Kratos and God of War, which gamers have never heard or known these two names. Apart from the fact that both are exclusive Playstation products since the Playstation 2 era, this one action game franchise has indeed grown to become an iconic title with quality that no longer needs to be doubted. When some games failed to represent cool classic mythology into a satisfying story, Sony Santa Monica did the job very well. Although the existence of the Kratos character is counted as “fictitious”, the mission of revenge which ended with the destruction of Olympus and the world through different series is a long emotional journey. Not surprising if the anticipation of the new series will be released in the next few weeks – God of War is so strong.
Those of you who have read our preview article before seem to have got quite a lot of pictures of what this one series actually offers. Sony Santa Monica does take so many risks at risk with it, from the side of the story, mythology, gameplay, to the camera system. As gamers who were skeptical at the outset, we welcomed this variety of changes with open arms. That what is offered by Sony Santa Monica here is not just an attempt to revitalize a franchise that surprisingly has the chance to live again, but continues the story of an iconic character who has an emotional bond with his fans. And so far, it has an amazing end.
So, what is actually offered by God of War? Why do we call it an amazing new chapter? This review will discuss it more deeply for you.
This latest God of War is not a series of reboots, but a sequel directly from God of War 3. We are still dealing with the figure of Kratos that we have known all this time, but are beginning to lead a different life. He lived in Scandinavia, standing under Norse mythology, along with a happy family. But unfortunately, tragedy does not seem to be separated from the figure of Kratos.
He opened with a sad fact, that Kratos had lost the wife he loved, and Atreus now no longer had a mother figure. Preparing for his funeral through the cremation process, the woman they loved had one last request – to sow his ashes at the highest Norse peak. A trip which is of course not easy.
As if he can’t escape the tragedy, he must lose the woman he loves in this new world. Kratos is now only accompanied by the child – Atreus.
Before he died, Kratos’s wife had only one last request – sowing the cremation ashes at the highest peak of the Realm.
Kratos must first train Atreus who, despite having the hunting ability of the mother, has not been responsive enough about what kind of threat is waiting for them. Still small and unstable, Atreus still needs a lot of learning. Kratos at first saw that he had to give Atreus a long time to grow. But the situation immediately changed, when a mysterious man knocked on their door. From there Kratos knew and understood one thing – that there was no more appropriate moment to fulfill his wife’s request while ensuring Atreus survived.
The journey far enough makes Kratos inevitably have to prepare Atreus, teach him all the skills needed to survive against the Norse threat that does not know the word forgiveness.
But that priority changed after Kratos was attacked by a mysterious man.
So, what is the journey of Kratos to explore the wild world to arrive at the highest peak? What kind of adventure should he go through with Atreus? Who is the mysterious man who knocked on the door of Kratos’s house? You can find all the answers to these questions by playing God of War.
It is no secret indeed that Kratos is now no longer adventuring on the Greek mainland, but plunged into Norse mythology along with Atreus. Sony Santa Monica certainly has a hard job to ensure that the settings you get end up different from what you found in the past. So far, they have done it.
The Scandinavian region which is a “home” for great fighters in the Viking class does have an architectural and world approach that is different from what we know from Greece before. You will now be adventuring in a place with wild nature that looks more beautiful, with high and snowy mountains that are ready to welcome whatever you prepare for him. Of course, you also have to deal with different types of monsters, as well as unique ruins and forms of civilization. Especially considering that Norse mythology is not only about Midgard. There is another world with different tastes that is ready to welcome the actions of Kratos and Atreus, more than just a snowy cold place with only a mystical aura.
Not just a magnificent statue and snow, it was also filled with a powerful magical aura.
Kratos just “jumped” into a world that actually had its own history of conflict. Many civilizations remained from the war of Aesir, Vanir, and the Giants that had happened.
One interesting thing is the timeline of the story itself. Kratos was not plunging into a period of Norse mythology that was still “pure” and peaceful when this God of War began. He entered into a world where the races in Norse mythology themselves, had shared a dark past through the various wars that existed. Then, you will find the remnants of the conflict, scattered over the world that you are exploring. The three main races here – Vanir, Aesir, and the Giants have shared so many conflicts and deaths that show this clearly through the debris on Midgard. The stories and stories of how they try to finish off each other are also thrown through the fairy tale of a character named Mimir, or simply from information that you find through the exploration that you do. Seeing how their tracks are clearly left on Midgard produces an even more amazing view.
Using the performance offered by the Playstation 4, Sony Santa Monica does produce a product that passes the detail side, it looks stunning. When the cut-scenes occur, details of characters such as Kratos and Atreus, from muscle curves, blood, injuries, facial expressions, to small things like beard feathers also look full of details. But when talking about visual presentations, one additional feature that we think has succeeded in producing a more epic battle sensation is the effect of environmental destruction that is now also available. In the middle of fighting in a field that contains small trees or squares for example, intense battles involving enemies or you who are thrown here and there will destroy the object, sometimes even making particle effects like falling snow.
Still full of blood and brutal scenes, the quality of visualization for the first series on the Playstation 4 certainly looks stunning.
In addition to its ability to present the cool world and the quality of detailed visualization, this epic sensation also radiates stronger through the implementation of the soundtrack in our ears, right on target. Do you still remember “Overture” which was presented live at the inaugural announcement of God of War at E3 2016 ago? Present at several story points, the music blends perfectly with the scene you face before your eyes, strengthening the emotions that occur. Not only Overture, some of the other soundtracks also ended no less charming. This audio element also shows its quality through voice acting for all characters that feels right on target, matches personality, and flows naturally, from Atreus to the dynamics of contention between two brothers – Brok and Sindri. Our favorite part? Use the headset at maximum volume before a conversation with the Serpent of World – Jormungandr who has his own unique language in such a low tone. Fantastic!
The character feels natural with voice acting that deserves a thumbs up. You will fall in love with the dynamics of Brok and Sindri who have so different personalities, for example.
Cool shapes and difficult names, enemies of God of War in a nutshell.
The two thumbs up is also appropriate for the design of enemies you meet. Unlike Greek mythology which contains more monster-like characters in it, Norse presents threats with more visual forms based on humanoid shapes with a slight twist, both Draugr that are nothing more than living corpses, giant Trolls with their Totems, until the Revenants appear like a witch who can disappear. The farther your game progresses, the more enemy variants you encounter with different attack animations and weaknesses. Slowly but surely, your trip to find the highest peak in this realm will lead to efforts to survive from monsters of various sizes. Of course, you will also “get in touch” with Asgard’s residents later.
With all this appeal, it can be concluded that there is nothing to complain about this latest God of War. Enchanting from the visual, world and audio side presented, you will really be brought into a unique and different setting compared to previous God of War series. But on the other hand, there can still feel that there is something mysterious and threatening behind the snowy high mountains here.
God of War certainly offers many changes and differences compared to the previous series. A significant one is the camera.
If we have to simplify the three types of the most significant changes offered by Sony Santa Monica in the latest God of War series are: Atreus, the camera system, and also Leviathan Ax as the main weapon. The camera system changes to be over the shoulder and is no longer fixed as in the Playstation 2 era and the Playstation 3 does offer a different gameplay sensation. Amazingly, despite all the changes he offered, he still leaves a familiar sensation similar to what you know from God of War so far.
Changing the point of view of being over the shoulder like a game like The Last of Us or Resident Evil 4 certainly presents a definite consequence – a more cinematic sensation of the game. Enjoying a new world view from this point of view, along with the existing building structure certainly produces the scale of the supposed grandeur, from size, breadth, to the variety of visual effects that follow it. So like games that have similar approaches, there are many functions that you can no longer find here. The function of the jump or climb button is now based on a prompt in certain situations, and can no longer be executed manually. This approach makes God of War feel more modern.
A camera angle like this results in a more cinematic playing experience and is more effective at capturing the breadth or dramatic setting offered.
With a viewpoint that is of course more limited, the focus of the game will be more directed to finish off one enemy target as quickly as possible before switching to the next enemy.
But one interesting thing, the strongest implication is of course there is the sensation of the fight that you pass. Fighting with more fixed isometric cameras in the old series is certainly different when you enjoy them with the camera’s viewpoint closer. With a more personal battle sensation like this, the fight becomes more focused on 1 vs 1 and tries to be aware of the threats that come from outside your point of view. Attacking one enemy and trying to finish them as quickly as possible before moving to another enemy will be the key to victory. Fortunately, like the past series, Kratos’s new weapon – Leviathan Ax is capable of carrying out his duties well.
The sensation of using Leviathan Ax is certainly different from Blade of Chaos in previous series. It has a shorter range and regular and powerful attack animations which are of course different. But one thing is certain, it is still effective in destroying any enemy that you encounter through existing combinations. So like most action games, Kratos will be able to execute combo attacks to produce damage or certain effects. Some animations will have different effects, such as strong attacks that potentially launch your enemy into the air to make them open for further attacks. The further the game progresses, the more attack combinations you can access. Your hands will continue to be busy because the demands to combine these various separate attacks into one coherent attack for maximum effect. There is an attack that asks you to hold the button to make an ax throw attack rotate, there is an attack with the AOE effect that can be executed by running, until a strong attack is held for large damage which can be closed with another finishing animation. Surprisingly, even in boss battles, the QTE portion of the God of War itself has also decreased considerably. The process of eliminating certain monsters with epic scenes can usually be solved by just pressing one trigger button, and no more.
The shorter range, the sensation of using Leviathan Ax is certainly different from Blade of Chaos in the previous God of War series. But he still emphasized the ability to combine the various attacks that exist.
Leviathan Ax can also be used as a throwing weapon that will not automatically return. Absolutely, there is a separate button that is intended to call him back to your hands, which will be useful in a variety of different situations.
Leviathan Ax, as you can predict, is certainly not just swung. You can also throw it for three purposes: attack, puzzle, or just for fun. Keep in mind, Kratos’s ax throw will not return automatically. Sony Santa Monica even set a special button intended to call him back. Even though the mileage produced is not always real, the farther you leave it – the longer it takes to return to your hands, but it produces cool effects that are also useful in battles and puzzles. The ax throwing path from your hand and returning to your hand counts as a remote attack with its own damage. Also keep in mind, that the Kratos ax is also reinforced with ice elements which at certain moments will be able to make the enemy freeze and of course, more free for you to attack. You can also throw it in the name of a whim, just to see how far you can throw your ax in a free area and how long it returns to your hands. Believe it or not, at some point, you will try it.
Another element that makes this ax’s role important is the series of puzzles that you must pass, both to pursue the progress of the story or just to open various chests containing interesting rewards. Many of these puzzles will ask you to pay attention to the door mechanism or certain pulleys, for example, with your ax, you can make them pause until you decide to call your ax back. More important treasure chests containing components that can provide upgrades for your cellphone and Rage bar, for example, are also usually placed in a mechanism that requires you to open three keys with different symbols. Symbols that are usually embedded in stones or bells, which with your ax throw, must be crushed or sounded.
Kratos can also fight empty-handed to fill the enemy Stun bar. If it’s full, you can access the franchise’s typical cinematic finishing attack to kill instantly, or just more damage.
So, what if you were panicking and forgot to call your ax? Take it easy, Kratos is still a god with extraordinary physical strength. You can still fight empty-handed. Uniquely, this hand-to-hand battle also contains other mechanisms in it. Unlike Leviathan Ax, which guarantees considerable damage for each attack, barehanded punches will be more effective in meeting enemy Stun bars represented by pink lines under their cellphones. Once this Stun bar is full, you can trigger the action of super large damage, which could end up killing them. As an example? The iconic movement of Kratos that is able to rise above the Ogre and control it for example, can now be pursued and accessed by attempting to meet this stun bar first. Some enemy variants are also designed for anti-Leviathan Ax, which makes these weapons useless, until empty hands become a necessity.
Fortunately, you will also be assisted by Atreus who not only functions as a story element, but also actively engages in combat. God of War even gives you a separate button to order Atreus to shoot his arrow. Its function, of course is not just for damage that incidentally can not be counted effective. Atreus moves like a supporting character for Kratos and functions as a “range weapon” that continues to be accessed when needed with a number of skill-like arrows, based on cooldown. The Atreus arrow can be used to provoke the attention of the enemy so that Kratos can attack more freely, or just make those who move super fast like the Revenant experience a little stun time until they can be attacked. Along with the progress of the game, with the open arrow variant, Atreus can also use light arrows and electric arrows that will have different effects on the enemy and can be maximized for certain conditions. This arrow will also be the key to some of the puzzles that you find throughout the game.
You can command for archery, you can see Atreus is like your “Support range”. It can distract, help your melee attack, and produce other status effects along with variations of arrows that it finds.
Since fighting is always close, your Shield will be a savior in so many conditions.
The Kratos trick still hasn’t stopped there. Although still supported by rolling action to avoid attacks, he is now also equipped with a shield in his left hand. By using this Shield, you will be able to fend off most of the attacks without damage or do the parry for timing-based counterattacks. Enemies will also have unblocked attacks which are usually followed by a red indicator to alert you. Follow Kratos’s lunge in the past series, with a Rage bar that will fill up as you fight, Kratos can access the Rage Spartan who will make him run amok and attack blindly with his bare hands. Not being an “instant” solution to all the problems and types of enemies you are facing, Spartan Rage is ultimately more effective at making Stun’s bar full of enemies rather than instantly killing them. Saving and determining when exactly to release this energy will be crucial enough to face several enemy variants, which are difficult both in terms of quality and quantity.
And in the end, Leviathan Ax also presents a different new concept in the Kratos attack. Something called Runic Attack. You can see it as a cooldown-based skill system that can be strengthened and disassembled, depending on your needs, with the category division process based on Kratos’s light and heavy attacks. There are many variants of Runic Attack that you can get and use, and each will offer its own advantages in battle. Some have very straightforward effects such as large damage attacks, but not a few also function more effectively as crowd-control, where attacks can lead to the effects of ice or just having a large area to ensure Kratos is safe.
You can simplify it as a cooldown time-based skill that can be uninstalled, Kratos also has access to special attacks called Runic Attack.
Although the level of difficulty at the normal level is relatively easy for the main story, there are optional bosses in the style of Dark Souls that are ready to get your hands injured and your heart screaming in annoyance.
Even though at the beginning, the changes offered seemed so significant, but slowly but surely you will find that the basic concepts of God of War that we have known are still left and flowing thickly from the battle system with a new camera, new enemies and new weapons. this. Some boss battles will even be difficult, enough to frustrate you. There are enemies that are designed to represent experiences that are not much different from Dark Souls, where they have large damage attacks and repetitive animations that you need to associate to avoid. But if you feel that this optional boss variant is not difficult enough, you always have the opportunity to enjoy this game at the highest level of difficulty that will make even ordinary enemies like Draugr, become very annoying and deadly.
With a combination like this, God of War appears as a foundation-based, solid game. For gamers who had tasted the old series, there was something familiar with the fighting style of Kratos who had never known the word forgiveness there. For new gamers, the combination that you can access above the enemy variants which is quite a lot will make it feel exciting exciting. For gamers who come looking for a challenge, believe me, you can always get it at the highest level of difficulty.