God of War, the announcement of the return of this game was huge. I always loved parts 1 and 2. Yes, God of War is once more not one of those stand alone titles, it has history. But can be played on it’s own. Before we look at God of War however, we will have a small look back to the previous parts.
What exactly is God of War? And who is Kratos?
Kratos was a spartan warrior, the youngest Captain in the Spartan army. Who killed his family due to some tricks by Ares. Due to this, he burned the temple of Ares in Sparta. A village oracle cursed Kratos, and condemned him to wear the mark of a terrible deed. The ashes of his family. Which is why his skin turned white.
Even through this Kratos had struck a deal with Ares, and was bound by an oath to him. It wasn’t until later he managed to free himself of the oath to Ares, by killing Orkos. He however would still be plagued by memories of how he killed his family. He now vowed to serve the other goods to be freed of that, and would do so for 10 years, even if he was openly defiant.
After 10 years he confronted the gods, to be freed of his nightmares. It was then he was advised to kill Ares. Which set off the events in the first game. Once Kratos managed to kill Ares, he became the new God of War. A whole series of events was set off where Kratos eventually was shunned by the gods, and his power stripped by Zeus by the second game. The last scene after Zeus was defeated by Kratos, is a trail of blood leading into the unknown. Giving fans hope of a new game.
However these games came out first in 2005. Then 2 years later in 2007 God of War 2 came out. God of War 3 followed around 2010. All within a time span of 2 to 3 years. Then for 8 years silence. Until 8 years later Kratos was back. This time in Ancient Scandinavia, where he has a wife and a son.
What is this game about then?
Kratos had grown old, and is trying to live a more peaceful life, caring for his sickly son. Atreus. The game starts off just after the death of Kratos’ second wife and mother to his son. Faye. Her wish was her ashes to be spread over the highest peak of the nine realm. Before they can begin the journey however, Kratos is confronted by a mysterious stranger with godlike powers. This sets the tone. Kratos and his son will have to fight their way through the campaign. Being confronted several times by this stranger and several other godlike creatures. In which Kratos is forced more and more to face once more who he once was.
What makes this game so different from the others, is the fact the whole game is one big escort mission. The boy is way more vulnerable than Kratos and so, he has to constantly keep an eye on him. And ensure he is ok. This also marks the biggest change from the normally arrogant and selfish Kratos. To a more caring older Kratos. However, for the game itself… Atreus is able to handle his own, he can handle himself. He had a bow and arrow, and a dagger to attack the enemies. You won’t have to worry he may die.
Kratos himself has the by now well known, hard and fast attack. Hard attack causes more damage but is slower while fast is what it says but less damage is dealt. He has an Axe now he can throw and it will return to him, which makes you able to do some very funny things. Aside from the new axe now Kratos also has a shield. Which he can use to block enemies. That’s the gist of the combat.
Of course you can level up Kratos and make him more powerful throughout the game. This is pretty much the usual way you know from many other games, which unlocks new combo’s and new attacks.
The graphics are stunning, which isn’t surprising for 8 years. Kratos is an older man and they make him look the part. He now sports a full beard and more weary face. Causing him to actually look older. The world looks amazing and you can walk around it smoothly. The little details of the leaves moving, and the fur on Kratos’ armor waving in the wind a bit, makes for that extra touch.
As you explore, you’ll start in the snow, vast mountains and a landscape that is truly how you’d expect the North to have been. But through the game you will also encounter forests, sunny environment, and the small mountain roads, that will take your breath away. True, the game will only allow you to stand where the developers want you, it’s not so much open world, as it’s follow our path. But the game masks it well. The obstacles are all visible and fit in the world. No invisible walls hold you back. Which keeps the game that much more fluid.
God of War really took a different turn compared to the old ones. But not in a bad way. It’s actually better in a lot of ways. The bond between father and son give a new dynamic to the character. On top of that, Kratos is more vulnerable now, not stronger and more powerful like some sequels. He is still the God of War but he retreated in the woods to live a more easy life.
I found it an awesome game, the puzzles are fun to solve, but increase in difficulty. The game play is pleasant, and the camera angle is more pleasant now over the shoulder of Kratos. Making you able to see the entire field. His son as back up is a nice add on and can really help you on it’s path. The game holds many secrets you can discover, and due to flashbacks you don’t have to have played the older games. You can dive right in. On top of that, the game teaches you a bit of Norse Mythology.
What I found very refreshing as well… no online bit. Most games now don’t rely on single player, but more on online, while this game is single player and focuses on a grand story to tell that will move you. The bond between Kratos and his son centers the game and you will actually start to feel along.
I would definitely pick it up if you have the time, by now it’s on discount. You won’t be disappointed.