God of War is not your mother's crash course on Greek mythology. The series is known for its brutal protagonist Kratos, who would probably smash your face in with a rock instead of shaking your hand. The latest God of War game, out April 20, will take Kratos into the world of Norse mythology for the first time, an attempt for Kratos to leave his past behind for good and raise a new child with a new mother (who we haven't seen any of in the trailers).
Escaping your past is never easy, especially as the former Greek God of War, and everyone's favorite Spartan has his fair share of dark moments. These ares some of the darkest from the previous games in the God of War series.
God of War 3 sees Kratos inching ever closer to exacting revenge on Zeus, even killing Poseidon and Hera to get to him and destroying the oceans and plant life. How could he possibly top that? By destroying the sun, that's how!
Kratos confronts Helios, the Sun God, on his trip to the top before shooting him out of the sky with a mortar. Ever the friendly guy, Kratos then rips his head off, shutting the sun out of the area for the rest of the game. But hey, at least you have a handy new flashlight that you keep...somewhere.
Being stuck in your sibling's shadow can take a toll on your psyche. It could lead you to try hard and eventually learn to accept you're both alright or send you on a series of trials that end with you trying to beat your brother into the ground, and Hercules chose the latter. He calls his fight with Kratos "My 13th and final Labor" in an attempt to appeal to Zeus and Hera, but when that fight ends with your face literally being turned to mush, it might be time to reevaluate your methods.
The story of Prometheus goes that the titular god decided to come down to Earth and bestow fire on humanity. Innovations and cooked food for everyone, but Zeus was so unhappy that he stripped Prometheus of his powers, tied him to the side of a mountain, and had a bird eat his liver every day; it would grow back and repeat over and over again.
Kratos happens upon Prometheus while he's making his way to the Sisters of Fate in GoW 2 and he helps put Prometheus out of his misery. He shoots him down into the same fire pit he brought for the humans. On the one hand, he ended his suffering. On the other, his ashes became a powerup.
A door on the way to the Sisters of Fate is locked. Kratos needs a key. Kratos' feet also haven't been put to very good use lately. What's a Spartan to do? After a lengthy fight with acquaintance and professional door guard Theseus, Kratos rips the key from his arm and is ready to move on, but...
Thesus holds his foot back. Oh, look! Kratos found something to do with that foot after all! He really needs some professional help.
Ultimate power always comes at a price. Kratos yelled out for Ares, the original God of War, to save his life during a battle, and he became Ares' lap dog in return. In an attempt to rid Kratos of any sort of "distraction", Ares tricked Kratos and his army into invading a Grecian town where his wife and child were staying.
That's right, Kratos killed his wife and daughter in a blind rage. That would be plenty dark on its own if it didn't end with the ashes of his burning family being attached to his skin afterwards. Ghost of Sparta indeed. This is the last moment in the game's history where Kratos is even a shred sympathetic.
Kratos has spent the games fighting to have his memory wiped of all the bad thing he's done, but in the prequel Chains of Olympus, Kratos almost gets one better in being able to spend eternity with his daughter Calliope. Persephone, the goddess of the underworld, convinces Kratos to give up his powers in order to spend eternity at peace with his daughter (no wife?) in Elysium, but Persephone neglects to mention that him abandoning Earth will cause all life to end. Even if he chooses to stay, he and Calliope would wind up dying.
In order to keep everything at bay, Kratos has to give up being with his daughter for a second time in order to defeat Persephone and save the world. Some people just aren't meant to be happy, I guess.
How much were you into God of War when it first came out? Did you smash the statues in Kratos' Throne Room at the end of the game and unlock a secret phone number that led you to a message from Kratos? He congratulated you for getting this far, but not before he's interrupted by the game's director David Jaffe and they have an argument about game elements that Kratos doesn't understand, since all of this is real to him. Kratos eventually kills Jaffe for being more annoying "than a screeching harpy," an odd but hilarious bit of fan service.