Zack Layton "The New Hire"
After 50+ hours with the game, I have officially completed 100% of the game, which I also unlocked the platinum trophy.
God of War is a game mixed with superb writing and subtle hints/nods of foreshadowing throughout the story, but it is also an extremely fun game to be played over and over again.
Most games have one/two specific moments that occur throughout the story, which really impact the player and if you were to ask them about their favourite parts of the game, they would probably talk about those popular moments. For instance, in Last of Us, with the Giraffe scene or in Mario Odyssey with the Metro City dance number.
With God of War, there were multiple little scenes that had massive impact with all of the characters and this made you sympathize for every single character in the game. My favourite moment in the game however, was when Kratos finally opened up to his son Atreus, and they were in elevator rising up after completing Tyr’s Vault. Kratos shares some of the Greek wine he found in the vault and he let out a big “ahhh” after drinking. This was so memorable for me because not only was it a common moment that most sons experience with their fathers, but you really see a side of Kratos that we haven’t really seen before.
Sure, we saw he was starting to be more caring and sensitive towards Atreus throughout the game, but to me it was the first moment that we saw his “goofy” side when he was trying to connect with his son. These things are what make this small moment so powerful within the narrative.
The story starts off with Kratos and Atreus preparing the burning ritual for their wife/mother, while having her identity and how she died a complete mystery. Throughout the game as you play more of the side quests and main story, you find out more about her character.
The goal of the game is simple. Bring her ashes to the highest peak in all of the realms, while avoiding the Norse gods as much as possible. In the middle of the game, you then find out that the mountain that you thought was the highest peak, wasn’t and that you need to travel to a different realm to achieve this.
While searching for the realm with the highest peak, the player witnesses Kratos change as a father. First, he’s cold and has trouble communicating to his son, but as the game progresses you see him change and you understand exactly why he’s changing. The relationship between Kratos and his son strengthen and it actually became a therapeutic session for me since I have had father issues in the past.
The reveals in the game are incredible. The fact that they brought back the Blades of Chaos (his old weapon) and that it wasn’t in a gimmicky way, was very impressive. I’m sure that sequence will be popular within the fans, with a sequence that lasted more than 15 minutes full of tension and intensity.
The most jaw dropping moment to me was the ending. Throughout the game, players were fighting Baulder (Thor’s brother), befriending Freya, which was revealed to be Baulder’s mother, and kept hearing stories about Odin.
However, before reaching the highest peak in all of the realms, the player, Kratos, and Atreus find out that their wife/mother was a Giant (not all Giants are massive in the Norse lore), and she had foresight of their journey throughout the game. We learn that it was actually her planning of when she died, that would set them on this journey.
You then see a drawing prophesizing Kratos and Atres’ future…and it doesn’t look that happy to say the least. At the end of this sequence you find out that the mother named Atreus a different name. Atreus’ true name is Loki.
I’m so excited to see the implications of how they are going to weave the Norse lore with the fact that Kratos’ son is the one and only Loki.
The beautiful thing about the writing of this game is that if you were to go back and replay it, you will see the little nods to show who Atreus really is!
As I mentioned in my first impressions article, the gameplay is so much fun and it evolves as you play the game. The axe is fleshed out perfectly and I caught myself throwing/recalling the axe every time I entered a new location.
The Blades of Chaos are incredible in the game. They are definitely the best we’ve ever seen them. The one thing that impressed me is that there is a whole set of upgrades for the weapon and it isn’t just a side weapon to use when you can.
Specific enemies can only be killed by the Blades so it made them even more of a necessity in the game.
I also loved the one-shot style of the game. I think I’ve played one or two other games that had this structure, but for this game, it really added more intensity within particular moments of the game. As long as it stays not a gimmick, I would love to see this implemented in other games in the future.
Another thing that needs to be said about the gameplay is the intuitive gameplay structure that makes you understand when it is a “cut scene” vs a playable scene. I never had a moment where I didn’t know when I was supposed to sit back and watch and when I had to start playing. Hat’s off to the developers of this game.
So, God of War has only been out for a month and it has officially become the number one selling PS4 exclusive game of all time, with over 5 million copies sold in the first month.
I’m really glad the game director for God of War took the risks that he needed to take to make this game so different and fresh from the other games currently out right now.
Game developers have a ton to learn from this game, whether it’s the brilliant writing or the exciting gameplay that never feels monotonous.
God of War has officially become one of my top 5 favourite games of all time and it has actually made me think of fatherhood differently. It’s added new concepts in my head and has helped shape the kind of father that I want to be in the future.
I wanted to thank you for reading this post and if you haven’t yet, go pick up God of War. This is a journey that I really do suggest you take.