PS4’s most recent Game of the Year title, exclusive, rebooted and hugely successful. The developers at Santa Monica Studios really pulled out something special for their newest release continuing the God of War franchise.
The story begins as Kratos and now, his son, Atreus perform burial rites on Atreus’ mother. You are then plunged immediately into the dense story line which is the main sell point of the newly revamped series, the relationship between father and son, which is evident throughout the game. What a game this is, shot from one camera angle for the entirety of the game, with no loading screens, not one, and it is incredibly done. The new camera angle is of similar angle to the over the shoulder view in The Last of Us. Without posting a spoiler for how they have created this seamless transition, even the fast travel element has no loading screens. As you make your way out of the initial areas its clear to see that this game has moved on and away from the typical Greek settings of it’s predecessors, now exploring the realms of Norse mythology. A smart move considering the latest trends in TV shows like Game of Thrones/Vikings/Last Kingdom and more current games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
This game is about change, without ignoring where it’s roots are, the Greek mythology is still relevant whilst the game characters explore the Norse heroes like Tyr, Odin and his sons, more importantly the weapons change, traded for the Blades of Chaos comes the Leviathan Axe, which I must say is a beauty. Its the only weapon you have combined with the help of your son Atreus, who helps you in combat as well as giving you hints about the map and level design to help you complete puzzles and tasks, again the bond between the two is remarkable and throughout the entire game there is a constant feel for conversation, mystery and sometimes a fun element. The stunning aspect of this game is it’s open world/linear construct, fast travel is only unlocked later in the game and the level design is expertly crafted with mazes, puzzles and ferocious enemies, split into various realms within the Nordic world.
I spent hours sitting on the edge of my seat, literally laughing at the screen as Kratos blasted through his enemies.
Combat, what an experience. The combat in God of War, is amazingly satisfying, yet another change in the games direction is Kratos’ age. Gone is the super Demi God, looking young and fierce, now Kratos is much older and really gives off the sense of brutality, over the years his outlook and bitterness has affected the way he fights. The developers have really focused on Kratos’ power, it feels utterly relentless and powerful using him to batter your enemies and the finishing moves and animations really reflect it. I spent hours sitting on the edge of my seat, literally laughing at the screen as Kratos blasted through his enemies. You get a lot of chances to really go for it.
There is a good amount of things to explore, hidden in the world and as you play through the game there are a lot of things you come across which you think ‘i can come back to this’ and plenty of challenges, most of them, you guessed it, fighting! And there are some great rewards, such as weapon and armour runes and useful info.
God of War has really shined in this venture, character customization is limited but kept simplified as there are a lot of control functions, there are around twenty or so armour sets which can be mixed and matched, with the more advanced sets only unlock-able through challenge related quests. There are also outfit and perk settings for Atreus as well.
Another big feature of this game is the Valkyries. There are lots of them scattered throughout the world and their main purpose is end game boss battles, they are very hard to beat and extremely satisfying when you do. I found myself losing a lot but every time learning and becoming angrier to the point where i found myself turning into a Spartan warrior giving war cries at the screen, and bursting into almost psychotic laughter when i finally beat them. This is true gaming enjoyment.
There are not many faults with this game at all, the only one that stands out as that the game itself is short, but the quality is what is important.
In summary God of War is beautiful, the graphics are insanely detailed, the core of the story, dynamics and character development is striking, there’s never a dull moment, there is even a turtle the size of a house called Charlie (play it to believe it) and the future of this game is bright.