God of War’s Human Heart Makes It One of E3′s Most Interesting Games
God of War’s E3 reveal was one of the more surprising factors of Sony’s conference. The franchise has long been a staple for the last three Sony home consoles. We may have expected to see God of War at some point, but not in this manner.
With a whole new setting, tone and style, the latest God of War is wonderfully different. We’ve witness Kratos cut a bloody path through most of the Greek Gods. We knew his motivation, we saw his faults and failures. We were there for all of his violence, rage and butchery in the name of revenge
It’s a smart move to remove Kratos from his old ways. What we now have is a much more human individual. With a son at his side, Kratos has a vulnerability that was not present in the previous games. It opens up a wealth of opportunities, allowing the series to evolve.
Santa Monica are taking a fairly big risk, but it feels like a risk worth taking. That brief gameplay video shown at Sony’s E3 2016 conference displayed a more contained game. Combo meters and lavish chains of attack replaced with a cinematic eye. The way in which the camera frames the action provides immersion.
Environments ooze with natural beauty. Light creeps across the terrain, highlighting each and every eerily realistic animation. Even the combat supports the new cinematic flair. It’s distinctly visceral, even if it does come at the cost of speed. Perhaps this another way to reflect a ageing Kratos?
At its heart, the game is still very much God of War. There’s still a great deal of curiosity surrounding how the game will play in the long run. Can the new combat system be robust enough to support the full experience?
As a fan of the franchise, I’m intrigued. This new God of War is a human story. Slaying fantastical creatures and Norse Gods may be the stuff of pure fantasy, but Santa Monica are doing it with heart.
There’s a moment towards the end of the trailer that caught me off guard. After a successful hunt, both Kratos and his Son begin to skin the animal. Kratos reaches out towards his boy. He’s proud of his son’s achievement. They’re bonding, but he’s not sure how to express himself. With his hand extended out with the intention to brace his son, he retreats. This is a distinctly human action.
God of War may not be the biggest game at this year’s E3, but it’s certainly one of the most intriguing.