Kratos from God of War has always been known for its reserved nature. Splitting the skulls of enemies or cutting their belly open while they are still alive. The Spartan shows his brute force again and again in his new adventure. However, the warrior now also shows emotions on the journey together with his son. But it’s not this innovation that makes the action-adventure game from Sony Santa Monica an essential experience for PS4 owners.
|Title||God of War|
|Publisher||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Developer||SIE Santa Monica Studio|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, Action role-playing|
|Release||April 20, 2018|
|MATURE - Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.|
God of War – Video Gameplay
For five years fans of the series had to wait for a return of Spartans Kratos. The prequel “God of War: Ascension” offered solid action food on the PS3, but could only partially compete with the previous parts of the core series.
Now developer Sony Santa Monica sends a new adventure of the squeamish little warrior into the race and changes the last formula series in almost every area. In our review, we reveal why we are enthusiastic about the increased story focus and the new fighting system.
A demigod Kratos in the previous series fought exclusively with opponents from Greek mythology. He now arrived in Nordic mythology. “God of War” takes you to Midgard. The Nordic world of gods like Odin and Donnerhammer.
It is precisely there that the Spartan wants to settle down and grow old together with his wife and son Atreus. When his wife dies, young Atreus is to fulfill her last wish and scatter his mother’s ashes on Midgard’s highest mountain.
Although Kratos would probably never admit it at first, this last wish is sacred to him. But before he sets off with Atreus, he first wants to prepare the boy for the dangers of the world. And that seems like a long task. For Atreus is not an indestructible hulk like his father.
He’s small, skinny and sickly. Kratos has to rethink the plan to prepare his son for the journey at short notice. A mysterious man attacks them and puts an abrupt end to the Spartan’s life. Kratos and Atreus leave immediately for the long and arduous journey.
That may sound a bit constructed at first. In fact, however, it forms a comprehensible basis for the subsequent journey – and the development that father and son went through at this time. For a while Atreus increasingly learns to assert himself in the world and even in battle, Kratos finds access to his feelings. If at the beginning he is as taciturn as you know him from his predecessors.
He later shows more and more how much his heart is attached to Atreus, and that he is otherwise capable of compassion. Within the framework of Atreus’ development, however, conflicts also arise, which contribute their part to the exciting and turnaround rich history. For when the warrior’s offspring learns that his father is a god, at the latest, he threatens to escalate in his new self-understanding.
With the new part of “God of War,” however, much more changes than the apparent increase in the story focus. Because also the combat system, but above all the character system is different. Instead of the somewhat dull knitted upgrading of the weapons in the predecessors, a role-play-like system is now moving in.
You invest experience points to unlock new abilities, such as individual attacks with the Leviathan ax or a block breaker for shield combat. Materials like chopped silver paired with rare resources like the Frostflame are used to increase the level of a weapon. But there is more to victory or defeat than that. Kratos also has many attributes such as strength and defense.
To improve them, have the blacksmith make armor and upgrade it in several stages. Besides, you can equip objects like a talisman or base weapons with runes that also add bonuses to character values.
Only if you make progress on these points will you increase the character level of Kratos. The number of items may already be a bit too high. The “legendary” objects that could not be produced or used at first could have been hidden optionally.
There is some room for experimentation, but the administrative effort is still limited. You have to deal intensively with the crafting system at the higher of the four difficulty levels anyway. But you can’t ignore it entirely if you want to be up to the upcoming fights.
You don’t have to deviate from the story path, which will keep you busy for 17 hours. The various side quests, additional areas, and chests, which you can usually only open in small puzzles or challenges, give you plenty of room to do so. After the story ends, you even unlock new areas.
The fights themselves also play differently than in the previous parts, which is mainly due to the new shoulder perspective. So we no longer have an overview of everything that is happening on the battlefield around us.
The mostly wavy opponents attacking from different directions come here also from behind or from the side, where we cannot see them. “God of War” warns you in the form of arrows, but also by comments from Atreus, if there is danger from anywhere. However, this does not always help to avoid the situation in time.
Series connoisseurs may even need more familiarization time than “God of War” newcomers due to the innovations and could also complain about the abandonment of the Quick-Time elements.
But the action itself is not neglected. Although Kratos later receives only a second weapon besides the ax in question, there are a whole series of attack variants and special attacks such as an all-around swing.
You can also throw the shaft and snap it back into your hand at the touch of a button. If an opponent stands right between you and the ax, the weapon will hit him on the way back. Your companion Atreus add tactical components. On your command, he will shoot various arrows with which you can interrupt attacks by enemies or paralyze them for a short time.
Later, Atreus will act more independently in combat. Holding on to smaller enemies to make it easier for you to take a charged shot.
If the damage is enough to kill the opponent, Kratos likes to break it down into its parts. It also works alternatively with melee finishers for stunned opponents. “God of War” is not only adult entertainment. Sony Santa Monica is reluctant to depict violence. At least compared to its predecessors. But sometimes it must be enough to cut off heads or divide enemies like the pig in the slaughterhouse in half.
Even regular enemies cover a wide range, attack with different weapons, explode on death or can only be defeated with their bare fists due to specific magic resistances. Of course, there are also many bosses that Kratos has to hunt down. Golems or ogres may repeat themselves in a similar form too often. They then also reappear later increasingly as standard opponents.
The fights are always spectacular and also offer highlights like the fight against a giant dragon. And of course, the duels with gods must not be missing in a “God of War”. If not against Hermes or Zeus, but against those from Nordic mythology.
It would be too much to say that Sony Santa Monica completely reinvents the series wheel with “God of War.” The Californians are not just bringing here a continuation that offers more of the same. But a fresh concept in almost all areas. It does not only include the changed perspective that shows events from the shoulder perspective, the extensive crafting system or the far-reaching open world elements.
It’s mainly the increased story focus. So far no part of the “God of War” series has been emotional and moving as the journey of Kratos and his son Atreus together.
Perfect is, apart from the fantastic graphics and the first-class sound, but not everything. The tendency towards role-playing elements. The primarily skill-based hack ‘n’ slash principle means a change and therefore also an inevitable loss. Especially for series connoisseurs.
It balances the new “God of War” with a rich main story and a vast range of side quests, puzzles, and other secrets. That’s not quite enough to beat the God of War III. All in all, this God of War is an adventure you’ll remember as something extraordinary thanks to its history.