God of War – My Final Thoughts (Spoiler Filled)

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.

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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.

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STORY

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

GAMEPLAY 

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.

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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.

LASTING IMPRESSION

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.

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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.

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God of War – My First Impressions

Zack Layton "The New Hire"

I first wanted to start off this post with apologizing on the delay. Some unforeseen personal situations occurred in my life, which caused some time constraint on my work.

When God of War was released on April 20th, it was welcomed with open arms to the gaming community. It may have been the fact that the reviews were released to the public a week prior to the release of the game, but I also believe that the community was excited for a mature take on the character Kratos.

The hype for this game was incredible, with over 25 popular gaming journalist sites boasting a 10/10 review. However, thanks to past situations, (cough cough No Man’s Sky), I was still nervous to play it, especially after shelling out $250+ for the game.

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I’m currently around halfway through the game, maybe a little more and I can confidently say that this game is one of the only games that not only matches the hype, but also accedes it. I’m taking my time with this game because exploring every nook and cranny of the game feels incredibly worth it.

I’m going to write one more blog with my final thoughts of the game, but I wanted to share my first impressions halfway through the experience.

STORY

The story is extremely well written with the main intent of making an unredeemable character, redeemable. So far, I can really see how Kratos is not only developing as a character in this story, but how he has grown before the events of this game.

Essentially the main driving force of the story is that Kratos and his son Atreus, must take their recently deceased wife/mother’s ashes to the highest peak of all the realms in Midgard.

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Of course, shit hits the fan that intersects with the other roaming gods within the Norse mythology and Kratos and Atreus try their best to avoid these characters, with little success.

So far in my playthrough, the story has been an extremely mature narrative take, that not only makes me care for these characters, but it actually makes me want to be a better father when I’m older…and I don’t even have children yet.

One thing that this game succeeds in (more so than any other video game before it), is that I legit care about every character involved in the story. For instance, in Last of Us, I cared mainly about Joel because not only was I just playing as him, but I connected with him the most. For God of War, I’m only playing as Kratos, but each character has an emotional levity to them, which anyone can connect with and it makes me really care for each one of their stories.

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GAMEPLAY

I want you to picture a game that you think has the best gameplay. What’s the first one that comes to mind? Let me guess, Dark Souls or Bloodborne?

I truly believe God of War has successfully combined traits from the Bloodborne/Dark Souls series, but also from The Witcher, and even Breath of The Wild. God of War has been able to successfully take these cornerstone gameplay types and make it their own.

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I have to start off by saying that the main weapon for Kratos, which is the Leviathan Axe, is so darn satisfying. You can literally throw it anywhere you want in the game and then recall it at your disposal. This can even be used as a strategy to fight enemies.

I know everyone has been saying this, but I literally have spent hours just standing in different parts of the map and throwing the axe and recalling it back. Santa Monica Studios has really nailed the feeling for when you throw the axe, to when it comes back into your hands.

Besides gushing about the axe, the other characteristics of the gameplay is so satisfying. Dodging is exciting, swinging your axe and hitting your enemy is worthwhile because you feel every hit on an enemy, and the fighting is extremely strategic. You have to plan out how you are going to engage each type of enemy with their strengths and weaknesses.

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I was lucky before I started because I played Bloodborne for the first time (I know, I’m a noob), but it really helped me practice before God of War to approach enemies in a strategic way, instead of just rushing in and killing anything that moves, like in the old games.

LASTING THOUGHTS

I know I haven’t been very detailed in my explanation, but it’s because I want to avoid spoilers for you. I am going to come back next week and post a full spoiler blog about my thoughts for the game. For now, I just want you to enjoy the game just as much as I have.

I really hope the ending is worthwhile because this is definitely an early prospect for one of my favourite games I’ve ever played.

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I’ve been into the series since day one when it released on the PS2 and I can honestly say that I feel like the series has grown with me.

I know I’m not done yet, but I want to applaud everyone at Santa Monica Studios, the cast for doing an amazing job so far, and the direction by Cory Barlog. I can truly see the blood, sweat, and tears that were involved in making this game.