Goodbye Blades of Chaos, hello whatever sharp thing is lying around.
In 2013, Sony Santa Monica decided to put Kratos, one of PlayStation’s most iconic characters, to bed so they could focus on crafting other games. With a trilogy and a handful of spin-offs starring the vengeful greek god completed and a shift in a focus on mature story driven games, Sony retired the God of War series for five years.
After assessing the series, Sony Santa Monica found a way to revive the series in a new and exciting way while sticking to Sony’s formula. Now, Kratos is set to return in a completely new way next month in a "reimagining" of the series which will be titled simply God of War.
A man running from his past in new and unfamiliar territory
God of War’s story is mostly being kept a secret but what we do know so far sounds like a new, compelling take on Kratos’ life. Set an unknown amount of years after God of War 3, Kratos has fled Greece to Norway in a time before Vikings, a time where the gods that Vikings worship walk the Earth.
Players will control a more mature Kratos, one that has both changed physically and mentally. Kratos has remained in peak physical shape but has grown a bushy beard and the ashes of his fallen family that have been basically tattooed to him are starting to fade. While he is known for his almost uncontrollable rage, Kratos has chosen to settle down with a family and hide from his past.
Kratos will make a strong effort to contain his rage to help teach his son how to survive in the harsh world.
After his wife passes away, he and his son, Atreus, recognize her last wish of having her ashes spread across the land and they set out on a dangerous adventure where they grow closer as father and son. Over the course of the game, Kratos will make a strong effort to contain his rage to help teach his son how to survive in the harsh world that awaits them and Atreus will learn more about his father’s complicated past.
With the Norse mythology setting, Kratos and Atreus will encounter Norse gods who have taken precautions to protect themselves from Kratos as they’re aware of his involvement in the destruction of Olympus. Sony Santa Monica has stayed tight lipped on which specific Norse gods will make appearances but many have been speculating the likes of Loki and Thor. Other characters and elements of Norse mythology have been spotted in trailers and marketing material such as the beheaded Mímir.
Additionally, players will battle monsters like trolls, what appear to be ogres, and potentially even dragons which can be seen lurking in the background of the reveal trailer.
Slower but still brutal gameplay
God of War is well-known for its violent, fast-paced gameplay which sees Kratos thrashing around blades and chains to slice large groups of baddies to shreds. With the new God of War, players will notice a much more grounded approach to the combat in the game. Gone are the days of 100+ hit combos, Kratos’ attacks aren’t as fast anymore but he’s still as brutal and relentless as before. God of War director Cory Barlog noted that they wanted players to think about how they fight, almost like a Dark Souls approach to combat but in a way that is accessible to everyone. It’s a bit slower and more methodical when compared to the trilogy that came before.
While the game is completely single-player, you can issue commands to Atreus who will shoot arrows and act as a distraction for some enemies.
At the end of God of War 3, Kratos lost his iconic weapons and has now had to settle for a magical axe. Players can infuse the axe with different abilities to enhance the axe in a variety of different ways. The axe can also be thrown to pin enemies against surfaces, damage them normally, hit environmental objects like explosive containers, and even stun larger enemies by hitting key weak points on their body. Instead of having to pick up the axe by walking over to it, Kratos can call it back to him like Thor’s hammer.
Kratos also has a meter that builds over time that allows him to unleash all of his rage and become extra deadly with more powerful attacks. While the game is completely single-player and Kratos is the only playable character, you can issue commands to Atreus who will shoot arrows and act as a distraction for some enemies.
As with almost every other game today, God of War has adapted a crafting system for new armor, weapon upgrades, and more. Players will also be given XP to level themselves up for new skills, this also applies to Atreus who has his own unique abilities and upgrades.
A world filled with secrets and hidden dangers
With a new story, setting, and approach to gameplay, Sony Santa Monica decided to change up the level design this time around. While the series has been fairly linear in the past, God of War is opening up its new world. Sony Santa Monica has been clear that the game is NOT open world but you go off the beaten path to find secrets like chests and even optional boss encounters.
It’s not entirely clear how many optional bosses there are or how rewarding they are but if you’re one of those gamers who loves to peak around every corner and squeeze through every crevice, God of War is right up your alley.
All the ways to buy God of War
If all of this sounds great and you’re really excited to play God of War, you can snag a copy wherever games are sold for $59.99 on April 20th, 2018. Remember the game is exclusively available on PlayStation 4 so if you don’t have a PS4, you can get the limited edition God of War PS4 Pro which includes a custom console and controller, a 1TB hard drive, and of course, a physical copy of God of War with some extra digital content. You can pick this up from retailers like GameStop, Walmart, and Amazon for $399.99.
If you’re looking to go the extra mile and drop a few extra bucks to have some additional goodies, there are plenty of options. Starting at the cheapest option (excluding the standard edition), those who like to get their games digitally can pick up the Digital Deluxe Edition which includes a handful of digital items including the following:
– God of War Digital Full Game
– God of War Digital Mini Artbook by Dark Horse Comics
– God of War PS4™ Dynamic Theme
– "Exile’s Guardian" Shield Skin
– God of War Digital Comic – Issue 0 by Dark Horse Comics
– "Death’s Vow" Armor for Kratos
– "Death’s Vow" Armor for Atreus
The Digital Deluxe edition will set you back $69.99 and is available directly from the PlayStation 4 Store. For those who like big statues and other physical items, you have two options: The Collector’s Edition and the Stone Mason;s Edition.
For $129.99, you can grab the Collector’s Edition which includes slightly less stuff than the Stone Mason’s Edition but if all you care about is the statue then this is the cheapest option. The Collector’s Edition includes the following:
– Full Game
– 9" Kratos & Atreus Statue by Gentle Giant
– Limited Steelbook Case
– 2" Huldra Brothers Carvings
– Exclusive Lithograph
– Cloth Map
– Digital Contents Include:
– Defender of the Chosen Shield
– Death’s Vow Armor Set
– Exile’s Guardian Shield
– God of War Digital Comic #0 by Dark Horse
– God of War Digital Mini Artbook by Dark Horse
– Dynamic Theme
For $149.99, you can get the Stone Mason’s Edition which includes everything in the Collector’s Edition and the three physical items seen below:
– Stone Mason’s Ring
– Mimir’s Head Talking Keychain
– 2" Horse and Troll Carvings
God of War releases on PlayStation 4 on April 20th, 2018.
- PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
- PlayStation VR Review
- Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome
March 28, 2018 at 09:05AM