God Of War PS4 Review Roundup [Updated]: Here's What Critics Are Saying
Turns out you can teach an old God new tricks.
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Ever since God of War was revealed for PS4, it's been clear the game would differ from its predecessors in the series. It appeared to be slower, with more of an emphasis on character development and very different combat. The game has also learned a lot from fellow PS4 exclusive The Last of Us.
Now, with God of War's release date drawing ever closer, reviews have gone live for the next big PS4 game, and it seems critics are impressed. In our God of War review, Peter Brown awarded the action-adventure title a 9/10, saying it's a "spectacular action game with epic set pieces, big-budget production values, and hard-hitting combat." For more on what critics thought, check out our review roundup below, or head over to Metacritic for a wider view of the game's critical reception.
- Game: God of War
- Developer / Publisher: Sony Santa Monica / Sony
- Platforms: PS4
- Release Date: April 20
- Price: US $60 / £53 / AU $100
GameSpot -- 9/10
"In many ways God of War is what the series has always been. It's a spectacular action game with epic set pieces, big-budget production values, and hard-hitting combat that grows more feverish and impressive as you progress. What may surprise you is how mature its storytelling has become. Like Kratos, God of War recalls the past while acknowledging the need to improve. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result. Kratos is no longer a predictable brute. God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series. With this reboot, it confidently walks a new path that will hopefully lead to more exciting adventures to come." -- Peter Brown [Full review]
IGN -- 10/10
"I expected great action from God of War, and it delivers that handily. But I didn't expect it to be a thrilling journey in which every aspect of it complements the others to form what is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a game in which Kratos, a previously one-note character, becomes a complex father, warrior, and monster, embattled both on the field and within his own heart about how to treat his son; one in which the world opens up and shifts, offering rewards in both gameplay and knowledge of its lore that I treasured with each accomplishment. The obvious care that went into crafting its world, characters, and gameplay delivers by far the most stirring and memorable game in the series." -- Jonathon Dornbush [Full review]
GamesRadar+ -- 5/5
"I don't think it’s possible to overstate just how good God of War is; how well realised its world, how nuanced and layered its characters and storytelling. The depth and craft of its combat, puzzles and almost every system it has sparkles and shines with an indulgence and luxury that regularly stopped me in my tracks to drink it all in. Whether breathless and bloody in the aftermath of an axe-hacked victory, or watching Kratos and his son Atreus share a genuinely human moment, this is a level of game making that doesn't happen often. The final question really isn't about where it sits in any game of the year discussions, but rather its place in eventual game of the generation talks." -- Leon Hurley [Full review]
The Guardian -- 5/5
"It is rare to play a game so accomplished in everything it sets out to do. God of War is a standard-setter both technologically and narratively. It is a game that, until recently, would have been impossible." -- Keza MacDonald [Full review]
Game Informer -- 9.75/10
"Years ago, Kratos killed the deities of Mount Olympus in a gory rampage. Now, in the Norse realm, he has remade himself into a different kind of god. He is quieter and more deliberate, affected by his history but not constrained by it. Kratos' reinvention serves as a narrative hook, but it also parallels the series’ evolution as a whole; where God of War once relied on bombast and bloodlust, now it leaves space for strategy and nuance. It still has superb action and plenty of jaw-dropping moments, but it supports them with a new level of depth and maturity. God of War learns from its past while clearing an exciting path for the future, and emerges as one of the best games of this generation." -- Joe Juba [Full review]
Variety -- No Score
"Kratos remains capable of startling violence. But there is a sense that even Sony Santa Monica has recoiled from some of 'God of War's' legacy, and the game is better for it. It is a game that treats its history with respect where appropriate, but without obligation, even in its very concluding moments. This new God of War has some rough edges remaining in its transition to something new, but even in its concluding moments, it commits to its vision in a way that few games do--and it's the first time the series has felt vibrant and important in a decade." -- Arthur Gies [Full review]
Polygon -- 10/10
"A decade ago, director Cory Barlog helped establish the God of War franchise as an iconic gory and debaucherous video game romp. While its antihero, Kratos, had pathos (he killed his wife and daughter in a fit of rage, his skin forever grayed by their ashes), it served little dramatic purpose, rather existing as a grimdark excuse for his god-slaying and orgy-having ways. Barlog--now older, a father--has returned to the series with a bundle of talented designers, many of whom served on the earlier games, to make good on that rich but neglected potential at its core. There's still plenty of gore, but the now the guts have meatiness." -- Chris Plante [Full review]
Eurogamer -- Recommended
"Like Kratos, the god of fury who must learn not to fear his son, this is a strange beast, really. The latest technology and astonishing craft and artistry are employed to deliver a game of extremely simple pleasures--a wash of new pseudo-ideas that cannot hide the fact that the basics remain unfixed because they were not broken. God of War dresses things up, in other words, but it is ultimately the same deal it always was. As is the way with myths, I guess. As is the way with gods." -- Christian Donlan [Full review]