'God of War' quick review: All things bright and brutal

SIE Santa Monica Studio  Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

SIE Santa Monica Studio Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

So I've got a question about God Of War as well: is it the best graphics ever on a console?

First of all, the media kit box includes a lot of great artwork that features both Kratos as well as his son Atreus.

"It's a transformative, introspective sequel, taking up the Herculean task of shunting a series that, for as thrilling as its spectacle was, epitomised an embarrassing adolescent phase of games into something resembling actual maturity", says Gerardi. Coupled with Kratos' ever-expanding list of moves is a button (square) devoted exclusively to the control of Atreus, which seamlessly weaves the young companion into the action.

When it was revealed at E3 2016 that Kratos wasn't just a daddy, bur rather a father, my eyebrows raised because everything we saw screamed of glorified escort quest. This newest game comes with a quasi-open-world approach, with branching areas centred on a hub area that's kept under the gaze of a looming creature.

Players concerned over the introduction of a companion for Kratos, a man who tops the list of characters not in need of assistance, need not be. Pretty much everyone who played the original God of War trilogy would agree that Kratos was a character exclusively defined by rage, but in the new God of War, that's no longer the case.

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Early moments between the two showcase a tenderness in Kratos that would seem alien to any past iterations of the character, yet they are handled with such an adroit hand by Barlog and his team that the newfound humanity never feels forced or contrived. Shroff describes this difficulty level as "harder and less forgiving", adding that this is the one ideally suited for veterans of the series and action games in general. Who else is out there? According to the reviews that have been posted, the game is not only is a worthy addition to the franchise but probably one of the best. If a player wants, they can simply move from one story beat to the next, uncovering Kratos' past and he and his family's place in this new realm of ancient mythos.

IGN (10/10)"God of War has so much to offer, and you'll notice I've tried to remain as vague as possible in telling you about all of it".

If that fails, there's always bare knuckles too. Each blow landed built up a stun, giving me the opportunity to initiate a massive cinematic finisher that put the enemy out of commission faster than a flurry of axe swipes.

While the gameplay mechanics are incredibly polished and unreasonably addictive, God of War's greatest asset is its storytelling, which took me by surprise. Kratos doesn't feel like the unstoppable god he has been in the past. Combat is all about spacial awareness and picking off the enemies that will do the most harm quickly left unchecked. From smashing symbol-clad pots to severing glowing sinews, axe-throwing is core to God of War's gameplay in and outside of combat. It's a system that quickly opens itself up, and one I hope to see continually expanded upon during this long journey. All of Kratos' attacks and abilities can be unlocked using experience points (they act as a sort of currency), but gear requires loot that you'll find strewn around the world, often off the beaten path and hiding in the peculiar crevices in your peripheral.

When not fighting, you are exploring the reaches of Midgard on foot or by boat, finding temples and ruins that take inspiration from Norse mythology.

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