Though the God of War franchise has been a part of the PlayStation universe for more than a decade, my experience with it has been limited to playing the first one a few times, liking it well enough, and then moving on to other games. Maybe it was just a little too brutal for me, maybe a little too gratuitous. So playing the new, reboot/sequel to the previous games is very close to a new experience for me, and I’m walking in minus any potential baggage that may come from being a fan of the originals. For that, I’m extremely grateful.
Because God of War is epic.
It’s epic storytelling, as an aged Kratos is now a father to Atreus, whose mother has died and her ashes are to be delivered and scattered at a mountain’s peak. It sounds simple enough, though Kratos fears that his son isn’t up to the journey. At the same time, his existence is discovered by gods of Norse mythology, who are looking for a battle, even if the former God of War would prefer otherwise.
For all the violence contained in God of War (which increases as Kratos and Atreus’ journey proceeds), this new game is very much about the relationship between a cold father and his young, impulsive son. It’s a Greek/Norse mythological take on The Road, so to speak, that tugs at your emotions even as your tapping buttons during fight scenes.
Graphically, God of War is simply stunning. Like all games that are optimized for the PlayStation 4 Pro, this one pushes the visuals to its limits, and magnificently delivers. The dreams I had as a child of feeling like I’m playing a movie comes through here, and you might just catch yourself basking in the environments before moving Kratos through them.
With a roughly 25-hour main story, God of War is longer than all previous installments, taking its time to tell its story in a way that ensures an emotional investment from its player. For those that have grown up on the franchise, it will be a welcome return. And for gamers experiencing the world of Kratos for the first time, you’ll be blown away by what you find.
God of War is available now and is highly recommended.