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God of War was always a very interesting franchise to me. I played only bits and pieces of the previous games, only because I just couldn't understand how a guy could be so angry with Greek Gods that he would kill all of them. With that in mind, I decided to give the latest title in the series a shot.
And holy shit was it worth it.
You might've seen reviews about it before, or seen ads on YouTube or something, but I'm going to give you my take on why God of War is one of the greatest games to come out this year.
The graphics in God of War are ridiculous. There are these beautiful color palettes in every area that you eventually just take for granted because every frame is gorgeous.
The director of the game, Cory Barlog, pulled lots of heads together to have tiny minute details along the way that just work together to make one of the prettiest games I've seen in a long time. There's a certain way the Leviathan Axe shifts on Kratos's back, the way the world breathes, and how the characters interact with each other that just makes the visuals and feel of the game perfect.
On top of that, there are no "cuts" in scenes. The entire game is just one continuous shot, adding this new dimension of intimacy and depth for the characters.
They changed the whole formula—and it works too well.
From the beginning of the game, it felt very scripted. Almost like an Uncharted game, but with the illusion that it was this cohesive, breathing world.
But as you get through the first hour (or less), you realize that it was no illusion. That one mountain you saw at the start that you thought was so cool? You can go there. The one canoe ride you took down the river that you thought was so perfect? You ride your canoe across a whole goddamn lake! Multiple times! Pretty much all the time!
The whole formula, from the hack and slash combat, the level design, and most importantly, the characters, have changed in God of War. And it feels almost too right.
Combat is a bit more up close and personal. An over-the-shoulder camera view provides instances of visceral combat, as well as some moments of disbelief as Kratos casually rips a Draugr open between his neck and shoulders before throwing him to the ground. It's wonderful. The only gripe I have is that you fight some of the same types of enemies pretty much the whole way through. Many of the boss fights are the same bosses, just colored differently. But they're so fun to fight, it's not that big of a deal.
The level design is now open world! You can go back to any place you want at any time! Initially, it's a bit of a chore, but a fast travel system eventually opens up that makes revisiting some of your favorite locations a breeze.
Kratos is finally a different type of man! He's no longer this God of War filled with rage that will rip anyone to shreds (which occasionally comes out). He's now a God of War filled with regret for his past decisions and is doing his best to teach his son Atraeus how to not make those same choices.
It provides a completely fresh take on Kratos as a character, and it makes him so much more relatable and understandable as you travel through the world of Norse Mythology to try and start a new chapter with him.
God of War is truly a masterpiece. The whole redesign makes for a truly fun adventure, while the sidequests and collectibles make you want to keep coming back. It's no small game either. The main campaign clocks you in at around 20 hours or so, while completing the entire thing takes around 60 hours or more. There are entire realms tacked on just for fun!
I took a break from the game and came back again weeks later, only to realize it's still just as fun as when you played it your first time! Its tight gameplay and never-ending amount of armors and upgrades makes the game's replayability extremely high, especially with a New Game+ mode thrown in for the fun of it!
So do yourself a favor and give it a shot! You'll love every minute of it.