God of War still has a little while before it is launched, but the official review embargo has been lifted and the critics have had their say on the game. And according to all of them, Sony’s Santa Monica studios has created an epic.
We have rounded up some of the best reviews on the internet about the God of War, and here’s what they say.
To begin with Jeff Bakalar writes on CNET, “When I first saw the surprise announcement of a new God of War game back at E3 2016, I was most curious about what this meant for the series. How was this going to evolve the franchise? Where were they taking the lore? Why did Kratos look like he’d spent some time with a metal band? But the gameplay tease that followed made sense to me. Transforming the perspective to third-person felt like a reasonable direction to take the game. I remember thinking, “This is exactly what they needed to do for a reboot.”
But my early understanding of this aesthetic shift was really just the tip of the iceberg. Even after an hour spent playing a demo last month, it still hadn’t occurred to me just how many light years ahead developer Santa Monica Studio had pushed God of War.
Not only is God of War in fact a meaty open-world action-RPG, it also finds an equilibrium that showcases both Kratos’ maturation as a character and the series’ evolution as a whole. With the original games serving as a prologue, this new era’s transformation is a jarring metamorphosis in game design, mechanics and character development.”
Chris Plante from Polygon, talks about the maturity of Kratos saying, “Kratos is a parent now, older, calmer and from what I can tell, into the tiny home fad. He’s taken part in an ancient form 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 his son Atreus, has just died and been cremated. And so, this particular adventure, at the outset at least, has Kratos and his tween on a quest to fulfill her final wish: that her ashes be carried to the highest peak in the realm.”
From IGN, Jonathon Dornbush writes that the plot of the game has evolved from the previous games, “God of War works from minute one thanks to the simplicity of its plot. Kratos and Atreus – who start as, at best, acquaintances – begin their journey having just gone through the loss of Kratos’ wife, whom Atreus bonded with much more than his father. The two set out to the tallest point in all the realms to carry out her final wishes.
The setup is Journey-like in its visual nature – I saw the peak in the distance and knew I’d get there eventually – but as similar stories have taught me, the path is never a straight or easy one. A number of obstacles, both natural and god-made, extend the adventure to around 25 hours’ worth of terrifying threats, beginning with the first major encounter in the opening hours.”
Talking about how the game works out John Linneman, from Eurogamer writes, “Animation plays as important a role as raw detail and sets a new standard for the series. Attacks connect with and stagger enemies realistically, and everything from tossing an axe at the head of a large creature to swooping up the undead with a vicious attack lends a sense of weight and momentum to the game. Larger enemies – a staple of earlier series entries – also make an appearance, featuring both excellent cinematic and in-game animation. Clothing and ‘dangly bits’ also receive their own attention to detail with realistic physics applied to each of them as you run through the world. Realism here is impressive; It feels as if the armour worn by Kratos is a separate object with its own physics applied, rather than something attached to his model.”
Brett Phipps from Trusted Reviews talks of the performance rather highly, “One thing to mention for Pro players is that God of War comes with two graphics modes: Performance and Resolution. The former will render the game at 1080p with an almost rock-solid 60fps, while the latter delivers 4K via 2160p checkerboard and a variable frame rate targeting 30fps (although it rarely maintains it).
The difference between the two is stark. I spent most of my time appreciating the beautiful visuals in 4K, switching to Performance mode only for the trickier combat encounters. There’s certainly compromise in both, but the game does a good job of allowing you to easily switch between the two should you want to.”
Talking about the combat Chris Kohler from Kotaku has to say, “While this does work well to enable a more deliberate, less arcadey combat style, it also saps the series’ ability to show off that sort of cinematic spectacle, replacing it with something that looks a lot more like many other triple-A third-person action games. The environments, while always technically beautiful and occasionally artistically inspired, are now built of fairly simple caves, hallways, forests, and the like, with far fewer moments where you’re climbing up the 100-foot-tall buttcrack of a Titan. The camera may occasionally pull out a bit when one of those obligatory moments is happening, but it’s only a slight change.”
And Andrew Webster from The Verge sums it up by saying, “God of War is the kind of lush, expensive single-player experience that has become increasingly rare in a world where online, service-heavy titles have come to dominate blockbuster games. It feels singular in its purpose, and it pulls it off magnificently. There are some minor nitpicks — the narrative’s heavy use of magical MacGuffins, a needlessly complex loot system, and an over-reliance on particularly gruesome kills — but they do little to detract from the overall experience. On their own, the various elements that make up God of War don’t sound especially unique or interesting. But it’s the way they work together — how the story informs the action and vice versa — that makes it memorable. God of War takes a one-dimensional series and turns it into something with depth and emotion.
This isn’t the Kratos you remember — and that’s what makes it work so well.”