Home Technology God of War review: Swapping revenge for redemption in old Midgard

God of War review: Swapping revenge for redemption in old Midgard

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Kratos lives in the new God of War, but having decimated the Greek pantheon he has moved on to a realm of foreign gods in Midgard.SIE

Score: 9/10 
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher: SIE
Release Date: April 20, 2018
ESRB: M

The latest God of War game is all about growing up.

We see it first in a strained relationship between a young son, Atreus, and his father, the franchise’s perpetually angry antihero Kratos. The former is mourning the loss of his mother while attempting to forge a stronger bond with his distant dad, who is at once overprotective and seemingly uncaring as he tries to teach his son how to be a man in a dangerous world, while the latter is struggling to move beyond the uncontrolled rage of his past and become a responsible paterfamilias.

Just as importantly, we see a new maturity in the series’ transition from traditional hack and slash play to something a little more modern and nuanced. The camera is pulled in tight, just over the shoulder of our musclebound protagonist, creating an intimacy lacking in previous God of War games that’s well suited to this edition’s more sophisticated storytelling.

Some long-time franchise fans might be disappointed to see SIE Santa Monica Studio’s series, best known for its epic battles and visceral violence, evolve in such ways. But I suspect there are plenty of players who have also grown up a little over the 13 years since we were first introduced to Kratos who will appreciate the transition. Besides which, after half a dozen games each of which has attempted to outdo its predecessors via bigger set pieces and a growing sense of wrath and fury, it just feels like a good time for a change.

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