God of War – Review

Here we are, one of PS4s most anticipated games has now released in God of War and I have to admit, I have been looking forward to this for a while.

This is the first God of War that I have played through, I have played the opening to God of War 3, but due to other games, this was put in the backlog and I have still to go back and finish that.

The game follows Kratos’ journey with his son Atreus, they are off to the highest peak to scatter the ashes of Kratos’ wife. The journey is to be a perilous one with plenty of people along the way who are going to want to kill both, as well as those in need of help.

The first thing that you notice about the game when you load it up and get started it how the game looks, and oh my is the game a looker, another Sony first party studio has brought us an absolute beauty of a game, the amount of detail that has gone into this game is simply phenomenal, the lighting that has been used to create the atmosphere, simply marvellous.

This is translated over to the different regions, from the woodlands, to castles and ruins, from the random islands that you can sail to, each shows its own identity and has its own character that shines through, even in the darkest regions, you can’t deny the beauty that this game has to offer.

There is plenty to do around the world with favours/side quests available pretty much all over the place, there are also plenty of items to collect throughout the world and these are worth collecting as they will help with certain aspects of Kratos such as increasing his health and rage amongst others.

Speaking of which, there is a skills tree within the game which can help increase certain things for either Kratos or Atreus. These can range from improving aspects when using the Leviathan Axe to improving Atreus accuracy with the bow. You can also upgrade armour, weapons as well as create new items at either of the vendors that show up in the most random places and when you’re not expecting them to be there. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a side mission for you to accomplish if you want to take it. You collect items throughout the world as well as currency called Hacksilver, this as well as resources can be used to create new items for your Axe, Atreus’ bow, or new pieces of armour to help increase your rank.

One thing I really liked about this game is the fact that you don’t just rank up for the sake of ranking up and become the all-powerful Kratos, because let’s be fair, he’s a god, he is all powerful already and more than a match for anyone, so when it comes to ranking up, it’s all about the equipment that you have on you, the levels of the runes that are attached to your Axe and what you’re wearing, all of which can be made or found in the chests lying around the world, and when you get a brand new item it easily distinguishable through the colour system of greys, purple and golds of what is common and rare etc.

The music I cannot fault as well, and when you have a man like Bear Mccreary doing the soundtrack for it, you know you’re in good hands. From the epic battle music to the lip wobbling sad music, the game has it all and has Bears distinct mark on it. But what’s good is that it keeps is separate from his other works, such as in the Walking Dead, you can tell it’s been done by Bear but he’s made it so that there is a distinct separation from other projects he works on.

The general gameplay mechanics for the game as well are excellent, I have found the movements and gameplay to be smooth and a joy to play, and there is also nothing better than throwing your Axe at someone, missing, and then recalling it, only for it to rip through them from behind…. Yeah I meant that…. There is something so satisfying about throwing and recalling the Axe, this is my main use for it and only really get up close and personal when I have to. Another good thing is that you have Atreus to help you with his bow and arrows, however, as the game goes on he learns more from and starts to attack and jump on enemies’ backs, which I thought was awesome.

One thing that stood out for me was the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, and how that transcends throughout the game, as you play and get through each battle you can always hear Atreus asking about how he has done, and I think this relates to how you have upgraded him, as Kratos response does change from battle to battle. I’m not so sure though, I would like to think this is the reason.

But their overall relationship I feel is brilliant, you can tell that Kratos hasn’t been around him much when he was growing up, and trying to teach him life’s lessons does show that fatherly instinct within Kratos, but also that he has to show the stronger more positive exterior. It especially shows in that Atreus is always wanting to see the best in people and help them, whereas Kratos is very untrusting and wants to keep himself to himself and get on with the journey they are doing, and one thing that does make me chuckle every time I hear it is, BOOOOOY! Needless to say I tried this with my Cat… No response, denied.

Another thing I loved about the game was the whole mythology surrounding it, inclusion of Thor, Odin etc was brilliant for me, and I love all things around history and different mythologies. So being able to follow this and learn more about norse mythology was brilliant.

One criticism that I did have of the game and to me it was a very very small thing is that when tutorial prompts came up on the screen telling you how different things worked within the game, I found the writing to be tiny and found it quite hard to read and I was trying to read it at a standard sitting distance away from the screen… And yes, I had my glasses on as well haha!

Other than that, I cannot fault this game, from how it plays, looks, sounds and the story it is everything that I hoped it would be, it grabs you from the off and keeps pulling you back in for more. I would have to say that if you own a PS4 then this is a game which I would highly recommend trying.