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Clod of war

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    God of War

    Rating: 2.0 – Poor

    Clod of war

    As a huge fan of the original God of War series (3 was my absolute favorite), I found this latest installment a bit tough to stomach. This is NOT God of War, and that’s NOT a good thing. It seemed to me that SC Santa Monica wanted to cash in on the latest action RPG craze and slap God of War on it so it would sell copies, and its been successful seeing as how everyone from critics to casual fans have been gushing about this game. The review will be broken down into the following categories: Story, Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, Replay ability, and Overall with my scores for each section.

    Story: 6/10

    I really did enjoy the story of Kratos and his son, boy, and their epic adventure thru Norse mythology and its pantheon of gods. The characters were really well done, especially Kratos and his relationship with boy, a few of the side characters were downright hilarious, and some of the others made you want to hate them. This is a good thing, you’re supposed to feel something for the characters and you’re supposed to take an interest as to how their stories develop. What I did not enjoy, however, was the plodding pace that the middle of the game took. Several of the progression and side fetch quests could have been removed and it wouldn’t of felt as boring as it did. Most of the quests just seemed like filler to extend game time.

    Gameplay: 3/10

    Here we get into the meat and potatoes of the game, and the part of the game that I seem to have the biggest problem with. To start, the combat is plodding. You use a weapon called the Leviathan Axe which in addition to its normal damage it also inflicts frost damage. There is a heavy and light attack, and that’s it. You are able to string the attacks together in a seemingly unlimited combo if you’re not interrupted. You can dodge with a single tap of the dodge button or roll with a double tap of the same. There’s no jumping, so aerial attacks are severely limited. You can also throw your axe which serves the dual purpose of removing some enemy buffs and puzzle solving.

    Boy also comes with a bow that he will use on his own during combat and you can also command him to shoot at certain enemies to interrupt them, stun them, or to extend a combo. This ability was hardly ever used because I abhor buddy gameplay, and when I go into a fight I concentrate on what I am doing and ignore everything else. The lack of using boy in combat didn’t negatively impact any of the fights for me. The bow is also used in puzzle solving as is boy himself as he is able to crawl thru spaces that Kratos is too big to fit into.

    There is also a skill tree for you and boy. Each branch of the skill tree unlocks when you level up your Leviathan Axe or boy’s bow and you use XP earned to unlock the skills. To me, this was useless; you have passive and activated skills, but I rarely used the activated skills as I was concentrating on not falling asleep during the light/heavy button pressing and on throwing my axe using the horrible aiming controls. You are also able to find, buy, or craft gear using the games blacksmiths and you are also able to improve their quality, which improves your attributes, by farming materials by either defeating certain enemies, opening chests, or completing side/fetch quests. The better your weapon and armor, the better your stats; the better your stats, the higher your character level. This is my biggest complaint with the gameplay: To me, God of War isn’t an RPG, its an action/adventure game. If you’re character level in this game isn’t high enough in certain areas, enemies WILL destroy Kratos. Kratos is a demigod, and while vulnerable like a human, there should be NO level up needed in order to fight certain enemies or explore certain areas, just make a change in tactics or footwork etc. All these extra quests did was to drag out the gameplay longer than it should have been. Also, some of the extra areas aren’t available for exploration until MUCH later in the game when you receive abilities that will allow you entry…

    Graphics: 9/10

    The scenery in the game is amazing: The grove a certain character resides in looks absolutely fantastic. The feeling of cold you get as you see the characters breath as they trudge thru snow looks and feels great, the view from on top of a mountain is breath taking. I’m also a fan of the actor they used to be Kratos’ motion capture actor, but I’m not a fan of his voice. This will be explained in the sound section of this review. All in all I was pleased with the graphics; I own a stock PS4 and everything looked crisp and I had very little slowdown at times.

    Sound: 5/10

    While the Musical score was pretty good and all the grunts and groans and Foley work were pretty good as well, my biggest complaint with the sound was the changing of Kratos’ voice actor. I loved Kratos’ prior voice actor; his voice embodied the rage in Kratos, while the current VA just seems… off. The reason for the change, according to the games director, was they wanted Kratos’ VA to also do the motion capture, and, being a slight 5’9", the prior VA didn’t exactly fit the bill that the current 6’2" beefcake VA does.

    Replay ability: 3/10

    This game just plods on and seems to take forever in certain areas, especially since you have to level up in order to stand a chance against some enemies. Add into the fact that you cant access certain areas until MUCH later in the game when you receive keys or abilities that let you into said areas just makes it tedious. Why should I come back to an area I found in the first 30 minutes of gameplay after I get the key 20+ hours later??? its ridiculous in my opinion.

    Overall score: 3/10

    This game tends to get tedious and repetitive the longer you go. The combat is lackluster and the buddy system, along with the skill tree, was pretty much useless. Worth a weekend rent, but not much else.

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