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Kratos: Dad Of The Year

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    God of War

    Rating: 5.0 – Flawless

    Kratos: Dad Of The Year

    As a PlayStation user my whole life, I have not played a God of War title until I picked up God of War 4. I knew a little bit of Kratos and how he killed all the Greek Gods in the previous games for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. Though, I didn’t really know much of the lore outside of knowing Zeus was Kratos’s father. I saw a trailer for God of War for PS4, was intrigued and bought a copy. I was so impressed with God of War that I believe that it’s one of the greatest games ever made.

    Gameplay

    God of War’s greatest strength is its combat. The combat is the cornerstone of the game. Santa Monica Studio did a tremendous job creating a combat system that was fun, engaging, brutal, enjoyable and challenging. The different types of enemies the game challenges you with requires you to use all different types of strategies. For example, fighting a horde of dragur requires you to be quick and mobile to dodge their incoming attacks, while fighting a troll, you need to keep your distance to strike precisely. I loved the variations of enemies and didn’t feel any type of repetitiveness while engaging them.

    Atreus can help Kratos in battle. For example, Atreus can stun an enemy by jumping up on its back and can shoot arrows at enemies to distract. Atreus can also resurrect Kratos if you happen to have a resurrection stone in your inventory when you die. Atreus is the key to survival in combat once you have upgrade his skillset.

    Even though the combat at some points of the game was difficult, I never felt overwhelmed by the challenges. I enjoyed every minute of it even when I kept dying at a certain section. That is difficult to create and I have to give major props to Santa Monica for creating such an experience. The boss battles are amazing and well-crafted. The first boss battle puts Kratos and Baldur against each other and it was spectacular. I will go as far as saying it was one of the best boss battles in gaming so far. I had so much fun beating the crap out of Baldur and he was a formidable opponent to say the least.

    God of War has the illusion that it is an open-world game. However, it is linear but the way it’s created makes it seem like it’s open-world. There are 6 different realms (9 in total, 3 unexplorable) that you can travel to in God of War. Each area has its own unique species and ecosystems. Exploring these areas unlocks new objectives for you to take on while exploring the region and you can find upgrades in the field that will help you on your journey. There are also some climbing sections and puzzle sections in the game that seem to be borrowed from Uncharted. Anything from Uncharted is fine by my standards and they were fun to complete.

    God of War has a minor crafting system and a skill tree. The crafting system was not as in-depth as other RPGS like Skyrim or Witcher 3 but it fits the type of game God of War is. You can craft different types of armor sets from materials you find in the world along with upgrading your weapons. You can also craft different types of runes that enhance and give different types of resistances to your armor. For example, some runes gave an enhancement to your frost attack while other runes gave higher resistances towards dark elves attacks which came in handy.

    The skill tree is your basic skill tree where you can upgrade Kratos and Atreus with experience that is gained in battle. However, some of the skills are locked at the beginning of the game due to your level. As you progress through the game you will be able to unlock those skills when you have met the requirements.

    Story

    The story is another strength that makes this game fantastic. The plot takes place after God of War 3. We find Kratos residing in a Nordic land with his son Atreus. Atreus’s mother has passed away and her wish was that her ashes be spread on the tallest peak in the land. Kratos and Atreus travel the world to find the tallest peak and encounter multiple obstacles to complete their goal. Though, I felt that the real story was how Kratos and Atreus’s relationship grows and matures on their journey.

    I really enjoyed Atreus as a character. At first, I thought he was going to annoying like Navi in The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. However, he turned out to be an excellent character and was flawlessly intertwined into the game like Emily from BioShock Infinite. The voice acting really helps the story feel realistic.

    The supporting characters as well were fantastic. The game did a great job at portraying that must of the Nordic Gods were selfish and unpleasant. For example, the game portrayed Thor as selfish and kind of evil. Unlike the Marvel version of Thor, who is an Avenger and fights for good. I found these characters more believable because they are Gods that do not care about humanity’s problems.

    Side quests also have an impact on the game and they are meaningful. They are not up to the type of quality like the Witcher 3 side quests are, but they are still fun and impactful. For example, if you do one of the side quests for Baldur, your reward is a powerful rune for your equipment that helps you tremendously on your quest.

    Graphics and Performance

    The graphics in God of War are downright gorgeous. Characters are extremely detailed, environments are lush and effects are well-crafted. The performance of the game is impeccable and mind-blowing. I have no clue how Santa Monica was able to code God of War in such a way where it ran silky smooth. I didn’t have any crashes or major fps drops even when a lot of things were happening on the screen. It is a technical masterpiece and the coders for Santa Monica deserve an award for their jobs.

    Music

    The soundtrack for God of War is amazing. The music blends in perfectly with the game especially in moments where the game gets serious. I loved the boss themes and the theme that plays when Kratos talks to Atreus about his past.

    Verdict

    I will admit that I was a little skeptical about God of War when I picked up the game. I saw that it received multiple prefect scores from different media outlets and thought that it I would give it a chance. However, the game blew my expectations out of the water and I believe that this is one of the greatest games ever created. It’s story and combat are its greatest strengths. Add that with its graphics, music and performance which aren’t too far behind and you have a masterpiece. I would argue that if you do not own a PS4 and you want to play this game that it would justify as being a system seller like Uncharted 4 and Last of Us. I can not wait for Santa Monica to make a sequel to God of War and what is in store next for Kratos and Atreus.

    Score: 10/10. System Seller. Must Play.

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