 (also very impressive-looking) even more critical.
It's as close to a guaranteed hit as the video game industry gets, but make no mistake: this is interactive junk food (not that there's anything wrong with that). The only real question is who will play our chrome-domed anti-hero in the inevitable movie spin-off, Duane "The Rock" Johnson or Vin Diesel.