Disclaimer: the opinions written in this article do not represent those made by the TheLootGaming staff or any other individual aside from myself. All thoughts shown in this article are mine and mine alone, and any different approach to this topic will be gladly heard as long as it is not made without respect either to me or any of the members of TheLootGaming. Also, this article contains SPOILERS from the 2018 God of War, so be warned.
God of War. Oh boy, the things I can say about this franchise. My first contact with the Spartan general was back when I was 12 years old. Proudly owner of a PS2, the original God of War was the very first game I bought with my own money. And it was amazing! After the first title, I became an instant Kratos fan. Chains of Olympus was also my very first PSP title, and I’ve played Ghost of Sparta so many times that I can recite all the dialogues by heart. And after that huge let-down that Ascension was, the son of Zeus finished his journey. Or so I thought, because out of nowhere Sony announced the release of a new God of War, with an aged Kratos rocking a sweet beard and his… son? I was afraid, to be honest. But then, reviews started to pop out, giving the game perfect scores.
And then, I played it. After 20 hours, I’ve managed to end the main story. My thoughts? Well…
What makes a game GOTY?
Okay, first of all I’m going to address something: I was trying at first to bitch and moan about how different this game is from its older entries. But then I thought something: who cares about this? When a game is rebooted, it’s pretty obvious that we are going to find different things. That’s why they are called ‘reboots’ and not ‘remakes’. Thus, I wanted to approach this game not as a sequel, but as a standalone title. Because let’s be clear, what does a game GOTY?
To me, Game of the Year (or heck, Greatest of All Time as some people claim) is that game that no matter how much you play it, you are never tired of it. To me, games like Super Metroid, Metal Gear Solid 3, Castlevania SotN or heck, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate are titles that I consider as GOAT, GOTY or whatever term you want to call them. So, after knowing this, I’ll ask again: does God of War 2018 can trully be called “a game that will be played plenty of times”?
To me, that answer is no.
Too much water 7/10
One issue that I always see in this generation of games that focus on narrative rather than gameplay is walking. As I don’t want to talk too much about this, I’ll leave a video of someone who knows better about this gimmick:
As the title suggests, something that we hate as gamers is having to deal with unskippable cutscenes. You know, that thing that exists only as a way to amaze you at first but then becomes a complete borefest when you replay the game? Yeah, know try to guess which game has that in stupid quantities. That’s right: God of War.
And why the title then? Well, that’s because we have something more than cutscenes without a skip button: sailing. Boats are quite important in this game. But like some features in games (such as having to wait for the helicopter in MGS V for example), it’s just a way of holding up the action. Rowing can be fun due to the conversations between the characters I will not doubt that, but if you get rid of that you’ll see how boring it is to sail from one point to another. Because guess what: you don’t have a fast travel option. And no, having to press a button in order to create a door in order to enter into a transitional realm that it’s just a hidden loading screen and THEN having to wait for a door to appear in order to reach your destination it’s not something that you can define as “fast”, to be honest. When it’s quicker to travel via common ways rather than using fast travel, you may have some problems. And speaking about problems…
Mortal Kombat (because it will kill you)
Another aspect highly praised by people is the combat. And where do I stand? Well, I think it’s okay. You see, highly combat-focused games often use a camera that it’s not so far yet no so close to the character that you are playing with. Third person shooters for example tend to show half of the PC’s body in order to help the player focus on the enemies ahead, as in most TPS foes do not come from all directions. Now, Four of War does this thing, yet it doesn’t work as well. Why? Because enemies surround Kratos 90% percent of the time. And this is worse when facing big enemies.
Just try to picture this: when you are fighting a bunch of enemies and then you die due to a projectile shot from a blind spot, what do you think?
A) It was your mistake because you were reckless.
B) It was the game’s fault due to the camera.
C) Git gud boy.
Most people will say B) because, let’s be real: dying because of bad camera position is something that has been with us for a huge while. And that’s the main issue with the combat of this game: the camera it’s bad. The combat itself it’s bad due to this problem. Yes, Kratos is brutal with his attacks, and when you get the Blades of Chaos you can control crowds better, but you ALWAYS attack the thing that is in front of you. And with the camera stuck in you neck, you can only do so much stuff. And then, we reach the final part of this small text: the plot.
Shameless Sequel Bait
And now we reach something that made me hate Triple A gaming: the ending. I’m not lying when I say that this game’s ending made me angrier than Kratos in God of War 2. This is the true definition of making something for 5 years that doesn’t go anywhere because “there’s still things to do”. This praxis is insulting, because just think: you are saying that a game that made you pay $60 for it, that offered you decent action yet tons of unskippable cutscenes, walking and a terrible case of Game Padding 101 with the use of the “your princess is in another castle” gimmick and that ended in an almost literal “F*** you this is not the end” deserves to be a Game Of The Year, let alone Greatest Of All Time? I say no.
I could go on and on about this rant, but what’s the point? People have their own opinions about gaming and that’s fantastic! Having plurality in terms of what games makes us feel is great, but we have to acknowledge something: if we praise games that are just teasers for other titles that are yet to be released, what’s the point about playing those playable teasers then? Just play the final version of that game, as it will offer you something that fixes all the issues that you had with the “thing that tells you how cool everything is going to be in the next game guys”. Don’t waste 60 bucks on games that are made just for the sake of giving you something that won’t hold up the test of time. Just mark my words: God of War 2018 will be forgotten once the upcoming sequels arrive.