The classic action brawler from ancient Greece, God of War, is getting an upgrade this year. Where it was once shiny and glorious, the game is now shifting to the far North of the ancient world. That means… Norse Mythology! Everyone loves the Viking gods and to bring Kratos into this universe is a great switch for the series. However, the new gods are not his only challenge. Now he has someone else on his heels following his every move, who appears to be his son…? Isn’t that child endangerment. In any case, here’s what we loved about E3 2017‘s God of War preview.
The story of a full blown killing machine able to conquer amazing beasts and gods can get pretty dull. After years of amazing fight mechanics and epic battles, the new story of God of War immediately sucked us into the gameplay. Having a son to train and living in the northern forests changes the tone of the game a lot. As a matter of fact, Kratos takes on a new weapon with his battle ax, a new look, and a much more fatherly tone. He’s got a hipster beard, after all. Has he finally let go of his rage? We doubt it.
Game developers have stated that Kratos’ son Atreus is a big part of the story, as is the boy’s mother who the team will not talk about right now. This dynamic leads to a sense of discovery and connection for the player. You are fighting epic monsters but also looking over your shoulder at the kid. Gaming parents will relate heavily to this idea and it’s too bad God of War is not available for this Father’s Day. It also seems that Atreus is sometimes playable, in certain situations. This keeps him from being a nuisance the whole game. It’ll be more like The Last of Us, and less like Resident Evil 4.
The combat and boss fights are still there. In the gameplay trailer, we see Kratos take on a full-size troll in his classic manner. The battleax is a character in itself. Hurling the weapon around like an electric boomerang may seem very Thor-like, but come on, we are now in the north, so that is okay. It is great to see the multiple ways you can fight with the ax and add in different elements.
The full beat down of Kratos is still there but now layered with a deep story and elements that force you to make choices and deal with consequences. Adding Atreus makes the player care much more and brings depth to each new experience. The mentor and student relationship are central to what we have seen in the game so far, we wonder how fans of the series will adapt to this new dynamic. Being that the first game came out 12 years ago, it may just be that players now have children of their own. Of all the action RPGs we have seen at E3 so far, this one hits a great fantasy niche that players will go for. It has been a stand out among some of the other titles shown this week. Kratos is growing up. Nary a boob was seen in the footage. And for that, we’re thankful.