The world of God of War is uncompromising and cruel. It's packed to the brim with mythological details and gore and sex that would make most other games blush. Just as the first game is gearing up for its 13th anniversary this year, the customary soft reboot of the series is set to drop on April 20th. Demigod and psychopath Kratos finds himself trying to raise his son Atreus in the world of Norse mythology, while his past role in the destruction of Olympus comes back to bite him.
God of War is changing its scenery for the first time ever, so naturally, I have some questions about the direction.
Kratos' struggle with the Olympian gods came to a close with the business end of the Blade of Olympus in God of War 3. He used it on himself shortly after, releasing the goddess Athena's power of hope to the world in the process. The sequel gods had other plans, however.
A post-credits scene revealed that Kratos pulled himself from his death spot, but how did he survive? We've seen him stabbed through the gut multiple times throughout the series, in the real world and in Hades. You could say that Kratos had some godly power left in him, potentially enough to either heal himself or get him anywhere but Greece.
Even with Kratos clearly surviving his suicide, Greece is a ways away from the Scandanavian home of the Norse gods. Director Cory Barlog has explained that in the God of War universe, Greek and Norse mythology coexisted but were "separated by geography." It's a safe bet to assume the game takes place somewhere in Norway, but when? Kratos looks older, leaner, his chistled face sagging underneath a thick beard.
There's also the question of his young son Atreus. He can't be older than maybe 11, which means that Kratos has been around and kicking for at least a decade and change. If this is as much like The Last Of Us as it looks, Kratos won't be able to hide his past forever.
Kratos has killed gods in the past, but the one thing that haunts him most is his first family. He was tricked into killing his wife Lysandra and daughter Calliope by God of War Ares before the events of the first game, his main inspiration for his climb up the Olympian ladder. His skin is permanently covered in the ashes of their dead bodies, but I guess he's ready for a second chance at family.
He's clearly here to make up for past wrongs. He's gentle and understanding with Atreus, teaching him how to fight and fighting hard to keep him alive. We never spent too much time with Kratos' first family outside of how war and violence tore them apart - and a brief section in God of War III where Kratos sees Pandora as his daughter - so some actual development might do the series some good.
Kratos is leaving the Blades of Chaos behind for the first time in the series in favor of the Leviathan axe. You can slice enemies in half,imbue it with magic, and throw it like a boomerang ala Thor's Mjolnir, which puts a fresh spin on the combat on top of looking cool as hell. One of the hallmarks of the GoW series is the multiple weapons and powers you can stack up over the course, so what else is Kratos packing this time around?
The only other weapons that have been revealed so far is a collapsable shield that you can bash enemies to death with and Kratos' own fists, a holdover from God of War: Ascension. We can expect lots of magic and grisly Nordic weapons down the line, though. Kratos could honestly turn a leaf into a weapon.