Give Me God of War: is the sort of thing reserved for people who wrestle polar bears in their undies. Now, Sony's Santa Monica has chose to take him somewhere new for the eighth game in the series with something of a leap of faith. He is quieter and more deliberate, affected by his history but not constrained by it. Kratos' reinvention serves as a narrative hook, but it also parallels the series' evolution as a whole; where God of War once relied on bombast and bloodlust, now it leaves space for strategy and nuance. The PS4's new God of War is Metroid Prime and the Darksiders series, starring Kratos and his son. Sure, God of War looks better using the other option but not by much. God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series.
This instalment in the series pivots to the realm of Norse gods - think Thor - and thus features brand new environments, brand new camera angles and subsequently, altered gameplay.
"Kratos" and "emotion" in the same sentence eight years ago would have been an oxymoron, but with the upcoming release the developers have attempted to ground the ridiculous world of God of War, and create a game that's far more personal, and far weightier than previous instalments. His son, Atreus, who blinks back tears while hunting a deer in one of the game's first scenes, gradually becomes more accomplished with a bow and helpful in confrontations. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result.
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Director Cory Barlog and Santa Monica Studio have delivered the first main entry in the franchise in almost a decade and the reintroduction of Kratos, the central figure in the long-running series known for his unflinching brutality and unwavering single-mindedness, hits every mark it aims for. God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series. With this reboot, it confidently walks a new path that will hopefully lead to more exciting adventures to come.
God of War games have always relished a sense of sublime spectacle, with gargantuan enemies and sweepingly fantastical architecture.
The new storyline also pleased critics, as the introduction of Atreus adds another dimension to the already conflicted character of Kratos.
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From the game's gorgeous landscapes to its sinewy soundtrack by Bear McCreary, God of War boasts some of the finest production work on the PS4. But after a decade of seeing Kratos as little more than a cloud of spinning blades, I was unconvinced this approach could work. Shockingly, his latest adventure makes a pretty strong case that he does. Heeding his request, the god intervenes on behalf of the Spartans and grants Kratos peerless fighting abilities.
"I was looking around at how incredibly talented our systems and combat team was, and I was like, 'I need them to take on the challenge that we had on God of War 1.' That challenge of nobody really knows what that system was when I first got there in 2003". It's a maturation of character and tone that helps take the series to new emotional levels, making for a deeper, more satisfying overall experience.
Longstanding protagonist Kratos is older, fully bearded and living in the woods with his son, all his youthful rage given way to gruff stoicism. It was an entity unto itself.
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Stick around for when the game is officially released to see our tips, tricks, and hints for God of War. In a parallel fashion, his presence forces Kratos to reckon with the legacy of his monstrous past.
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