God Of War Review
Better late than never...
God of War for PlayStation 4 was released on April 20th, 2018. The game sold over three million copies in the three days after its release, making it the fastest selling PlayStation 4 exclusive. Many people are saying it is the game of the year. You’ve likely heard a bit about it, so lets get into my God of War Review.
God Of War Story-Line
The story of God Of War itself is quite good. We play as Kratos, the father, who is dealing with Arteus, his son, shortly after the death of his wife/mother – Faye. It’s pretty clear right away that Kratos is not very close with Arteus. Arteus is everything that Kratos is not – kind, caring, thoughtful and sensitive. You set out on a mission to do the last wishes of Faye. It’s a winding tale, with a colorful cast of characters. Some whos personalities are awesome, and others who were quite annoying at a times. The game is very linear. I found the story frustrating sometimes, because I wanted the characters to be doing things differently than they were scripted to do, but alas the game did not give you any choice in the matter. There are countless things to collect and places to explore in a vast and lush world.
One part that was a bit off for me is at a certain game point you finally get access to a more of an open world environment. If you happen to ver off the main quest and explore those locations though, you will likely die a swift death. The bad guys in these areas are generally multiple levels above you. This means you basically need to follow the very linear story-line, so I wonder why they bothered to give access to these other locations at all? Let’s carry on.
God Of War Controls
The controls for this game can be considered rather complicated. You fight most of the game with a magical frost ax. There is then pretty much every combination of buttons the PS4 Controller has. R1 and R2, R2 hold long time, X for Dodge, triangle to recall, L1 to block and so on. Push All The Buttons. When you throw your ax away, you also have all of these same combo of buttons that now do different things. This whole time, you are also controlling Arteus with the Square key to shoot his arrows.
If all that wasn’t complicated enough, you swap out different abilities in your R1 R2 and now those button sequences have completely different results. Maybe it was a burst, stun. Now its a damage, burn attack. I’ll admit for the first portion of the game I did feel that I was doing a fair amount of “buttony smashing”. In the later game with more complicated enemies, the random button smashes won’t work any longer. You will need to learn hunker down and learn how to block, perry, and dodge effectively in order to stay alive. With some time, you can adapt and customize your swap-able core moves to match your playing style. Arteus is auto attacking in the background sometimes, and that was pretty awesome. He will also point out when say you are getting attacked from behind and need to turn and block and attack. There are also visual cues on the screen. I found that holding down square constantly, and doing your other combos was a good way to progress. There are even some bad guys that require Arteus involvement in order to kill them. In a neat kind of way, this helps with the developing relationship between father and son.
There is a crafting system that exists, allowing you to level up and purchase new armor. I found this mostly pointless as a good portion of the fancy armors that you get access to are not accessible unless you are doing above mentioned side missions. That you can’t really do until the end of the game. You can level up your weapons and get some pretty basic armor, but I mostly just found this section frustrating.
Most of the boss battles are the same model used over and over. Perhaps having a different elemental twist to it, but once you master killing one type, you’ve basically got them all. Something else I found slightly odd, the difficulty level of the bad guys only really added health and stats boost, their behavior over all wasn’t any harder or more difficult. Still the game played on above normal difficulty took me quite awhile to finish at times. Some of these bosses were tricky and the timing of things really matters.
A nice feature was that you don’t really need to save the game at all. There is a pretty frequent checkpoint system that takes care of this for you. I never found the need to manually save, although the option is there. I highly suspect you wont either. There are also no noticeable loading screens except when you die. I hardly noticed this until i really thought about it. Video Games sure have come a long way.
God Of War Sound and Display
The game is beautiful. It blends realistic real world elements with fantasy tones perfectly. There were several times when climbing around on high peak mountains that my heart skipped a beat when I got a little too close to the edge. Horizon Zero Dawn was beautiful, this one I think takes it up an notch.
One of the interesting points of the game is that optional collectible loot and side quests. You will frequently come across chests that are just out of reach, or are locked with magical 3 step locks. These chests are not required for you to progress in the story-line, but can give you extra powered weapons, moves or health. You can take the time to figure out the puzzle that will often require different ways of thinking and using your abilities, or you can simply carry on along the story.
God of War Review Final Thoughts
This game is beautiful and has a developing father son story-line that can hit you right in the feels. The open world element is there, but not really playable – stick to the linear story-arc and you will have a much better time. A few complicated controls exist, but with some time and practice you will be blocking and killing with ease. This game was the next part of the series of God of War, bringing us a newer, more mature Kratos than previous titles in the series have shown. God of War is something you can easily get lost in and enjoy. I recommend if you havent checked it out already – Give God of War a try.