Last night I finally got my hands on God of War. I wasn’t disappointed.
Fair warning: while there will be no spoilers here, I’m not terribly far into the game. In the short time I’ve played, several things stood out to me.
The game is already more emotional than I expected. The direction is beautifully handled. I feel more invested in Kratos and Atreus than I anticipated.
The gameplay is smooth and empowering. The Leviathan axe never gets old. Throwing it and, particularly, summoning it back to Kratos feels solid and exciting every time.
The dialogue is spare and powerful. The voice acting is excellent. Sure, Kratos says “boy” fairly often (I mean, come on Kratos, he has a name), but I’m overall impressed with the writing.
I can already tell I will need to practice a bit more to get the hang of combat. It’s been a while since I played a combo-based action game, and I didn’t feel I was playing God of War particularly well. This was through no fault of the game (the combat is silky smooth, and packs a solid punch), rather my own shortcomings. In the first boss fight, I didn’t do nearly as well as I’d have liked to. In the second boss fight, I actually died near the end, though I completed it on my second try. I’m playing it on normal, so hopefully I can pull it together and make the most of Kratos’ skill set.
I was concerned Atreus might be annoying but, so far, I’ve enjoyed him as a companion. He has never gotten in my way, and has only been an asset on the battlefield. I feel for him in the context of the game, and I do wish Kratos would be slightly kinder to him, though I suppose time will tell why he treats him the way he does.
The game is beautiful. I’m playing on a standard PS4 (I don’t have a 4K television), and it still looks gorgeous. The frame rate is fluid. I’ve not seen a technical hiccup of any kind, even when many enemies are on the screen. The art direction is stunning. While walking (and exploring) from place to place, I often find myself looking around and enjoying whatever view I have. Screenshots are handled particularly well: when you take one, the game halts. When you exit the screenshot menu, the game immediately resumes.
The score perfectly suits the game, be it in the quiet moments of reflection, or the more bombastic moments of battle.
There has already been a good variety of enemies and tactics and I look forward to customizing my weapon and armor builds as I go along. The intricacies of the progression systems are more involved than I was anticipating, but I’m sure once I get further along they will click for me.
So far, I couldn’t be enjoying myself more (I mean, unless I had a better handle on the combat, but I’m sure that will come with time), and I look forward to diving in further today and over the weekend.
With that I ask: what will you be playing this weekend?
I will be finishing Far Cry 5 (hopefully today), then spending the weekend with Kratos and Atreus.
Please be safe out there. Cheers, friends.