God of War Review Roundup: Respect The Past, Embrace The Future

SIE Santa Monica Studio  Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

SIE Santa Monica Studio Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Kratos is no longer a predictable brute. The critics have been praising the game for its story, visuals, and combat and the lowest score the game has received as of now is 80 out of 100. Combat was, I don't want to say a mess, but it was more like they hadn't found their sea legs with combat.

For that reason, the introduction of Atreus is a smart one since it allows for dialogue and lore to be talked about in between battles, giving players a lot more to connect with rather than an angry, mostly silent destroyer in Kratos.

Sony provided BGR with a copy of God of War on the PS4 for the purposes of this review. For a game franchise firmly grounded in hack-and-slash mechanics, brought to life with epic set-piece battles, it's rare territory. This time around, Kratos has left Greece behind for the land of Norse mythology, which comes with a host of nasty new enemies for him to face. Atreus is far from the irritating sidekick he might have been, complementing Kratos's gruff and humourless dialogue with quips and endearing observations, turning his father's intense seriousness and inability to find humour in anything into a running joke. Atreus can equip an evocation, that works like a spell, exploiting the attacks of one of many guided animals. There's a chance that all the changes in this game would cause polarizing opinions, especially for purists of the game. During our time with the game, Barlog's claims rang true. As the description of Give me God of War reads, Kratos is laughably weak and enemies ridiculously strong.

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At first, it didn't seem too bad. Atreus, then, is the ideal companion.

"It's a more thoughtful premise than we've seen from the series, and it allows for narrative possibilities more complex than a deific murder spree", said Steve Watts in Shacknews of the new father/son plot.

Perhaps most surprising, and welcome, is the depth of exploration that the game invites. Also: Did they play it wrong? However, the game also provides a number of branching side quests that are so well put together and genuinely intriguing that hours can go by before one remembers that they have an actual job to do and a mountain to scale. They help make a long game even longer, but never boring. It absolutely is. Despite the arrival of a child, God of War remains to be as brutal and as bloody as we all know it to be.

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Judged as a pure technical showpiece, as a demonstration of art design, or as a work of popular entertainment, the new "God of War" succeeds mightily.

"After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar's PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties". From smashing symbol-clad pots to severing glowing sinews, axe-throwing is core to God of War's gameplay in and outside of combat. The game pushes the limits of the PS4 graphically and packs so much mythos and backstory into its world-building that at times it feels more like a novel than a video game.

It seems by all accounts that the team over at Santa Monica Studios have by and far exceeded expectations.

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