God of War

PlaySta­tion 4 ★★★★★

The Guardian - G2 - - Re­view Film -

God of War wants us to see its pro­tag­o­nist Kratos as a per­son, rather than the venge­ful in­stru­ment of ex­tra­or­di­nary vi­o­lence he was in pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tions of the game. Here he ap­pears re­cently wid­owed, fa­ther to a tweenaged son. They set out to scat­ter his wife’s ashes, be­com­ing en­twined in an epic tale that takes in­spi­ra­tion from Norse mythol­ogy. This is still a vi­o­lent game, yet when not fight­ing you’re ex­plor­ing the reaches of Midgard on foot or by boat. The game is one con­tin­u­ous shot, flow­ing be­tween com­bat, story scenes and ex­plo­ration with­out in­ter­rup­tion, and a cin­e­matic com­mit­ment to Kratos’s point of view en­hances the story’s ef­forts to hu­man­ise him. There are abun­dant mo­ments of beauty: it is among the most vis­ually im­pres­sive games ever made. God of War is a story about what it means to be a god, but also about what it means to be a man. Power and mas­culin­ity are in­ter­twined, and Kratos’s de­sire to pro­tect his son from the re­al­i­ties of both is touch­ing. Their re­la­tion­ship in­volves a lot more de­mon blood and mag­i­cal artefacts than the typ­i­cal par­ent-child dy­namic, but Kratos is still a dis­tant fa­ther clum­sily try­ing to reach out to a son who feels un­wanted. Their jour­ney makes for one of the best games of re­cent years: a deft in­ter­twin­ing of re­lat­able fa­mil­ial drama and awein­spir­ing mytho­log­i­cal epic. Keza MacDon­ald

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