It succeeds at both. The screenshots show how good God of War 3 looks, but its artistry goes beyond a static image. At times, the camera pulls way out to convey the necessary sense of scale when taking on Gods and Titans, yet there's Kratos, a tiny figure on the screen, still flawlessly executing his intricate combat moves. And the scene doesn't just stay at an ultra-wide view. The designers add the dramatic element to the scale by also bringing the camera in extremely close, where the astonishing detail in his character model imprints a vivid image.
The entire game similarly reflects this use of a full dynamic range to achieve a powerful moment-to-moment pace. Nowhere is this more evident than in the rhythm of the grand, set-piece battles. While they still use the "Simon Says" mechanic for cinematic parts of the fight, they're shorter, and better interspersed throughout the battle. As a result they move along better and when the climactic moments do come, they're a thrill to be savored as opposed to chore to complete.
While God of War 3 is definitely a combat first game, it includes plenty of moments of wonder more familiar to adventure games. Not only does the journey to reach Zeus on Mount Olympus take a varied route, the game takes advantage of these opportunities to introduce new mechanics that keep it from becoming a monotonous grind. There are grand constructs to be solved, perilous cliff routes to be traversed, powerful air currents to be soared on, and, yes, a bed to be conquered; these all dovetail smoothly within the progression of the game.
Above all, there's an overriding sense of how fun it is simply to control Kratos. I powered-up his classic chain blades first, but all four of the weapons he eventually collects have a rewarding progression of combos to master. They're useful, too, because combat in the game is deftly adjusted to different skill levels. This last touch of balance cements God of War 3 as not only one of the early standouts of 2010, but a game everyone can take home and have a great time playing.