God of war review and reflection (Spoiler)
Updated: Jan 12, 2019
God of War is a masterpiece! It has a brilliant story and the best combat system I have played in a long time.
Throughout the entire time playing this game, my jaw was on the floor. The level and scale of the game are mind-blowing!
Every scene was amazing!
My favorite part is the last fight, where Kratos overcame his fear and told the truth to Atreus.
The decision to turn Freya to an enemy was brilliant! The dialogue and acting were so good that I can still remember it clearly. Freya's "YOU ROBBED ME OF EVERYTHING!" still breaks my heart and rings in my ear.
Atreus is probably the best AI sidekick character in a video game ever! By making Atreus controllable is just genius! It solves the sidekick problem, and it makes sense in the narrative. Kratos commands Atreus when you hit the button, which makes him still a character outside of you but you have control over. Plus, he is probably the most op thing in the game, I only upgraded him in the early game and destroyed everything, and the more he helps you in battle, the more you feel bonded to him and cares for him. You don't want to lose him, and when you do, it hits hard on your emotion and gameplay, it is a fantastic solution to bring the gameplay and narrative together.
The combat is amazing! The first time I called my ax back I physically got high! I did for thousands of time and it just never gets old. Is still so cool even after I beat the game. The runic attacks are not overpowered, but each feels amazing to execute! Some are good against a specific enemy. At the end of the game, I have over 260 points on my runic. The standard combat is also deep, with upgrades you can have so many option and variety when fighting. The standard combo, then the hold move, then the finisher move, then the escape move. It explored every action possible and made an attack for it. The execution moves were so amazing that you feel like a god doing it. The shield is not only a shield but also a weapon, and when you have so many offense options, you rarely want to block. I found myself just parrying or blocking for range attack. The choice to make some attacks unblockable is also a genius move; it solves the Dark Soul shield problem. You find just enough offense and defense in the system. My combat loop is always, use shock arrow from Atreus to shock every enemy, then use runic, chain standard combo while the enemy is stunned, parry the next enemy attack, and use the execution move to finish. The whole system is just brilliant.
The story was so epic and fun, and a great setup for what's to come next.
The environments and level designs are the best I've played probably ever. Each setting was so beautiful and jaw-dropping. However, not only were they epic environments, each environment had a level design that suits the gameplay and narrative so perfectly! Each setting gives different puzzles and explorations possibilities to the player. Most memorable one has to be the lake of nine. Each time the water level drop, my mind gets blown. There are many side quests and puzzles you can only solve after a certain point of the story. The most beautiful environments have to be the realm travel room, and it is such an excellent design choice too since the player will use the room many times in the game. I still remember the first time seeing the light hitting the crystal and thought, "OMG is like star war's hyperspace!". Each environment looks epic and the levels so well designed that it just makes the narrative and gameplay so much better than it already is!
I learned a lot about being a parent throughout the story since I am Kratos. My parents were the same way to me. They got divorced when I was very young, both of them are not good communicators. They like to hide the truth and rare show any feelings, this made me unable to express my feelings to others since I never learned how to. I had to learn it through my own life experiences, but after playing the game, I think I understand them a little better, although I have forgiven them long ago, this experience brought a more profound understanding to the struggles of being a parent. How our kids will push us to face our deepest fear and to tell the truth not only to them but ourselves. The love that is so deep that a parent could die to let their child live is so touching but at the same time unrelatable, since I don't have kids. However, that glimpse of insight is enough to feel for and learn from what Kratos and Atreus when through.
God of war is one of the best game I've ever played! Truly a masterpiece of the medium. I cannot wait to see where this journey brings me to next! Is going to be a long wait, but I'm all for it!