Published on May 1st, 2018 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: God of War
Summary: The Ghost of Sparta returns, but this time he’s calmed down and also has..a child? That’s right, the rage spurting god killer is back with a new outlook on life in a new realm known as Midgard, home of the Viking gods. What shenanigans will Kratos get up in this new entry to the franchise.
Concept: The God of war series has always had a great fantasy story at its core, but with it’s abundance of violence that story always became overshadowed by the carnage on screen. I can remember awesome moments from previous games and what the general gist of the story was about, but with this new iteration of god of war, I found myself more engaged in the story with the gameplay taking the back seat. The story once again follows Kratos, but for whatever reason he is now in the realm of the viking gods and even has a son. So what happened to him after the last games? when did he have a child? is this even the same Kratos? These are questions you will immediately be asking yourself if you’ve played any of the previous entries, but of course without spoiling anything, i will say no more. I will say this though, the great thing about the story in this entry was its ability to sink its hooks into me, always leaving me questioning things and wanting to know more. I found myself thoroughly engaged from start to finish and it was one of those epics you just never wanted to end.
‘Damn that guy is totally wasted’
Graphics: Whether playing on a ps4 pro or a base line ps4, you’re in for a visual treat. God of war just raises the bar that Sony keeps setting with it’s incredible first party offerings. From the character models and animations, to the use of colour (especially with HDR turned on) to the little fine details on clothing and the environment around you, everything has been masterfully created and it really is a thing of beauty. I was constantly in awe of this game from start to finish with environments looking so vastly different to one another from snow capped mountains to lush oceans with moody star filled skies, to a forest oozing life to a volcanic mess. Another amazing visual touch is the use of particles, whether it’s sparks flying off doors as they grind open or orbs of light seeping off magic imbued objects, it all just looks absolutely incredible.
Gameplay: Those of you expecting the exact same feeling god of war experience might be shocked at first to how different it feels, but that will slowly fade as your mind grasps the new camera setting, as now it rests over the shoulder of Kratos, much like what Resident Evil made popular. Gone is your jump button, however you still have a light and heavy attack, as well as a dodge and block, but this new perspective just takes a bit of getting used to when your muscle memory is telling you another thing after years of the previous titles. This new entry has a bigger focus on puzzles which are heavily reliant on your use of Kratos’ main weapon the Leviathan axe, which can freeze objects in place or be used to hurl and smash through obstacles, something about throwing it and calling it back much like Thor does is amazing in and of itself. Exploration is another key feature with real reasons to do so as you will find upgrades to weapons, armour, and your skill tree as well as collectibles and other trinkets used to sell at the forge. It has just enough light RPG elements to feel fresh and to keep you wanting to explore every nook and cranny. Still here are the insanely large set pieces and incredible moments that just have your jaw dropping and rest assured there are some pretty epic boss fights as well. Not only do you control Kratos himself, but one of the buttons on your controller is used for shooting arrows which is done by Atreus (Kratos’s son) and leveling him up as well can really turn the tide in battles and just adds another nice wrinkle to the gameplay. This isn’t necessarily an open world game but it does provide you with a lot of freedom to explore in more contained environments focused around a central hub, taking your time if needed to scope out treasures at your leisure. That being said you can easily skip past side missions and just stay solely on the main story path without needing to detour should you want to go that route.
A very stark contrast to the original games
Sound: The voice acting all around is top notch. Kratos this time around is voiced by Christopher Judge, who does an absolutely fantastic job in making Kratos come across as more then just a yelling psychopath. Kratos aside, it’s the side characters i found to be my favourites in the game as they are quite different to each other but each bringing some much needed humour to balance out this bleak and foreboding environment. I actually found myself laughing or sniggering quite often, but it never took away from the serious tone of the story. It all fit in perfectly. On to the music, it is just as epic as you remember. It is a lot more subtle this time around because the mood of the game has changed, but what is on offer here is top notch. Hell you can even go on spotify right now and listen to the soundtrack for yourselves whilst reading this. It might even make reading this a bit more appealing, so i actually urge you to go do that now. DO IT.
Awesomeness: I loved the God of War franchise from the start and it did start to get a bit stale by the time ascension rolled around, but damn I did not expect it to come back and throat punch me with emotion and change itself up enough to feel fresh enough to bring a new interest yet keep enough feeling the same to feed my nostalgia. It really blew me away from start to finish. It just goes to show that will some time off, games can really flourish and new life can be injected into these franchises that people seemingly start fading on, much like the rejuvenation of Assassins creed with it’s latest title Origins. My only gripe with God of War (just to be picky) is that the level of gore has been toned down. It might not take anything away from anyone else, but for me i was missing those extremely brutal scenes like Kratos ripping off the head of a god without the camera shying away. This could have be due to several reasons, one being that like i mentioned earlier, they didn’t want it to overshadow the story, or possibly they didn’t want the game to sport an R rating as that would probably lead to less sales. Who knows, but i do miss seeing blood spurting left right and center, but hey there’s always Mortal Kombat.
From god slayer to pig carrier
Final Word: As you are probably aware by now, I adore this game and think it is an absolute masterpiece. I knew it was going to be good because even the worst god of war game is still an amazing game at that, but i didn’t expect this one to be as memorable as it was and to leave me wanting more after the credits rolled. Santa Monica studios created something really special here and it is by far the best PlayStation 4 experience on every level. I can’t recommend it enough, so do me a favour and go out and buy this game because we need more incredible single player experiences like this and less crap like all those stupid multiplayer-centric games.
Out of 5 bugs