God of War is an action/adventure fantasy game which follows the Spartan warrior Kratos. Several years after he defeated all the Greek Gods of Olympus in an act of vengeance, he left his home of Sparta to go to a far away land called Midgard encountering the Norse Gods. He has a son named Atreius to accompany his father Kratos on his journey. The game begins when Kratos builds a pyre for his deceased wife’s for cremation. Later, the two are set on a journey to go to Jotunheim, the land of the Giants to spread his wife’s ashes. On their journey, both father and son are faced with perilous challenges fighting many mythical beasts from Nordic myths. Along the way they are faced with their own differences leading them to arguments and tensions in their journey, it was a test to Kratos’ life transitioning from a battle-heartened warrior to fatherhood.
In the game it is a different format from the previous God of War saga. The game focuses more on solving puzzles and combat and less on platforming, yet the game keeps to the tradition of challenging boss fights. Kratos can use the leviathan axe that freezes up at times and it is an effective close-quarter combative weapon. You can also use it as a projectile to destroy your foes from far away or to break open crates and barrels, or to press a mechanism to open doors or to hold bridges that are out of his reach. Along the journey, you get to meet allies such as Freya a fallen Goddess turned witch with magical powers who helps Kratos and Atreius on their journey. There are also two dwarven brothers by the name of Brock and Sindrhi, who are blacksmiths. They have very different personalities. Brock is a tough, blue skinned blacksmith while his brother Sindrhi, who is also a blacksmith is a kind-hearted dwarf who is germa-phobic to a point if he hears some sort of an epidemic outbreak he would be the first guy to go underground and social distance himself. The two dwarves help Kratos and Atreius to upgrade their weapons and other gear to make them more effective in combat. I felt it would be cool to add stealth based strategies instead of straight on combat all the time. However, the game holds up being different from other platform adventure games where others jumped on the stealth based format bandwagon. Later on in the game, Kratos is reunited with his old weapon, the Blade of Chaos (Exile), a weapon effective in long range combat. This weapon appears when Kratos’ son was stricken with illness and he had to journey to the frozen wasteland where the dead dwell called Helheim. The Blades of Chaos and the leviathan axe can be upgraded with unlocking various effective combinations by spending hacksilver.
The gameplay has the right touch, Kratos can dodge projectiles and attacks from enemies. He could climb up cliffs carrying his son Atreius on his back, although Atreius is not really a playable character whatsoever throughout the entire game. Although Atreius is a very helpful ally. When Kratos is faced with overwhelming foes, press the square button and Atreus can fire off a magical arrow at threatening foes, if you hold down the square button, he can fire off a herd of ethereal wolves at enemies, Atreius can choke on a monster while Kratos can hit a foe with a combination of moves. The AI is unpredictable and challenging, especially the boss fights, it can take time to read out the AI’s movement patterns. If Kratos gets killed in battle, his son can use a Resurrection Stone enchantment item to revive Kratos and fight on. You can purchase only one Resurrection Stone at Brock or Sindhri’s shop. There are three different types of Resurrection Stones to purchase from. Gather hacksilver by open crates and barrels, or defeat enemies to receive power ups and rage enchantments. You can spend your hacksilver at the shop to upgrade various runes for your armour and weapons to have more effective abilities further on in the game. After completing the game, there is an optional “New Game plus” so when you play the game second time, the game will be a little easier and more enjoyable to playthrough.
The game’s CG looks realistic and their landscapes looks very rich, the acting never disappoints. You can watch many dramatic moments that can make you get right into the game. God of War sets the series format in a different way, although I don’t see this game as a reboot of a franchise, but it is a sequel on Kratos’ continued life as he struggles to be a better man in a perilous new world, and it is a story of struggling to escape one’s past but certain events in life can catch up to you. God of War is a game that is a must buy if you are a fan of the franchise or you want to experience the game for the first time.