After five years of work, Santa Monica Studios is back with a Kratos by the carrying almost thirteen years. Intending to keep the essence but revolutionize the formula, the new God of War is introduced in Norse mythology and gives it more important than ever to history to tell. Is it a really different experience or changes to follow all the same?
God of War tells a wonderful tale through a beautiful spectrum speckled with more than a few drops of the blood of your enemies. It’s a shame, then, that boss fights have fallen by the wayside at every level to become terribly monotonous – but if that’s the cost of what Santa Monica has built, it’s certainly a price worth paying.
Simply put, God of War is on a different level. The game — now available in stores and online — is an incredibly impressive and fully realized experience unmatched by anything I’ve played in recent memory. It’s scary good. And it’s only on. Sorry, and owners. God of War’s combat is already great at the start, but it gets better as it steadily introduces one new layer after another. Two optional areas in particular seem designed with the endgame in mind. The first, Muspelheim, offers a series of battles in arenas surrounded by lava flows and scorched earth.
In God of War III, the player just takes a few minutes of being confronted with Poseidon, god of the seas, riding the Titan Gaia, nothing more and nothing less. The conclusion of the Greek epic of squandering Kratos epic bombast from minute one and Santa Monica Studios was asserting that the more and better in one of the hack n ‘slash more overwhelming than they remember.
The new God of War decides to invest those first few minutes, so often essential and symptomatic, putting us at the controls of a Kratos must cut down a tree to make firewood for the funeral rites of his wife. Everything is intimate and unhurried in these early stages and that declared intention to go for a profound change, of course, already evident in the title (without subtitle or some numbers, almost like a reboot ), begins to be felt soon.
It ‘s been a long time since the third installment and tibia prequel that was Ascension and from Santa Monica Studios decided, almost five years ago, renewing a functional and successful formula having the courage to go beyond trying to do something else. This reinvention talk makes an action adventure, not a hack n ‘ slash, or an experience with a focus on narrative and history that counts and not an empty succession of mindless killings. The requested jump to Greek mythology is accompanied by an intention to go one step further in all, both mechanically and narratively senses, while structural elements are changed as the camera, jump or control scheme.
And in the industry Druckmann, Fares Blow or where ever weighed and further recognizes the work of the author, this is the God of War Cory Barlog. It and other several hundred people, missing more, but under the titanic work of Santa Monica Studios over five years underlie the motivations and obsessions Barlog. Of their harvest are two elements essential priority, this new experience: Atreus, the son of Kratos, and the importance of the camera in a single plane without cuts. Let me start by talking about the latter.
Barlog, who already tried in God of War II and proposed for the reboot of Tomb Raider on his tour of Crystal Dynamics, craved create a triple video game using a single plane sequence, the action film where no cuts or changes flat for a long scene. This ambitious and far-fetched in an adventure of more than thirty hours as it sounds, has been one of the most recurrent arguments in the years to promote the game (announced in 2016) and exemplifies the tenacity and the care of a team linked to Kratos and the mark God of War for more than 13 years.
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But this admirable technique virguería feels, in turn, as a slightly wasted whim. Astonished that an adventure of this magnitude Chain scenes, places and clashes as disparate in one shot (small traps to disguise load times, yes) but hardly contributes where the team wanted to put the focus on narrative. What and how they are benefiting barely noticed so it ends up being a worthy gimmick technical and it is a shame that many players can complete the adventure without noticing it.
And we talk about that bet by the script and that is more intimate and personal journey of Kratos jaded, we talk about Atreus, the second pillar on which seems to have turned the work of Barlog and his team. Driven by his own paternity, which already was director of God of War II and repeat with this new release, he opted for a new Kratos without fear; our character is still the tormented Ghost of Sparta, yes, but it was the dark past which led him to Nordic lands to end up forming a new family .
He said the adventure begins with cremation Kratos woman and mother of Atreus and, from there, fulfilling his last wish premise serves as a remote history of the gargantuan. In the process, of course, the relationship between father and son becomes a blank function and, for better or worse, there are hardly any surprises in this regard. Far personality, thanks to the link created by dint of writing, acting or mechanical characters and their relationships in games like The Last of Us , Bioshock Infinite , ICO or A Way Out, a God of War will see the seams and evidence certain inability to function how they have made great narrative experiences of recent times .
It is light – years in those duties, the previous installments of the saga but there is too inane dialogue or directly uncomfortable, relevant situations resolved in haste and in my case, I have felt like an experience that fails to operate at level emotionally. The relationship between Kratos and Atreus did not seem well – developed (and not for lack of time) and at any time I managed to connect to it. It does not help that, except for a couple of timid and mechanical point in the early stages such as bowhunting, no delves into the relationship playable level.
God of War is not, therefore, a compilation of the greatest hits of Kratos in the Nordic key. It might be easy to expect these levels of epic and constant intensity after passing through the blade gods and Titans but here plays live an intimate story of slow development that revolves around a handful of characters. This, in absolute negative per se, assuming a slight problem ends level scale; the handful of epic movements and “desencajamandíbulas” is still there but it will be easy to have the feeling that you are not taking full advantage of such a palatable and rich as Norse mythology canvas.
And we come to how you play . The thorough facelift, could not be otherwise, also arrives at the controls, and dip into the easy and trite resource, the new God of Warlocks more like Dark Souls (there are the same control scheme, the set of enemies or parries ) that deliveries of the saga that leaves behind. Combat is much closer and slightly slow, has more weight and greater strategic component but, fortunately, has not lost decisively on the road, replacing the acrobatic showmanship for a more visceral approach. It’s very different, yes, but it works revolving around the core of the action (and also puzzles, by the way), the ax leviathan, armed with the ability to be launched remotely and call back that boomerang or without leaving mythology, hammer Mjölnir Thor. It is a simple but extremely versatile, effective and, above all, mechanical very satisfactory.
So, betting on the development and customization of the few weapons at our disposal (the aforementioned ax, shield, bow bearing Atreus and some other tool that is better not to reveal) instead of the dozens of combos, combat can feel something basic and repetitive at first; something that is solved with the passing hours, to blow silver and experience points to improve our Kratos with new attacks, pieces of armor and improvements . In addition, our main weapon has baptized as runic attacks, light one basic to their cooldowns, you can choose from among all those who find scattered around the world, choosing different styles of play. In the end, combining our improvement to the controls and progression of Kratos and Atreus will be easy to enjoy as or more intense fighting and, above all, more complex than previously seen in the franchise.
Somewhat uncomfortable are during the action, yes, a couple of essential mechanical: one consequence of the shift in focus is the use of a button turning the style of Resident Evil, necessary because of a large number of enemies that attack us the back but not quite well implemented; the other, will make common light runic inadvertently attack because of its combination of buttons, L1 and R1, respectively lock and light blow. So strange decisions such as recycling, throughout the whole adventure, a certain enemy who acts as head of area, the extreme simplification of platforming sections or inability to act, even though classic quick time event franchise, in many action scenes. Too.
There could not speak, of course, something that has always gone hand Spartan soldier: a spectacular technical and graphical section. This is difficult, if not impossible, to put some hits together. Santa Monica’s work in this regard seems Titanic and graphic strength of the whole is the best I have seen in the generation. The technical muscle that serves to highlight the artistic exuberance of the polychromatic and visually beautiful of delivery. Every ray of light, every animation, every particle effect and representation of each new scene increases admiration for a phenomenal job that along with the solemn musical work Bear McCreary,
In this term, in what overwhelming, it is where this reimagining best moves and, far from the classical linear experience and direct no more than ten hours, here we are talking about a work of magnitude and ambition far superior. At about twenty hours it can take to complete the main story (perhaps elongated in excess according to sections) must be added a content endgame surprisingly deep and varied that while discovering us to new areas, puzzles and enemies (as well as a wide range of equipment parts and materials), will rise about the level of demand for rounding a great experience .
A Santa Monica Studios must recognize the merit and courage to risk changing from feet to head a brand as iconic as God of War on a plot of industry, the blockbuster, more conservative and ultraconservative each passing year. And yes, the influences are obvious (and recognized in many cases) and this reinterpretation of the antihero we all know has a lot of great works of Dark Souls, combat and interconnected world; of The Last of Us, the relationship on the adventure and cinematic aspect is founded and The Legend of Zelda or Metroidvania, the importance of backtracking . The problem (blessed problem, on the other hand) is that you never get any better or build on references taken and ends up being an amalgam of great ideas and inherited mechanical.
It’s a shame that its eminently narrative side does not operate at the same level as the other systems and mechanical, that a comprehensive character like Atreus is not as well written that it should, that more will take at fault and variety of bosses or easy to stay with the feeling that the studio has missed a mythology as rich as the Norse. However, thanks to its many virtues speak of a titanic and exceptional product that falls squarely among the best he has given us this generation and rubs shoulders with the big action adventure story.
- Technically it is overwhelming. The best of the generation.
- The progression and customization of Kratos and Atreus.
- The battle, satisfactory, intense and spectacular.
- The endgame and quality of secondary content: new areas, enemies, secrets, etc.
- The world, interconnected, exploits the backtracking.
- The script and some ups and downs in the rate.
- The character of Atreus and the relationship between father and son. There is no connection.
- The recycling of certain enemies and the lack of more bosses.
- The Norse mythology feels somewhat wasted in the narrative.
- The simplification in certain aspects: quick time events, platform, etc.