If Brilliance has a name in terms of Games, God of War must be the synonym. After the end of Greek mythology, The God of War Kratos finds himself in the new world with his son, Atreus. The storyline is plotted around them as they venture on a journey to take the ashes of Kratos’ late wife and mother to Atreus, Faye, to the highest peak in all the realms. As they visit several realms, they get to learn about a lot of Norse characters like Thor, Odin, Tyr & others from the tales. However, unlike the previous games, this iteration focuses on the character dynamics, world building, relations, instead of the heavy combat. Such was displayed in the previous games. However, the baffling moment is when one recognizes the efforts writers put to re-invent the story of the Norse myth & integrate the characters so well. To sum it up, The Plot is just purely amazing.
Although the premise seems simple, the story written is superb, rerouted from the original myth to fit perfectly in the game. Moreover, none of the innovations seems out of place or forced. The story blends with the God of War’s world perfectly and blooms like a lavender. The character’s growth brilliantly showcased and mainly focused on the relationship between father and son. It also emphasizes other relationships such as between brothers, mother and son, father and daughter. All the other depictions of relationships seen throughout the game in forms of side quests, murals or texts found in different places & Mimir’s tales. All that complement the main storyline between the Kratos & Atreus.
The game is the sheer clash of compassion & control. Started off by Kratos with the latter one. Atreus is the epitome of compassion. The game fiddle with Kratos teaching his son how to be a God of War while Atreus teaches him how to be a human being. This is also emphasized by the other two characters from the myth, Odin and Tyr. In here Odin wants to rule over everything, eliminating every possible threat, but Tyr tried to bring peace. Being a god of war in this world, he uses his power to stop the war rather starting. This example helps the father & son to see through in times of darkness & when their balance of morality was shifted.
In the end, they reach a point where they figure out each other’s weakness & flaws to fix the sense of morality, relation and forms the ultimate father-son duo to face off the final boss, who is the embodiment of all the character flaws we see in the game. The writers, Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert & Cory Barlog pulled off such storytelling in form of a video game, that teaches us so much about self-realization.
The world designed in God of War is vast & massive. The missions & side quests let you explore it to essence, expand & help character building on different points. The game has designed 9 different realms from the myth and provided you with a way to travel. However, some of the realms are locked and requires further exploration, many lore to expand & resumes other secrets to uncover.
It’s a hack n slash, third-person action-adventure video game, featuring behind the back perspective camera. It also has a hand to hand combat system when not equipping any weapons. The player can also passively control Atreus and use his abilities.
The game is focused on exploration with simple running and climbing in an open setup. There are some puzzles needed to be solved in order to progress the storyline. Unlike the previous games, there is no platforming where you had to precisely traverse on narrow paths, jumping from one to another platform or finding ways to get through. The combat is also different from the previous versions; Where players had to figure out different combo routes with different special abilities. Also, there aren’t much of insane combo routes like air combos by jumping, juggling enemies etc. which resulted in unpleasantly by some hardcore players. However, I find it to fit the lore. Kratos is holding back for his son to grow & it sets the mood for the surreal experience of storytelling & exploration, in contrast to intensity in the previous games.
Music & Voice Acting
The Music is of God of War is top tier. It titillates you in every sequence whether the scene renders an emotional, action or suspense theme. They have perfectly implemented soundtracks that excels at improving the overall experience.
The composer Bear McCreary did an awesome job replicating the exact momentum on his beats. Take a note – The man did live an orchestra on the day of announcement during live gameplay in E3 2016, Isn’t that awesome!
Furthermore, The voice actors did an excellent job as well. Especially Sunny Suljic, the actor behind Atreus, despite being only 10 years old then. The actors of Kratos and Freya, Christopher Judge and Danielle Bisutti respectively also did an amazing job.
This is one of the rare games that revised the idea & managed to make it work like charm. Everything about this game is just exceptionally good. The people at the Santa Monica Studio really poured their heart & soul into this. The exceptionalism is, you can feel it while you see the story gets unfold. Animation, graphics, voice acting, cinematography, everything is handled profoundly and the quality gets you on edge. The total completion of the game would take you about 30+ hours and it’s totally worth it. The game is available on PC and PlayStation 4 & 5.
Subsequently, God of War Ragnarök has been announced and the trailer was released last year. However, the release date is to be announced.