God of War Review Round-Up: Step Aside Aloy, Kratos is Back

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[Credits: SIE Santa Monica Studio]

Sony is already preparing for one of their biggest years yet. While they are indeed the publisher of several of the PlayStation 4’s powerhouse titles to be landing on their console this year, developers like Sony Santa Monica have had their work cut out for them in order to ensure that they keep up with Sony’s growing standards in what a game should be. After all, they’ve already been absolutely dominating this generation with the likes of Killzone: Shadowfall (albeit it was the weakest in the Killzone franchise), Horizon Zero DawnKnack, and even their biggest hit that has yet to release to the general public: God of War.

While many fans have already seen Kratos send his foes spiraling into the rivers of Hades, we have yet to see what he has in store for Asgard compared to that of Mount Olympus. After all, we’ve seen him talking to the serpent Jörmungandr, one of the children of the God of Mischief himself – Loki. Sprinkle in the fact the game has already hinted at gods such as Skaði and many others. But without further ado, let’s take a look to see what the press has to say about God of War.

God of War – PlayStation 4
Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Cost: US $60 | £55 | AU $100

Polygon – 10/10 – Chris Plante

The gods and the past get in the way of good intentions, and rather quickly, Kratos and his son find themselves vivisecting undead soldiers, elves, trolls, ancients, and a number of other mythological creatures with silly names and even sillier characteristics (e.g., the Tatzelwurm, a poison-spitting, tunnel-burrowing walrus-tiger hybrid). Thank goodness. For all the changes to tone and ethos, this is still a God of War game, and you can feel that in the joy of the combat. Kratos doesn’t punch; he pulverizes. He moves like a boxer, shoulders set, legs grapevining back and forth. The way his ax zips into an enemy’s skull, then back to his hand, is so smooth and natural that it’s easy to overlook how challenging it must have been to animate such a thing. (Fortunately, animation director Kristjan Zadziuk explains how the developers likely did it in this YouTube video.)

GamesRadar+ – 5/5 – Leon Hurley

 

Perhaps God of War’s greatest achievement in all this is making Kratos a likable character. The original PS2 games’ vicious edge and misogyny got somewhat of a pass from its cartoonish sheen and sheer outlandishness but, as things got more realistic on PS3, the Ghost of Sparta became increasingly harder to enjoy. He was just a spiteful, cruel man full of rage and with almost no redeeming qualities. Now, he’s wiser: aware of, and unhappy with, his past. Trying, as he so often repeats to Atreus, to “be better” while gruffly and inexpertly attempting to pass on what he’s learned the long way round to prevent his son repeating his mistakes. Hoping to make both the boy and his future a better place as a result. This is wisely done without ever ignoring what went before – Kratos never denies or excuses his history, just a desire to ensure he doesn’t pass it on. It’s not hard to read more into the God of War’s attempts to be a good man as the series reinvents itself for a new generation, minus the sex mini-games and exposed breasts of before.

Power Unlimited – 92/100 – Tjeerd

The biggest attraction to God of War is The Adventure. The world is made incredibly beautiful and gives such a breathtaking atmosphere, that it is difficult not to be enchanted by the renewed God of War. Even on my ‘ordinary’ PS4 this is by far the most beautiful console game I have ever played (all screenshots in this article I made myself). Throughout the whole story, I have been amazed by the awe-inspiring decors that popped up in front of me when Kratos paddled a little cave, pushed a large gate open or simply turned a corner. The grandeur of the Nordic world, its beautiful flora and fauna, the immense and beautiful buildings and overwhelming statues made me stare with slobbering enthusiasm. Add to that the well-known names from Nordic mythology that come as mythical friends and enemies,

techradar. – No Score – Stephen Lambrechts

The new God of War isn’t just the best game in the series to date because of its redesigned combat system, updated camera, epic scope and incredible visuals. Like its characters, it reaches such incredible new heights because of the inclusion of something that none of the previous titles in the series really had much of — heart.

This version of Kratos finally feels like a fully-developed character — one that’s less of a one-dimensional rage monster and more of a deep, thoughtful soul who’s still harboring a lot of pain and anguish.

With Atreus by his side, the game gives you constant hope that Kratos will eventually leave behind the baggage that still haunts him (and we mean that literally — Kratos is visited by ghosts from his past on more than one occasion).

Though it was once hate and anger that fueled Kratos’ desire to fight, he now fights out of love, which is a huge departure in tone for the series — and ultimately transforms it into something more powerful, poignant and unforgettable.

The Verge – No Score – Andrew Webster

The new God of War game does something I thought was impossible: it made me care about Kratos.

Over the original God of War trilogy and a multitude of spinoffs, the series’ lead character was little more than a caricature. He was rage embodied. There was a story tying together his violent ventures throughout Greek mythology, of course — a quest for revenge, naturally — but I can’t say I remember much of it. Every beat felt the same: the gods had done something to anger Kratos, and he set out to kill them. Rinse and repeat, then rinse again in copious amounts of blood.

No matter where you look, Kratos and his son Atreus are bringing a lot of positives to the table with very few negatives anywhere to be seen. The game, at the time of writing, is currently sitting at a 95 out of 100 on Metacritic with 80+ reviews under its belt. Luckily for us, it seems that our time preparing for the review isn’t something wasted, and we can’t wait to get our grubby little hands on it.

The only downside? Just like you, we have to wait a few more days and then, you can expect our review pretty quickly after. I doubt we’ll see the sun once this game releases. God of War will release exclusively for PlayStation 4 on April 20, 2018. Stay tuned for our review.

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