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.

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