God of War Review

When Fatherhood Gives You New Purpose

God of War has returned at long last and it is time for a new adventure to unfold on the PlayStation 4. Kratos has grown and is now a father to a young boy named Atreus. The man we saw clobbering the Greek gods of Athens has retreated to the North and is now much older and calmer than we last saw him. Age takes a toll on anyone and in this adventure, we will discover this brand new side of Kratos in the epic adventure across Norse mythology.

The second the game begins, you feel something is truly different in this game from past God of War games. The elements used for presentation are superb. You start by discovering the current state of Kratos’s life. His wife, Faye, has passed and he must parent his only son, Atreus, alone and make sure the boy has what it takes to survive with him. This relationship between a father and his son fighting the wilderness is so rich that it shows all these different facets of the grown fighter.

The character development in both Kratos and Atreus are individually well-presented, but it also through their interactions and the lessons Kratos imparts to his son that we see how each truly shine. Kratos has changed since his days slaying gods in Ancient Greece. He has found love, a family and a place to call home. Kratos wishes to protect this peace and with age, he has grown an impressive beard but also wisdom. He has tamed his rage and anger, but only uses it in times of combat.

The struggles of fatherhood are difficult as Kratos needs to balance his desire to care but holding back to teach the boy discipline and strength. Keeping the boy safe while slowly teaching him to fend for himself against the horrors of the outside world is something we can all relate and the narrative presents us these aspects quite beautifully. Even the character relationships between the man and the boy with all their eventual encounters play out in fitting and honest ways that only deepens our connection to the traveling duo.

The game’s narrative also takes its strength from the beautiful and detailed world God of War presents us with. The world is lush and mysterious and the details of the characters give all the realism we need to truly see and feel what is going on. It is really impressive the level of graphics the game presents and it is no doubt of the most impressive-looking game this year. From the details on Kratos’s skin to the way the grass flows with the wind, a lot of attention was put in the details as well as the overall scenery ensemble. It truly comes together to form an unforgettable experience.

The game’s music is also very inspiring. From the orchestral breeze when traveling through the forest to the tribal drums during combat, the tone and the quality of the score is simply breathtaking. The harmony of the sounds and the music also helps develop this high-quality experience. It is very apparent a lot of talent was put in to produce the game’s score.

The game has seen lots of change in its gameplay as well. No longer does God of War play like an action hack-and-slash game. This time around, it is more like an action-RPG. The camera stays fixed on Kratos’s back as he moves similar to Horizon: Zero Dawn. Although the game will still allow you to fight hoards of enemies as you and Atreus make your way through, it will demand more focus on the planning and character development than the use of gigantic and savage attacks. Mirroring Kratos’s change, the gameplay has toned down and allows for a more focused and realistic way to approach. On your way, you will find ways to upgrade your weapon and armor for both Kratos and Atreus. There is also talent trees to unlock through experience points in order to learn more effective attacks and techniques. Of course, some will be more strategical while other upgrades will allow for a more aggressive approach.

God of War does a great job of only increasing the engagement from the title screen to the end credits. The game begins slowly with the calmness of the woods only to increasingly develop both the difficulty as well as all the elements that make this game memorable. The game is fair in its difficulty allows the freedom to explore as well and making your own way. The formula used in this new title greatly reflects the tone and development. The most you advance through the adventure, the more you feel the artistic and technical aspects of the game are moving together in harmony.

Writer’s Blox:

God of War has changed tremendously from its Greek mythology days and it is both refreshing and impressive to see the game Ready At Dawn has produced. I never thought I would be able to see Kratos adventuring in Norse mythology, much less the role of a calm father. Having experienced any of the past God of War games will only enhance your own experience by discovering the trials and tribulations that this character has had to go through. Knowledge of Norse mythology, or even an interest, will also be a factor in your enjoyment as you will notice many elements from the ancient legends and myths. Nevertheless, the game remains quite impressive with its intuitive gameplay, deep character development and absolutely stunning visuals. God of War is no doubt a big contender for the game of the year.

The Good
  • Character Development is Deep and Rich
  • Details on Textures and Animation are Phenomenal
  • Interesting Narrative, Deepens Experience
  • Presentation
  • Graphics/Sound
  • Gameplay
  • Lasting Appeal
  • Fun Factor

Gentleman, industry analyst, Smasher and has sworn allegiance to Hyrule, Seif Mazzene is the Executive Editor here at IMGMR.

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