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God of War review
Exceptional
by EnricoDC

Story: 10/10 - Enjoyed it a lot. Loved the shift to norse mythology and the way the story played out. The ending could have been a bit more climactic and the end boss could have been more spectacular, but that's just nitpicking.

Combat: 7/10 - Serves its purpose, but it's a step back from the older GoW titles in my opinion.

Exploration: 5/10 - Kratos' movement is very limited, as are the areas he can actually reach. This may not be too  noticeable while playing through the story, but it gets extremely annoying when backtracking and looking for collectibles.

Graphics: 10/10 - Absolutely amazing. The visual style and looks of the environments and the characters are stunning.

Sound: 10/10 - the soundtrack as well as the sound design are on point.

Overall I really enjoyed my first playthrough of God of War. As soon as I started collecting things and backtracking a lot for the platinum trophy the flaws in its gameplay became glaringly obvious. Still highly recommended.

Other reviews27

One of the greatest franchise comebacks with an intriguing story and exciting gameplay
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
My sleep schedule got so fucked up while I was playing this.
4.5!!! i love how the story evolved from what the original series was into what it is now i love the direction its gone and i love love love love atreus. and i thought the juxtaposition between freya's parenting decisions vs kratos' was really interesting it was really well thought out neither was inherently good or bad both flawed.
beautiful and enveloping world supplemented with a great story that links the ones of the prior games in the best ways. combat is pretty good with a diverse moveset of abilities and attack methods, but can become formulaic after a little while once you know what's efficient, which becomes apparent in the late game. lots of uninteresting bosses used ad nauseum, intrusively tacked-on RPG elements that dont make sense, and zero replayability from the endless "moviegame" moments and tedious half-baked environmental 'puzzles' that would be a slog to get through again. also kratos takes up like half the screen. youll love it the first time and never play it again.
God of War is the story of a man and his son on a journey to lay his recently passed wife to rest. It is difficult to convey just how beautiful, powerful, and amazingly crafted this masterpiece of a game is.

Story

God of War, technically the 4th mainline title in the series, takes place long after the ending of God of War 3 and acts as both a continuation of the story and a reimagining of the series. What used to be a non-stop, hate filled, machine of a series has been completely reintroduced as a meticulous, well thought out, journey highlighting the dynamics of the life of a god and the overall growth of a family. As this is a reimagining in the series, the developers have taken the time to briefly cover the information critical to the story, removing any need to play the previous entries prior to this one. What they managed to achieve with this change is nothing short of a miracle, deserving of every single award it has received in the time after its release. There are a couple of times where the tone of the characters felt odd, but these instances were few and far between as well as not terribly impactful. Overall, God of War provides possibly best crafted story in an action game to date and from now on will be all that I think of when I hear the phrase “life is a journey, not a destination”.

Gameplay

The standard cycle of gameplay jumps between fast paced hack and slash sections and slower paced puzzle sections. The combat feels relatively reserved early into the game. However, as you progress, it becomes more and more extreme, adding new weapons, combos, and flashy finishers. It generally feels somewhat difficult, but fair. My only gripe is that there never really feels like there is much punishment for dying. The shorter fights don’t take long to get through or move you very far back when you die, and the longer fights checkpoint you at each major interval. The puzzles are very simple for the most part, there were only a couple of points in the game where I had to stop for a moment and think of a way to get past a section. The developers did manage to get creative with the structures of some of the puzzles given that the tools to use in the game are limited. Spliced between the combat and puzzles, there are cutscene sections and associated quick time events. These sections are beautiful, very well designed, and don’t go overboard on the quick time events like they did in some of the previous entries. Frequently, these are tied directly into major boss fights and don’t interrupt the flow of battle as badly as one may expect from a cutscene/quick time event.

The customization and the progression in the game centers around the three primary weapons and an array of defensive accessories. As the player progresses through God of War, they are presented with equipment, currency, and resources. The equipment is often not as impactful as what you can purchase in the store (in-game currency of course, nothing paid), but is fun to find around anyways. The currency can be used to purchase items, resources, and equipment in the store, upgrade equipment from the store, or to be turned into resources directly. I never felt terribly limited by the amount of currency I was receiving throughout the game as it scales directly with your progression in the game. Finally, the resources can be used along with the currency to upgrade equipment in the shop. The high tier resources are difficult to come by and generally are found from major bosses and the lower tier resources are found frequently from standard enemies.

End game content is satisfying, but tedious at times. With a bulk of the content being collectables or grinding for Mist (an end game resource), the gameplay quickly loses its charm. So, I would personally recommend beating the game, but not necessarily going for the platinum as it’s going to be a slog of looking for collectables. The moment to moment combat in the end game is as satisfying as it is in the early game, so if you just want more combat, feel free to go for the completion or reaching for some of the post-game content.

Art

Every single area in God of War feels detailed, fleshed out, and fun to experience. Although there is an overall feeling of “cold winter” in all the areas, each one feels unique and fun to explore. The skyboxes are well detailed, the character models are all extremely beautiful and don’t feel out of place, and the equipment feels unique and well designed. Many times, I found myself gliding along the lake in the canoe and looking out into the distance at the monstrous figures and mountains just to take in the beauty of the game.

Controls

The controls are nothing special, but there is something to be said about figuring out a way to let a player control two different characters at once relatively fluidly. At times I found myself accidently putting away my weapons, switching weapons, or activating rage mode during battle, but other than those rare moments, things were generally smooth. The controls for Atreus, while difficult to memorize right off the bat, felt very easy to execute in the endgame (albeit a bit button mash-y).

Sound

Overall, the developers knocked the sound design out of the park in God of War. The voice acting is amazing to say the least. The conversations between the characters are engaging, entertaining, and just fun to experience through the entire game. The in-battle banter is smooth and enjoyable. The concept of a different story being told when traversing from one area to the next is amazing and put into practice very well. There isn’t anything about the ambient noise that feels annoying or out of place. While the music isn’t something that I would personally listen to in my free time, I can still recognize its beauty. It fits thematically into the game without a hitch and only ever complements the gameplay. I don’t necessarily have any love for the music, but it’s worth mentioning.



I feel like I should also mention that the idea of having no loading screen in the game is appreciated and needs to be implemented more often.
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«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
9/10

+ Very smart reinvention of stale franchise
+ Fantastic character performances (esp. Kratos)
+ Excellent touching/beautiful story
+ Combat is thrilling + challenging, never grew boring
+ Top notch visuals, environments are gorgeous
+ Way more to do than expected, meaty game
+ Soundtrack stood out (esp vocal pieces)
+ Norse mythology much more untapped than Greek

- Equipment customization too complicated, doesn't add much
- Camera too tight
As of 2018, my favourite game of all time. The story moved me in ways no other piece of media ever has, and the performances captured genuinely left me in awe. The no-cuts camera is groundbreaking and provides a relatable lens to view the story through - it makes you feel like you're on this adventure. This game moved me, and I will never forget the journey it took me on. God of War deserves to go down in history as one of the best offerings of the games industry.
«Blew my mind»
Beats the shit out of any other PS4 release by far! Stop reading this review and buy the game!
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
I fucked up with this game. I did NOT want this game to be spoiled for me at all and I was also very busy in the months of April and May, combining to make this a game that I really tried blasting through. I did no side missions, didn't explore the customization options even close to their fullest, and I came across maybe one Valkyrie that I don't even think I beat. Really looking forward to giving this game another go NG+ style some time next year. From what I DID play though, this is one of the best games of the generation, and hands down the best game of the year (sorry red dead ur too realistic not very fun). The way this game FEELS is incredible, it reminded me of my first time playing any of the Arkham games and quickly getting used to that new style of combat. God of War takes those mechanics, adds an axe, makes it deeper, and RUNS with it. The combat in this game is beyond satisfying, and the mid-game reveal of getting the hell-blades that ALSO control incredibly was just the cherry on top of the tastiest pie I've ever had. They even managed to make rowing a boat feel good and natural, which when accompanied by Mimir's voice acting and stories makes me wanna stay in the boat until I'm decaying. This game also manages it's difficulty so well, I played on normal difficulty and always felt like I was earning every kill. The boss fights are hard, the Valkyrie fight is insane (can't even imagine trying to fight the final one, nervous), and FUCK the werewolf guys. And god, the graphics... the graphics... 2018 really spoiled us with Spider-Man, Forza 4, Red Dead, and this. I couldn't believe my eyes, Sony please for the love of god make a PS4 Pro that's on par with the Xbox One X, or please make the PS5 as good as the Xbox 2 or whatever awful thing they name it, I need to see God of War in the best way possible. This is my game of the year and my game of the generation so far, I can't wait to play it again and hopefully get the platinum.
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«Blew my mind»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
Game is really great, but it is not god of war that i know from old generation consoles.