As a new player of the God of War franchise I wasn’t 100% certain of what I was going to get from this game. The God Of War games already had a whopping 7 titles out and I’ve not played a single one – that is until now! God of War for PlayStation 4 was released here in Australia on the 20th April 2018 and I completed it within 2 days! Why did I get so immersed in this game? Let’s get into that now.
Brought to us by Santa Monica Studios exclusively for the PlayStation 4, God of War is one beautiful game. The development team have created a gameplay experience that is seamless with beautiful scenery throughout, excellent dialog between the characters and controls that rival the best platformer games out there. I almost feel that even if you don’t enjoy gaming you could easily pick up this game and be hooked from the first chapter.
Now keeping in mind I don’t wish to give too much away with this review, there are going to be some spoilers if you wish to stop reading now.
After meeting Kratos and Atreus at the beginning of the game you’re already feeling the anguish and pain of the journey to come. The voice actors Christopher Judge as Kratos (also known for his work in StarGate SG1) and Sunny Suljic as Atreus both give outstanding performances. Also with the graphic design and lifelike effects given to each character it’s easy to be swept up in every emotion and feeling as the story unfolds.
The direction, production and cinematic style of the game was also well thought out and written. The scripting between the two is heart felt at times – when Kratos is not sure to console Atreus I could feel his pain and see that he is unsure if will he be doing the right thing by holding his son. Those tender moments are all timed perfectly throughout the game giving it the extra edge of feeling like your watching a movie.
It’s important once progressing through the game to continue to upgrade each character. Taking on stronger enemies will also help you to grow however, they have the ability to kill you in a single hit if you don’t have adequate armour and stronger weaponry. This is easy enough to do whilst playing through. Just always be on the lookout for chests, ruins, side quests and favours along your journey. By completing these tasks or opening chests you will receive enchantments and items that will build up your weapon levels. The combo’s are also exciting to use and very straight forward with R1 & R2 used to strike. The controls to also use Artreus in combination with Kratos is so well done. The speed and accuracy in both of their movements is a credit to the studio and once you have a stronger pair even level 7 mini bosses will be a breeze to fight.
The game was action packed at every cornerstone of the game. It was also at the right moments and never too much or not enough. One fight after another is also concurrent in some areas which keeps your heart pumping so be prepared for some epic battles. Certain areas also have a greater difficulty to their mini bosses / sub bosses. The enemy characters are all exceptional and the boss fights at the end of each location are quite challenging. The final area fights can also go for quite a while – with some of the fights taking me 10-15 minutes from my last death to complete. The last boss Baldur is probably one of the best fighting scenes I’ve ever played and without spoiling it further I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Now you might be thinking is a game guide required to complete this game? 100% no! I completed the game without the need for a guide. I’m not saying it’s easy however. Once you get the game play and achievements you quickly realise that areas will be visited again (sometimes up to 3 times) so that when you’re stronger or have additional weapons you’ll be able to complete the tasks. The game map is a vast area but don’t worry, you will be able to travel back quickly by opening portal doors the first time you visit them. Once you return with extra weapons such as electric arrows or the Krato’s blades you’ll be able to open chests that had been once locked. This will continue to build your level strength and give you more goals to do within the game.
Do I have any gripes with the game? Of course but only minor ones. I found that the controller can be particular on the O button when going up to the boat and sometimes I’ve found Atreus to be in the way. Other than that I found the battles to be challenging but fun once I had the controls downpat.
Once you’ve beaten the last boss you’ll be back on the initial story journey. This part of the story again brings you back to the cheeky and loving relationship between father and son. The ending has such a great explanation of Atreus and possibly what the future holds for the game franchise. I am expecting more games of this caliber from Santa Monica Studios and hopefully very soon! God of War is easily 2018’s best video game release and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.