God of War (2018)

This year, I’ve been left feeling underwhelmed with a lot of new releases. While I didn’t find any game to be unenjoyable, I failed to find a game that I felt was truly remarkable. Thankfully, the latest God of War has changed that.

God of War sees the return of Kratos after a five-year hiatus. This time around Kratos is older and after getting his revenge on the Olympian gods, has since relocated to the world of the Norse gods where he takes care of his young son Atreus. The world of the Norse gods is dangerous and full of many threats, and so Kratos must teach his son how to survive in a world that is always against them.

It’s a narrative that manages to stay interesting and exciting over the course of the 15-hour play-time. I had previously never cared for the God of War series, and I wasn’t a fan of Kratos in the slightest, but he’s easily my favourite character this time around. I won’t go too far into spoiler territory, but having to raise Atreus allows Sony Santa Monica to show another side of Kratos that we’ve never seen before, and it works perfectly.

Sony Santa Monica should also receive high praise for their environmental design. The locations in God of War are without a doubt some of the greatest that I’ve ever seen in a video game. Each area has its own character to it that sets it apart from the rest, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a hard time picking one that you think is the best.

Combat in God of War is an entertaining affair. Thanks to some RPG elements that have been implemented into the game, players are able to tailor Kratos’ abilities to suit their playstyle. They can further their focus by personalising their armour choices too. I tended to focus on armour that enhanced my combat abilities, but you can also focus on rune enhancements if you so choose.

Admittedly, I did find myself thinking that some encounters could have been designed better to provide a better experience. In particular, going up against trolls felt like a slog, and they occurred far too often for my liking. This is only a small issue in the grand scheme of things, and it doesn’t detract from the game enough for it to be considered a serious issue, especially when you factor in how fun other enemies are to take on.

God of War is a game that succeeds in just about every aspect. Not only does the game provide an engrossing narrative, but it also has some great gameplay to match. From the games that I’ve played, God of War is easily the best to release this year. God of War is easily one of the best games of 2018, and by the years end it could very well stand as the greatest game. Whether you’re a fan of the series or a newcomer, God of War is a game that you need to play.

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