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How do you start a new adventure for one of the most iconic video game characters? In 2018, Santa Monica Studios and Sony Interactive Entertainment released “God of War” for the PlayStation 4. The fourth game in the series, not to be confused with the first game with the same title, saw an older Kratos. Does the former God of war still have the fiery hot rage within or has age calmed him down? Today, I’m diving into the latest entry in the massively successful God of War series. There’s a lot of old-man strength in this God of War PS4 review.
God of War PS4 Plot:
Remember where we last left our good pal Kratos? He had just completed his blood-filled revenge tour on Mount Olympus. He murdered all the Greek gods and destroyed the Titans. Kratos had achieved his revenge. Since then what has Kratos been up to? Well, at some point he left the Greek universe wandering far, far away to a new land. This land has no Greek gods or spartans instead, Kratos has made a life for himself in Midgard, a realm of Norse mythology. He’s been busy too, making a family for himself with a wife and boy. BOY! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
It is here from this God of War PS4 review that we start our journey with an older Kratos. His beard has grayed and his once chiseled body has seen ware. Kratos’ wife has recently passed away and her last wish was for her ashes to be scattered at the highest point in the realm. With his son, Atreus, Kratos sets off to reach the peak to spread the ashes of his wife. Atreus is somewhere between 10-13 years old. He is still innocent but he’s growing quickly and will soon reach that rebellious stage, especially with Kratos’ blood in him.
Right before they set off, Kratos is greeted by a mysterious man who challenges Kratos to a fight. After coaxing him into one, Kratos beats the living shit out of this man who keeps asking for more. No matter what Kratos does this man keeps coming back from the dead. Kratos disposes of him (for now) and they continue on their way.
They reach the hub of the nine realms and meet the World Serpent who towers over them. I hate snakes but the World Serpent is a friendly guardian, thankfully. A mysterious black mist blocks their way to the peak so Kratos and Atreus turn to the Witch of the Woods for help and travel to different realms to combat the mist. During their journey, they encounter Mimir a wise man who has been imprisoned in a tree. Kratos cuts his head off (but he still lives) and carries his head around for tips and he reveals to them how to get to other realms to complete their quest. The interaction with Mimir was very entertaining as Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir all quipped back and forth during my God of War PS4 review.
Remember the mysterious man who attacked Kratos before? He returns himself and is revealed to be Baldur. He is accompanied by two other Norse figures Modi and Magni. The two of them ambush Kratos kicking the shit out of Kratos and Atreus. The two kill Magni but Modi gets away. Later on in the journey, Kratos goes home to retrieve the blades of chaos. I remember this part so vividly, it was so epic to see Kratos get the blades back and relive those memories. That is when Kratos is truly back after trying to suppress his rage for so long on this quest. It was the best part of the game for me.
Kratos reveals to Atreus his mysterious past and lets his son know he is a god. Atreus gets a god complex and starts disobeying Kratos in an act of rebellion. Against Kratos’ orders, Atreus kills Modi after they battle him again. Long story short, Kratos ends up killing Baldur and reveals to Atreus his bloody past of killing all the Greek gods and his own father, Zeus. He tells Atreus they need to learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes. (Obviously, Kratos doesn’t want to be killed by Atreus.)
They reach the highest point in the realm and discover that Kratos’ wife was a giant making Atreus half-giant and half-god. What a mix! They spread the ashes and return home to hear Mimir warn them of a three-year event called Fimbulwinter coming. This is a bad omen and Kratos dreams of Thor breaking down their cabin. Cue the rumors for God of War V.
God of War PS4 Gameplay:
God of War only received one entry on the PS4 but just like every entry, I noticed the graphics and environments improved substantially. For the first time in the series, Kratos is accompanied during his journey. Atreus listens well for an AI and I found him to be rather helpful during combat with his bow during my God of War PS4 review. He even warns you if an enemy is zeroing in on you. It wasn’t a game about babysitting, I found that Atreus truly added another welcomed layer to the play. Kratos’ axe is powerful but I’ll always prefer his blades of chaos. I noticed myself using the block function much more in this game than I ever have in the other God of Wars. It’s still a hack-n-slash game, but the camera is closer to Kratos making the battles more intimate. Like the other God of Wars, you’ll have the option to activate a rage after building it up to unleash it upon tough enemies.
I loved the hub of the nine realms in my God of War PS4 review and it was fun to unlock new ones to enter. The atmosphere and lore of each realm are fantastic making me want to stay longer than my welcome. Speaking of staying longer, God of War was the shortest game in my opinion for the series. I didn’t struggle with any fights or bosses, so I was surprised to finish the game in just a few days. You can keep playing after you defeat the game to kill some super tough valkyries but I didn’t feel like doing that. To help power up Kratos and Atreus you can craft stronger weapons and armor which was awesome. There are two dwarfs to help build your weapons. Each has a fun personality and each says their work is better than the other. I thought the personality of the characters introduced were better than the previous entries in the series. These characters aided Kratos in his quest instead of cowering from him in fear.
You’ll be able to explore the hub world in a boat that is paddled by Kratos. I enjoyed these moments during my God of War PS4 review as he talked with Mimir and Atreus, telling them stories from his past. While you can explore, the world isn’t open-world and the realms are fairly linear. You’ll need certain items to unlock the doors to them and they come in order.
It was the dead of winter when I began my God of War PS4 review. It fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the game, I remember preparing myself for the next few weeks to feel the rage of Kratos but was surprised I beat the game in just a few days.
God of War PS4 Review Score:
Kratos is older and his rage has been suppressed. It feels like the developers and programmers of God of War have grown up themselves. You won’t find any naked women waiting for Kratos to ravage them in mini-games this time around, but God of War still packs tons of fun and is a must-buy for any PS4 owner. While God of War doesn’t reach the epic levels of God of War II or III, it still sits comfortably in the main series family.
God of War scores a 9.4 out of 10.
What would you write in your God of War PS4 review? Do you remember when God of War first came out? Were you shocked that Kratos had grown wise and calm? What did you think of Atreus and his AI controls? Did you like the Norse mythology? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
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