God of War (2018) anyone?

Kind of surprised to not see a thread on this game yet since it’s receiving nearly universal accolades.

I’ve loved the GoW series for it’s over the top environments and tight as hell, fast paced combat. By GoW 3 Kratos over the top rage got old and cringy. I was pretty excited when I saw they were making this new GoW but was concerned about the entirely new direction they were going with it. Well I’ve had it for a week or so and have played 5hrs or so. Here are my impressions (I’m not posting any spoilers that aren’t obvious just from the advertisements):

  1. This is not the Kratos you know. This is a very VERY story driven game. There are huge set pieces but they are, so far at least, not massive god after massive god with massive spectacle. Actually this is VERY similar to The Last of Us in theme and gameplay. He’s incredibly toned down, hasn’t raged at the gods, or anyone for that matter, in the first 5 hours. In fact he rarely yells at all and barely speaks.

  2. I’ve avoided reading any spoilers regarding the story but it’s very obvious that something significant happened to him and the writers have done a really good job of keeping it hidden. 5 hours in and I still have absolutely no idea why Kratos moved from the Greek Gods domain into Norse Mythology, and I don’t mean that they are teasing me and artificially prolonging the reveal. He is definitely still the same Kratos from the previous entries (I know I said it isn’t, but I mean its the same character with the same history) and I really want to know what happened to get him here. Atreus, his “son”, doesn’t appear to know his “dad” is/was a god. I use quotes because it feels like there will be more to the family ties than the initial story leads on. For some reason Kratos is duty bound to Atreus mother. This isn’t a spoiler, it’s been portrayed in all of the trailers, but I’m very interested in the backstory. I hope it delivers.

  3. Atreus is a solid NPC partner. Not an annoying kid and he can’t die. Hes helpful and the Kratos/Atreus bond is well developed and believable. I feel attached to Atreus at this point.

  4. The graphics are unbelievable. The best on PS4 at this point. On my PS4 Pro they are stunning. Kratos beard looks real, he looks naturally aged and worn, and his neck skin behind his head looks super real. Lol. The environments are stunning. Fairly early on you reach a Treehouse/Turtle combo thing that is massive but beautiful. The entire game is from over Kratos shoulder, not cutscenes at all.

  5. Combat. This is where I’m still coming to grips with the makeover. I loved the old GoW Chains of Olympus with the very fast paced combo driven combat. There are no chain blades in this one (yet? I dunno). He has an axe and spends at least 50% of the time fighting with his bare fists because the axe can be thrown to freeze 1 enemy in place while you deal with a different one. The controls are good, the combat is visceral but it’s a lot harder. I’ve beaten every GoW but have died a bunch of times on this one. One of the main reasons is that in the old ones if you held the block button you would automatically block attacks from all directions, in this one you have to be facing an attack to block it. I’m struggling with the flow of the combat. The over the shoulder view is challenging for me to adjust to because I can’t see all of the enemies and can’t switch targets quickly enough. It’s good, but it’s not the old GoW system. It’s also much harder to figure out the weak points/patterns of the enemies in this game.

  6. RPGlite/Upgrade aspects. This is a fairly open world game and incorporates many of the same upgrade mechanics you’re used to seeing nowadays. Multiple types of upgrade currency (experience, silver, crafting etc…) and frankly I find it hard to keep track of. I could have done with less of this. Feels a bit forced in.

  7. On-Screen Compass Pro-tip (mildest of spoilers here): You won’t see an on screen compass when you start even though there’s an option to turn it on/off in the settings. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t showing up and looked all over online to see if my game was busted or something. I’ll just say that the onscreen compass doesn’t show up until you reach a specific point fairly early in the story. No idea why they needed to take this approach, it just aggravates but it will show up fairly soon. So don’t waste your time trying to find it

Hmm… well that’s about all I’ll say right now until I see if there is any interest in the game here. For those on the fence because you didn’t care for the previous ones you need to look at this as a completely new game. Particularly the characterization of Kratos.

Dang. Someone else here must be playing this.

I’m not playing it. But if it helps, your review has pushed me a long ways toward wanting to play it. So your thread wasn’t for naught.

The thing that I hated the most in the original game was the combos. Give me one button to attack, or at the most one button for overhead swing, one button for side swing or punch and maybe one button for throw.

There are several videos with all the story bits on YouTube. I Don’t have a ps4 so I watched one. A very enjoyable story and the Kratos son relationship was very well executed. Odin and Thor could have been depicted a little less the raging assholes but, eh, that’s God of War for you. I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything by not playing the actual game. Like the Last of Us, and Uncharted, the gameplay doesn’t look that engaging and it feels like it’s there so the whole game isn’t one long cutscene.

Here’s a pretty cool article featuring one of the game’s makers.

I’m playing it. It’s the most I’ve enjoyed a game since last year’s Horizon Zero Dawn. Just had a rather epic fight with a dragon.

I find myself laughing out loud a lot listening to the dialog between Kratos and his son. My son and I, who are very similar ages to the characters, have started imitating their banter when talking to each other and cracking ourselves up. It helps that my son is a dead ringer for the kid in the game as well.

Christopher Judge did the voice for Kratos, and he played Teal’c in the old Stargate series.

Now that I’ve recognized his voice, I can’t stop hearing Teal’c as the God of War. “Indeed”.

Just wanted to bump this thread to say that I’m about 75% of the way through the game now, and it’s definitely moved into my Top Five all time. There is a mid-game development that is my favorite thing that’s ever happened in a video game, and I had no idea it was coming even though I definitely should have. My only criticism is that the number and quality of boss fights starts to slide downhill pretty quickly about halfway through. I haven’t fought an original boss (ie, one that wasn’t basically just a palette swap of a previous boss) in at least 10 game hours, and I’m pretty sure I’m close enough to the end that there aren’t any left.

But this is a great game.