Simply put, the plot of the game follows Kratos and his son Atreus as they go on a journey to take their deceased wife/mother’s ashes to the top of the highest peak in all the realms.
However, while on this journey they encounter many likeable characters, detestable villains, and numerous subplots and side stories to explore. The game is not open world, but it is very meaty, and the main story alone will last you upwards of 20 hours, not counting the optional side stories and lore you can find.
Overall the plot is very satisfying; it is largely character driven, and it is a story of redemption for Kratos as he tries to come to terms with his violent past while also learning how to be a father for his son.
It is a story that explores the concepts of different forms of masculinity and fatherhood, and it is rare for a video game to present such an interesting father-son relationship.
The game’s length also allows the relationship to shine even more, with the pair having many conversations showing their growth over the course of the game. Some of the best moments are just the two telling stories to each other as they go about their journey.
As they go through the story players will explore lush Nordic landscapes, and this is one area where the game really shines: the graphics, the environments especially, are stunning. Players will explore icy glaciers, snowcapped mountains, and beautiful fjords.
As far as gameplay goes, it is built around combat, puzzle solving, and exploring the levels for secrets.
However, this is where the game’s faults begin to show. While the combat is fun, it takes hours to get to that point. At the start Kratos’ move set is very limited, and basic attacks like a running slash require leveling up (from killing enemies or completing quests) to unlock.
This makes the early game combat very shallow, made the first few hours of the game feel a bit boring.
Speaking of boring, it is great that the game is so long, as lengthy single player games are a dying breed, but a lot of the game is just walking, climbing, and rowing a boat. There is never much tension to these segments, they just slow the game down.
This is not a major problem since it is the result of the game having no cuts whatsoever, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, and they do use these times for character conversation, but these moments slow the pace down even more.
The last issue the game has is just that the camera is far to close to Kratos’ back, which both makes combat needlessly harder and blocks the pretty scenery.
But these are not major flaws, overall the game is a solid title. It is one of the best-looking games to ever be released, there is a lot of play time for the money, and overall it is just fun.
Anyone who enjoys length story-based video games, or just games with incredible graphics and locations, should do themselves a favor and check out God of War.