April 26, 2018

God of War review: An epic father-son adventure

13 April 2018, 06:26 | Lucia Cruz

SIE Santa Monica Studio Sony Interactive Entertainment

SIE Santa Monica Studio  Sony Interactive Entertainment

Now, with God of War's release date drawing ever closer, reviews have gone live for the next big PS4 game, and it seems critics are impressed. Promising to deliver a robust and interesting new world, the latest entry in the successful PlayStation franchise sees an aged and tired Kratos on a journey through the world of Norse mythology with his son Atreus to fulfill the final wish of his deceased wife.

If anything, the God of War series has always been about complex familial relationships. As with Kratos' moves, Atreus' are also upgradeable and new techniques and powers become available as the game progresses. In its review, Game Informer scored God of War at 9.75 out of 10, saying Kratos shows up on the PS4 "quieter and more deliberate, affected by his history but not constrained by it".

The result, as you can read in this analysis is resounding: Santa Monica has given life to a true masterpiece, destined to set new standards in the action-adventure genre. God of War is very much a fantasy of fatherhood, then, but it is one with likeable characters and a surprisingly tender heart.

While the gameplay mechanics are incredibly polished and unreasonably addictive, God of War's greatest asset is its storytelling, which took me by surprise.

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.

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Not only are the two traveling to scatter the remains of Kratos' wife, also, Kratos must teach Atreus the ways of being a god. Here's just a sampling of what other outlets are saying about the new (and improved) God of War. Like Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey, the axe is more than a weapon; rather, it's the foundation on which most of God of War's puzzles are hung. According to the reviews that have been posted, the game is not only is a worthy addition to the franchise but probably one of the best. This is such an impressive achievement. What is surprising, however, is how well it all works, not just the change in setting but the ambitious writing and more involved combat.

Bravo to Santa Monica Studios on including such a ridiculously hard difficulty in a game in 2018. Overall, the 4K resolution isn't worth having a game that can't get a consistent 30 FPS, which makes the God of War on PS4 Pro functionality less than many were anticipating. Game director Cory Barlog broke it down while speaking with Gamespot, noting, "We have made seven games with that (previous) combat system". The game series follows Kratos all the way until he can exact his revenge on Ares.

While its understandable that some longtime fans might be uneasy by the series going in this new direction, hopefully they will give the game a chance.

God of War is exclusive to PS4 and will be released on April 20. You'll need to use every skill at your disposal, too, if you want to defeat the game's myriad enemies as God of War will throw wave after wave of nasties at you and pit you against bosses that will test your strategic mettle.

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