The newest God of War game for PS4 was first announced back in E3 2016 and raised hopes high with a badass looking bearded Kratos and a new camera angle along with a few other mechanics sneakily thrown in. Sony showed off more gameplay footage at E3 this year, confirming a lot of the rumours and details fans had dug up.
The boy in the game is indeed Kratos’ son and he is named Atreus – named after some guy who managed to convince Zeus to move the Sun backwards over the sky to win a bet. Kratos seems to play a father and mentor kind of role to Atreus, but he’s clearly not very good at it. He calls him boy and berates him for just about everything. But we see in a few scenes that the gruff exterior does fade away to show it’s just tough love.
The game still hack-n-slash like earlier games in the series; just go crazy mashing buttons beating up bad guys. But everything looks way cooler with the new over the shoulder camera angle instead of a top-down cinematic angle. Kratos also doesn’t have his signature chained blades, having lost them at the end of God Of War III. Instead, he wields an apparently enchanted axe and a shield with a really smooth equipping animation. And while you can’t actively control Atreus, you can command him to shoot lightning arrows and stuff and use him to solve puzzles too.
Another thing we noticed was the lack of Quick Time Events or QTEs. ‘Press X to do some cool stuff’ or ‘press O repeatedly to shake free’ moments are apparently gone. While it may have been frustrating at times, it was an integral part of God of War and you sort of expect to go through it a couple of times when you play, for at least the boss fights. Ahem, the um, NSFW minigames (you know what we’re talking about) are also gone apparently. The removal of the above might feel strange to longtime fans of the franchise. The morality branching system is also apparently gone, which means every playthrough will supposedly be pretty much the same. We don’t really know why Sony would do something like this, pulling an Intel by cutting off features their previous offerings had but we’ll reserve judgement till we get to play the game.
But of course, a game has to evolve and maybe there’s more cool stuff hidden in the game. We love the story progression – killing off the Olympians and then perhaps going on to commit more deicide against the Norse pantheon? (The trailer doesn’t really give too much away in that aspect) We also get a glimpse of Jormungandr, the World Serpent (Atreus is apparently a closet parseltongue) and it wants to help them? WOT. We seriously can’t wait for the game just to see where the lore takes us next. It’s easily the best looking God of War yet and we’ll perhaps get a few heart wrenching dad-son moments in that row boat (we can hope, can’t we), the new God of War shows a marked change from its predecessors. But is it a change for the good? We’ll find out next year.
Keep checking back for more E3 2017 coverage!