The Playstation 4 has been an unstoppable force ever since its announcement in February 2013, previously Xbox had ruled the console wars during the 360 era. The tide turned however since the release of PS4 with Sony understanding what its core audience wants and has delivered solid titles since its release crowning it king of the (fanboy) console wars. Why do I bring this up? Games like Until Dawn, Infamous : Second Son, Uncharted 4 & Horizon : Zero Dawn have been smash hits as console exclusives giving Sony a competitive edge against Xbox. It is with no surprise that God Of War not only continues in this tradition, it smashes it wide open and delivers the best gaming experience I have had on the PS4 to date.
Taking a fairly one dimensional character whose emotional range was “smashy smashy” and completely diving into his backstory, adding a family, transporting to another realm and killing his wife has made Kratos a different man…sort of. He still has that gruff, man of few words vibe and while his crazy and unpredictably wild nature has somewhat been tamed, I almost felt like calling this game “God Of War” was a little bit of a disservice. While the game focuses on Kratos and his son Atreus, it really is the journey of a grieving father who is trying to connect with his son. I personally felt like calling the game “Kratos” or “Kratos’s Journey” would have been a more appropriate title, but I digress.
God Of War is a complete phenomenal experience like no other on the Playstation 4. From the beautiful graphics to the moving score and sound effects to the intensely detailed characters and dialogue combine with some incredible action and fighting sequences and surprising character depth deliver above and beyond any expectations I had for this re-imagining of the series.
This game is set in the Norse mythology and makes it clear from the beginning that this is a very different world. Kratos is married with a wife and child, after an unexplained death of his wife, he must bond with his son and take his late wife’s ashes to the tallest peak of the mountain to be scattered as per her dying wish. Having a father and son as polar opposites does wonders for this game. The rough and toughness of Kratos mixing with the sensitive and soft Arterus is a delightful mix. There are points in the game where Arterus is babbling away asking questions and being loud and Kratos will just simply say “Be quiet, boy” and then you are attacked by enemies hiding in the shadows. The game is all delivered by one continuous camera shot that never breaks or stops for “loading times” which surprised and impressed me. However there is a trade off, the game delivers a 30fps and at some point it is very noticeable (I also have to factor on that I was playing a review copy and the all important day 1 patch has not been made available at this stage).
There is so much to discuss the game but we don’t want to head into spoiler territory until the game has been out for a few weeks, so I will leave you with 500 words and simply tell yuo that God Of War is the surprise of 2018. It is beautiful, it is challenging, it is deep and a testament to gaming being taken seriously as art. Over the next few weeks make sure to check back in with Novastream for a spoiler filled video review, live streams and podcasts celebrating this amazing game.
God Of War releases Friday 20th April exclusively on the Playstation 4.
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