While Playing God of War 3, my eyes kept skittering away from the big TV screen to the bookshelf in the corner. There sat a hard back copy of William Vollmann’s novel, Europe Central. I kept thinking to myself, I’ve seen this story before somewhere, or at least I’ve felt this way before. As Kratos threw aside all care and decency in his quest for violent vengeance, and Zeus and the other Olympians showed gargantuan disdain for anything but their own desires, the revelation hit me. This game is just like Europe Central!
OK, OK, I admit that on the face of it, God of War 3 is nothing like Vollman’s epic novel. That book is all about introspection, narrative experimentation, and the horrors humanity is capable of. God of War 3 is really all about the eye-goggling visuals, wild quick-time events, and over the top design. Maybe they’re more alike than I thought now that I put it that way. Both focus on style as much as they do substance. The difference is, Europe Central clearly means for the reader to feel just awful about everything that transpires on its pages. I’m not sure what feelings God of War wants me to have.