I still had an original full-sized PS2, you know the ones that over time quit playing the Blue discs after years of abuse. Mine had been played heavily until I purchased the Xbox late in the console cycle in 2003. The PS2 mainly served as a dust magnet inside my cramped entertainment center. Then one day I caught my first glimpse of God of War in Game Pro magazine and was instantly intrigued. I remember how blown away I was with the Action, Graphics and Story, It was bound to be a instant Classic. I bought a PS3 anticipating that I would soon be able to finally finish Krato’s trilogy.
I even went as far as to purchase the GOW3 Ps3 Slim once it was released and of course played back through the library, including the PSP games that I had missed out on. Suffice to say Im a big fan of all that GOW has to offer. But there came a time when I was playing back through the GOW3 remaster and It all just felt….well dated. If you’ve read my Article, “Video game Concepts that need to Die” you will know exactly how I feel about Quick Time Events.
More than anything this game series has needed a Resurrection to become relevant in this modern age of gaming. Not just updated graphics, but a complete overhaul of it’s mechanics and Story. Im happy to say that the creative team at Santa Monica Studio absolutely delivered. The shift to Norse mythology is a welcomed change, The lore and back stories included provide additional insight into the unique Mythos.
The Combat feels like an complete evolution of the original “Hack and Slash” mechanics from the previous installments. From a story telling perspective this game is firing on all cylinders. The main quest is simple yet tasteful, I can appreciate the subtle details and lore that is speckled in at every turn.
Oh and of course another big change is the addition of Atreus, Kratos’s son. He is far more than a sidekick, as time goes on he becomes a symbiotic weapon that is crucial when taking down certain enemy types. He never feels like a burden or a nuisance , and that is often very difficult to achieve when introducing a character that’s so young and in a support role. The interactions between father and son can range the entire emotional spectrum, some dialog has you laughing , while more often then not you feel empathy for Kratos. Obviously he has been through alot over the years and does not fully know how to show his son the love he never received. Its encouraging to see moments in the story where Krato’s heart of ice shows signs of melting.
The creative team at Santa Monica hit the nail on the head when they choose to make the game a mixture of a free roaming and linear story telling. It complements everything else in this game quite nicely. Overall if I had to use one word to describe the evolution this series has made I would have to say “matured”. They took the best parts of GOW and they pushed the series forward in a beautiful direction that I cant wait to see more of in the future.
If you own a PS4 and don’t own this game do yourself a favor and get it! If you don’t have a PS4, then its time to pony up and get one. There are far to many amazing games (this one included)on the PS4 to pass up.