God of War Review

While it might be a new outing for the Ghost of Sparta, old and new fans of Kratos will be happy to see him now taking on Odin and the rest of Norse mythology. God of War is a much needed refresh for the franchise with an incredibly emotional story, excellent character development, improved game mechanics, and lore that will keep players interested in the franchise for years to come.

After escaping his dark and bloody past in Sparta, Kratos has begun a new life with a new family in Midgar. But after his wife dies, Kratos must fulfill his final request take his son, Atreus, up to highest mountain to spread her ashes all across Midgard. Just before they are about to leave, though, a stranger visits them and engages in an earth-shattering battle with Kratos. This kicks off an epic journey of father and son as monsters of all shapes and sizes come to hunt them down and Atreus begins to learn who is father truly is.

Kratos is a new man this time around and while he still is a brooding, daunting figure that many players feel is unlikable, there is some real character development this time around. Kratos and Atreus’ relationship really grows throughout the game and players will undoubtedly become invested in their journey. Not to mention, their interactions with other characters set the tone for their journey. While some are friendly and bright, regardless of how Kratos treats them, some are ready to fight and Kratos must constantly decide whether or not he must engage.

These interactions lead to some epic combat that players will feel as strong as a god and like they are truly wielding a might that even Thor would be jealous of. With the ability to throw the devastating Leviathan axe and recall it with the press of a button, players are open to a wide array of fighting options that lets players fight assailants any way they want to. Atreus can influence the battle as well with players even being able to have him stun enemies with his arrows and even summon mystical beings to help Kratos in battle.

Atreus also brings some knowledge to the battlefield with his obsession with Norse mythology and lore. With this, God of War becomes a unique game by actually making its players feel like they are a part of Norse history and want to learn more. There are even moments when Kratos shares ancient stories while they travel in their boat. It makes traveling not feel boring and gives players insight into what is happening around them

Kratos’ axe also becomes more of a multi-use tool as many puzzles and new areas are generally accessed through different ways to throw Kratos’ axe. For those that hate puzzles, they will feel a little more satisfied when the answer is to just throw your axe at the issue.

While God of War is definitely a step in a different direction for the franchise, it doesn’t leave behind of aspects that makes the series great. There are some excellent surprise call backs and it keeps the idea of progressing through the story to gain new items that expand the areas to uncover new secrets.

Kratos, himself, is also customizable this time as there is a heavy amount of armor to cater to some of Kratos’ abilities. It can boost Kratos’ strength, defense, and even luck, so players can create the kind of fighter they desire. Players can even upgrade Atreus to make him a more formidable fighter in tough situations.

The only real downside to God of War is that the final sequence can feel a little underwhelming or lackluster to the scope of the game. While it’s a quality end for a great story, as a game some players might feel cheated for wanting a big blockbuster finale.

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of side-quests and epic showdowns to be had in the post-game. Between fighting powerful Valkyries and scavenging islands scattered across the Lake of Nine, there is plenty of action still left to be had after completing the main journey.

God of War shows that some franchises can be reborn and that some stories won’t just die out. Kratos is truly back and is stepping in the right direction with a more likable personality this time around. With improved mechanics and a story that will undoubtedly spawn a bevy of quality sequels, God of War is truly a next-gen game.

4.5

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