We may be a little late to the party, but we’ve finally got our hands on a copy of PlayStation 4’s latest exclusive God Of War, and there’s just not enough good we can say about it. Whether you’re new to the franchise or have been delving into the lore surrounding its characters for some time, the brand new Norse setting allows you to jump into the action and instantly connect with its leads, Kratos and Atreus.
It’s that connection and relationship between father and son which serves to really prop up an expertly written narrative, holding the player in a firm grip and refusing to let up throughout, right through to its final moments. There’s not much more you can ask from a game that relies so heavily on its story, and it’s clear even just a couple of hours into God Of War that you’re playing a game that will truly define the console it’s exclusively designed for. That’s not to say once you’re done with the story, you’re through with the game entirely – there are plenty more hours to pump into the open world once the plot comes to a close.
Lush surroundings are present throughout the entire game, and aside from the opening hour or so that serves as a sort of tutorial, God Of War compels you to go out and explore the open world as you please. It’s a beautiful place, with the detailed graphics that make up the title encouraging you to stop and really take everything in. Whether it’s the intricately designed environment around you or one of the many stunning creatures you’re forced to go up against, the majority will take your breath away each and every time you see them.
The addition of Photo Mode is another stroke of brilliance by developers. The world here is yours to be explored, and being allowed to capture every corner of it, whilst adding filters and some hilarious expressions to Kratos and Atreus, is sure to see many players put in hours getting the perfect angle to build up a photo collection.
Whilst promotional material may have had you thinking this is a game you simply have to hack your way through, using clever combat combinations and always remaining one step ahead of your enemies, there are also a heavy dose of puzzles thrown in for good measure. They provide some of the most entertaining moments in the game, as you slowly begin to figure out just how your abilities can help shape your path. When it does come to combat however, you’re also in for a treat.
It’s bloody and violent, with hacking and slashing and punching your way through waves of enemies making sure the player realises they’re still within the God Of War world. This time though, they’ve got their ‘boy’ to rely on, distracting the enemy with his arrows while you gain a better position to launch an attack. The combat is simple enough when you start out, but as your upgrades build up not only your talents, but your armour and your weapons, a whole variety of unique ways to take out those you come up against are at your disposal.
In all honesty, a huge part of what makes this game such fun to run through is that you’re consistently forced to adapt and learn new things. It’s something that plenty of people could find frustrating, but for those who are willing to stick it out and educate themselves in the way of a God, the payoff is astronomical. This is a game that will have people talking for months, and we imagine it’s the strongest contender of the year so far when it eventually comes time to choosing Game Of The Year at the various gaming award shows.
God Of War is available now, exclusively on PlayStation 4. A copy of God Of War was provided to Female First in exchange for an honest and open review of the game.