GOD OF WAR REVIEW

  -  

About midway through God of War, Kratos & his son Atreus sit in a canoe in the middle of a lake, listening intently to lớn a disembodied head recount the tawdry & tragic dramas of the Norse gods. The head dishes with the gusto of a gossip columnist and the smoothness of a public radio host. Kratos & son show the orator respect, only interrupting with the occasional question for clarification. That this serene moment doesn’t ring false, let alone veer into tedium, speaks lớn the tremendous heavy lifting done by the creators of God of War khổng lồ shift the tone, the style & the expectations of one of the most beloved but also most violent and debaucherous franchises in modern games.

Bạn đang xem: God of war review

Last we saw Kratos, he still enjoyed getting hammered on a bottle of red, participating in a well-lit orgy và slaying Greek gods in ways that a teenager might storyboard onto the back of a ruled notebook. He and his franchise thrived on adrenaline, any inner turmoil serving as a springboard for ultraviolence, rather than an emotional well khổng lồ be drawn from. Times change, and the new God of War, part sequel (the story continues from where it left off) & part reboot (the adventure is slower and the characterization more thoughtful), has more heroic ambitions for the notorious antihero.


*
Image: vtvplus.vn vtvplus.vn Recommends is our way of endorsing our favorite games, movies, TV shows, comics, tabletop books, và entertainment experiences. When we award the vtvplus.vn Recommends badge, it’s because we believe the recipient is uniquely thought-provoking, entertaining, inventive, or fun — “and worth fitting into your schedule. If you want curated lists of our favorite media, kiểm tra out What khổng lồ Play & What lớn Watch.


Kratos is a parent now, older, calmer and from what I can tell, into the tiny trang chủ fad. He’s taken part in an ancient size of witness protection by moving north and living in a modest cabin in the forests of the Norse realm of Midgard. Kratos is, however, no less a magnet for domestic tragedy. His second wife, the mother to lớn his son Atreus, has just died và been cremated. Và so, this particular adventure, at the outset at least, has Kratos & his tween on a quest khổng lồ fulfill her final wish: that her ashes be carried khổng lồ the highest peak in the realm.

(Yes, the game kicks off with a spin on the “woman in the fridge,” but mercifully, things become more complicated as the story unpacks itself.)


The gods và the past get in the way of good intentions, & rather quickly, Kratos và his son find themselves vivisecting undead soldiers, elves, trolls, ancients, và a number of other mythological creatures with silly names & even siller characteristics (e.g., the tatzelwurm, a poison-spitting, tunnel-burrowing walrus-tiger hybrid). Thank goodness. For all the changes khổng lồ tone & ethos, this is still a God of War game, & you can feel that in the joy of the combat. Kratos doesn’t punch; he pulverizes. He moves like a boxer, shoulders set, legs grapevining back and forth. The way his ax zips into an enemy’s skull, then back to lớn his hand, is so smooth and natural that it’s easy to overlook how challenging it must have been to lớn animate such a thing. (Fortunately, animation director Kristjan Zadziuk explains how the developers likely did it in this YouTube video.)


In the early hours, God of War feels, if not lượt thích a follow-up lớn the original game, then a creative revamping. As the 2005 God of War took the individual great combat ideas from its time và blended them together, so does the new God of War for a new era. But the trò chơi doesn’t mix into any style for too long. Without warning, the linear adventure, focused on fights and dramatic showdowns, bursts wide open, and the preset paths of past entries give way lớn a new, grand hub, its spokes taking the crew far beyond Midgard.

The main objective must be attended to, sure, but not now, not necessarily. Kratos’ goal has weight, but the world isn’t literally rotating around his every decision — an increasingly common và welcome change in AAA blockbusters. This relaxed pace frees you to explore, & it frees Kratos to lớn focus more on parenting than on saving the planet. On more than one occasion, he threatens a bratty Atreus that he will turn this canoe around & head straight back home, & it feels lượt thích he might actually vày it.


In this way, the game has less in common with Homer’s epic Odyssey than with last year’s memoir An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn, which serves as a rich, therapeutic and exploratory look at the author’s relationship with his father through the lens of the classical text. And lượt thích that book, God of War does it with wit and grace. The dialogue doesn’t put on a faux-Shakespearean haughtiness. Atreus talks lượt thích a kid, sweet & also selfish. Và Kratos acts, in turn, like a father who has no clue how to lớn be a parent, & yet feels a profound need to lớn protect this boy from the world & his own bloodline. God of War is awesome at times, in the true sense of the word, but its heart lives in the small ways this man & this boy are building và unbuilding their relationship.


*
SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment via vtvplus.vn
All of which is to say that the trò chơi is relaxed to the point of bordering on indifferent. Many of God of War’s most interesting surprises are optional, branching from the game’s sturdy throughline: secret rooms giving way lớn hidden caverns winding lớn towering statues or belligerent dragons — which I would have missed altogether had I just followed my compass to lớn the next objective. You don’t find collectibles; you find entire chunks of story tucked behind a mossy wall or under a tropical island. God of War, like last year’s Nier: Automata and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, rewards the player who inspects its immaculately designed world as if it were a hidden object game.


Also optional are the spoken tales I mentioned earlier, the ones told by the disembodied head. Whenever you step from the canoe onto dry land, the head hushes up, and lượt thích a courteous tour guide, promises lớn eventually pick up his yarns where he left off. I got the most enjoyment from letting him finish, though. This applies to lớn everybody Kratos meets during the journey. I encourage you khổng lồ hang in the water. Lounge around the shops. Don’t rush into battle when characters are speaking to lớn you. Set down the controller, take in the scenery and listen to what they have to lớn say.

By journey’s end, of course, the fate of the world is at play — baby, bathwater — at which point God of War is thoroughly spiced with the gristle of Game of Thrones. Ice zombies, a skeuomorphic tabletop map, some occasionally stilted dialogue about the history of powerful family legacies that had hitherto been mentioned only in passing. The game’s one glaring weakness is this occasional mimicry of the iconography established by George R.R. Martin and his fantasy forebears. The art thiết kế excels when it tries something different, such as the buglike dark elves và ghastly trắng elves, neither of which look lượt thích elvish cliches.


The rare riff on other fantasy epics would be more bothersome if the game didn’t so confidently hold its own alongside its contemporaries when it comes to sheer scale. I’m hesitant to gọi the biggest moments in God of War setpieces, since they don’t operate in the fashion setpieces normally would. Some involve heavily choreographed fights & gargantuan explosions. Others, however, make Kratos a diminutive object in the frame, like when he’s dwarfed by a sea serpent that, coiled, must be the kích cỡ of a small city. One of the most memorable moments has Kratos (with the player maintaining control) parting a lake, creating long chasms of waterfalls that extend into the horizon. No blood or guts, just beauty.


These visuals don’t boil down lớn glorified matte paintings. Unlike in other kích hoạt games, where spectacle happens around the anh hùng while they fight inside a controlled arena, Kratos & Atreus step into these dense backgrounds. That massive lane in the lake becomes a pathway khổng lồ an elven kingdom, filled with fights và puzzles. The giant serpent rests languidly around the world’s central hub. & the camera never cuts away. There are no load screens. From the opening frame, through the credits and beyond, the camera lingers behind Kratos, the story proceeding in real time. God of War takes place in one shot.

Xem thêm: Gears Of War 4 For Pc Reviews, Gears Of War 4 Buka Banyak Detail Baru

The unedited long take is a bit stress-inducing, at least at first, lượt thích watching a movie and not being allowed to lớn blink. But as the trò chơi established its more chill pace, I appreciated the refusal lớn cut away from Kratos & company. I felt more like a participant in the world, rather than someone watching the adventure from outside it.


*
SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
As a technical achievement, the single shot is mind-bending, a never-ending “how did they pull this off?” Open-world sequences seamlessly transition into cinematic showdowns into lengthy trips in the canoe — without a stutter. Because the trò chơi can’t cut away, or skip ahead in time or space, you must follow Kratos on every step from one location khổng lồ the next. As a result of the decision, the world is big & condensed all at the same time. There’s a lot to see, but God of War’s designers have been creative in how they minimize backtracking. Generally, you can see where you’re going or where you came from, as paths through castles và cliffsides have you doubling back, creating shortcuts or secret passages back to lớn the main route. (You eventually gain access to lớn a tool that makes travel simpler và faster, all without breaking the game’s single long camera take. It’s neat.)


It sounds Dark Souls-ish because it is Dark Souls-ish. That comparison extends to lớn the combat, which — especially in the extremely difficult postgame nội dung — does a good (if imperfect) impression of everybody’s favorite masocore series. Borrowed inspiration isn’t limited to lớn the Souls franchise. Fights involve an unusual but effective hodgepodge of genres: Ax melee attacks handle like an old-fashioned beat-’em-up; ax throws work like a sniper rifle, the weapon returning to lớn Kratos with the tap of a button; Atreus (whom you can command to fire arrows) behaves almost like an RPG tiệc ngọt member, flanking large enemies và stunning packs into position for attacks.

In fact, God of War takes a good giảm giá from role-playing games. Gear can be purchased or found, then upgraded or modified, lớn increase Kratos’ status, which is displayed on the pause screen like a tabletop character sheet. The ax, the shield và the bow have upgrade trees. Kratos’ fanciest attacks are called runics, and you assign one light & one heavy runic attack at a time. Runic attacks replace complex combos, và are performed with a simple tap of the shoulder buttons. No pressure to master reflexes & motor skills. Instead, precious brain juice can be spent on strategy: Does a zone hotline for attacks that stun large groups of enemies, setting up a sequence of brutal takedowns, or does a big trùm cuối warrant narrow but powerful damage-dealing blows? Tough battles are made easy when treated like puzzles to lớn be solved with the right combat approach.


*
SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
None of this is explicitly clarified by the game, nor does it need khổng lồ be. You won’t see tutorials, just small reminders of which button corresponds khổng lồ which move. God of War embraces a certain degree of ambiguity, freeing the player to lớn discover their own methods, & tackle the journey how they see fit. Same goes for the story. Kratos và Atreus’ quest takes them in & out of the dramas of other people và kingdoms, & their involvement isn’t clearly rationalized as good or bad. Early in the game, Kratos tells Atreus a tale of sailors who drank seawater & believed they heard the điện thoại tư vấn of their families, the voices both pleasing them and driving them mad. It’s a brief moment, but it subtly establishes a distrust of one’s perception that’s reflected and refracted by the central storyline.


This ambiguity works because it’s intentional, not a byproduct of poor storytelling. Even small details pay off. Brief anecdotes parallel chip core themes. Seemingly inconsequential decisions have major repercussions. Lượt thích the game’s world, the story folds in on itself, inviting you khổng lồ re-examine where you’ve been và reconsider where you’re going. There’s a musicality to the structure: The central hub that Kratos & Atreus visit between adventures acts lượt thích a chorus, with each spoke of their journey its own verse. Atreus và other characters gently guide the player toward priorities, though they just as often mention a bundle of side quests that are just as worthy of your time. Simple chatter usually has a purpose, either moving the story forward, or nudging you, wittingly or unwittingly, in a new direction.

I’ll skip spoilers and specifics, but even bộ vi xử lý core mechanical thiết kế choices, things that seem gamey and intangible, are given narrative purpose by the end. God of War is, in a single word, holistic. Every aspect is excellent on its own, but more importantly, it all serves và accentuates the larger vision.

A decade ago, director Cory Barlog helped establish the God of War franchise as an iconic gory and debaucherous đoạn clip game romp. While its antihero, Kratos, had pathos (he killed his wife and daughter in a fit of rage, his skin forever grayed by their ashes), it served little dramatic purpose, rather existing as a grimdark excuse for his god-slaying & orgy-having ways. Barlog — now older, a father — has returned lớn the series with a small army of talented designers, many of whom served on the earlier games, lớn make good on that rich but neglected potential at the francises’ core. There’s still plenty of gore, but now the guts have meatiness. Some die-hard fans may fear this isn’t really God of War. I suppose they’re right. It’s even better.


Platform PS4 quảng cáo trên internet Sony Interactive Entertainment Release Date Apr 20, 2018 PS4 Score 10 Developer SIE Santa Monica Studio
*

God of War was reviewed using a final “retail” PlayStation 4 download code provided by Sony. You can find additional information about vtvplus.vn’s ethics policy here. The game was played on a PS4 Pro on Performance mode. For PS4 Pro users, God of War offers a display mode with 4K resolution, but it had frame-rate issues in our tests. The game was also tested by the vtvplus.vn team on a standard PS4 & exhibited no major performance issues. Screenshots were captured on both PS4 Pro and standard PS4 in 1080p resolution.

Xem thêm: 10 Bí Kíp Gia Tăng Trí Nhớ Đơn Giản, Dễ Làm Thế Nào Để Có Trí Nhớ Tốt


","class":"c-newsletter_signup_box--breaker","analytics_placement":null}">

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes


A weekly roundup of the best things from vtvplus.vn
Just one more thing! Please check your e-mail to find a confirmation email, & follow the steps to confirm your humanity.


By submitting your email, you agree khổng lồ our Terms and Privacy Notice. You can opt out at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA & the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.