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When Change Is Good

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    God of War

    Rating: 5.0 – Flawless

    When Change Is Good

    It’s companies like Santa Monica Studios that give me hope for the future of gaming. People doubted their latest work, said it was too different, but different is exactly just what the worn franchise needed. As a long term fan of the series having played every game from the first entry, the sequels, the prequels, and even the lackluster mobile title, Betryal, I could not wait to get my hands on the soft reboot of one of the most ambitious franchises in gaming history.

    I have to admit, I was skeptical of the game to start with just as everyone else, but am so completely overjoyed that I took the plunge and pulled the trigger on a potential game of the year, if not decade.

    To start, the writing is what stood out to me the most, top notch to say the least. The story, absolutley fantastic, the characters and their development felt real and authentic. There’s no story greater than the love of father and son, and I can’t tell you how many times some of the moments brought a grin or near tear to my eyes. Being able to relate (having a son of my own) made those moments all the more touching.

    The new camera style worked exceptionally well, felt smooth, more personal. The combat, fast paced, (as one would expect.) The newest addition to Kratos’ aresenal, the Leviathan axe, passed my expectations and performed better than I’d ever hoped with a unique and quite enjoyable moveset. Atreus, the supposed annoying kid who’d get in everyone’s way, turned out to not only be a great character, but one hell of a fighter and a huge help in combat. The staple RPG skill tree and new addition of interchangable equipment, paired with socketed enhancement slots, made the customization not only a neat, little cosmetic feat, but needed to better suit ones’ playstyle, especially in the more challenging difficulties.

    The Norse world is packed full of lore and things to explore, fleshed out by the incredible graphics and world design. I’d often take a moment to stop and span the camera around an area just to take in the beauty of hours worth of labor that went into each and every subtle detail the environments held; details the developers obviously taken years to perfect. The game is gorgeous and it proves that the five years made all the difference when not only doing the Norse realms justice, but transforming them into digital dreamscapes.

    The soundtrack doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but was beautifully orchestrated, and the voice overs masterfully picked and preformed, and all in all, this game has been one of the most fun experiences I’ve encountered in such a long time. The last I remember feeling this way toward a game was upon the release of Ocarina of Time back on the Nintendo 64, and for that reason it’s easy for me to give Kratos and L… excuse me, Atreus’ journey rather, a perfect 5 out of 5.

    Well done, Santa Monica, and thank you for the experience.

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