Game Commentary: God of War

Looking at the general consensus on the new God of War, one would either take the position of the ever skeptic or the optimistic believer. I'm more for the former. See, I played the previous entries (the main console titles) and while they were certainly fun, I wouldn't call them great. I didn't want anymore. I was done with the franchise. I had no interest in this title.

But the reviews and impressions were great and I was somehow persuaded to purchase the game. I convinced myself that it was alright. I convinced myself that I could still enjoy the game even if it was just another God of War rage-fest. It wouldn't have been worth the money but hey, it wouldn't have been the end of the world.

Now, having finished God of War and getting the platinum trophy, I can safely say that the reviews this game received were all most definitely earned, whether in just this singular gaming experience or for the overall journey the franchise (read: Kratos) had gone through to get to this point. I'm more for the latter to be honest.

God of War takes a big step away from the bloodlust-filled Kratos to set him in a story and frame of fatherhood. Kratos may have been a man before but becoming a father is certainly a whole different obstacle altogether and going through this journey with him and Atreus was definitely worth the 60 or so hours I put in. Kratos may still a killing machine but his executions are not gory or bloody just for the sake of it anymore. Kratos doesn't just charge in now, he calculates. He offers his son advise and teaches him not how to kill, but how to survive in this gruelling world. And Kratos would definitely know a thing or two about suffering in this world. They touch on that all the time and I can tell you that it was very well handled and truly heartwarming.

Speaking of the world, I always thought that even through all the narrow corridors and linear progression of the previous games, Santa Monica Studio could always capture the titanic scale and breath of the mythos they choose to adopt. Their world of fantasies don't float along the same wavelength as the Harry Potters or Percy Jacksons of the world. This is real mythos placed in a world that can accept it and while the design ideas may appear bombastic, it gives the world a sense of belonging. It gives the players the awe that is to be expected.

This iteration of God of War is no different albeit the design does have to be limited to certain scopes due to the open world element of the game. But all in all, the design is still as awe-inspiring as it always was...just in full 4k! And yes, I chose to play in 'Favour graphics' mode and it is incredible. What a graphically powerful game in a beautiful world.

The combat has been completely overhauled to fit with the new vision they have for the franchise. It is similar enough to Souls type games to bring about the grounding, methodical approach but different enough to make it more fluid, more game-y (yes, that is a positive in my opinion) and definitely more fun. Atreus is also a great part of the battle system and the fact that he has a button dedicated just to him is quite a big proof as to how confident the developers were with him.

Finally, the score of the game is amazing! What an incredulous soundtrack filled with the hums and bellows of grizzly men and the trumpets and hymms of an angelic choir. Truly immersive and well suited to every aspect of the game.

Basically, if you own a PS4, you have to play this game. If you don't, now might be a great time to consider getting one.


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