God of War Review: Fantastic slaughter with a bold new beginning

God of War Review

Kratos is back! Older, wiser and more mature than ever! The PS4 exclusive game starts after the events in God of War 3 and shows an aging Kratos, who after the death of his wife has to raise their son Atreus alone. Kratos has left the world of Greek mythology and found a new home in Midgard, the world of the Nordic gods.


Divine general restoration of the God of War

Developer Sony Santa Monica doesn’t just change the series with the new setting but relies much more on role-playing elements than in the previous parts. Now the while demigod Kratos in the previous series parts fought exclusively with divine opponents from Greek mythology, he has now arrived in Nordic mythology – Midgard, where the gods Odin and Thor reign. It is precisely there that the Spartan actually wants to settle down and grow old together with his wife and son Atreus. When his wife dies, young Atreus is to fulfill her last wish and scatter his mother’s ashes on Midgard’s highest mountain. In the first few hours, God of War tells a very personal, sensitive story about the father-son relationship. Besides the brute action, Santa Monica Studios has created a masterpiece of games with a rousing story – which surpasses all its predecessors.

Kratos series inspires with strong gameplay

With the new part of God of War, not only the story but also the fighting system and especially the character system changed. Instead of the rather simple knitted upgrading of the weapons in the predecessors, a role-play-like system is now moving in. You invest experience points to unlock new abilities, such as special attacks with the Leviathan ax. You will also need to collect materials such as chopped silver paired with Frostflame to increase the level of weapons.

Kratos also has a number of attributes such as strength and defense. To improve them, have the blacksmith make armor and upgrade it in several stages. In addition, you can equip objects like a talisman or base weapons with runes that also add bonuses to character values. Only if you make progress on these points will you increase the character level of Kratos. The number of items may be a bit too high. But you really have to deal intensively with the crafting system at the higher of the four difficulty levels anyway. There are also many different side quests, which you can open mostly only in the context of small challenges. After the story ends, new areas will be unlocked.

God of War: Son and father relationship
God of War: Krato’s new mission to protect his son Atreus

The fights themselves also play differently than in the previous parts, which is mainly due to the new shoulder perspective. The camera is now much closer to Kratos and the action, highlighting the fantastic hit feedback of the countless enemies. You can really feel the devastating power of Krato’s blows. I also like to accept the narrower caution that results from the closer camera position. After only a short time, gameplay and control take over in body and soul. Although Kratos later receives only a second weapon besides the ax in question, there are a whole series of special attacks. You can also throw the ax and call it back into your hand at the touch of a button. If an opponent stands right between you and the ax, the weapon will hit him on the way back.

God of War 4
God of War 4

Tactical components are added by your companion Atreus. Atreus injures his enemies in particularly vulnerable areas or draws enemies out of cover with a targeted arrow or paralyzes them briefly, giving Kratos an advantage in battle. Sometimes smaller enemies can be held to make it easier for you to hit a charged shot. Compared to its predecessors, Santa Monica Studios has held back when it comes to the depiction of violence, but sometimes it’s enough to cut heads off.

God of War: The world is full of details
God of War: The world is full of details

God of war with impressive graphics

Besides playful changes, the design of the game world has also changed. Especially since Greek mythology is no longer in the foreground and now the cool Nordic world of the gods plays an important role. The various sections of the game are varied and particularly detailed. God of War is visually at the highest level, especially the Nordic forests offer one of the most beautiful experiences. The world is full of details, little leaves swirl around everywhere and the characters and creatures sometimes seem lifelike. The PS4 Pro offers two graphics options “1080p Performance” and “2160p Checkerboard”. The first variant offers smooth gameplay at up to 60 fps. The 4K resolution variant has to struggle with perceived jerkers in some places when it comes to beautiful details. Therefore the 1080p performance is the best middle course. But basically everything is framed and playable.

God of War Overall
God of War 4 for PS4

Game title: God of War

Game description: Kratos returns for a spectacular new chapter where he lives with his son in the realm of the Nordic gods and monsters. In this mercilessly harsh world, he must not only fight for survival but also teach his son to survive... so that he does not repeat the bloody mistakes of the spirit of Sparta.

  • 99%
    GAMEPLAY - 99%
  • 98%
    STORY - 98%
  • 100%
    GRAPHIC & SOUND - 100%
Overall
99%

Conclusion

God of War is a masterpiece in many ways. The adventure captivates with a challenging gameplay, beautifully designed worlds and graphics that probably tickled the maximum out of PS4. Despite the fantasy world, the game is rounded off by a strongly staged authentic story that gets close. The wait has paid off.

Pros

  • Direct entry
  • Intuitive gamepad control
  • Very good animations
  • Action-packed fights

Cons

  • Missions work here and there stretched out

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