The original God of War released whenever I was thirteen years old, which you would think is the perfect age to play a gory, mature, and quite frankly, badass video game. However, I just wasn’t very intrigued by it. I played a couple hours and it just didn’t resonate with me. Maybe it was because I was still deep in the trenches of Resident Evil 4, or maybe I was subconsciously being a Nintendo fanboy — looking for reasons to not like something on a rival platform (Yeah, kids are dumb). However, with how incredible the new (semi-reboot) God of War for PlayStation 4 is looking, I finally felt the urge to give the original God of War a second chance. Guys, I was wrong, God of War is f***ing awesome.
Killing & Yelling
Throughout the years I’ve heard the same complaints about God of War over and over by industry enthusiasts. To sum up what I’ve heard — “God of War has fun gameplay but Kratos isn’t a likable character and he screams too much.” After completing the original and nearing the end of God of War II, I can confirm that Kratos does scream often, but the game is more than just a fun hack-and-slash title, as your probably already knew. Much to my surprise, I was completely enamored by the story from beginning to end, I’m guessing it was something I couldn’t quite grasp as a young teen. The way Sony’s Santa Monica Studio handled this tale of love, hate, and regret is something to behold. And it’s especially impressive because it’s a game that released in 2005.
Kratos isn’t supposed to be a likable character. He has done terrible, terrible things. You sorta want him to pay for what he’s done the entire game. But that all comes into play in God of War II; He wants to die but the Gods simply won’t allow it. They tell him he’s too valuable to them, which causes him to lash out in anger (something he’s quite good at). So by that point, you find yourself rooting for Kratos. He has lived a hard life, as you learn from the prequel titles. So, while yes he does yell a lot, at least the origin titles give us some insight into why he is the way he is. Also, to many people’s surprise, Santa Monica Studio recast Kratos in the latest sequel. So I think we’re in for a totally different, more patient Kratos.
Like I said, I’m only 3/4 through the second game, but I couldn’t help but research what the other games in the series were about. Now I’m even more excited to get to them. I was hoping to have all six God of War games done by the time the highly anticipated PS4 release launches. However, I don’t think I’ll be finished in time. I still plan to play them all afterward though! It’s a gap in my PlayStation knowledge that must be filled.
Anyway, story elements aside, the gameplay of the original God of War hasn’t aged splendidly; mostly the platofmring segments, but the combat can also feel stiff at times. With that being said, God of War II builds upon the original in all the best ways possible. Combat is more fluid (and badass-y), graphics looked impressive on my Vita, and the set-pieces go even bigger. I can’t imagine what I’m in for with God of War III, as I’ve heard it’s the best in the series.
In For a Ride
All I can say is, if you haven’t got around to playing the God of War franchise, I highly recommend it. You’ll get so much information on Kratos and his past relationships. It’ll only make for a greater experience if you plan on playing the new God of War for PS4. The older games in the series tend to go on sale all the time so be sure keep your eyes peeled.