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God Of War- Game of the Year 2018 GAMEPLAY

2018 has come to a close, with God of War deservedly earning the GAME OF THE YEAR award. This spectacular game came out back in April and is quite possibly the best Sony exclusive to date. At launch, the game broke records and opened the series up to a much larger fan base. The story is put together expertly with an outstanding, character-driven narrative and incredible graphics to boot. 

God of War managed to beat out Red Dead Redemption 2 at The Game Awards for GOTY this year. It is considered by many to be the best PS4 game to date and in my personal opinion, if you haven't had the chance to play it yet, you should definitely try it out. I can't recommend this game enough- stunning visuals and an amazing story, what more could you want?

God of War (2018) introduces you to different characters as you play through and unlike past entries, this time around God of War is based around Norse mythology. Over the course of the game, you develop a bond with the main characters and see changes over time.

An example of this would be Kratos, who starts off being very distant from his son, Atereus, who travels around with you throughout the game. Kratos constantly refers to him as ‘Boy' and never really seems proud of him, and it's like nothing that Atreus does is good enough for his father. However, over time, this father-son relationship develops a lot, it really is the journey of a lifetime for them both.

Personally, I adore games that make you feel connected to the characters whilst you play, as you feel you are taking their journey with them. God of War nails this aspect. There are so many positives to this game, making it difficult to put down after starting. Even the in-game photo mode is a lot of fun to play around with. You can take pictures of the stunning environments, hide characters from the scene, adjust depth of field, zoom or even change facial expressions on the characters- it is a really cool addition.

On average, this game takes around 30 hours to beat, particularly if you are like me and take time out from the main story to have a gander at the world around you. God of War is great for exploration, with plenty of puzzles and loot chests knocking around. Even if you just focus on the main story, you will have to put a decent amount of hours into the game.

The world has a lot of things to do within it, so you shouldn't feel like you are stuck wondering what to do next.  You can either explore and try to find collectibles or just speed through the main story. There are occasions where you can't access certain areas without having unlocked items or gear first. However, I feel this gives you the opportunity to give the main story a bit of a break in order to go back and explore those areas you couldn't access before.

Aside from the main story, there are plenty of side objectives too, some of which will pop up as favours for other characters. An example of this would be tracking down a specific item for a merchant or blacksmith- finding such treasure isn't a straightforward task though, so be prepared to explore caves, mines and solve plenty of puzzles. There are also collectible items throughout the game, which you can sell for currency to buy new gear or upgrade what you currently have.

Talking about puzzles, another fun aspect of the game is the ‘Nornir Chests'. These fancy chests offer treasures that upgrade your maximum health, or rage. However, the catch is you have to find the runes that match the symbols on the front. Finding these runes can be a challenge and at times, a little frustrating, particularly when there is a timer involved. At points you'll need to search all the nooks and crannies in an area to find them, then plan properly to hit all of the runes in time to unlock the chest. These chests aren't going to give their loot away so easily all the time now are they?

Throughout the game, you will encounter some really tough enemies, this includes regular mobs and giant bosses. Some are only vulnerable to certain attacks, so you'll need to use all of the skills you have available- I definitely recommend that you use your shield and block often! This is not one of those games where you can just always go straight in and start swinging your axe or your fists. Especially against the tougher ‘purple' bar colored folks. You really need to be on point with your timings and dodges.  The combat system is super fun and is a little complex to get the hang of, but you will find yourself mastering it in a short while. Strategy and effective dodges are definitely required to survive these battles.

Kratos has the ability to throw his axe at an enemy in the distance freezing it, and he then can recall it if he pleases. If you want to fight unarmed (for those certain enemies that aren't affected by the frost axe) then you can just continue attacking whilst your axe is out of hand. One cool thing about the axe is that if you throw it at a wall behind some enemies, re-position yourself to line up the enemies in front of you and then recall the axe, it will fly straight through the bodies and cause damage on the way. Neat right?

The combat system includes light and heavy attacks, but Kratos also has special moves called ‘Runic Attacks'. You unlock more of these as you progress through the game and sometimes you can buy specific ones from different merchants. These Ruinic attacks can be swapped out in the weapon options menu and all have different effects. Some can be used on a single target, others cause damage to anything within an area of effect, some stun, others freeze etc.

The final piece of the combat system is Atreus, who will help you in different ways throughout the game. Without spoiling the story too much for first time players, Atreus does unlock more abilities down the line and you can upgrade him the same way you upgrade Kratos. You get to watch this little boy grow into a kick ass young man- his help will be required in certain combat situations too.

Good Job Atreus. Proud of you Son.

KitGuru Says: If you have been on the fence about picking this game up, or just recently got a PS4, then this is definitely a game you should try out. It is nothing short of awesome.

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