A lot of players probably wanted to find Kratos on the front of the videogame scene, and he did much better than a certain God of War Ascension, released in 2013, which had disappointed fans of the franchise. Fortunately, we find five years later a new iteration of the license, named simply God of War. The title is again under the leadership of Cory Barlog, who had previously officiated on the previous installments. Now lying in a completely different mythology via Nordic mythology, is this new opus of the franchise as big a slap as it was once God of War III?
Bye bye Greek mythology, and hello Nordic mythology
As you all know, God of War takes place long after the events of God of War III, which had left a great hope to see the ghost of sparte via a small cliffhanger. In this new section, we find our entry Kratos intro title, which has just lost a being that is dear to him. Our Spartan now has a son named Atreus, and they are preparing the funeral of this person. Then follows a long journey for our two heroes, who will have much to do to allow this loved one to finally find peace. But of course, as you can imagine, the Nordic gods will want to block Kratos and his son.
Concretely, we will not really spoil the story, and leave you the surprise to discover it for yourself. But let it be said, we feel that Santa Monica Studio has learned from its mistakes since God of War: Ascension, and the choice of Nordic mythology, decidedly very popular these days, has proved to be a choice not only paid, but also rather wise in the end. We feel that the developers have worked hard to get as much information as possible to transcribe faithfully, but also a little to their sauce this mythology could not be more interesting. There will be many gods for the less known, but also creatures and places, just as sumptuous as gargantuan.
Santa Monica Studio gives us a God of War of the most titanic, and taking from the beginning to the end!
The title of Santa Monica Studio is mostly centered on the father / son relationship, between Kratos and Atreus. This relationship takes time to start and set up, it manages to evolve over time, and we can only sympathize with the situation of Kratos who is doing everything to hide his son a past heavy consequences . Atreus also remains a most interesting character, and we find more Kratos much more assagi than in the past, and trying to put his son in the right way. Some people will find this relationship a little cliché it’s a fact, but it is nevertheless more effective at the narration, with some moments quite strong in emotion.
And precisely we will come to the narration, which is almost nothing more affluent than the previous parts of God of War. The new characters are colorful, and then the app has a crazy staging. Of course, we will not have fun telling you what is going on throughout the app, but it is certain that you will come out full of stars in the eyes with passages that will have marked you once the finished title. All this is due in particular to a staging at the God of War, namely battles always as excessive but oh so enjoyable and titanic as we like them.
Even if the beginning of the game is in itself choppy, the sequel goes much better, and one arrives without problem thereafter to be immersed in this Nordic universe frankly taking. Moreover, we can not wait to see what the developers have for the probable continuation of God of War, which looks completely exciting given the revelations that fall on the figure as we progress, as in the end . In short, we can say that the title manages to make the transition with God of War III in a very nice way, because everything is really explained, and the software makes many references to the past of Kratos for seamless consistency.
Kratos, in all its splendor and brutality
We will obviously not teach you much if you are told that the gameplay of God of War has changed somewhat, but while maintaining its identity of its own. We follow our Kratos in a shoulder camera view now, and we can control the camera ourselves, unlike previous opus that used them fixed shots. And honestly, even if it may seem confusing for fans of the license at first, it is done quickly enough, as the phases of fighting. Indeed, fighting is a bit less dynamic than its predecessors but that said, the blows to our enemies are linked with a flawless natural. And let it be said, the baston phases are unquestionably much more technical, and you will not be allowed to make the mistake when you come across tough enemies. So for once, we quickly forget this side slightly less dynamic in favor of its purely tactical aspect and more, we find all the brutality of our national Kratos with the ability to brutally execute enemies in front of us, or to hit them leviathan with ax or fists to defeat them. The rage mode is back, and we can still roll, dodge, and parry with our Spartan shield.
Another novelty will be in the game, and will reside in the fact that you can also lock your enemies, by clicking on R3. Subsequently, it will be enough to move the stick if you want to change the target but sometimes, it turns out that this system is at its head. Nevertheless, the readability of the action is relatively more than adequate and we find it quite easily, especially with the ability to turn 180 degrees, to quickly react to a possible enemy attack in your back, indicated by a red or yellow arrow. Quite frankly, the fights are still well calibrated, and what a pleasure to throw our leviathan ax on the head of a Draugr, which will have the gift of freezing it on the spot if the latter is sensitive to ice.
God of War has radically changed its formula vis-à-vis its predecessors, while maintaining their solid foundation
Because yes, the RPG side is actually much more pronounced on this new component, starting with the elementary damage. Indeed, some enemies may be much more sensitive to ice than fire in this case. But it’s not just that because our Kratos can suffer poison damage, be blinded, or even thundered for example, just like his opponents. This adds a not insignificant softness, just like the fact that our enemies have a life bar, a stun gauge to execute them, and obviously a level of difficulty indicated. All this gives rise to a difficulty a little more full-bodied, but still balanced. By the way, small mention to I.A. which in passing is ultra aggressive, and will not leave you a single moment of respite. When we tell you that the gameplay is technical, it’s not for nothing. So at the level of its Game Design, to say that the team of Santa Monica Studio hit a big blow!
And in all this, is there finally a good pack of weapons in the soft, like the previous God of War? Well, we will leave you with the surprise, but know that nevertheless, you will gain a lot of things during your journey. Moreover, know that Atreus can be a great help in battle, because you can sometimes do some kinds of automatic combined attacks if you ever project an enemy in the air for example, and you can even order him to swing arrows on enemies wanting your skin to do diversion.
Side puzzles or platforms, you will be delighted to know that these phases-to are also back. During our preview , we had already seen a little nice riddle during these three hours of play and in the full game, you will be delighted to know that there will be once again these small suspicions of puzzles. Some will put a little pressure, others will be a little quieter but still smart, and in the tone of Nordic mythology for our greatest happiness. Regarding the phases of climbing, they will be in the game, but perhaps a little too automated, unlike its elders. Nothing serious though, but it allows to keep some variety in the gameplay. And that’s clever because for once, we do not concretely have time to get bored with the ton of things to do in the app.
A semi-open world, and many changes
Yes, God of War as you already know is no longer linear, and moved into a semi-open world. The title will allow you to wander where you want, and you can even do some side quests here and there, in addition to the main quest. Moreover, count between 15 and 20 hours of play if you do the main quest, and one or two small side quests. Of course, you suspect that you can put at least 30h or more, if you decide to complete the game by searching every nook and cranny, or by doing all the side quests proposed in the app. Concretely, the risk-taking of developers to turn God of War into a semi-open world is a good idea, because you will never be bored with the ton of things between looking for frescoes, treasure maps, realizing various challenges, and I pass. On the other hand, one can sometimes pester on the system of fast travel, not necessarily so fast that that also but that does not hold, this semi-open world remains nevertheless a good idea good.
There is clearly enough to do in this God of War, and the title has also changed its RPG side. From now on, you will gain experience by completing quests or completing the many soft works, and this will be used to spend them through a skill tree to unlock new moves for your weapons. In addition, these experience points will also allow you to improve your runes, which you can literally graft to your weapons to give you some additional runic attacks. In addition, it will also be possible to equip our good old Kratos. By searching chests, you will automatically find money, runes, talismans, enchantment or equipment, to inflate the various statistics of your hero – strength, defense, rune, recovery etc … -. It is in this sense that we see that the title has gained depth in its side RPG, and it is even possible to graft enchantments to your outfits, to increase the different stats of our ghost of Sparta. Of course and like the previous games, you will have the possibility to find in runic boxes, objects giving you the opportunity to expand your life bar or rage, if you find three each time.
The game is completely adaptable to wish in its RPG side, and obviously, you will have available a system of resources, and merchant. The different resources will serve you to improve your weapons and dress mainly – it is also a pity that we are not necessarily told where to find the various resources … – and you will have available a system of money, to buy various talismans, improve the outfit of Kratos or Atreus, or buy new pommel for your weapons and thus upgrade them. It’s classic in the state, but it will have the merit of being very effective.
The beauty of Nordic mythology
Before going through the graphics box, we have to talk about the artistic direction of God of War. Let it be said, the Nordic mythology background fits him like a glove, and we will remain quite dumbfounded in front of the different panoramas totally striking that we are allowed to see all along the game. The sets are more ‘a colossal variety, and we will often come back with pleasure to visit this or that kingdom of Midgard, and its Nordic atmosphere totally dreamlike, but so haunting.
We are starting to know that now, Santa Monica Studio has accustomed us to put big graphic slaps on the God of War, and this new album seems to take the same path as his elders. God of War is unquestionably a technical slap on all points with textures of flawless cleanliness, sprinkled with some titanic backgrounds that really force respect. We have tested the software on a PS4 standard, and what to say if it is that fluidity is at the rendezvous, and the app does not suffer from any trace of aliasing! So it is true that the title may suffer from some light micro freezes or even small delays in display but that does not matter, the production of Santa Monica Studio is absolutely extraordinary graphically speaking that it is at the level of modeling ultra detailed characters, as the difference between cinematics and ingame that are almost not seen. The game led by Cory Barlog has still made strong you will have understood by offering a semi-open world with very little loading time between zones, while maintaining a sumptuous graphic quality to every midgard kingdom traversed. Definitely, we are really immersed in this enchanting Nordic universe once in play!
We finish again in apotheosis with the soundtrack of God of War, where there is almost nothing to say so everything is perfect. All the musical themes that are given us to hear in the app are of a very high quality, and we feel the know-how of the studio to systematically propose pieces that fit perfectly with the universe they want to propose and here, Nordic mythology. There may be some passage where the title seems a little too quiet but beyond that, the main theme of the game will often stay in our heads. Side dubbing in French, they are overall very good, with honestly very few failures in terms of lip synchronization.