God of War has always been among the most important exclusive titles of PlayStation line-up besides Uncharted, The Last of Us, Bloodborne, and more… With the release of God of War 3, most of us thought that would be the end of God of War franchise (if we exclude the spinoffs like God of War Ascension or God of War Ghost of Sparta). But surprisingly, in E3 2016, Santa Monica Studio once again brought an extreme blast to fans with the God of War 2018 announcement (or should we say… God of War 4?). We got to see the same Kratos yet older and his new son. Judging by the trailers so far, this brand new adventure of Kratos no doubt will be epic! Good news is: there are only 3 months left until the game’s official release. So with no further ado, let’s check out what we know about God of War 4 so far!
From Greek Mythology to Norse Mythology
Since Kratos slaughtered the entire Olympian Pantheon, including the mightiest Zues, surely the question is: who will be the next “unlucky guys” to be slain under his hand? Luckily, we already had the answer. After his supposedly death back in God of War 3, Kratos somehow reached the land of the Norse where he will face the Nordic monsters and gods. It is still not sure whether Kratos will encounter the famous trio Odin, Thor, and Loki or not. But from the E3 gameplay trailer, we saw him and his son met the Midgard Serpent, or mostly known as Jörmungandr the World Serpent. There have been lots of fan theories after this trailer but let’s leave them for another time.
God of War 4 continues what’s left from the original trilogy
Basically, God of War 2018 is the sequel to the God of War 3 (although the developers did not put the number 4 on the title). This is the same old Kratos we have known and this is not Kratos’s story from different Universe (like what Marvel and DC Comics did). Our god-slayer this time looks much older than the last time we saw him. He looks somewhat slower than he used to be (probably due to his old age) but that does not mean he gets weaker. This Kratos is still powerful, but he definitely feels much calmer. In addition, Kratos this time had a new family: his wife whom we haven’t known the name yet, and his new child named Atreus. His wife seems to die long time ago and the reason is unknown, while Kratos still lives and takes higher responsibility of raising his son. So how could he survive after God of War 3? Why didhe reach land of the Norse? Who was his wife? We still don’t know yet but let’s hope that we will get answers eventually.
It is no longer purely about vengeance and butchering gods…
Now, some fans may feel disappointed about this new portray of our favorite God of War. However, from our perspective, this is a fascinating direction for Kratos’s story. Back to the original trilogy, frankly speaking, most of his story was purely about revenge. He killed his way to replace Ares as the new God of War. And then eventually he allied with the Titans to take down Zues and the Olympian. By the end of God of War 3, Kratos finally found hope and redemption for his life. With all those works, what we really need is a new story, new perspective. And we believe this time Santa Monica Studio has chosen quite a great decision.
Kratos the God of War is no longer the lone man of vengeance he used to be. Once again, he is a man of the family with a wife (though she died) and a son. This is his chance to redeem himself and live a normal life as a normal human being. But as always, things never go easy for Kratos as he and his son Atreus have to set out on a new journey. Based on the gameplay trailer back in 2016, it seems the story will focus more on how Kratos interacts and teaches his son, rather than mindlessly killing things on his path. This exact father and son dynamic go surprisingly well for the game. It gives us new perspective on our God of War since whatever he once was, he was originally a mortal and now, he wanted to live a life of a mortal.
Interestingly enough, the recent Story Trailer also tells us a bit more about him and his son’s relationship. Kratos still seems to be haunted by his dark past, while his son does not know anything about his origin, their origins. There are supposedly more to the story but by far, we already feel like wanting to discover their story.
…And his son will help killing things too.
Personally we really do not like escort mission or escort-related stuffs in gaming. Back to the day it felt quite annoying when we had to protect a defenseless person while we were also struggling to survive for ourselves. Luckily enough, Kratos’s son – Atreus is not simply a helpless boy. In fact his son will help us a lot in dealing with adversaries along their path. Depending on different situations, Atreus can shoot enemies with his “magical bow” or grabbing enemy so that his father can smash that unlucky foe into pieces. The father-and-son dynamic does not only show in the story, but also in the way they interact with each other in combat and when they travel the world. Whatever the case, after long, long years of killing alone, probably Kratos may need a company.
Say goodbye to Blade of Chaos…
Blades of Chaos and Blade of Athena used to be Kratos’s weapon of choice. But after God of War 3, Kratos had to leave the blade behind. So, the sad news is we can no longer see the good ol’ flashy blade dances. But the good news is: Kratos now has a new badass weapon called the Leviathan – a runed axe with frost power. Its moves may not look as flashy as the Blades of Chaos, yet it surely looks brutal, savage, and definitely gets the job done. The axe can also be thrown and called back to Kratos’s hand whenever he wants to. Some people also speculate that the axe can be modified with different runes. It would be awesome if this is true, and also, let’s hope that we can change the axe’s property to something else like fire or lightning.
Since this is a God of War sequel, we can expect additional weapons in his arsenal. We have witnessed Kratos beating enemies with his Leviathan axe or his bare hands. And then in E3 2017 Be A Warrior trailer, we saw Kratos has a new shield (the name is still unknown) and he can attack with it and his bare hand.
In addition to weapons, people speculate that there will be crafting system in the game. The developers have not said anything about this yet, but for now, we also think that there will be some sort of armor crafting system. If we look closely at Kratos’s arms in different trailers, we may notice that his bracers are different from times to times. These bracers do not seem to be a part of the outfit but rather, individual pieces. And if we look at the God of War Stone Mason Edition, there is a Death’s Vow Armor Set additional content, which means high chance that we will see armor crafting.
Last but not least, Cory Barlog confirmed that there will be different outfits for Kratos. This does not necessarily affect our overall experience but having new look for our god of war can be much interesting.
There will be leveling system
Leveling will be another RPG element implemented in God of War 4. From the very first trailer, we see there is an experienced-gained message on the bottom right side of the screen. This indicates that character will get experience throughout the progress. The question is: whose experience is this? If Kratos is the one who gain experience, it may make sense when he discovers new areas and locations since… this is a totally new realm for him. But by the end of the ending, we see experience gained with archery. Judging from this, it would be kind of… illogical if this is Kratos’s experience because Kratos is already a weapon master. In this case, it seems the experience point was for his child Atreus.
Our theory is that there is a father and son bonding level which will level up when they travel and battle with enemies throughout the game. This theory seems to make sense as both Kratos and Atreus gain experience when they discover new lands, while the son gains experience via combat and using bow. Nonetheless, it is still a theory and we have to wait a bit more to see things for ourselves.
No loading screen… for real
The developer has confirmed that there will be no loading screen in God of War. Everything will be single shot and we will never have to wait for the loading screens between sections, which is actually very impressive. The game will maintain at 30 fps; however, with the power of PS4, it is hinted that players may encounter up to 150 enemies at a time.
In addition, the world map will be much larger than the original God of War trilogy. That said; it will only be semi-open world rather than a full open world. We can expect a linear path for main progress with small branching areas where players can explore secrets or doing side missions.
For now, those are what we have known about God of War 4 so far. And since there is still quite lots of time until we can officially experience the game, let’s check out some of the fans’ expectations from this sequel!
2. What can we expect from God of War 4?
Encountering Thor, Loki, and Odin
Since the game takes the timeline before the Vikings era, some people think that we will not be able to see our favorite Norse gods Thor, Loki, and Odin. However, we already saw that Kratos and his son Atreus will eventually meet the Midgard Serpent Jormungand. According to real-life Norse mythology, Jormungand, along with his siblings Fenrir and Hel, is the child of Loki. The fact that he appears in God of War 4 highly indicates that we may see Loki in-game and possibly Odin and Thor.
In Norse mythology, Jormungand, Fenrir, and Hel played a vital role in bringing Ragnarok event to the world. If this event also happens in God of War 4, no doubt we are going to enjoy incredible fights between Kratos and other gods of Asgard. Whatever the case, many fans definitely want to see Kratos, Thor, and Loki in combat.
Where has Kratos been all these years?
Seeing Kratos in a new direction is nice and all but the big question still remains: where has he been after God of War 3? We know that at the end of the game, Kratos decided to kill himself and release “Hope” to mankind. After that, Kratos is supposedly dead. Yet somehow, he magically appears in the Norse realm, which is pretty fascinating and also questionable at the same time. How did he survive? Why did he travel to the Norse? We have to wait and see if there are answers in the future.
We put this on the expectations list and we can sure that the game is going to have lots of heart-wrenching moments. As mentioned, this new story explores another side of Kratos – a human side. Before he becomes the God of War and butchering everything on his way, he was a mortal, a family man. And fortunately, we are going to see more of his personality as father and son travel the world together. Along the path, Kratos will teach Atreus what he needs to survive in this hostile world and to return, the life with his son will teach Kratos more about humanity. Interestingly enough, Kratos attempted to hide his dark past from his son. But as we have seen, his secret will not stay hidden for long. Sooner or later, Atreus will find out his father and his own origins.
Epic Boss Fights
Boss fights have always been a crucial part in God of War franchise, featuring towering and humongous bosses with immense power. Surely, we also expect the same from God of War 4. Right off the bat we have seen Kratos fighting with a giant troll creature wielding a fiery club. Furthermore, we have seen Kratos jumping on a giant creature’s head (ideally a dragon) in the Story Trailer. Therefore, we can expect to fight many epic bosses, and hopefully we can fight Thor.
For those who concerning QTE element, the developer also stated that QTE in God of War 4 will be much different than previous games. It seems this new QTE system will be presented in more preferable way so that players will not be distracted from the whole experience. Honestly speaking we still don’t quite understand how different this new system will work but at least let’s hope it to be awesome. In addition, Kratos still has the inner rage within him and he can unleash this maddening Spartan Rage to obliterate enemies. How cool will it be when using on bosses?
And that’s it folks! What do you think about God of War 4 so far? And also, don’t forget the game will be released on April 20th, 2018! Thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!
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