A figure forged by the gods...

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There is no question that the mighty KRATOS is one of most popular video game characters today. Sony’s vengeful Spartan has been spilling blood and gore across Play station consoles and fans just can’t get enough of him. With its mesmerizing environments, jaw dropping architecture and one-of-a-kind creatures, the potential for action figures and collectibles based on the various God of War game titles is enormous. Ironically, only a handful of inspired collectibles have been released by NECA and Sideshow Collectibles leaving fans hungry for more. Thankfully Square Enix has heeded the call for more Kratos goodness and what better way to please a God of War fan than with a hyper detailed and heavily articulated Play Arts Kai Kratos action figure to do the trick?

The latest epic release from the Play Arts Kai collection features a deluxe window box package with an opening flap which closes via two circular Velcro tabs. The front of the opening flap feature an awesome, oversized image of the Kratos figure with the iconic omega symbol in the back ground and God of War III logo. The inside of the box lid features an extensive bio which summarizes the God of War story and the wrath of Kratos upon the gods. The box is made to look like weathered stone riddled with scattered flames and chains. The back of the box showcases the Kratos figure in three different poses to demonstrate its versatility. The figure and his weapons are housed within a clear inner tray with a taped plastic cover to keep the pieces from shuffling around or falling out of the tray.

The artists at Square have done an amazing job sculpting the Ghost of Sparta’s chiseled physique and one-of-a-kind attributes such as the oversized abdominal scar in epic 9“ scale. The sculpted details on Kratos tattered battle skirt and armors is truly remarkable and they are made up of a flexible rubber material which does not constrict the leg articulation. The sculptural details on the blades of Exile are nothing short of amazing and accurate to the video game. The Claws of Hades are amazingly detailed and game accurate and feature protruding spikes on both sides of the handles. The sculpted chains that wrap around the forearms are rendered beautifully and the iconic Golden Fleece is equally impressive and just the right scale proportionate to Kratos’ arms. The head portrait captures Kratos’ unique facial details very well along with the scar that runs down the left side of his face and his iconic goatee. While the overall sculpt on Kratos is absolutely awesome his slightly stern facial expression doesn’t illustrate his vengeful and angry personality as well as NECA’s God of War figures did. Placing the slight facial expression flaw aside, the artists at Square have achieved the ultimate three-dimensional interpretation of the Ghost of Sparta in figural form.

The amazing color applications on this figure truly enhance the intricate details of Kratos’ unique outfit, weapons, and physique. The color applications on the Blades of Exile are executed incredibly well and the orange hue from the indentations on the blade look as if the energy is seeping out towards the edges. The ornate handles on each blade are colored in gun metal with gold applications on the patterns and sculpted chains that wrap around them. The Claws of Hades are covered in a gun metal base with a blend of metallic purple which blends into a very light gray towards the tips of each claw, giving each that dark "power surge" look as seen in the game. The tattered battle dress is accented beautifully with a blend of leathery brown and burgundy hues which contrast amazingly well with the golden patterns, rings and ornate waist belt. Ironically, the Golden Fleece is not painted in metallic gold but rather with a shiny copper yellow with airbrushed highlights. Kratos’ ashy white skin consists of a chalky white base with airbrushed gray tones that highlight the muscular details on his body. The unique crimson tattoo design on Kratos torso, back and face, stands out significantly against his ashy white skin. While the overall paint applications on the Kratos figure are very clean and look amazing, the face has too much airbrushed gray tones and the eyebrows are too thin which is inconsistent with the character’s look in the game. These are very minor flaws which can be easily overlooked but being a hard-core God of War fan, these minor details get under my skin.

While NECA’s God of War figures were incredible three-dimensional representations of Kratos, they lack extensive articulation. This is where the Play Arts version of the character truly shines above the rest. There is basically no pose to difficult to pull off with this figure thanks to the unique, innovative articulation system on the Play Arts body. All of the main joints are nice and tight thanks to a high-quality ratcheting design that locks poses firmly into whatever poses you place them in to.

The Play Arts Kai God of War III figure features the following points of articulation:
- Ball Socket Head
- Ball Socket Neck
- Ball Socket Shoulders
- Hinged Under Arms
- Ratcheting Ball Swivel Elbows
- Swivel Biceps
- Ball Jointed Wrists
- Ball Socket Mid Section
- Swivel Waist
- Ball Joint Crotch
- Double-Hinged Knees
- Swivel Calves
- Ratcheting Ball Joint Ankles

Aside from the amazingly detailed Blades of Exile and Claws of Hades, this figure includes a very crucial element which fans have always wanted, real chains. The chains are feature small pegs at each opposite end which can be plugged into the holes on either side of the Blades of Exile and at the hilt of the Claws of Hades which can then be attached to the forearms through the opposite ends of the chain. This adds an amazingly life-like aesthetic to the figure which fans will love and look awesome to boot. The figure also includes a tiny peg that can be threaded through the holes on either weapon and then inserted into a peg hole at the middle of Kratos’ back.

Square Enix has spared no expense in delivering the ultimate God of War figures to fans with this Play Arts Kai masterpiece. I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this epic collectible figure since its official debut at last year’s Comic-Con and it totally outlives my expectations by leaps and bounds. This is the ultimate Kratos action figure for God of war fans and I would love to see Square Enix expand the license by including other versions of Kratos and hopefully some of the main gods like Ares, Zeus and Hades in the near future.

The Play Arts Kai God of War III figure is available now directly from Square Enix for $59.99, a very reasonable price for this epic-scaled action figure.

Review and Images by: Jorge Pelaez
Review Sample provided by: Square Enix