God of War

On Day 7 of our 12 Days of Christmas feature we look at Sony’s God of War on the PlayStation 4. Crowned Game of the Year, best action/adventure game and best studio/game direction at The Game Awards—this is a game you simply cannot miss out on. The one word that kept on popping into my head while playing God of War was epic.

In this game, Kratos is older, wiser, and perhaps for the first time ever, feels strikingly vulnerable. That’s because in this game he’s not just a god, he’s also learning how to be a father.

A second chance at being a father

The story in God of War revolves around Kratos’ struggle to protect his son Atreus. A new danger threatens his family, and given his tragic loss in Greece, Kratos refuses to let history repeat itself. We’re so used to seeing the God of War act ultra-violently, but now he wants to leave that past behind.

Kratos, clearly, desires to be a good father and live a peaceful, quiet existence. Unfortunately, his brief serenity gets disrupted by the appearance of a vengeful stranger that sets the game’s events in action.

God of War

This wonderful father/son relationship extends throughout the game in many fascinating ways. Atreus often asks Kratos to explain the world around them. Kratos will then describe enemies, locations, and help Atreus comprehend their complex and dangerous mission.

One moment Atreus will kick a chain down from a high ledge to help daddy climb up. The next, Atreus will piggyback his father and he scales huge mountains. This reciprocal connection underlies the fact that Kratos cannot exist without his son, and vice versa. They need each from tender beginning to brutal end.

God of War

A young warrior wise beyond his years

Atreus is constantly forced to act well beyond his years. He’s a child, but finds himself fighting for his life nearly every step of the way. Thankfully, he learns to handle his bow fast and becomes a real asset in battle.

Early on, Atreus is can stun enemies with arrows, giving you a chance to rush close for powerful melee strikes. Later, he gains the confidence to mount enemies for greater damage and longer stun time. His acquisition of skills happens regularly and naturally, making him an increasingly greater asset in battle.

God of War

Impeccable visuals with outstanding performances

As expected, God of War features absolutely breathtaking graphics. Gorgeous vistas overlooking vast, detailed mystical realms and epic battles contain mid-fight cinematics that are jaw dropping. In addition, God of War features quite possibly the best graphics of this entire generation.

A special mention also has to go to the outstanding voice acting and motion capture. Kratos and Atreus speak with natural and believable tones, and their conversations are entirely organic. Their hand gestures, posture, and facial expressions are extremely convincing. The Santa Monica team took a risk positioning the camera right behind Kratos, but it does wonders to amplify the emotional weight of these moments.

God of War

More visceral, up-close combat

God of War forgoes the traditional chained blade combat in favour of more visceral, up-close combat. Your main weapon is a Norse ice axe that can be tossed or used to hack-and-slash foes. You also get a deployable wrist shield good for blocking projectiles or hold off rushing enemies.

As you defeat enemies and conquer realms, you’ll acquire XP and a type of currency used to bolster skills and buy gear, respectively. These add tremendously to your offensive and defensive capabilities. There are complete skill trees for your axe, shield, and Rage of Sparta ability, as well as Atreus’ bow. Upgrades range from adding new attack combos, to breaking through enemy blocks, to enhancing Atreus’ arrows with light.

As for your gear, you can upgrade the axe or buy protective attire for your chest, wrist, and waist. Upgrading gear requires special crafting parts, found either by defeating tough bosses or in off-the-beaten-path treasure chests.

God of War

God of War is an epic masterpiece 

Sony Santa Monica took a few years to rethink and rebuild a bigger, better God of War. The effort has paid off and in my opinion is Sony’s best offering so far this generation. God of War goes well beyond being merely entertainment and enters the elite realm of artistry held by masterpieces such as The Last of Us and Shadow of the Colossus.

There you have it! Our gift idea for the 7th day in our 12 Days of Christmas feature and our pick for the best video game of 2018—God of War. Be sure to come back for Day 8 of our 12 Days of Christmas feature.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I love the work of Christopher Judge. It’s one of the things that makes me want to try this game if I ever get a PS4.

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