The overall tone of God of war is dark, cynical and doesn't really inspire much hope for the world around the protagonists improving. Those aren't usually things I think about when I'm playing an action game so it speaks to how well the universe of this game was made. The combat is so smooth with it's animations that any frame of the action could be used as promotional material and the feeling of the clashes, especially the boomerang-esque leviathan axe when it's being recalled, are the best seen in any game up to this point. The game feels like it re-invents almost nothing, yet perfects so many systems from so many other games, both in it's core combat gameplay loop as well as its world exploration. Easily one of the great video games.