Its the pinnacle of modern graphics and story telling intertwined into one of the best games of the decade for Playstation 4.Christopher Mumpton
Game Rating: 5/5
Release date: April 20, 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Genre: Action, Adventure
Developers: Ready at Dawn, SIE Santa Monica Studio, Daybreak Game Company, Javaground
Publishers: Sony Interactive Entertainment, Capcom, Sony Pictures
A Game of the Year Contestant
It may just be me but I think most people have heard lot’s of positive feedback on the new God of War game (2018). With stellar reviews from all of the large review sites (a whopping 94/100 on metacritic) God of War is definitely in the running for Game of the Year. Here at AButtonGames we agree with this assessment and have mostly good words to say about it.
If you are new to the God of War franchise or you are just curious than you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. This series has a few great games out focusing around Greek mythology and featuring Kratos as the main protagonist. He is the demigod son of Zeus with a serious anger issue. He uses his special chain blades to slaughter throngs of enemies, solve puzzles, and murder all sorts of gods and titans along the way. It’s main distinguishing feature is the quick time events that allow Kratos to perform amazing feats and devastating finishers (p.s. This game is rated M for mature). If you like to slash through hordes of enemies than you may want to invest in the God of War series.
The new God of War is unique as it has abandoned Greek mythology in lieu of Norse. The game starts off with a sad scene where tensions are running high between Kratos and his son. As a new father who has played through the God of War series, this game really hit home.
The mechanics of God of War hasn’t changed significantly over the years but there are a few key differences in the newest edition of the series. The biggest difference you will find is the addition of Atreus wielding his trusty bow, hunting knife, and some interesting summoning magic. Controlling two character makes combat more dynamic allowing for amazing combinations, and a new layer to the numerous puzzles scattered throughout the realms.
Kratos and Atreus will run, jump, climb, attack, throw, and row their way through this beautifully rendered 3D world. The whole game is a continuous journey from start to finish without those pesky loading screens. If I could describe God of War with 1 single word it would be “smooth”. Switching between weapons in combat is smooth, attach combos are smooth, blocking is smooth, travel is smooth… you get the idea.
Never before have I seen a game with such outstanding resolution and attention to details. The player models for all characters are so spectacularly detailed and the animation is so close to real life that it seems like we are watching a film rather than playing a game. Some critics are even saying this is the best graphics of all time.
Not only does the game have great character assets but the environment takes it to the next level. The lighting effects, water, fog, and snow act exactly how you would expect. Tracks are left in the snow! Ok, I know everyone has been pointing this out but the immersion of these little details are what make this game so visually appealing. Get ready for great views, and an impulse to take a screenshot every couple of minutes.
On top of having top tier graphics, the game plays at a surprisingly optimized level. You would think that a game with no loading screens, incredibly high polygon levels, and superb attention to every detail would give up some lag… but you would be wrong. On my large screen with my PS4 I suffered no laggy moments, and not a single drop below 30 FPS. Although native 4k resolution on PS4 Pro has a couple of lag issues, that’s to be expected, since the PS4 and PS4 Pro are currently not powerful enough to handle native 4k in general.
God of War doesn’t do much in the way of multiplayer besides having trophies you can gloat about to your friends. The series has never given up to offering multiplayer and I think to do so now would take away from the game integrity.
But aside from online multiplayer, the game offers the unique game mechanic of controlling 2 characters. Since you are controlling both Kratos and Atreus, combat and puzzles are significantly affected (as mentioned above).
In combat each foe has a stun bar that fills up and once it reaches the top Kratos can perform a special throwing move or finisher. Using Krato’s stunning attacks combined with Atreus’ stun arrows you can quickly throw an enemy off the edge or slam their head into the ground for quick cleanup. Atreus also has electric arrows and magic that can keep enemies busy and stunned while Kratos is preoccupied with other enemies in a group. Crowd control, aggro pulling, and stun moves creates an amazing combat experience that makes every battle interesting and fun.
Puzzles using Atreus are also very common where Kratos will need to boost Atreus up to a ledge to kick down a ladder, or use Atreus’ special elemental arrows to activate switches or blow up crystals. This allows for certain regions to be explores 2 or 3 times with different tools in your arsenal to access different areas and additional treasure/secrets.
Overall the multiplayer system is minimal but the dynamic of multiple characters in party create such an interesting an immersive experience you won’t be missing it at all.
Appeal to Long Time Players
Part of what makes God of War so great is the story across multiple games and the appeal to long time God of War players. Kratos has always been a hot blooded berserker with serious anger issues, yet the older and more mature man in God of War 2018 has taken on the role of a father seeking redemption for his past misdeeds. He has escaped from his old life and does everything in his power to protect and teach his boy so he will not follow down the same road. This game is good in a lot of aspects, but the story will have your heart jerk and that’s what I think really takes a game from just good to amazing.
For newcomers to the God of War series, the personal growth of Kratos may be lost in legacy but there is still enough hints and flashbacks to get the gist. Krato’s past appears in multiple scenes especially Helheim, realm of the dead. This realm is made to torment peoples souls and Kratos must deal with his own past while attempting to teach his son how to manage his inherited rage problems.
It’s Just… Good!
After 5 years since God of War ascension the new game brings the series to an entirely new level. The graphics are second to none and the game plot offers a new twist to Kratos’ story. In contrast to the previous games Kratos is even tempered and somewhat nurturing. He is no longer the blood-lusting barbarian that solves all problems with violence. After Kratos forgives himself for the murder of his wife and children in God of War III, he releases the hope he absorbed from Pandora’s box and disappeared into the realms of Norse mythology to start a new life and family. This older and more mature Kratos intends to use his enlightened wisdom to make rational decisions and raise his son to break the cycle of hatred and betrayal that he experienced with Zeus.
But God of War 2018 offers more than just changes in characters and plots. The game has adapted a leveling system and gear upgrades which has never been seen in previous games. Kratos has abandoned the Blades of Chaos (kind of) in favor of Leviathan, a mystical ax which has a natural ice property and the ability to return to its owner’s hand. The new weapon compliments Kratos’ new demeanor as cool and collected and also plays off of how Mjölnir works for the Norse god Thor. The game has taken a couple great steps forward and ends on a cliffhanger for more games to build off of. I can’t wait for the next edition and I don’t think I’m alone.
Nothing is Perfect
Throughout all the praise and positive feedback for God of War, there are still a few things I thought could be improved. The first is displayed in numerous memes: Kratos almost never says his son’s name. He calls him “boy” the whole time and it seems a little weird. Some reviewers even thought his name was boy! (It’s Atreus). This might foreshadowing for an event revealed at the end of the game (I won’t spoil anything), but it seems pretty unnatural.
In addition the game has some pretty easy boss battles. I found that the ending storyline boss was extremely easy and offered almost no challenge. There was some random creatures that you encounter that will kick your butt, but the bosses seem to go down pretty easy. There are quite a few secret/side bosses that offset this, but it would be nice to see a little more challenge along the main storyline.
In addition there was 1 (only 1) place where I found some weird lighting effects. It looked like a glitch where the screen got blocky. (See image above).
Overall, God of War is an absolutely stunning game with some of the best graphics I have ever seen, a heart wrenching story plot, and an amped up battle system. The flaws are few, far between and really don’t hinder the game in any serious way. We look forward to the next game in the series! We give the game a 5/5.