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It’s here, our first five-star rated game of the year. The much-anticipated new chapter of the beloved Playstation series delivers on every level and then some.
In the game we find Kratos years after the battle during which he killed almost all the Greek gods. He is now further north than the last time we left him bloodied and seemingly dead. After burying his second wife, Kratos and his son, Atreus, set off to fulfil her dying wish; for her ashes to be scattered at the top of the highest peak in the Nine Realms. But for the former Greek God of War, travelling through the territory of Norse gods makes the already perilous journey all the more challenging.
The story is rich and wonderful, mostly thanks to the introduction of Atreus. He provides the emotional core. Kratos struggles to show affection. Atreus even voices the obvious when he says: “Dad, you’re scary sometimes,” when Kratos literally tears the undead apart with his bare hands. The gaming world often battles against its own image of toxic masculinity, and the boy provides a gentle way to offer players a balance.
The game’s other signature element is the incredible battle game play. And it’s better than ever. Kratos’s magical flying axe is one of the best weapons to hit your screen. Throwing that bad boy and having it fly back into your hand never gets old. The axe doesn’t just kill people — it’s a vital part of the puzzle-solving in the game.
It’s refreshing to play a game that isn’t incessantly open world — for the most part the story is linear which doesn’t diminish the fun with its many visual twists and turns. You can travel around freely when the map opens up, but you’re never swallowed by the world. And what a beautiful world it is. The masterful graphics create a magical place where gods walk among men, World Serpents appear when you throw your axe in the water, and witches live under a tortoise tree.
Who wouldn’t love a tree that’s secretly a tortoise? It’s hard to overstate how good the game is.