Game: God of War
Platform: PlayStation 4
Rating: M for Mature
Masterpiece. It’s a word that tends to get thrown around a lot these days. It’s hard to know when hype is being overblown and when something truly special has come along. With months and months of anticipation behind it, God of War is finally here, and with it that masterpiece word is being bran-dished about again. So, is it truly worthy of this grandiose word?Let’s find out.
Angering the Gods
God of War has quite the storied history on Sony’s platforms, dating all the way back to PlayStation 2. It all began when protagonist Kratos was tricked by Ares into killing his wife and daughter while waging a bloody war on behalf of the God. This leads Kratos on a whole new kind of war, this time against the Gods themselves over the course of three games and additional spin-off titles. After battling everyone from Hades to Zeus, Kratos has found himself with a new family in a whole all new mythology: the Norse. Here, father and son must travel to the peak of a mountain to spread the ashes of a loved one. Compared to the older iterations this may seem like a basic premise, however, the story arc is soon expanded upon.
Kratos sets out on his journey armed with only with an ax, shield, and his own two fists. Luckily for him he is not alone this time around, he is accompanied by his son, who can help distract enemies with a bow and arrows. Over the course of the adventure both father and son’s abilities can be upgraded and expanded upon, everything from stronger moves to new ones altogether. Not only that, new armor can be forged to aid you in combat, changing up your look and defensive capabilities.
The action itself is hard hitting and immensely satisfying. You feel every whack and crunch and bloodcurdling scream vibrate through your controller. The fight system is easy to get to grips with, but can be somewhat difficult to master given the constant dodge, attack, block, attack rhythm that the game requires you to employ. This combat style may be vastly different to the previous outings, but when you take out a gaggle of blood thirsty monsters with an array of attacks and the well-timed bow strikes of your son, you feel, well, like a God.
Graphics Worthy of the Gods
God of War is a PS4 exclusive, with ample development time, Sony surely hoped the game would showcase their system’s capabilities, and that’s just what it has done. This title could quite possibly be the best-looking game on the PS4 to date. The details of Kratos’ skin and facial expressions are astounding while the environments—such as shimmering water surfaces, cloud encircled mountain peaks, winding snow trails that leave footprints wherever you step, and much, much more—produce feelings of awe. Developer SIE Santa Monica Studio have left their heart and souls on the table for the world to see in everything from our heroes’ gait to the incredible voice acting. As gamers we can only be thankful that this team of men and woman have put such tireless effort into their work.
We are brought back to examine that word: masterpiece, the pinnacle of an artist’s expression. God of War, with its beautiful narrative that never cuts away once, addictive combat, and stunning visuals has achieved and rightly deserves the mantle of masterpiece. Sit back and let the developers take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.