God Of War PS4 First Impressions – EPIC, BRUTAL, GREAT || Kratos has always been known for his unobtrusive manner, especially when it comes to splitting his opponents’ skulls or slashing their bellies in a living body. The Spartan always reveals his brute force in his new adventure.
However, the warrior now also shows emotions on the journey together with his son. But not only this innovation makes the action-adventure of Sony Santa Monica an indispensable experience for PS4 owners.
For five years fans of the series had to wait for a return of Spartan Kratos. The prequel “God of War: Ascension” provided solid action food on the PS3, but could only measure up to a limited extent with the previous parts of the core series.
Now, developers, Sony Santa Monica sends a new adventure of the little prudish warrior into the race and changed the previous series formula in almost every area. Why we are thrilled despite – or because of – the increased story focus and the new combat system, we reveal in our test.
THE BROOD OF THE FLOGGING KING
While Demigod Kratos in the previous series parts exclusively with opponents from the Greek mythology docked and even Gods father Zeugs directed next death god Hades, he has now arrived in the Nordic mythology.
God of War puts you after Midgard, so the Nordic world of gods like Odin and Thunder Hammer Schwinger Thor. This is exactly where the Spartan wants to calm down and grow old together with his wife and son Atreus. When his wife dies, the young Atreus is to fulfill her last wish and scatter the ashes of his mother on the highest mountain in Midgard.
Although Kratos would never admit it at first, this last wish is sacred to him. However, before he wants to go with Atreus, he wants to first prepare the boy for the dangers in the world. And that seems like a tedious task.
Because Atreus is not an indestructible giant like his father. He is small, thin and sickly. However, Kratos needs to rethink the plan to first arm his son for the trip. For an enigmatic man attacks the two and nearly destroys the Spartan’s life. Kratos and Atreus move out of the way to start the long and arduous journey.
At first, this may sound a bit contrived. In fact, however, it forms a comprehensible basis for the subsequent journey – and the development that father and son go through in this time. As Atreus increasingly learns to assert himself in the world and even in combat, Kratos finds an access to his feelings.
If at the beginning he is as taciturn as one knows from his predecessor games, he later shows increasingly how much his heart is attached to Atreus, and that he is otherwise capable of compassion.
In the context of Atreus’ development, however, there are also conflicts that contribute to the exciting and eventful history. Because at the latest, when the shoot of the warrior learns that his father is a god, he threatens to outgrow in his new self-image.
MORE ROLE PLAY THAN BEFORE
With the new part of “God of War”, however, changes much more than the significant increase in story focus. In place of the rather simple knit upgrading of weapons in its predecessors, now moves a role-playing system.
You spend experience points to unlock new abilities, such as special attacks with the Leviathan Ax or a block fighter for the Shield Battle. Materials like harsh silver paired with rare resources such as the Frostflame, in turn, use her to increase the level of the weapon.
Kratos also has a number of attributes such as strength and defense. To improve it, you make armor with the blacksmith and upgrade it in several stages. In addition, you equip objects like a talisman or socket weapons with runes, which also bring bonuses to the character values.
Only by progressing on those points will you increase the character level of Kratos. The number of items may be a bit too high – the initially almost non-manufacturable or usable “legendary” objects could have been optionally hidden. There are some rooms for experimentation, but the administrative effort is still limited.
In any case, you have to spend a lot of time with the crafting system to reach the higher of the four difficulty levels. But you can not completely ignore it if you want to be equal to the upcoming battles.
But you do not have to deviate from the story path, which will occupy you for 17 hours. As part of the various side quests, additional areas and chests that you can open only in the context of small puzzles or challenges, but you have plenty of room for it. After the story ends, you unlock new areas.
BEAT UNTIL THE BODY BURSTS
The fights themselves also play differently than in the previous parts, which is mainly due to the new shoulder perspective. So we do not have everything in sight anymore, what happens on the battlefield around us. The mostly wave-like opponents attacking from different directions also come from behind or from the side, where we can not see them.
God of War warns you then in the form of arrows, but also by comments from Atreus before if threatened by any danger. This does not always help, however, to dodge in time. Serial connoisseurs may need more familiarization time than God of War newcomers and could also complain about not using the quick-time elements.
The action itself is not too short. Although Kratos later receives only a second weapon in addition to the said ax, there are a number of attack variants and special attacks such as an all-around swing. You can also throw the ax and let it snap back into your hand at the touch of a button.
If an enemy is standing exactly between you and the ax, then the weapon hits him on the way back. Added to this are tactical components by your companion Atreus. He shoots various arrows on your orders, which you use to interrupt attacks by enemies or paralyze them for a short time. Later, Atreus acts more independently in the fight and sometimes holds smaller enemies, so you can easily start a charged blow.
If the damage is enough to kill the opponent, Kratos will happily break it down into its pieces. This also works with melee attackers on stunned enemies. Although “God of War” is not just a matter of adult entertainment, Sony Santa Monica resists violence – at least compared to its predecessors.
A BOSS RARELY COMES ALONE
Even the normal opponents form a wide range, attack with different weapons, explode on death or are due to certain magical resistances defeated only in the fight with the bare fists. But of course, as expected, there are a number of bosses that Kratos has to bring down.
Golems or ogres may repeat themselves in a similar way perhaps a touch too often because they later appear increasingly as a standard opponent again. Spectacular are the battles but always and wait with highlights such as the fight against a giant dragon.
And of course, in a God of War the duels with gods may not be missing – if not here against Hermes or Zeus, but just against those from the Nordic mythology. But even if it is gripe at a high level: with the legendary boss battles from the first three series parts with Hercules or Ares and what they are called, they cannot quite keep up in the new “God of War”. In addition, the very big highlights are generally rare in this area.
It would be too much to say that Sony Santa Monica completely reinvents the production wheel with “God of War”. But the Californians bring not only a sequel that offers more of the same but a fresh concept in almost all areas.
This does not only include the changed perspective, which shows the happening from the shoulder perspective, the extensive crafting system or the far-reaching open-world elements. It is above all the increased story focus. The predecessors were already heavily staged, but as emotional and moving as the joint journey of Kratos and his son Atreus was not yet part of the “God of War” series.
Perfect, apart from the fantastic graphics and the first-class sound, but not everything. Because the tendency to role-playing elements and thus away from the primarily skill-based hack-and-slash principle means just for serial connoisseurs, a Habituation and thus a certain loss.
That balances out the new “God of War” with a lush main story and a huge supply of side quests, riddles, and other secrets. While this is not quite enough to beat the fulminant “God of War III”, the bottom line is that this “God of War” is a must buy for PS4 owners and an adventure that, thanks to its history, will make you feel very special Remembrance will remain.