A reinvention of God of War and Kratos’ new story
This rendition of God of War is much different from the previous versions, and one clear and key factor is the pace of the game. God of War, one of Sony’s and Santa Monica Studios’ prized IP’s, has been re-established and even reinvented for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hack-n-slash, button mashing game just as much as the next guy. I enjoyed GoW 1-3 but I had to skip the psp titles(never owned a psp when I was younger). Although the series was exciting, fun and challenging, I was highly upset at the challenge modes from GoW 3 and how ridiculously hard they were. Some of them seemed like mission impossible, even though I beat them and earned my platinum trophy I felt my passion for the series has dwindled because of it.
As a result of this I had cast the GoW series aside and moved on. I started to become more infatuated with games that involved more strategy and story while at the same time including more action. There were games that were more fun to me, games such as Metal Gear Solid 4, the entire Uncharted series, Call of Duty: Zombies, and the game that lit the world on fire; The Last Of Us. Fast forward to when GoW was announced for the PS4 – people were excited! Kratos has a new rugged look, and he’s missing his infamous chain blades. He’s no longer in Greece and the cherry on top is that he has a son now! Just what in Zeus’ name is going on? Not much was revealed to us – and for good reason. We later found out Kratos has landed himself in the middle of Norse mythology.
Does this mean he’s going to go toe to toe with the All-Father, Odin himself? Is he going to use Mjolnir against Thor? Is Kratos going to bring more chaos and destruction to all 9 realms? Will Frigg, the Norse goddess of the sky end up guiding Kratos like Athena guided him in the previous games? I have so many questions!! One thing I noticed when I first started playing is that this game doesn’t have any cut scenes. Everything seems to be in-game. How did I come to this conclusion? In the very beginning you have to play as Kratos and cut down a massive tree. It’s an interactive scene where you have to follow the button prompts.
As I progressed through the woods I made sure to pay attention to the father-son time, and their dialogue. The son seems to be a nice kid, sort of care free and sometimes inquisitive. However, I felt some resentment from him towards his father, Kratos. As the game went on I found out that Kratos’ wife(Atreus’ mom) had passed away. Even though they were raising a son they had isolated themselves from the rest of civilization in preparation for something – something I will soon discover as I continue on this journey.
I’ll go into the story in another post when I do my full review, but let us sway our attention to the game play. This game is worlds apart from its predecessors and I for one love it! Santa Monica has implemented an “upgrade” system for Kratos and his son Atreus. This works by gaining experience points(EXP) to upgrade and purchase combat abilities, and upgrade the armor. You can even purchase armor and items that increase your stats from the dwarf brothers that made your new weapon called The Leviathan Axe. The style of gameplay and even the game itself is heavily influenced by developers, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us and Capcom’s Resident Evil 4. These influences come from both the style of game play and the narrative of the game. *Find the interview discussing this here*
The developers did make sure to keep the gruesomeness that we all know and love, and of course expect from this series. The upgrades to your abilities definitely help with this since there are moves that act as heavy finishers to a combo or move set, if you’re creative and skilled enough to pull these off. Some of the on-screen prompts kick in when you stun the enemy and do enough damage. The sequences are pretty amazing and the feeling of achievement of ripping some unfortunate soul’s head clean off with your axe is very satisfying. The landscaping and scenery definitely makes this game look beautiful, clean, and very well polished. From the trees to the mountainsides and even the different bodies of water you come across, it just makes you want to take a moment to simply enjoy the view and take everything in.
I’m going to end this here, simply because I feel I can go on and on about this game from the deep story it entails to the mechanics and game play. I’ll save it for the full review, but I must say this: this game is like no other in the franchise. This game will give you all types of feelings, from sadness to anger, achievement to simply being left in awe. I for one, am really glad to have gotten this game and for anyone reading this, I highly recommend this.