The original God of Wars video games never appealed to me because they seemed to be somewhat over the top. So when another game in the series was released for PlayStation 4 I was hesitant to try it even though it received a lot of good reviews. But my friend Yash forced my hands 😉 when he gave me the game as a present for my birthday a few month ago.
God of War is a third person hack and slash adventure. It tells the story of Kratos, now living in ancient Norway, and his son Atreus. After the death of Katros’s second wife, Atreus’s mother, the two of them embark on a journey to fulfil her last wish: scattering her ashes from the highest peak in all the nine realms. During their perilous journey they find Midgard, the realm of mortals, in turmoil. They have to fight hordes of undead, monsters and a mysterious stranger who is trying to kill Kratos.
The main strength of God of War is its story telling which transform it into an interactive movie. An interesting plot, well written and superbly voiced dialogs all set in a beautiful landscape create a very immersive experience. That the game completely avoids any form of loading screens while the player traverses the world is the icing on the cake. The core game mechanics of exploring, combat, looting, puzzle solving and levelling are well implemented and complete this excellent fantasy game.
I was gripped by God of War from the beginning. The atmosphere and the interactions between Kratos and Atreus immediately got me invested in the story. I also enjoyed the game play because the hack and slash combat system mostly avoided the hectic button mashing that is required for a lot of games in this genre. You could instead observe the attacks of your opponents, learn how to counter them and use a large arsenal of moves and Atreus’s special attacks to prevail. The one exception was the final boss fight which threw all of this out of the window and was in my opinion outright unfair. But that is only a small downside to an overall brilliant game.
As much as I enjoy (some) life service games like Warframe I wish more game studios would produce and publish interactive stories like this one.