God Of War [PS4] – My Impressions + Minor Update (No Spoils)
Welcome to yet another impression, and this time it’s with a game that has been dominating the review front as of late.
I have spent a little over a week on this game and have finally beaten it. Taylor has also beaten it so I’ll be adding a few comments and impressions from him in this post as well. There will also be no spoilers in the game since I feel as though spoiling would absolutely ruin this game for anyone new or old to the series. So is Kratos a better character now? Is God Of War still relevant to our modern day? Let’s find out…
Previous Games Opinions:
I have touched on this a bit with the previous post, but I will be pointing out my favorites and least favorites and why I think that of each one.
My two favorites of the last entries are God Of War II and God Of War III for completely different reasons. I enjoyed God Of War II because of how it did its story, not necessarily how the story was but how the story was integrated. It’s also one of the best looking Playstation 2 games still to this day, not on the same pedestal as something like Shadow of the Colossus but still pretty darn good. And I like God Of War III because it’s the best version and integration of the gameplay that’s shared throughout all the previous games. It’s the best functioning and synced version of it and because of it makes the game more so enjoyable. It also doesn’t hurt that you get to battle major gods in the third one like Poseidon and Hades.
The other games are a different matter. While I don’t outright despise or hate the other games, I still feel they’ve either missed the mark or have not aged particularly well. The two Playstation Portable games, Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, are fairly decent in-between tales that further expand the history and lore of the character Kratos, but the games were too short and I personally felt that the graphics and gameplay didn’t really work great with this platform of choice. I also didn’t think that the re-released Playstation 3 versions improved all that much either. God Of War Ascension certainly plays well, taking what worked in God Of War III, but it ultimately felt like the most pointless of the in-between games with little in terms of lore to offer. And God Of War I (or original) certainly has the best structure of a story and is honestly not that bad in terms of story and boss fights, my problem is that I played it much later in life and was affected by how, again my opinion, badly it has aged. Even the gameplay seemed super standard at that point.
So yeah that’s two I like, one that’s good but hasn’t aged well, and the others are meh. And before you ask, no I will not play that weird mobile game thing they made.
Now let’s get to the main game of interest…
God Of War, as a franchise, has been kind of a hit or miss with story. Some games tell a complete story with a sense of conclusion while others are all out brawls where the only story is literally war and its aftermath. Well I am very pleased to find that God Of War 4 is not only a story driven game, but’s easily the best one out of the entire franchise!
The story does something that I like in most tales where the main premise and goal is simple, but the actions and consequences foretell a greater event that will soon or later commence. Yes, the story is drenching in the classic mythology of ancient Nordic beliefs and dieties, even going so far as to introduce the more obscure and unknown creatures or gods in the forefront. And the strongest points of the story are heavy moments of father and son interaction between Kratos and Atreus. The relationship is similar, in a way, to how Joel and Ellie were in the Last Of Us but I promise you that it is actually very different in the major contexts of their relationship.
The two main characters are Kratos and Atreus, and like previously mentioned their relationship is what drives the story. Kratos is absolutely much calmer and more tamed / disciplined than he was in the previous games. You get the sense that he’s very much done with the violence and wants nothing to do with gods or their disputes, you also feel as though he very much regrets his mistakes in the past even when he doesn’t verbally admit to it. This is truly the Kratos that surpasses his younger versions purely by way of being more mature and understanding. It’s kind of weird that this Kratos works so harmoniously well, but it only works so well when you have the history and knowledge of how horrible and relentless his previous counterpart used to be. This is something that is only best explained by playing the actual game honestly, for it’s kind of unmentionable in words.
Atreus is very much a young kid who is, surprisingly, talkative and outgoing. He is very much a kid that’s not affected by a life of trouble and worry, not like the character of Ellie, however he’s still an important assist in combat. This kid character is allowed to take the spotlight in certain moments, which is fantastic and welcomed. While this character of Kratos is better, I’m glad that he doesn’t completely take center stage.
Other characters include two dwarf characters that are both different but still equally enjoyable in their own right. the is also the main antagonist of the game that’s known through the first portion of the game as just “The Stranger” (however if you know Norse mythology and can pick up on some clues, you can guess who this character is right away). There’s also another character known as the witch, who sort of axts as the primary female lead in the story as well as a helpful acquaintance.But one of the best characters, by far, is Mimir. Mimir comes into the story much later in the game, but he is the best character solely because he integrates the the best lore-dumps and advice.
Honestly there are two strong points of the game that make it superior to the previous titles, one is the story and the other is gameplay. While this game absolutely takes elements and ideas from various different games, they are more of a blessing than anything.
Probably the best integration is that of having Atreus aid you in combat. This is especially improve upon by allowing Atreus to gain more abilities and strength, these upgrades allow Atreus to do a number of special skills to the point where any damage he deals to an enemy will actually matter more than just being a way of distracting enemies from you. The other big thing is the axe weapon both by how the affect of light and heavy attacks matter and how you can use, or even not use it. Yes, Kratos can now use his fists in regular combat for a good classic fisticuff brawl. Generally the game implements the idea of using different methods of attack for very different enemies, some are not affect by the axe while others require Atreus to stun them first, there’s even levels of difficulty for the enemies by both numbers and colored health bars.
Some other changes of note is how this game is a pseudo open world game. This was a shock to me because the first part of the game felt very linear, not unlike the previous titles. The very fact that you can backtrack to previous areas to go deal with puzzles you couldn’t earlier is an amazing realization.
There is a lot, a whole lot, of new things introduced for the God Of War franchise. If I were to list all of them this portion of the post would be ridiculously huge. But overall this large list of new aspects, some ideas taken from other games, is a very good thing indeed. I doubt that the original gameplay of the franchise would succeed with audiences now in the year of 2018.
While I am not one to say this is a perfect game, mainly because I believe that nothing is entirely perfect, this is certainly a must play game for anybody!
Do not be uncertain due to what the franchise used to be and don’t be afraid of the reputation of Kratos as a character. This game is so vastly different from the others that it’s barely a standardized God Of War game, and Kratos is now a much better character for the win. The story is not just a one-trick pony revenge plot for there is actually not a revenge plot whatsoever, it is the story of a father hiding his past and trying to do right by his son. It is a story of growing a bond between two people as they journey the unknown world.
If you want to play a game that implements both an incredible story and incredible gameplay mechanics, this is probably the game for you.
I hope this impression post is not too terrible, I kind of had to write it fast. But did anyone else like the game? Me and Taylor did, and Sherman is currently getting through the game as we speak.
Again, things will be coming shortly. There will still be more Geeks in a Dungeon coming out soon and the video version is still in the near future. There will also be a mega- Marvel related post soon, so be sure to check back on that when you can!