This is a game that I have had to sit down and think about for a little bit because it blew me away. This is something that I have been meaning to sit down and write for almost a month now. For Kratos, it was a herculean task to talk to his son and for me, it’s writing about this damn game.
It has such an interesting start and its something that you don’t quite pick up on the first time you play the game. Right off the bat, there is this tension between Kratos and his son Atreus. It’s an awkward tension where both parties are clearly upset about something. It reminds me of when you meet up with family and you can instantly tell something happened. The kid is quiet and doesn’t want to say anything, the parents are on edge but want to pretend like everything is fine. There is tension in the air and all it does is put you in this awkward position. That is how I would describe the start of this game.
With the way this game starts, that’s what makes the games this damn interesting. As you progress through the game, there are a lot of moving parts but it all synchronizes so perfectly. You get bits and pieces of Kratos, his former life and how he is trying to escape his past but you’re never able to completely wipe that away. You also have the relationship been meaning Atreus and Kratos and watching that evolve and my favorite part of this game. The Norse Mythology lore and how Santa Monica (The Developers) have intertwined a Greek God into the Norse Mythology.
As great as the narrative at the forefront of this game is the gameplay itself. You start out with an ax called the Leviathan axe and its perfect. Its so perfect, I love using the axe. There is a weight to the combat, it feels good to hit people with the ax but it goes further than that, you can also throw the axe. Then after you throw the axe, you hit the triangle button on the PlayStation controller and its right back. As much fun as it was to throw the axe, I would on occasion exploit it a little bit in the boss battles. If I was struggling in a fight, I would just keep my distance and then just throw the axe and then recall it. Just do that over and over again until the boss was down. It doesn’t work on all of the bosses but it does work for one specific boss type.
The other main combat mechanic is your son, Atreus. He has a bow and arrow and he will use it in combat and he is very useful. He gets a couple different types of arrows and one of them and one them staggers the enemies which is very useful. Its also interesting to watch Atreus in the combat arena, as the game progressed he clearly improved at much more confident in himself.
I am not going to sit here and say its a perfect game because it isn’t but sitting here thinking about the game. I don’t have any major gripes with the game. I guess there could be more enemy variation but I really enjoyed my time with the game. I think the length is perfect, the combat is fun and the story is engaging. That’s all I want out of a video game.