We all know that God of War has been a staple series for Sony since its introduction in 2005 on the PS2 and since then it’s enjoyed several successful sequels. From my own personal standpoint I’ve not played many of them, I played the original and could never beat it but always loved it because it was something new and fresh (though all those damn quick time events thoroughly pissed me off to no end), and I played the second for sure, possibly the third, and definitely a little of the PSP version and while not all of them really excited me I could always appreciate the series for what it was…plus the whole mythology aspect was awesome as well.
When I first heard about the latest installment at first I wasn’t sure how to take it, I mean it made sense branching out to a different mythological set and I’ve always loved Norse mythology slightly more than Greek or Roman if I’m being completely honest, but on the flip-side it felt weird that it was leaving behind its roots as well. While I was unsure as to whether or not I’d like the new direction I knew I still wanted to try it and now that I’ve finally had the chance to do so I can say that I both love this installment, and dislike it at the same time (notice, however, I did not say I hated it…that’s very important here).
I will say this, it’s an incredibly beautiful game, no question there at all, and I really love the open world aspect to it but that’s one of the biggest things I dislike about it as well. Now to be fair I always have a hard time finishing open world games of any variety because it’s far too easy to get distracted and I end up never finishing the game, but the reason I dislike the open world aspect is that because of those distractions I end up getting myself in trouble, I’ll explain. I don’t know if it’s because the world opens up to you a little too early (at least in my opinion) because it seems any time I want to explore and try to do extra things I’m always met with monsters that are far higher in level than I am and the breaking point was being stuck having just hit an autosave point in an area with too high level monsters and constantly taken out almost instantly. In that case I stepped back from the game for a bit and game back and was lucky enough that there was a save just far enough back that I didn’t have to do a lot of backtracking but it was also disappointing because it was a reminder that I was nowhere near ready to explore this amazing landscape and completely frustrating as well.
I will say this though, as frustrating as this game can be I still love it, and ended up loving it far more than I thought I would, the battles are challenging, the setting is magical, the story is not only impressive, but gets progressively more intense the more you follow it. Quite honestly, and despite my early misgivings, I can’t imagine not playing this game several times over. If nothing else God of War illustrates with epic clarity that story driven games are still loved and enjoyed and are a style that should never truly go away because as much fun as it may be to destroy your friends in an online match, nothing will compare with taking an active role in a story as it’s protagonist and seeing it through to the end. Fighting through the frustration and challenges makes even the smallest accomplishments seem epic and it’s one of the things that make gaming so inspiring for me personally, as someone that over the years has constantly let themselves down, being the hero in a game can give that feeling of accomplishment but also inspire the desire to be greater than a one already is and that’s why I’ll always come back to gaming and God of War was a great reminder of what made me fall in love with gaming in the first place.