God of War review roundup: 3 things we learned

SIE Santa Monica Studio  Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

SIE Santa Monica Studio Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Far too often works in any form of media can screw up the kid angle - but a kid that can summon spirit wolves, talk smack on Kratos, and choke out Norse zombies sure beats the hell out of most video game companions. That's not to say that the game won't run on a regular PS4, but getting that 4K functionality out of God of War on PS4 Pro was important to many people.

"The obvious care that went into crafting its world, characters, and gameplay delivers by far the most stirring and memorable game in the series". Though Polygon rated the game a 10/10, it also highlighted some of the frame rate problems God of War can fall victim to in a separate technical analysis. With reviews beginning to roll in it's time to find out. "I have audibly said "wow" and sighed at the beauty of God of War", wrote Jonathan Dornbush in games bible IGN. I'll skip spoilers and specifics, but even core mechanical design choices, things that seem gamey and intangible, are given narrative objective by the end.

Sony provided BGR with a copy of God of War on the PS4 for the purposes of this review. Every aspect is excellent on its own, but more importantly, it all serves and accentuates the larger vision. Like Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey, the axe is more than a weapon; rather, it's the foundation on which most of God of War's puzzles are hung.

Shortly into the fray you'll get a fast-travel item that works at specific doorways. There's no denying that 2160p resolution makes God of War look stunning, but the trade-off may not be worth it for some. Kratos is no longer a predictable brute.

Since the review embargo lifted overnight, critics have been praising the game's stronger emphasis on character development and its new combat system. What may surprise you is how mature its storytelling has become. Tragedy, regret, and wistfulness pervade God of War's storytelling as Kratos and Atreus make their way to the top of a mountain to bid farewell to a loved one. Echoes of Kratos' past, which he is reticent to discuss, haunt the warrior-turned-reluctant father, dogging his every step. Their dynamic changes shape a couple of times over the course of the story, and their relationship involves a lot more demon blood and magical artefacts than the typical parent-child relationship, but Kratos is still a distant, emotionally remote father trying clumsily to reach out to a son who feels unwanted.

"From its renewed focus on storytelling, to its stunningly gorgeous world and incredibly satisfying combat, God of War is nothing short of a masterpiece, one that sets a new bar for what can be accomplished in the world of AAA games".

With reviews being out from today, it's clear that God of War is going to be an fantastic game we'll all be willing to play as soon as it releases later this month exclusively on PlayStation 4. There were plenty of moments where I just wanted to pause the violence for a bit to venture into the unknown - and occasionally be met with even more violence. You'll need to use every skill at your disposal, too, if you want to defeat the game's myriad enemies as God of War will throw wave after wave of nasties at you and pit you against bosses that will test your strategic mettle. Like its characters, it reaches such incredible new heights because of the inclusion of something that none of the previous titles in the series really had much of - heart. Even more so when you consider that God of War is quite literally about the paternal bond between father and son.

And just like Kratos and Atreus are two opposites working together, that dynamic can be used to describe the overall game design as well.

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