God Of War Review – Spoiler Free
God Of War is the newest in the God Of War franchise of games, of which this is the fourth game in the series and picks up after the events of God Of War 3 (although there have been multiple other releases in the franchise including some PS4 remasters). The game franchise was quite popular during the PS3 era of gaming, where it too was a PlayStation exclusive title.
The original titles in the series had an ancient Greek setting, with Kratos being the God of War in that world. But this new game has a Norse mythology setting and is a continuation of the life of Kratos, who is now a father and has a son named Atreus.
When the game was first teased some time ago, I was quite excited to see it get released as I had been quite a fan of the old God Of War games and have always been interested in them because of my love for ancient history and anything with Greek Mythology in it. The old games always appealed to me quite a bit, but I was never a super fan of the franchise. I did always enjoy it, but other PlayStation exclusive games like the Uncharted series always seemed to be more of the style of gameplay I preferred. In the older God Of War games, the camera was always positioned quite far away from the character, which I don’t really enjoy. In the new God Of War, the camera is always behind Kratos, so I feel like I am playing as him or closer to him, rather than taken out of the action and looking in. This game is a little more similar to the Uncharted style of gaming that I enjoy and I feel that for a a character driven experience, which is what this God Of War game is, then it’s the right gameplay style to go for and the camera positioning in this game was excellent and a massive improvement on what was available in the past.
This God Of War game is a father and son story. Kratos has been living in the world of the Norse Gods, but has been quite quiet there and had barely any quarrels with anyone at all. When his wife dies, Kratos and his son Atreus go on a journey to bury the ashes on top of a mountain and this is the primary objective of the story. But, being a God, Kratos doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s not long before a bunch of characters from the Norse mythological world start appearing and interfering with Kratos’ and his son’s journey. It’s a rough fight and a tough journey that you will go on in this game.
I can’t really go into the story all that much because of the spoilers. But what I loved about the journey of Kratos the most was the father and son relationship that we see develop. Atreus is a young boy, who is quite interested in the world around him and the world of the Gods. But Kratos himself, isn’t as interested and doesn’t want to really be involved in anything to do with the Gods, primarily because of his past. When the Norse Gods start appearing, it causes much friction between Kratos and his son. The contrast of the two characters as they go through the journey and how they both handle situations is polarising, as the characters change and their beliefs change throughout the story it becomes quite an interesting tale. There’s quite a lot of character development for Kratos in this game, more than in the other God Of War games that have come in the past and it’s all very good.
Being a game with a Norse mythology setting, it is rich with lore and characters to meet. As you go on your journey you’ll hear tales of Odin, Thor, Baldr, Freya and much more. For those like myself who are interested in Norse mythology, the game offers one of the best recreations of the old Gods and the old world that I have ever seen. In the game there’s also bits of lore you can pick up and collect. All of this is great, not just for making a rich world for a gamer to explore, but it’s also a great education experience which you can build on in your spare time should you go online and start reading some of the old Norse myths yourself.
The graphics in God Of War are exceptionally beautiful. You can tell that a lot of hard work went into the game and the people at Santa Monica studio really did a great job. Not only do the character models of Kratos, Atreus and the rest of the Gods and mythological characters look awesome, but characters like Kratos and Atreus are customisable too. As you progress through the game you’ll be able to unlock armour and different clothing styles for Kratos and Atreus which will change the look of the character in the game and all of these were exceptional. There’s also a bunch of visual attacks when using weapons, firing arrows or magic that all looked well done, with barely any looking the same as another, meaning that there is a great variety to the visuals you see as you progress through the game.
Gameplay will see you play as Kratos for the whole game, but Atreus does accompany you as a you go through the game. What I liked about this duo, was that I didn’t really feel on my own during the battles. Many games give you AI allies, but sometimes they’re silly and you can’t really work with them. But in God Of War you can prompt Atreus to take action, for example there are buttons you can press on your control to make him fire an arrow at any enemy, which at times is a great help. Other times Atreus acts out on his own and attacks enemies or he might help you out with a health potion. You will also need to help Atreus when he’s in trouble too.
In some ways, having Atreus as a companion felt a little like my experience with The Last Of Us and having Ellie there with me. There are similar gameplay mechanics to what Ellie and Joel did in The Last Of Us, like Atreus pushing rocks from high above to help you up, or kicking down a chain to help you climb to a high wall. But I felt that being able to prompt Atreus to do things felt a lot better than anything I’ve played before as I didn’t have my AI partner seemingly doing nothing when i’m in trouble trying to fight someone, Atreus can actually help me and I loved that.
God Of War is an action adventure game. So much of the gameplay sees you as Kratos battle bunch of enemies. Enemies are broken up into common enemies, some of which may fly, some use fire, some are giant, some use magic and some use poison. You encounter them as you go from level to level in the game. Enemies are varied by the different Norse realms you travel to and some are immune to certain attacks. Some can’t be hurt by your axe, others can, some can only be damaged by melee attacks, some need other weapons entirely. The other enemies you will encounter come in the form of bosses. There are quite a few bosses in the game that you will encounter and some of these will be the Gods themselves, others will be monsters of the Norse world such as dragons. Each is a different challenge to overcome, but I never got bored with any of this at all. The gameplay of God Of War is incredibly fun and the upgrades for your weapons and armour ensure that things change as you progress and become even stronger.
The music of the game is another high point. The music in God Of War comes composed by Bear McCreary who some may know as the composer of music in other things such as Battlestar Galactica or Caprica. There’s quiet pieces for the sad moments, but also some very epic themes for the more action based moments, or God encounters. The music is an important part of the game because so much of the tone and the feel for God Of War comes from the sound and with Bear McCreary’s themes, things were epic at the right times and sombre in others and that’s always a good thing.
Overall God Of War is an exceptionally good game for PS4 owners to get. You will get to go on a well crafted father and son journey in the world of the Norse gods. Fans of God Of War will get to go back into the world they love, with a character they all adore who is better than ever to play as in this latest title. The music by Bear McCreary is epic and the graphics are beautiful. Santa Monica Studio did a great job with the game. For those such as myself who love the lore of the old Norse gods, the game provides a rich experience filled with great content to go through and many realms to explore. This is the best Norse mythology game out there and the experience is beyond all expectations that I had before I started playing the game. I highly recommend getting God Of War for your PS4 collection, it’s one of the best games on the system to be released so far, if not possibly the best titles on the system.