Santa Monica Studio did something that is very difficult to do. They took their already wonderful God of War franchise and gave it new life. Not only that, but they were able to flesh out a character like Kratos.
Kratos Becomes A Father
If you had told me that a character like Kratos would be a father, I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s what makes this game so wonderful. Kratos is such a hardened individual, it is amazing to see him care for another person.
This probably wasn’t an easy thing to pull off either. As the story unfolds, Kratos slowly begins to show his emotions and love towards Atreus, but he is almost reluctant to it. Kratos remains true to his character, though fatherhood softens him just a little bit.
The relationship between Kratos and Atreus is definitely the shining moment of the story. In the beginning, it is very clear that Atreus’ mother was the one who spent the majority of the time with him. Since that’s the case, the events of the game are really the first time Atreus and Kratos get to spend time together.
That makes for amazing storytelling. To watch as their relationship blossoms, strains, and resolves is a really special thing. No matter what happens, they have at least one thing in common. That one thing is their love for Atreus’ mother.
A New Mythology To Dive Into
Another highlight of this game was the Norse mythology. No longer is Kratos in his home realm, so the Greek gods are no longer present. Instead, Norse gods roam this land, most of whom are not friends of Kratos.
We do get to see Freya help Kratos and Atreus multiple times. She too was cast out by the gods, so she can understand the struggle that Kratos is in.
The world is full of lore and side quests to deepen this new mythology. Discovering the ins and outs of these new gods and their relationships with each other is just one aspect of what makes this story so incredible. Kratos doesn’t have beef with any of them, but they get in his way on his journey to give his loved one the proper burial she deserves.
God of War is Not Just Hack And Slash Anymore
Combat was certainly elevated for this game. While there is nothing wrong with hack and slash gameplay, I don’t think it would’ve fit the tone of this game as well.
Thankfully, combat is more weighty and rewarding. You can block and parry attacks, and combos are no longer relevant. Kratos’ axe is fun to use, and gaining access to the Blades of Chaos was extremely exciting.
There are heavy and light attacks for each weapon, as well as whatever you add to them with runes. As you progress, Atreus gains certain arrows that can help with crowd control. Battling alongside Atreus is so satisfying.
The way they executed how to control Atreus is great. It doesn’t get in the way of combat at all, and can help in situations where you might need to stun enemies, or damage large groups.
Brok And Sindri
These brothers added so much to the game. Not only do they add some comic relief, but their relationship grows much like the one between Kratos and Atreus. Honestly, their interactions with Kratos and Atreus bring them back together.
Aside from that, they also provide extremely useful upgrades to armor and weapons. You’ll need quite a lot of materials, but it’ll be well worth the trouble, especially towards the end of the game.
Headed In The Right Direction
I love where this franchise is headed. I couldn’t have imagined that this is where God of War would end up, but I can’t complain about it either. It is the perfect way to breath life into an already great franchise without changing it too much.
Kratos is still Kratos, he just has different priorities in his life now. He is not on a murderous rampage anymore, he’s concerned with protecting his only son.
There is a lot of potential with Atreus as well, given the direction they decided to take with his character. I am very eager to see the next installment in the franchise and what it has in store for us.
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