Zack Layton "The New Hire"
I wanted to start off by thanking Darcy, my Editor in Chief here at Replay Value, for giving me the opportunity as a new contributor for the blog. As much bullshit as I spew, it obviously must mean I know a thing or two, if he wants me to keep writing for him!
That being said, I just broke one of the top 5 rules to not break as a serious gamer. I, Zack Layton, pre-ordered a game. Holy crap, I’m the worst right? To make matters worse, I also bought the most expensive version of a collector’s edition that they had to offer. (For the record I’m shelling $200 Canadian for this).
Now for some of you reading this, (who aren’t thinking “he’s an idiot for spending that much on a video game”), you might think, “so what?” Long story short, the reason why people are so upset that everyone is pre-ordering games, is that it is argued that it’s the main reason why we have loot-boxes today. As there are both sides to this argument, I really want to focus on why I spent $200 on a video game…because who cares on the other boring topics right?
A New Me
Like I mentioned in my previous article, I am a very picky gamer. It’s very rare that I play a game and feel that I was successfully immersed in a game world. The games that come to mind that succeeded in this however, were What Remains of Edith Finch, Last of Us, The Witcher 3, and now most recently Nier Automata. Throughout these games, there has been a significant amount of time between these releases. So it’s been quite stale recently in my opinion. (I’m sure I’m going to get some arguments on that statement *eye roll*).
So now, I believe the next incredible, ground-breaking game that will come out and the reason why I spent over $200 on a game is for God of War.
Now before I go more into my point, I have to preface something because I have yet another confession. As Darcy knows, more so than any other person, (because I chewed his ear off constantly regarding this), I was one of those gamers who predicted that No Mans Sky was going to be THE next big thing. Well we can see how that turned out right? I’m human and I make mistakes… That being said, I believe that God of War is going to be in the running for game of the year, once it comes out.
I’m a long time fan of the God of War series, and I can confidently say that it is the first series that brought me into the action button mashing gaming world. As I grew up playing the games, the narrative also developed for a more mature audience. However, near the end of the series, everyone felt that the narrative was starting to get repetitive. Essentially it was the gods backstabbed Kratos, he needed to get his powers back, then seek revenge on those same gods, and repeat. Needless to say, it got stale.
When Cory Barlog, (the Creative Director on God of War II and the new God of War), announced that they are taking the narrative in a whole new direction and adding an even more mature aspect to the narrative, fans rejoiced in this.
Now a beloved series will have the “Last of Us” approach and I know that may piss some people off, but I am only comparing it to that game because it is one of the only games that is grounded in realism. It will be very interesting to have a continued God of War narrative grounded in that same aspect of realism.
Of course, there were some fans that weren’t too happy about this and are upset because they believe that the old game mechanics were essential to the series. I believe that if a series needs to grow and develop, it needs to evolve and change with their audience. As a fellow purist for other beloved series, I understand how frustrating it could be. However, fans can’t seriously expect to get the same story and mechanics for a game to survive 10+ years. It’s only natural that it needs to change and add new elements to still feel fresh for the audience.
This is why I can confidently spend over $200 Canadian for the collector’s edition of God of War because it finally understands how a series can be successful over a long period of time. God of War will evolve from being a 5 game length revenge tale to now showing the emotional struggle that Kratos endures.
I am excited to see this approach because it may actually make him a redeemable character in the future. Most developers would just make a new character in the same gaming world to continue the series, however Santa Monica Studios decided to accept the challenge to make the audience finally connect with Kratos emotionally for the first time. As I’ve posted below, this new story trailer will show you the emotional depth that the game will achieve and I am counting down the days until I get to open my $200 package.
Thank you for reading this and if you have any questions or have any other games that you spent a lot on, please share in the comments section. I’d love to hear about it and maybe it will make me feel a bit less crazy for what I just spent on God of War.