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God of War 4 Review– “Old, but Not Forgotten”

The announcement of God of War 4 caused huge doubts and fears among the fan community. And the reason for this excitement lay not in the fact that the series looks like an assembly line. In fact, there are many reasons for such a stir and all of them are justified. First, the storyline decided to move away from the history that was associated with the Greek gods to the vast expanses of the Norse gods and northern mythology. Secondly, many did not believe in the power of the Santa Monica studio, as they could copy the concept of The Last of Us and implement it in God of War 4. Thirdly, many were confused by the fact that from now on collectibles and additional tasks will appear in the series. The latter began to doubt the change of environment and the appearance of a small assistant. In addition, who on top of everything was supposed to play the role of one of the main characters. However, the new God of War threw down all these fears.

Yes, God of War 2018 is the exact opposite of all the old games in the series in terms of plot. After all, a long time ago the main character, the cruel and insane Spartan Kratos, lived by wars. And now who is he? A reasonable person? Once upon a time, he lived only because of an incredible desire for revenge. Now what? Is he trying to be the best possible father for his son Atreus? Nevertheless, the game is full of easily recognizable details, rich backstory (which is inherited from the previous seven parts of the series), familiar characters – and all this brings to the game an unusual, but pleasant depth and drama. That’s why, in plot terms, it’s still the same God of War.

“God of War 4 Release Trailer”.


Cold, windy peak


God of War 4. Review

“The game is just full of all sorts of references to events from the past.”

The events of God of War 4 unfold in an unfriendly place. Sunny land – faded into the background. It was replaced by the Scandinavian hinterland with a world serpent, harsh gods, trolls, witches and ogres. According to the plot, the main character loses his beloved. And now Kratos, along with his young and inexperienced son Atreus, must go on a journey to fulfill the last request of his beloved wife – to bring her ashes to the highest mountain of Midgard.

If you expected from the new God of War an epic massacre with Odin, who can tear out the last eye. Or if you wanted to ride and ride on the great and terrible Fenrir, or even wanted to break the Torah skull with all your heart with his own Mjöllnir, then you will have to disappoint – there is nothing like it in the game. Surely no one of me was deeply convinced in my heart that the developers once again will not be able to resist the incredible craving for the senseless dismemberment of the gods. In fact, it turned out to be completely different.

“Don’t be like me, be better” – these are the strong words Kratos will say to his son in the finale. Apparently, he really lacked a man for whom he could change.”

The new story of Kratos, the Savior of the Gods, is a kind of intimate, but incredibly personal story related to the redemption and consequence of his actions in the past. The aged protagonist is no longer an uncontrollable boy on the run from the gods. He is no longer trying to exterminate an entire pantheon of gods in order to take revenge. So a few centuries after the meat grinder on Olympus, the main character still found peace and his happiness, thereby completely devoting himself to a completely ordinary, familiar human life.

But, as expected, happiness cannot last forever, so at some point Kratos’ wife (Faye) dies. In addition to the last request, which was described above, she gives the heartbroken Spartan not only a powerful axe called “Leviathan”, but also a son – Atreus.

Emotional scenes with hugs are quickly replaced by a long and dangerous journey, which with each new step and cutscene draws the former Spartan deeper into the world of northern secrets, intrigues and an unknown impending threat. Even the beginning of this long journey is accompanied by small but important details, vivid battles and interactions with a young son.

“Kratos is represented by a kind of strict, but fair and unusually quite understanding father. His Spartan personality is presented not as a banal flaw, but as a feature.”

It is here that you can trace the handwriting of the developers from Santa Monica. After all, as in the case of Ellie from The Last of Us, Atreus (the son of Kratos), as the storyline progresses, from a frightened and ridiculous boy turns into the most reliable assistant who, with his skills, helps in battle and distracts the attention of enemies to himself.

The whole plot is built in order to get from point “A” to point “B”. Therefore, it is necessary to move along a long but incredibly intricate path, which in turn runs through almost all nine legendary worlds of Norse mythology. And yet again, in order to fulfill the request of the beloved, who gave the hero tired of wars, hope. And along the way, you have to, of course, explore new wild and harsh lands, solve puzzles, delve into the storyline and break through hordes of different kinds and sizes of creatures.

In God of War 4, the drive and aggressive, constantly adjusting soundtrack are gone. The narrative from the beginning to the end will move not only measured, but also melancholic. But the cold winds and snow-covered lands of Midgard only emphasize the mood that is present in the characters. Of course, as the game progresses, it gains momentum, there is a scope and intensity, but the new game does not reach the bar that was present in God of War 3.

“One of those very strong scenes. Kratos, who holds the ashes of the woman he loves. It was she who gave him her love, her son and, in the end, hope.”

Yes, all these global changes in the storyline, in the history of the characters and in general in terms of mood can disappoint ardent fans. Nevertheless, such a presentation is justified. And it is justified primarily by the fact that the developers worked not in breadth, but in depth. There’s nothing wrong with that. Still, it would be time to do it.

This approach to narrowing the scope of the action ultimately made it possible to focus on the details. The change of emphasis from a colorful setting to the characters that are inside this color only benefited the new game. After all, now players are offered not only to senselessly cut monsters, looking at their insides, but also just to follow the development of relationships, the journey of the heroes and the mental state of an ardent Spartan who tries his best to be a good father.

“You can joke all you want about Kratos’ unchanging facial expression. But just his sad look shows how heavy a load he silently carries.”

But to follow in God of War 4 really has a reason. The most important praise that the game deserves is that the new concept works as it should. In this regard, again, you can see the handwriting of the Santa Monica studio, because the script of the new God of War, like the script of The Last of Us, is quite a simple, but really talentedly told story. In addition, you should not expect from the game detailed characters and some twisted intrigue in the plot. In God of War 2018, everything is quite simple, without frills and the main thing is clear.


Secrets of the past


God of War 4. Review

The first god of war 4 trailer showed the most important thing – the inner world of the main character will be given a lot of attention. The developers showed Kratos more human. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it now looks logical. Sooner or later, Kratos had to find his solace, in connection with which he would be afraid of losing what he has again. Of course, initially it was difficult to imagine Kratos as a deeply tragic hero, but why not? After all the events he’s been through, that’s fine. In addition, no one guessed that a harsh Spartan could have a murderous sense of humor.

“Throughout the game, you think about what Atrey is thinking. He is so small, and has already gone on such a difficult and long journey, to scatter the ashes of his mother at the end.”

Kratos is now a stately gray-haired warrior. The authors did not throw away the legacy of the previous games, but on the contrary – they woven all this into the character and the very personality of the main character. Therefore, now other people’s deaths, which were committed at a young age, lie on the hero with a heavy, reinforced concrete load. Kratos consciously decided to bury the indomitable rage deep inside himself, so now he is as closed, taciturn, reasonable as possible, and at times it seems as if he is even cold, like the Scandinavian climate (which again emphasizes the state of the protagonist). The new setting is chosen quite symbolically.

But still, the most important thing that they are trying to show in the game is that Kratos is now vulnerable. He’s really scared. He’s actually worried. He is frightened by the past, which he tries with all his might to hide from his son, because this can finally deprive him of his family. Actually, this is the most important conflict of the storyline: the uneasy relationship of a sullen father who does not want his son to repeat his mistakes and a naive, but energetic boy. And knowing Kratos as a mad Spartan, it is interesting to watch how the characters gradually open up to each other, because the main character opens from a completely different side. And that’s no more boring than waving your bewitched axe.

“Very nice scene. After all, Atreus still lacks the agility and strength of his father to fearlessly engage in acrobatics. Such moments make you smile, because when else will you be able to see such a caring and restrained, and at the same time loving Kratos?”

In addition, the popular theme of “fathers and sons” in God of War 4 concerns not only Kratos and Atreus. Almost the entire game is permeated with this motif. Including most of the actions of other characters. Of course, they are not worked out in such detail, but for that it is plausible. Most likely, the point is not to blur the focus and focus the player’s attention on the main characters. There is even a plot branch that is so dramatic that it can perhaps surpass the branch of Kratos and Atreus. Actually, she also throws a hook for future games in this series. In the end, it will also help squeeze out a tear in even the most insensitive players, so be prepared.


Dialogues


God of War 4. Release date

Another part of the storyline is served through numerous dialogues, legends, and even stories. If, for example, a fight scene begins or you run too far, then the speech is gently interrupted, but then it resumes again, and very smoothly and without losing the general meaning. The characters suddenly begin to remember what they talked about and continue the dialogue, or the story exactly from the moment where they stopped.

In general, it is very interesting to watch how Kratos begins to break down a little and becomes human. This is especially noticeable in the dialogues. This is a kind of path from monosyllabic rude statements to incredibly frank conversations about life with his son up to instructive fables.

“Kratos does not speak the local dialect, but in this matter he is helped by his son, whom his mother once learned. It is Atreus who will decipher the texts on the altars, obelisks and translate ordinary scrolls. “

There will be a lot of dialogue in the game. They help to make alive not only the situation, but also the characters too. The son and father will discuss a variety of things. And at a certain point, they will meet Mimir, the smartest person. It is he who will serve as a source of funny jokes and a kind of guide to the world of Norse mythology. In the course of a conversation with him, you can listen to a whole ton of myths and stories, get acquainted with dozens of new characters and all this will be done very interestingly.


Hackneyed Scandinavian Setting


God of War 4. PS4

Different myths and legends in God of War 4 are played not just neatly, but perfectly. In addition, as accurately as possible to the source. But with the world, everything is a little more complicated. The authors have repeatedly stated that during the development they were inspired by the games of the Souls series and the bloodborne game – especially with regard to the architecture of the levels and in terms of their structure. So the slight influence of The From Software studio is felt.

There will be devastation and complete desolation all around. People try to leave Midgard faster, because this world has become too dangerous for life: monsters, wild beasts, robbers and gods stuck on their verge of madness. Part of the history of these places is presented through the stories of antiquity of Mimir, but most of it, of course, visually.

“The game is filled with collectibles, tags, quests, gear, and characters. The good news is that all the places are not only really worth exploring, but it’s not a terrible monotonous activity either. You can get involved in a good massacre, perform a couple of interesting tasks and finally you can learn a little more about the new world. “

It’s very hard to switch to a completely new setting, because the colors from the previous games in the God of War series still make themselves felt when you look at all this emptiness and cold. Not surprisingly, some speak of the new setting as depressive and boring. But that’s the way it should be. The developers had to show an uncomfortable place where you feel a certain hopelessness. In addition, this world is alien – from the picture and music (which is magnificent within the framework of the game), to the fact that Kratos does not understand either the local runes or the local language. Nevertheless, even though the Scandinavian setting is already a very hackneyed topic over the past two years, but still in God of War 4 it is perfectly represented, so it looks fresh.


Окружающий мир


God of War 4

“The world serpent Jörmungand may seem tough and treacherous at first glance, but in fact he is a polite, courteous and incredibly friendly friend. Although his loud voice can’t tell you that.”

In the studio Santa Monica did a great job on building the world around us. Although in general over it. The adventures of the two characters are not only neatly intertwined with Norse mythology, but more importantly, it happens succinctly. During the passage of the game, you constantly stumble upon a variety of manuscripts, tales and altars. Thanks to all these details, the picture of the surrounding world gradually expands. In this way, history is filled with meaning. In addition, it helps to feel part of a new setting, and not just a luminary around which all this revolves.

The franchise and characters are opened from a completely unusual angle. Again, this is where the disadvantage of the new game lies. Because if you couldn’t get enough of Kratos’ violent and brutal disposition, then the new part will disappoint in places. After all, the mad Spartan now rarely raises his voice.

“In addition, there is a semblance of an open world in the game. Despite the fact that the developers promised that there would be no open world in the game, there is a lake on which you can freely swim on a boat, looking for previously unexplored small islands. During the passage of the storyline, the water will sink lower and lower, thereby opening up not only small pieces of land, but also full-fledged regions. “

There are certain problems in the game. The first is the open world. This is another shocking news for those who are accustomed to the past games of the series and expected to see something similar in the future. On the other hand, the language does not turn to call it an open world, because it is more like large locations with additional tasks. As it was, for example, in the last games of the Tomb Raider series. At the same time, linear progress has been preserved. Locations, albeit seamless, but in size practically do not differ.

In addition, unfortunately, some locations will have to be visited several times: first you need to go through it one way, then another, and then the third. So running around in God of War 4 is enough. Because of this, it may seem that all these repeated walks were made only so that the son and the father finally talked or occupied the player with another heart-wrenching dialogue.

“As expected, at a high level of difficulty, even ordinary draugras are able to finish off Kratos with just a couple of blows.”

The amazing thing about this is that it can be forgiven because this repetitive world doesn’t break the gaming experience. Another thing is that, despite its novelty and detachment from the precepts of previous games in the God of War series, the new part simply paradoxically depends on the classic parts. God of War 4 is very hard to work as a standalone story.

What does this affect? Literally everything. Because all this drama and the depth that is presented rests solely on what is already known. On the fact that we know who Kratos really is and what he had to see in the past. Because of this, if the new God of War is your first introduction to the series, then you are unlikely to understand what is happening here and where the roots of all the troubles come from. Without the necessary knowledge of Kratos’ past, having what you get from this game, the plot is perceived as a story about a silent father and his son, whom he is trying to raise, overcoming his cockroaches in his head.

“Local dwarf blacksmiths Sindry and Brock, who will supply the heroes with new ammunition, will be able to find several options for equipment. The materials for these things in the course of the passage are themselves. In addition, it was these brothers who once forged Mjolnir and the chain on which the giant wolf Fenrir sits. “

It’s the fans will flash the image of the old Kratos. A player who has played through previous games in the series will unwittingly compare his old image to his current image. That is why a person who is even just familiar with the God of War series understands why Kratos can not just take and decide on a frank conversation with his son to his heart. Why can’t he hug him back. After all, why does he run to save him with tears in his eyes, knocking himself off his feet.

So we can safely conclude that the authors clearly counted on the fact that the players are already aware of what happened before. Simply put, that you are a fan. Only there is one more snag, which is the cardinal difference between the new game and the series. As a result, it turns out that the developers did not explain to the new players what was happening at all, but at the same time did not give what the fans wanted. Expectations, of course, are bold.


And you need to think with your head.


God of War 2018

On top of that, a significant part of the space of the new world is occupied by puzzles. In God of War 4, the most interesting and not boring ideas were implemented. For example, there are places where you need to search for runes, which in turn completely lock chests and treasuries that store unique artifacts. Puzzles are accompanied by real research, where you have to perform certain combinations of actions. So it’s not just a collection of silly dots on the map. Passing tasks for time, multi-level puzzles with wheels, unusual energy bridges, deadly traps and much more.

“God of War 4 came up with some really interesting challenges. For example, in Muspelheim (in the possessions of fire giants) there is a test in which you need to experiment with the combat system as long as possible. But in the halls of Niflheim, you need to fight against time, simultaneously moving on until the poisonous fog finishes off the heroes. “

Overall, it can be said that any God of War 2 fan will be happy to have it. After all, the game has actually returned to grandiose riddles, which in their size are comparable to entire locations. True, you will have to go through them during the storyline, but for that they do not let you get bored and just look spectacular. Based on this, of course, some of these puzzles will be scripted, but there will also be those for the solution of which it is necessary to conduct a couple of rather complex manipulations with mechanisms, a variety of interactive environments and even interacting with the second hero (Atreus).

Special attention should be paid to various kinds of collectibles. For example, keys that provide access to trials in one of the nine worlds. There are typical tasks to destroy certain enemies. Not without secret rooms, treasure maps in the game – all this requires a more detailed origin and study of the surrounding world.


Combat system


Game God of War 4

“The most tense moments in the game are the quietest. A calm, collected opponent is much scarier than a crazy and wild psychopath.”

Perhaps, it is worth starting with the game bestiary, which with each hour of passage only increases, replenished with new monsters. A little later, they begin to unite in groups with other monsters, thereby significantly increasing the complexity of the fights. For example, eyes that are similar to nightmares, after a while gain the ability to inhabit particularly strong creatures, thereby restoring their health and making them temporarily invulnerable. Ogres are able to take the dead and throw them. Ghosts can be completely invulnerable, but until the son shoots them with his magic arrow. And the couple in the course of traveling randomly open some gaps, from which monsters come out, reinforcing each other and providing the main characters with big problems.

Not without a particularly dangerous environment. For example, you can stumble upon sources with poisons. They can be blocked with an axe, but suddenly appearing enemies can take you by surprise. Therefore, you will have to choose between taking back your axe and fighting in the poisonous fog, or fighting against enemies with a fist and shield. In some cases, the environment can on the contrary help in battle with enemies.

“Atreus’ equipment is also better to try to pump. In battle, a boy will never be a burden to you.”

In general, many conditions are associated with the combat system and the growth of characteristics. You can find or buy new sets of armor, which in turn change one or more basic skills, ranging from the force of the blow and ending with protection. Armor can also be improved at the blacksmith, provided that you have special components and enough gold on your hands.

The properties of the weapon can be changed and even increase its level. The level of weapons affects the techniques available in the leveling tree. But each purchased skill opens up new types of combat techniques and improves the power of certain combat ligaments.

In addition to all this, there are also runes, which are divided into small and large. Runes give the opportunity to change unique blows. In addition, they can be improved for experience points, but after applying these blows, you will have to wait until they are recharged. For example, the rune in the bow of Atreus allows you to summon a huge wolf, or when replacing a whole pack of predatory crows that are able to paralyze the enemy for a strictly defined amount of time. There’s another caveat: Crows can use elemental attacks, but depending on which Arrows Atreus uses.

“To slap a werewolf in the face, he will first have to be stunned. The best way to do this is to punch or connect Atreus, whose onslaught even the most endured opponent will not withstand. “

Combining runes, improving weapons and armor, you can create a unique protagonist who best suits your fighting style. Someone, perhaps, begins the battle with a special blow, and someone with throwing the enemy into the air, after which the call of crows begins. The combat system is quite rich and diverse.

Present in God of War 4 and a rage scale that accumulates during battle and can subsequently be activated in a fairly short period of time. As expected, in this mode, the main character will inflict his maximum damage, stunning the enemy and ending with a juicy and cruel finishing. Although, finishing is not necessary during the battle with ordinary, ordinary enemies, but they look very spectacular in a boss fight.

“The axe is also needed to solve various puzzles. For example, to break the chains, to switch some switch, to pull the lever or even to freeze a certain mechanism. “

It is also worth noting that the “Leviathan” axe in the game is the main type of weapon. Atreus also helps in battle, who not only fights, facilitating the gameplay, but also timely warning the main character about the danger. However, he does the same thing when you get lost: if you can’t find the right way for a long time, then your son will tell you where to go next.

By the way, if you carry out a number of certain actions, then Kratos will receive temporary protection, but with the timely evasion of the enemy’s attack, time slows down. However, it still depends on the chosen mascot. But as for the boss battles, even if they are no longer as epic and are not served in such quantities as before, but they still remained very bright and well staged. The staging of the fights is amazing, because during the battle the environment is destroyed, while there is a high level of detail that no existing project has yet reached.


It’s just getting started.


God of War 4. On the Russian

The decision of the developers to focus on the topic of “fathers and children” is not only a plus, but also a minus of the game at the same time. On the one hand, it turned out to be quite a whole story. It is not too philosophical, but for that it is extremely understandable and, most importantly, vital. After all, many old fans of the God of War series already have children themselves, so it’s likely that the game can catch on.

On the other hand, these games are loved mainly because of the scale, for the most twisted epic, where the main character was allowed to tear apart even the gods. But in God of War 4, that’s very little. In total, you can count a maximum of four scenes from the category of “wow moments”. So to some extent, it’s pretty frustrating with the bosses that the series actually made its name on.

“There are some pretty funny moments in God of War 2018.”

The new part does not spoil much with such details. In a sense, you could even say that this is no longer the case. Of course, such an act of developers is considered unforgivable. There are only a couple of visually noteworthy skirmishes in the entire game, and then one of them at the very beginning of the game. Really challenging battles, where there is a place for tactics and attentiveness, are found only outside the storyline in large additional tasks.

In addition, many true fans may be disappointed by stories that are beyond personal dramas. And all because they are also practically non-existent. As well as bosses. As well as large-scale scenes. On the one hand, the whole new story, during which you have to go through all nine worlds of Norse mythology, revolve around one single goal – you need to climb the mountain to fulfill the last request of your beloved.

“Never forget Atreus, because he fights on his own, stuns enemies, showers them with arrows, but only after his father’s order.”

In addition, the main character is not much loved by the local gods. It is not clear what they want from the death of Kratos, why they are hunting. There are no specific answers to these points in the game. Moreover, the new God of War specifically tries to avoid these issues and refuses to explain the motives, for example, odin or Thor. The actors won’t help either, because the story plays out between a small number of such characters. However, it is worth noting that all of them are really important for mythology, but for the general public they are not particularly well known. So do not expect a meeting with the gods, so to speak, of the first echelon.

And all this is justified by only one detail, which is quite suitable for this. Because a lot in the game says that supposedly this part is conceived as a “foundation” for a completely new series, but with a look back. So it’s possible that the developers are preparing players for something really big. They simply do not want to turn on the intensity and epic ahead of time, hiding very important characters in the shadows. In God of War 2018, the gods are still alive, and the real scale of events begins after the final credits, when the passage of God of War 4 comes to an end.

“The new God of War is more worldly wisdom than sex and violence.”


The Bottom Line


God of War 4 is a very deep story game. The new part focuses on its characters and their soulful history much more than it used to be. Yes, this time it is not a large-scale massacre of some next pantheon of gods. The story in the new God of War is more than the usual meat grinder. Rather, it is a melancholic journey through an unfamiliar, cold and alien world.

The new God of War from start to finish is still a great game. At least due to the fact that the developers may have inserted into the project the most popular mechanics that competitors had, but they did not brazenly screw them, but used them with a special talent and with the most accurate sense of proportion. Nevertheless, the game shows how the developers are trying to please almost everyone, because they have gone too far from the origins, but at the same time they do not want to jump calmly into a quiet pool.

And most importantly, God of War 4 should be perceived as a new story that is just beginning to gain momentum. There is no doubt that the authors of the release of this game decided to test the ground, to assess how they react to the new story. The new formula will show itself in all its glory definitely in the next part.

Without a doubt, God of War 4 is a new level for the series: from battles and their productions, ending with a story that, despite the gaps, does not want to let go of the attention of its player. After all, even collecting all sorts of collectibles is not a simple and dull chore. It remains to wait for the sequel, which is definitely not far off. A worthy adventure.



Reviewer’s verdict

A spectacular adventure with serious trials and battles. Tricky and not boring puzzles. An interesting combat system with a decent “wagon” of customizable options (a sufficient number of improvements, techniques, strikes, combinations and subtleties). New mechanics.

Charming and rich setting, thanks to which you constantly admire new locations and landscapes. Excellent animation and spectacular battles. Epic battles are few, but each battle is stored in memory, since the graphics are at a high level.

Within the framework of the presented setting and the new plot idea – the soundtrack is simply awesome. Within the series, he is too “passive” and melancholic.

A logical sequel. Revealing the protagonist from the other side. The beginning of a new series with an eye on past games. A fairly simple but interesting story. New colorful characters.

Quite convenient and responsive controls. Despite the huge pile of mechanics, you do not experience any difficulties. A small assistant in the person of the son of Atreus, also does not interfere in any way, so it is also quite comfortable to manage him.

It is quite obvious that we are waiting for a new series about the adventures of Kratos. The restart started, of course, not without problems, but in the end there are more pluses than minuses. It’s not a revolutionary game. Rather, it’s a real revolution for the series.

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