The God of War games are among the most brutal and brilliant adventures ever created.
But after 2013’s God of War: Ascension failed to blow critics away, Sony decided to go back to the drawing board for Kratos’ latest adventure.
And boy, oh boy, does it look like the gamble paid off as critics around the world have awarded the game near perfect scores.
Here’s why Sony Santa Monica’s latest God of War has all the ingredients of a bloody masterpiece.
Like a film
There are no loading screens or levels. It’s one continuous adventure that sees Kratos act as a mentor and protector to his son, Atreus.
The Norse world has been left savaged after Kratos took his vengeance against the Olympian gods (which took place in the last few games).
Unsurprisingly, the Nordic gods aren’t best pleased and are doing what they can to remove Kratos from the equation.
They send trolls, ogres and all types of Nordic beasts his way – which will likely prove a very, very bad idea.
Luckily, Kratos’ son is right by his side and will help solve puzzles and distract enemies.
Good luck trying to complete the story in one sitting, though. It reportedly takes roughly 25 hours to finish.
Admire the view
There’s now a third-person, over-the-shoulder free camera, rather than third-person, fixed cinematic viewpoint.
You’re now closer than ever to the action – and if you’re lucky enough to have a 4K TV and PS4 Pro, you’ll see every pinsharp detail.
Of course, as expected in God of War games, expect plenty of stunning vistas and huge monsters.
The game isn’t open world, but still offers plenty of large expanses – to help draw you in.
There are also optional boss battles, in addition to the regular story-based bosses.
Weapons and combat
Gone are Kratos’ signature double-chained blades, replaced with a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe, which can be infused with elemental abilities and lobbed at enemies.
As you’d expect, the axe is capable of light and heavy attacks, the latter of which launches enemies in the air.
The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects, such as containers, to trigger an explosion that damages nearby foes.
Runes can be picked up and used to upgrade the axe – to suit a variety of playstyles.
Oh, and a shield – which folds up and lives on Kratos’ left forearm, can be used as both a defensive and offensive weapon.
If that fails, there’s always bare knuckles too.
As expected in the God of War series, there are some seriously huge boss battles.
Gone are the Quick Time events of the last game. Instead enemies now display two meters above their heads – one for health, the other for stun.
If you fill up the stun meter a grab prompt appears, allowing Kratos to perform a brutal finishing move.
During combat a Rage meter gradually fills, which – when filled – allows for some powerful bare-handed attacks to badly damage enemies.
Defeating enemies will earn you XP which you can used to upgrade and craft items.
We can’t wait for this one.
God of War is out now.
CHECK OUT THIS HILARIOUS DOG OF WAR TRAILER.