When we last saw Kratos, he was putting an end to Zeus. Which he did. He beat the god to death with his bare hands. After having killed all but one of the gods (we knew he couldn’t kill Aphrodite), we saw Kratos release the power that he had by stabbing himself with the Blade of Olympus. And that appeared to be that. But then we see a post-credits scene with a trail of blood leading off the top of the mountain. The indication is that he lived. But where could they possibly go with the story? That question has been on my mind, as rumors of a new God of War came up.
The rumors were of Norse mythology being the next one to tackle. But how? That seemed an awful lot like jumping the shark. I mean, really? How could all those other gods exist with the ones we already have? It seemed silly. However, we got a reveal trailer that includes gameplay, and I have to say, this does interesting. Let’s take a look.
Alright, so we have this kid playing in the dirt, and he’s called in by a voice that sounds awful familiar (I wonder if they got the same guy to come back for the role?). He’s told that he must hunt. Then steps out of the shadows, our boy Kratos. Just as gruff as always, but not so loud. Seems that age has tempered at least that part. But it hasn’t made him any less hostile. Hey, he’s a Spartan. You accept these things. We follow the two as they go hunting, and the boy clearly isn’t winning any favors with the old man.
The Norse influence is all over this game. That much I can tell. When we see actual combat, the ax Kratos wields is all glow-y with Celtic designs. I also notice that this game’s fighting is toned WAY down from the previous entries. From the looks of things, that’s because this is a personal story. A story about a father and his son. Speaking of, I like this kid. After the fighting is done, the kid wants his bow back. Kratos says no. Kid says to give him a chance. Kratos tells him he had one with the deer. Then the kid tells him to give him another. That seems like something that a kid would actually say. There is some believe-ability in this relationship that I hope carries in to the main game. I will also say that this game is CLEARLY taking inspiration from The Last of Us in regards to that. But I’m not bothered. If anything, they are doing justice to that. However, I get the feeling that we get to see some Kratos-style badassery before this is done.
And it doesn’t take long. It seems that this story takes place in Valhalla. O-kay. What’s more, it seems that someone isn’t too stoked to see Kratos there. Given his pedigree of killing gods, I wonder why. But we then see that the Spartan Rage is strong with Kratos. He beats the shit out of his enemy and then tells his son to kill it. So what does he do? Shoots his old man in the shoulder. Not gonna lie, that was a laugh, for me. What I like most about that is what happens next. The boy apologizes, but Kratos just holds up his hand and tells him that his deer is getting away. Was that a tender moment? Or as close it gets from Kratos.
We end with an emotional bit with the deer. This game interests me. It isn’t nearly as bombastic as its predecessors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Given what we see, it seems that Valhalla is suffering from Kratos’ touch, and they aren’t happy. You see a giant troll hanging from the ceiling, and the implication is that Kratos led the team that killed it. This guy has a real way with people, am I right?
So, what do I think? I am interested. I can’t say that it looks as good as the previous entries, but it is trying to be its own thing. So I will give it a chance. Kratos has yet to disappoint. Hopefully they reference what happened to him in the game. I’m curious.
7 out of 10