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PS4 Review: God of War

May 10, 2018 by  

Kratos is back, but is he better than ever?

It’s been a strange time for certain franchises, some classics like Zelda and Assassin’s Creed have both changed their initial gameplay for a new audience, while trying to keep fans happy. God of War also has tried this, but have they been as successful? It’s hard to argue that they couldn’t have been more successful if they tried. This new-style God of War is more accessible, more cinematic, more epic, and most importantly, more fun than anything the series has attempted thus far.

The game follows Kratos in his later years, he’s settled down and has a son Atreus. Sadly, the mother has died and the pair begin their quest to take her ashes to the highest mountain in the land, Atreus has no idea of his God heritage and all seems to be quiet, until a stranger turns up at the house and fights Kratos which prompts the father and son to quickly head off to finish their quest, but of course it’s not as simple as that. Gods, curses, monsters and much more will stand in their way as they tackle their way through good old Norse mythology.

Combat has changed dramatically from traditional God of War games, instead of using Kratos’ Blades of Chaos, you begin with the Leviathan Axe which can be swung or thrown at enemies or objects to freeze into place. Holding down triangle will call the axe back to you, much like Thor’s hammer Mjolnir which is pretty cool. You will also be able to tell Atreus to fire arrows at your foes or specific targets for puzzles, either way it’s a good help.

Not before long, you’ll come across some dwarves who can upgrade your equipment for the right price and materials, of which you’ll find tons of throughout your journey. There are tons and tons of chests to unlock, as well as lovely boosts to your skills. The series has gone full RPG in this respect, so you’ll easily get your arse handed to you if you aren’t ready to take on certain foes, especially the optional Valkyries…which, let me tell you are no picnic.

God of War is fairly open world as well, eventually you’ll be able to warp back to previous locations if you missed a collectible or area that was previously inaccessible without a specific item, giving the game an almost Metroidvania vibe. There are tons of side-quests and hidden areas, as well as other realms to travel to. The scale of God of War is impressive, and it’ll take considerable time to visit every nook and cranny.

The story of God of War has to be the most impressive part of the game, the relationship between Kratos and Atreus takes a few knocks but there is an amazing bond there and one that will be tested throughout this and potential other games in this new branch of the story. Kratos’ voice-actor does an incredible job at portraying Kratos’ struggles as a single father with secrets about his past that he doesn’t want anyone to know about and I can only hope that the team secure him for the inevitable sequel. You’ll come across an interesting cast of characters on your journey and they are all memorable in their own way and I hope we get to see more of them too.

Visually, the game is the best looking of this generation. Kratos and the other characters look so incredibly detailed, the world is vibrant and the enemies are well animated. The game looks stunning in 4K HDR and is definitely a big selling point for PS4 Pro. The game is a masterpiece both technically and visually. The soundtrack is something else, it’s epic beyond words. I cannot recommend downloading it enough, it’s without a doubt the best soundtrack I’ve heard from a game in years and Bear McCreary deserves massive credit for it.

The Verdict

God of War is the best game of this generation without a doubt. It takes a big risk and mixes up its past formula for something fresh that works and makes me wish the previous games played like this, it also has the best story and cinematic experience I’ve seen in a game. There’s no denying just how amazing this is and why it’s a definite contender for Game of the Year. Let’s hope the sequel won’t take too long to surface…

Score: 10

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