Top positive review
A Masterpiece. A MUST Buy
20 June 2018
One of the best (if not the best) games of this console generation so far.
This is a dark, mature action adventure game that will last around ~20-30 hour game (with no filler content) depending on how much you explore, and difficulty level you selected with emphasis on quality over quantity.
The game has a very nice pacing/progression system that feels very natural. The game does not hand hold you, or set you to your own devices; rather gives you enough information to figure things out on your own
Different from past God of War (GOW) games is that, this game is a over shoulder 3rd person view vs isometric view (camera with birds eye view panning in and out). The camera is very tight fixed, and behind kratos making it more grounded and personal. Entire game is pretty much one-shot (assuming you don't get any game over screen).
The game has beautiful environment and the lighting is very impressive. It runs
1080p 30fps on PS4 (original or slim)
4k 30fps, and performance mode 1080 60fps (dips at times) on the PS4 Pro
If you play on PS4 pro it's preferred you play at 30fps. The combat this time around is less combo based than past games, and more methodical as it's more about precision hits, quick turns*, and dodging; being aware of your surroundings due to the fixed over the shoulder view. So 60fps is not really necessary unless maybe you're playing on the hardest difficulty mode.
* For quick turns there's a learning curve to keep form being disoriented during right corridors.
Sound is amazing. Get your headset or home theater system ready because you're in for a treat as the game has really nice surround sound option. Does not support 3D audio in the PlayStation Platinum headset which is disapointing. Hope they add it in, in the future.
Music typical for GOW games with drums, string instruments and orchestral vocals that really gets you pumped up
There are some audio ques that help unlock hidden items so keep an ear out
Interaction/dialogue with kratos and his son feel very real and not dialed in or exaggerated. very nice banter between the two and other characters as well
As mentioned before, very mature yet dark. The story is more narrative driven and has more character development than past games where you're just full of rage and kill everything in sight. Each character has complex motivations in what they're set out to do
Takes place in Norse mythology instead of Geek
The main plot is that Kratos' wife has died and she wants her ashes spread from the highest mountain
Kratos takes his son with him on this journey and through a bonding experience they both grow stronger as they reach their final destination. the journey isn't that simple as it seems as there are twist and turns along the way and enemies they have to face
You do get some insight on how Kratos reach this land after GOW3, but it's sprinkled throughout instead of one long exposition
Side quests brings out lore of the game and also way to upgrade your skill tree
There are boat sections in the game where Kratos gives his son life lessons, conversely his son gives inside knowledge of the world he learned through observation/what he learned from his mother; which makes you more invested in the characters.
The combat has a lot of layers/options to it.
Instead of Quick Timed Events (QTE) there's a stun meter which which needs to be filled up for kratos make his signature final finishing moves on enemies. Feels very natural as you don't get a huge button prompt the middle of the screen
I like how the core combat is mapped to the trigger buttons instead of the face buttons making combat feel more natural
There's a skill tree that cater to how you want to play: defensive, offensive, focus on physical or magical attacks, range vs close combat, master a weapon over the other, etc
You can upgrade weapons and armor by collecting materials
Kratos' main weapon this time around is the leviathan axe (very similar to Thor's (Marvel movies/comics) weapon Mjolnir) instead of his chained blades of chaos. You can throw the axe and have it call back to you like a boomerang. You can swing and throw the axe at enemies and fun to master as you have to judge the timing of when the axe will return to you as without your axe you may only have your bare fists to do battle till it comes back
There is some strategy involved especially in the higher difficulty settings. Some enemies are super effective against certain weapons/skills you have to be aware of
Krato's son comes along with you on the journey and is able to help with by stunning/detract enemies with an arrow which you can control the activation. Overtime as he becomes more experienced in combat more options are available. He'll also yell out tips when needed** or jump onto enemies to slow them down. Also you can view his journals after you defeat an enemy to find out hidden weaknesses
**Seeing the camera is so tight, he'll give you tips you are not able to see at times due to blind spots
Armor and clothes can be crafted, purchased, or upgraded via dwarf blacksmiths in game . It changes krato's physical appearance in game. Some armor/clothing piece has slots for enchantments which effects stats
Enemies attack you gorilla style as they can attack at anytime they want instead of gathering up in a circle and attacking one by one. Each enemy have different variety of skills, health, size, weakness and speed
There are backtracking at times that builds on exploration. Also the environments sometimes change when going back making the location feel different yet the same. There's also hidden areas you cannot access until you get a particular item giving the game this somewhat of a metriod-mania style to it
Through mini objectives like kills specific about of enemies to get exp rewards
Side quest gives you glimpse of story narrative, exp gain and or material. It doesn't feel like fetch quests or something you have to do to directly upgrade your character . There's no fluff and the side quests does not feel tacked on as it feels necessary, yet optional
You'll naturally stumble onto some side quests as the map only shows an overview of the land with a compass that points you to your main objective. Fast travel is limited, making exploration in the forefront. There's not too many side quests making it feel open and direct at the same time
As of this review, this is best PS4 game in my opinion. Sets a new standard for video games