God Of War
April 20, 2018
Santa Monica Studio
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Far away from his fights against gods, Kratos is a parent now, older, calmer and teaching his son how to become not only a good man but also a strong god.
living in a modest cabin in the forests of the Norse realm of Midgard, this God of War wants us to see Kratos as a person, rather than an instrument of extraordinary violence. The game not only pulls this off but turns Kratos and his son’s journey into one of the best games of recent years: a deft intertwining of relatable familial drama, which makes this game is more a journey of self-discovery than conquest.
God of War 2018 opens on a sad note, Kratos’ wife has died and to respect her wishes, he must climb the highest peak in the Norse world to spread her ashes. Kratos and his son find themselves from the marble and columns of ornate Olympus to the gritty forests, mountains, and caves of Pre-Viking Norse lore, this is a distinctly new realm with its own pantheon of creatures, monsters, and gods.
It is rare to play a game so accomplished in everything it sets out to do. God of War is a standard-setter both technologically and narratively. It is a game that, until recently, would have been impossible, with an enormous open- world – set aside at least 30 hours to explore it.
You’ll want to explore. It’s always exciting to find something new in God of War. While much of the last God of War trilogy was set almost exclusively against a Greek city motif, God of War features many kinds of environments, from caves to forests, to destroyed temples and cities. The world is colorful and vibrant, and there always seems to be something new and exciting to see. There are also, of course, amazing set pieces around every corner. From scaling and/or slaying giant beasts to surveying magnificent vistas, God of War has not lost its sense of spectacle.
When not fighting, you are exploring the reaches of Midgard on foot or by boat, finding temples and ruins that take inspiration from Norse mythology. Treasure chests and mythological texts are hidden in places that need brainwork rather than brawn to unlock, encouraging the player to look around and feel present in the world. The Leviathan Axe has frequently put to alternative use in these puzzles, freezing mechanisms in place or thrown to flip switches or destroy sigils. Comprehending God of War’s memorable places is as satisfying as sinking the Axe into a demon’s skull – alternating between thinking and fighting gives God of War a rhythm that can be absorbed for hours at a time.
“On our journey, we will be attacked by all manner of creature. To be effective in combat, a warrior must not feel for his enemy. Close your heart to their desperation, close your heart to their suffering. The road ahead is long and unforgiving, no place for a boy. You must be a warrior.” — Kratos
The Leviathan is a two-handed war Axe that is Kratos’ main offensive weapon in God of War.
It was forged by the Huldra Brothers, Sindri, and Brok, who also forged Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, after feeling responsible for the destruction brought about by Thor. As a weapon made to oppose the power of Mjölnir and inspired by the epic size of Jörmungandr, Brok suggests the Axe be named Leviathan. According to Sindri when first meeting him, the blade was made for and given to Laufey who passed it on to her husband Kratos, before her death.
The Axe has several runes inscribed on the blade that grants it different powers, among them the use of ice, and the ability to recall the weapon from any distance. It also has two slots for Runic Attacks to placed in, a heavy and light attack for each slot. The Axe Pommel is customizable with pommels found throughout the Realms or bought to Brok and Sindri.
During Kratos’ journey to spread Faye’s ashes, he encounters Brok and Sindri, who each upgrades the Axe, improving its magic and attack strength. Upon bringing one of the brothers a Frozen Flame, the Axe can be further upgraded, increasing the size of the blade and adding ornate gold to the blade and handle.
The Blades of Chaos were a pair of chained blades that were fashioned by the God of War, Ares. Ares had those blades made for a servant who would prove worthy of his service. Those blades were the first pair of chained blades that Kratos used in the God of War Series.
The Blades of Chaos were forged at the darkest depths of the Underworld by Ares himself. They were imbued with fire, which allowed them to ignite with every attack that the user performed. The Blades’ chains would stretch out for a set distance with each attack, which allowed fluid movement no matter who wielded them. The chains of the blades were permanently seared onto the forearms of the wielder, which served as a reminder of their oath to the God of War. The chains could only be removed either by the God of War himself or when the wielder’s time of servitude ended. However, when their creator is dead with the servant still owning them, they can be removed or equipped, whenever needed.
- It's a long, satisfying game that offers much more beyond just a linear campaign.
- The game's combat is difficult to master and occasionally too versatile for its own good. The menu system also isn't great.