God of War 4
- Kratos and his son form an unforgettable duo
- The Leviathan axe, an amazing weapon that makes combat more technical
- The scale. Very open interconnected areas full of secrets
- Technically and artistically impressive
- The equipment menu is sometimes difficult to manage and understand
- Although the Leviathan axe is not the only weapon in the game, we would have liked to see more
What Santa Monica has done is worthy of study. Throughout all these years, since the first announcement of God of War, we have hardly had a handful of trailers that do not reflect more than the tone of the new adventure of Kratos. All accompanied by a single sample of the game to the press. For a license as important as this, one may think that secrecy is a lack of confidence. The result, however, is quite the opposite and God of War has been one of the best experiences we have enjoyed recently.
Cory Barlog and his team have made a risky bet by hiding information from us. The surprises accumulated as did the incessant hours of play. On the day of the writing of this analysis of God of War, and with about 40 hours behind us, we cannot help but have not known half of all the secrets that the Nordic exile of the god of war keeps. So much so, that in this review I will try to do the same exercise and not talk in depth about all the modes, secrets and options of this new God of War. Because the important thing is the trip. Discover each one of them.
However, it is necessary to explain some elements. For example, its structure. God of War is not a linear game. Its shape is more similar to that of a Tomb Raider style game, for example, than that of an Uncharted or similar. We are talking about large areas to explore interconnected, where the unlocking of new abilities and powers will unlock new paths to continue exploring.
Without becoming an open world, there are truly spacious areas full of secrets. Of course, following the main story will give us access to places where the adventure is limited more, to give rise to the most spectacular moments of the history of Kratos and Atreus. And there will be a few. God of War feels like the beginning of something immense. Like the first installment of PlayStation 2, baby of a mythology (the Nordic, in this case) that contains so many characters, legends and gods that you have to dose them. But we will not see them all here, since the videogame lays the foundations for a new and epic story in which Kratos, this time, will not go alone, but accompanied by his son.
Although I have always enjoyed God of War since its inception, I have never been very fond of the figure of Kratos. The Spartan was a killing machine, and he enjoyed all his executions as the most. Of course, he never fully understood his motivations. It did not matter if he tried to help his mission or not, any character that crossed the path of the Sparta Ghost ended up dead. All that anger was not justified. He did not even need it. It was simply a matter of taste. But although Kratos was not my favorite character in itself, that did not make me enjoy one iota less of his games.
Now, the case is the opposite. Cory Barlog (director of God of War II, 2007) has seen the franchise as an opportunity to explore the growth of his character, videogames and the players themselves. The new Kratos is a human character. Developed. The implications of calling your child “boy” during the trip are clear. Only with this word can you already perceive the relationship of a father with a son who finds it difficult to call him as such.
God of War, who was going to say it a few years ago, is one of the works that best represents the parent-child relationship in video games. He does it in detail, little by little, without forgetting the good and the bad moments. How difficult it is (or should be) to be a father, of overprotection, which is not always the best way, but how frustrating it is to be a child too. All this can only be achieved by a study that has grown not only as a developer, but also in age, whose concerns are broader and richer.
God of War does not try to bury the past at any time. Kratos is not a reboot from scratch, but someone fully aware of the actions of his past, which has absorbed many lessons from his mistakes and which he now intends to convey to his son. That anger, if left unchecked, does not help at all. That power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
In this I have always liked the story of a God of War, because even in his narrative naivety, he has always understood that the “bad guys” of all mythology are always the gods. Egocentric and powerful, they believe they have the right to subjugate the rest of mortals and races at will. And this new God of War addresses all these issues and interrelates them with an amazing facility and a sublime result. It will never stop surprising us the ability that the game has had to mix the most epic and worthy fights of a chapter of Dragon Ball with a certain sensitivity less common in the middle
All in all, it shows that this God of War is the beginning of a greater journey. Like the first God of War of 2005, do not expect to see the entire cast of Nordic gods, it is clear that many characters and kingdoms have been saved for future deliveries. If you are very fond of this mythology, the result is somewhat conservative, but it is supplemented by a bestiary that is sufficiently impressive and varied so that you do not miss them so much.
Even so, the main objective of Kratos and Atreus is quite simple, which is told at the beginning of the adventure: bring the ashes of Atreus’ mother to the highest peak of all the kingdoms. Therefore, it often happens that Kratos’ relationship with his son is more important than the final destination. No less epic, because on the road you will find characters and gods that complicate things even more, but you can tell that, in terms of the plot, something bigger is being built that will come in the future, focusing efforts on this delivery to establish the ties between Kratos and Atreus.
The Nordic mythology itself, however, is treated with great respect. Something surprising, because God of War has never needed to follow a canon in this sense, but even makes use of some theories discussed by mythologists about some characters to elaborate their history. On other occasions, he has no problems in skipping this canon to elaborate his own narrative. In any case, the result is a display of overflowing imagination when it comes to representing the world around us and its most characteristic elements.
Rage of the Gods
Square. Square. Triangle. In a mode of moderate difficulty, it is what I remember most from previous God of War. The combat was spectacular the more automatic the action was. In those moments when the camera was approaching to see how it opens in channel to an enemy. The magnitude of the combos was more optional and dedicated for those who wanted a greater challenge. In the new God of War, even in Normal difficulty mode, combat is more technical. It requires a good number of movements because the enemies respond better to some patterns than others. In fact, in the God of War mode, the most difficult game mode of the 4 that it includes, is not only about raising the health and damage statistics of the enemies, but they also change their patterns, having to have a lot more careful. And this combat has a name: Leviathan Axe.
The variety of strategies is served. You can throw the axe at a Draugr and freeze it while fighting other enemies. Throwing the same axe against an apparition will not help, since it can easily be avoided. With other enemies, the fists and the use of the shield are more effective, because although they reduce less health, they increase the stun bar, necessary for short distance executions. And when everything seems lost, the Wrath of the Gods turns us into an unstoppable beast that unlocks ultra-powerful attacks.
The number of movements, variants, special abilities and improvements for this combination of axe, shield, fists and anger is so great that it is impossible to do justice to this analysis in text of GoW. So better to stay with this: practically all your options are useful. The different situations and enemies will force you to change the strategy to the point that in the final stages we will have to know perfectly how to be as efficient as possible if we want to overcome the most complicated challenges. Because yes, even in its Normal difficulty mode, God of War has some very worthy challenges that will make us have to find the best team and fight correctly to overcome them.
You already know that we are not alone in combat. Atreus will accompany us at all times and their skills will be very useful. Unlike other AIs that we are used to seeing, Atreus is handled in a somewhat more active way, allowing us to shoot arrows with the Square button and unleash some more powerful effects. In addition, it will also attack melee and distract some enemies. Make use of it is essential, it is very useful to stun enemies, frustrate their offensives, reach the most elusive and attack safely in the distance.
Are the axe, next to the shield and the Ira, the only weapons? They are not, but here is one of the points of this analysis, as you will see later, where we have preferred not to tell too much so as not to reveal all the options that the game has and that you can discover them for yourselves. However, it is important to say that controlling the Leviathan Ax is a great playable experience, quickly becoming one of the best weapons we have enjoyed in a video game. You will not get tired of pressing Triangle to see it return in real time, wherever it is, at your hands.
Although weapons contain many skills that can be equipped, much more variety found in armor. The shops of Brok and Sindri, the two dwarves that we will see on our trip, will help us improve our team. The RPG system of God of War works in a very similar way to Destiny’s light equipment, so that the better this team is, the higher our character level will be. The experience only serves to unlock new skills and improve those of weapons.
The amount of armor we can get is very abundant and all have advantages and disadvantages depending on whether we prefer a more offensive, defensive style or focused on the runic powers, for example. For those who enjoy the endgame in a videogame, the road has only just begun, as there is legendary equipment (yes, with the classic colors of Blizzard) very difficult to achieve.
As for the final bosses, as we anticipate, we will see fights worthy of a God Of War, with spectacular and brutal combats against all kinds of enemies. Some of these fights steal the absolute protagonism, because they are accompanied by long cinematic and some of the wildest choreography that has shown the series so far. However, in the final moments of the adventure, we have a feeling that the game might have had some other final enemy, as some bosses that appear at the beginning are repeated throughout the game.