God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key

God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key

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God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key - all does

God of War (franchise)

Video game series

Video game series

God of War is an action-adventure game franchise created by David Jaffe at Sony's Santa Monica Studio. It began in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console, and has become a flagship title for the PlayStation brand, consisting of eight games across multiple platforms with a ninth currently in development. Based in ancient mythology, the story follows the titularprotagonist, Kratos, a Spartan warrior and later the God of War, who was tricked into killing his family by his former master, the original Greek god of war Ares. This sets off a series of events that leads to wars with the mythological pantheons. The Greek mythology era of the series sees Kratos follow a path of vengeance due to the machinations of the Olympian gods, while the Norse mythology era, which introduces his son Atreus as a secondary protagonist, shows an older Kratos on a path of redemption, which inadvertently brings the two into conflict with the Norse gods.

Santa Monica has developed all main entries, while Ready at Dawn and Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles (SOE-LA) developed the three side games. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has published all games except the mobile phone installment, which was published by Sony Pictures Digital. The first seven games make up the Greek era of the franchise. God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), and God of War III (2010) comprise its main trilogy; the first two were released on the PS2 with the third on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). A prequel, Ascension (2013), was also released for the PS3. Other games include Chains of Olympus (2008) and Ghost of Sparta (2010) for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Betrayal (2007) for mobile phones that supported the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME). The Norse era began with the 2018 installment that was also titled God of War and released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and later Microsoft Windows in January 2022. It was accompanied by a short prequel, A Call from the Wilds (2018), a text-based game through Facebook Messenger. A sequel, Ragnarök, is in development for a 2022 release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and will be the finale to the Norse era.

Games in the series have been praised as some of the best action games of all time. The series has received numerous awards, including several Game of the Year recognitions for the 2005 and 2018 installments. Some games have also been remastered for newer PlayStation platforms. As of November 2020, the franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide. Strong sales and support of the series led to the franchise's expansion into other media, such as three comic book series and three novels. A film adaptation of the original installment had been in development but was ultimately canceled. Merchandise includes artwork, clothing, toys, and prop replicas, as well as the games' soundtracks, including a heavy metal album, Blood & Metal (2010), featuring original music by various bands who were inspired by the series.

Games[edit]

See also: Characters of God of War

Series[edit]

God of War was first released in North America on March 22, 2005, for the PlayStation 2. After ten years in the service of the Olympian gods, Spartan soldier Kratos is tasked by Athena to find Pandora's box, the key to defeating Ares, the God of War, who is running amok through Athens. A series of flashbacks reveals that Kratos was once the servant of Ares, who saved the Spartan and his army from annihilation in battle, but tricked him into killing his family, which forced his metamorphosis into the "Ghost of Sparta". Kratos eventually finds Pandora's Box, and after finally killing Ares, he ascends to Mount Olympus to become the new God of War.[1]

God of War II was first released in North America on March 13, 2007, for the PlayStation 2. Angered at his fellow gods, Kratos runs amok across the city of Rhodes. Zeus intervenes and betrays Kratos, who is saved by the TitanGaia. She tells him he must now find the Sisters of Fate, who can change his fate and prevent his death at the hands of Zeus. Kratos is ultimately successful and as he is about to kill the god, Athena sacrifices herself to save Zeus and preserve Olympus, and tells Kratos that he is Zeus' son and that he betrayed Kratos out of fear. Kratos then joins forces with Gaia and the Titans to attack Olympus.[2]

God of War: Betrayal was released on June 20, 2007, for mobile phones supporting Java ME. It is the only game in the series to be released as a two-dimensional (2D) side-scroller and released on a non-PlayStation platform. The narrative of the game takes place between the events of Ghost of Sparta and God of War II. Kratos is framed for murder, and rampages across Greece seeking the true assassin. Kratos succumbs to bloodlust and kills Ceryx, the son of the god Hermes—an act that alienates him from his fellow gods.[3][4]

God of War: Chains of Olympus was first released in North America on March 4, 2008, for the PlayStation Portable. Its narrative takes place sometime between Ascension and God of War during Kratos' ten years of service to the gods. Kratos halts a Persian invasion of the Greek city of Attica, and learns that the world has been plunged into darkness by the god Morpheus. Kratos investigates the abduction of the sun god Helios, and prevents the Machiavellian plan of the goddess Persephone to use the Titan Atlas to destroy the world.[5]

God of War III was first released in North America on March 16, 2010, for the PlayStation 3. Reigniting the Great War, Kratos is soon abandoned by the Titans, who were only using him to exact their own revenge. Now seeking revenge against both Titans and Gods, he is helped by the spirit of a recently deceased Athena who was elevated to a new level of understanding and instructs him to seek the Flame of Olympus in order to defeat Zeus. Kratos engages the gods and the Titans in a series of battles across the Underworld and Olympus and learns that Pandora's Box is within the Flame. He discovers that Pandora herself is the key to pacifying the Flame and allowing him to open the Box, at the expense of her life. After finally killing Zeus, Kratos refuses to help Athena assume the role of new patron of mankind and disappears.[6]

God of War: Ghost of Sparta was first released in North America on November 2, 2010, for the PlayStation Portable. Set between the events of God of War and Betrayal, the God of War Kratos is still haunted by visions of his mortal past and embarks on a quest to discover his origins by finding his mother, Callisto. He learns that his brother Deimos was taken by the gods and imprisoned by the God of Death, Thanatos, and decides to find and save his sibling. Although successful, Thanatos engages the brothers in combat, and kills Deimos. Kratos then kills Thanatos and returns to Olympus, further enraged at the gods.[7]

God of War: Ascension[8] was first released in North America on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3.[9] It is the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play.[10][11] Predating Chains of Olympus, the game is set roughly six months after Kratos was tricked into killing his wife and daughter, and sees him imprisoned by the three Furies for breaking his blood oath to Ares. With the help of the oath keeper and Ares' estranged son Orkos, Kratos learns that the God of War and the Furies plan to overthrow Mount Olympus and that Ares chose Kratos as his servant to help him for that very purpose. The Spartan escapes his imprisonment and eventually kills the Furies, as well as Orkos, who begs for release. Although free of Ares' bond, Kratos begins to suffer the nightmares that plague him for years.[12]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a short text-based game, released through Facebook Messenger on February 1, 2018. The game serves as a prequel story to 2018's God of War, and follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds.[13]

God of War: Mimir's Vision is a mobile AR game released on April 17, 2018. The game provides some background for the Norse setting of God of War.[14]

God of War was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4. Many years after the events of God of War III, Kratos has ended up in the world of Norse mythology in ancient Norway, in the realm of Midgard, and has a son named Atreus. After Kratos' second wife and Atreus' mother, Faye, passes away from an unknown cause, the two set out on a journey to fulfill her final wish of spreading her ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms, later revealed to be in Jötunheim. Along their journey, they are attacked by Baldur, who was sent by Odin to get to Faye in order to prevent Ragnarök, unaware she has died. After Kratos eventually kills Baldur, the three-year-long Fimbulwinter begins, with Ragnarök soon to follow, which was not supposed to occur for another hundred years. While Baldur's mother Freya swears revenge on Kratos, he and Atreus complete their journey and discover that Faye was a giant who had foreseen the future and chose to remain in Midgard; it is also revealed that Atreus was originally named Loki by his mother before Kratos renamed him in the memory of a former Spartan comrade. The game is a new direction for the series, not only by its new mythological setting, but also by its gameplay. Kratos now prominently uses a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe instead of his iconic dual blades from the previous installments.[15] On September 13, 2021 a leaked list of games on Nvidia GeForce servers reportedly showed God of War will be coming to PC via Steam sometime in the near future.[16]

God of War Ragnarök was announced on September 16, 2020 and is scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 in 2022, marking the first game in the series to release on both a previous and current generation console simultaneously.[17] It is expected to bring about the events of Ragnarök foretold in the previous game.[18]Cory Barlog had previously confirmed that the 2018 installment would not be Kratos' last game,[19] and that following games would continue to be set in the Norse environment and include Atreus.[20] Eric Williams, the game's director, stated at the 2021 PlayStation Showcase event that Ragnarök would "cap off the Norse series".[21] The accompanying trailer revealed that Kratos and Atreus will seek out the Norse God of War Týr to team up with against Odin and the rest of Asgard.

Collections and remasters[edit]

Main article: God of War video game collections

God of War Collection was first released in North America on November 17, 2009, for the PlayStation 3—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered port of the original God of War and God of War II.[22] The games were ported by Bluepoint Games and feature high-definition 1080panti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second and trophies.[23]Sanzaru Games later ported the collection to the PlayStation Vita and it was released in May 2014—the franchise's only appearance on this platform.[24]

God of War: Origins Collection was first released in North America on September 13, 2011, for the PlayStation 3. It is a remastered port of the two PlayStation Portable installments in the series—Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. God of War Origins was ported by Ready at Dawn and features 1080p high-definition video, anti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second, DualShock 3 rumble features, trophies,[25] and it is the only God of War release to feature Stereoscopic 3D.[26]

God of War Saga was released in North America on August 28, 2012. It is a collection of five of the God of War games for the PlayStation 3, released as part of Sony's PlayStation Collections line. The collection includes the original God of War, God of War II, God of War III, Chains of Olympus, and Ghost of Sparta. It features two Blu-ray Discs—God of War I and II on the first and III on the second—and a voucher to download Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. The games retain the same features as their first PS3 releases.[27][28]

God of War III Remastered was first released in North America on July 14, 2015, for the PlayStation 4—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered version of God of War III, and features full 1080p support targeted at 60 frames per second, a photo mode, and all downloadable content of the original. The game's announcement and release was in celebration of the franchise's tenth anniversary.[29] It was ported by Wholesale Algorithms.[30]

Gameplay[edit]

The series consists of seven single-player-only games, and one that includes multiplayer. Throughout the first era, the games featured a third-person, fixed cinematic camera with the exception of Betrayal, which is the only installment to feature a 2D side-scrolling view.[31] In 2018's God of War, the camera was switched from being fixed and became an over-the-shoulder free camera.[32] A first-person camera is featured in God of War III[33] and Ascension.[34] Throughout the series, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of hack and slash combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements to achieve goals and complete the story (platforming elements were removed from 2018's God of War due to the camera change).[35][36] 2018's God of War adds Kratos' son Atreus, and although the game is played entirely as Kratos, there are times when the player may choose to passively control Atreus (a button is dedicated to Atreus, and he will fire an arrow from his bow depending on where the camera is pointed).[37]

Throughout the Greek era, Kratos' main weapon is a pair of double-chained blades that appear in three iterations: the Blades of Chaos, the Blades of Athena (or Athena's Blades), and the Blades of Exile. They each perform similarly, but differ in the types of combos and amount of damage each yields, as well as cosmetic differences. Other weapons are also obtained during the games and vary in gameplay.[38]Magic is also used, and four abilities are typically acquired.[39]God of War III differs in that instead of separate abilities, there are four primary weapons that possess their own respective magic offensive. The game also features "Items"—additional secondary weapons with limited usage, such as the Bow of Apollo.[33] With each new game, most weapons and magic are lost via a plot device, and a new arsenal of weapons and abilities are acquired during gameplay.[40]Ascension differs from the previous games in that instead of acquiring new weapons that are kept throughout the entire game, the player collects up to five World Weapons (such as a sword or a javelin) that have limited usage. When there is not a World Weapon equipped, the player can punch or kick foes as part of a new mechanic added to the game.[41] In 2018's God of War, Kratos' primary weapon is a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe. It can be thrown and summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Later on in the game, he recovers the Blades of Chaos, which perform similarly as they did during the Greek games, but with different abilities. Both the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos can be upgraded to use special magical attacks called runic attacks. Each weapon has a light and heavy runic attack, and the player can choose which runic attacks to equip on the weapons.[42]

The series offers combo-based combat, and includes a quick time event (QTE) feature, also called context sensitive attacks, which is initiated when the player has weakened a foe or to perform a defensive maneuver. It allows limited control of Kratos during the QTE cinematic sequence; success ends the battle, while failure usually results in damage to the player.[33][43] As well as the QTE system, Ascension features a prompt-less free-form system, allowing players the choice of when to attack or dodge based on the enemy's actions.[44] A grab maneuver can be used on minor foes.[45] 2018's God of War changed this up; after an enemy has been weakened enough, a prompt will appear above its head, and depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes. He will also jump on top of and ride large enemies, such as ogres, causing them to attack other enemies, similar to the cyclopes in the Greek games.[46]

Two video game characters fight in a brown-colored room with mystical symbols.
A cropped gameplay screenshot from the original God of War(2005): weakening foes allows the use of controller buttons for greater damage or finishing moves. This gameplay mechanic has been utilized throughout the series.

Relics, which the player can use in successive games (such as Poseidon's Trident obtained in the original God of War allowing Kratos to swim underwater for extended periods) are also found and necessary for game progression.[35] Kratos often has a special ability, which provides temporary invulnerability and increased attack damage. This ability has become an ongoing feature of gameplay throughout the series—Rage of the Gods in the original God of War and Ascension, Rage of the Titans in God of War II, Rage of Sparta in God of War III, and Thera's Bane in Ghost of Sparta.[33] This ability can be recharged by building hits on foes in combat, and gaining game-specific orbs. Thera's Bane, however, is recharged automatically.[33][35][45] While Kratos does not retain any relics from the Greek era in 2018's God of War, he does have a rage ability, called Spartan Rage, and with this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies.[32][47]

Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers, found throughout the Greek games in unmarked chests (white chests in Ascension), increase the maximum amount of health and magic, respectively.[35][48]Minotaur Horns, which increase the Items and Fire meter's maximum length, are available in God of War III and Ghost of Sparta, respectively. The Items meter allows the use of secondary weapons, called Items, and the Fire meter allows the use of Thera's Bane. The meters are increased in increments and reach their maximum once a certain number of Eyes, Feathers, and Horns are found. Other chests contain green, blue, or red orbs.[49] Green orbs replenish the player's health, blue orbs replenish magic allowing further usage, and red orbs provide experience points (XP) for upgrading weapons and magic for new, more powerful attacks, and replenish the Rage meter in the original God of War. Gold orbs found in God of War II and Ascension, and white orbs in God of War III, replenish the Rage meter instead of red orbs; the Rage meter in Ascension is also refilled by landing attacks on foes. Chests with changing colors, which allow players to choose which meter to replenish, have also been available.[50] Red orbs can also be collected by killing foes and destroying certain inanimate objects. Bosses and more powerful opponents release a combination of colored orbs when killed via the quick-time feature.[35] For 2018's God of War, Iðunn's Apples replaced the Gorgon Eyes to increase the maximum length of the health meter, while Horns of Blood Mead increase the maximum length of the rage meter. While the game retains green health orbs to replenish the health meter, magic is done differently. Instead of blue orbs, there is a cool down time on magical runic attacks. Once that cool down time is up, the magical runic attack can be used again. Furthermore, players accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, which is a key component in crafting and purchasing new items, such as new armor or upgrading existing armor, and XP is used for learning new combat skills. Chests in this game provide a variety of different items.[51][52]

With the exception of Ascension, each installment offers a challenge mode, which yields extra red orbs (or XP), secret costumes, and behind-the-scenes videos.[53]Bonus content can also be unlocked by defeating the game's difficulty levels.[54] 2018's God of War also includes a challenge mode, which ends with an optional fight with a Valkyrie, who provides various items upon defeat. Battle arenas, which allow players to set difficulty levels and choose their own opponents, are included in God of War II, God of War III, and Ghost of Sparta.[55] Excluding Betrayal, the Greek games were known for including a quick-time sex minigame in each installment until Ascension, which dropped the mini-game.[56]

Ascension is the only installment in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play. Up to eight players on two teams of two to four players (or a four to eight player deathmatch) battle for control of a map in order to earn rewards from the gods. Players can also fight each other in one-on-one matches. Players must sell their champion's soul to either Zeus, Hades, Ares, or Poseidon, which allows players to try different weapons, armor sets, and powers inspired by the god of their choice, and extras can be unlocked.[10][57]

Development[edit]

Main series[edit]

PlayStation 2[edit]

After the success of their first game Kinetica (2002), Santa Monica Studio began development of the original God of War in 2002, and unveiled it two years later at SCEA Santa Monica Gamers' Day 2004.[58] Game director and creator David Jaffe said that although the idea for God of War was his own, the concept owed a debt to Capcom because he had played Onimusha and said "let's do that with Greek Mythology".[59] He was inspired in part by the 1981 feature film, Clash of the Titans, saying, "the real high concept for me was ... merging it with Heavy Metal magazine".[59] He said he liked both "the kids stuff ... with Greek Mythology" and the idea of adding more adult themes such as sex and violence.[59] He was also inspired by the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[60] Although the game is based on Greek mythology, the development team gave themselves "lots of freedom" to modify the myths, and Jaffe said they took the "coolest aspects of the subject" and created art and story using those elements.[61] Director of visual development and lead concept artist, Charlie Wen, drew inspiration from these films as well as more contemporary films such as Gladiator (2000) for tonal inspiration to lead the visual design of Kratos, other characters, and the world of God of War.[61] According to Eurogamer, the gameplay of the Strider arcade franchise was also a vital influence on God of War.[62]GameSpot said the developers described the gameplay "as merging the action of Devil May Cry with the puzzle-solving of Ico" and noted that players would be able to "sunder enemies with a single move, such as by ripping them in half".[63] The game uses Santa Monica's Kineticaengine, which they developed for Kinetica.[64]

A sequel to God of War was first teased at the end of its credits, which stated, "Kratos Will Return".[65]God of War II was officially announced at the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC).[66] David Jaffe stepped down and became the creative director of its sequel and God of War's lead animator Cory Barlog assumed the role of game director.[67] Barlog said that in the game, players would see "a larger view of Kratos' role within the mythological world."[68] Like God of War, the game uses Santa Monica's Kinetica engine. Magic attacks became an integral part of the combat system and it was more refined. New creatures and heroes from the mythology, and more boss battles were added.[69] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that they did not view God of War II as a sequel, but rather a continuation of the previous game. Jaffe said that they did not want to include the Roman numeral number two (II) in the title for this reason, but they did not want the title to convey the impression it was an expansion pack.[70] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that the reason God of War II appeared on the PlayStation 2 instead of the PlayStation 3—which was released four months prior to God of War II—was because "there's a 100 million people out there that will be able to play God of War II as soon as it launches."[71][72] Barlog assured that the game would be playable on the newer platform, which originally had PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility.[71][72]

PlayStation 3[edit]

God of War III was first mentioned by Cory Barlog at a God of War II launch event,[73] and it was officially announced at the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).[74] After serving as game director during the first eight months of development, Barlog left Santa Monica for other opportunities and Stig Asmussen took on the role, having previously been the lead environment artist and art director on God of War and God of War II, respectively. Asmussen said that one of the greatest challenges in developing God of War III for the PlayStation 3 was the "complexity of everything"; individual tasks, such as designing Helios' decapitation, could take a year because the "level of detail [that was] expected [was] so high and intricate, it [crossed] multiple departments."[75][76] He said that the PlayStation 3's hardware capabilities allowed more flexibility in character creation and interaction with the environment.[75][76] The engine for God of War III was ported from the first two installments to the PlayStation 3. As the game was being developed, the code department swapped out PlayStation 2 components with PlayStation 3 components. They replaced the renderer, the particle system, and the collision system.[77] Although they were re-using the engine from God of War II, the core engine for God of War III was brand new.[78] Between E3 2009 and the time the game shipped, morphological anti-aliasing (MLAA) was added, which graphics engineer Ben Diamand said "improved edges dramatically and saved substantial amounts of frame-rate."[79] Diamand also said that "depth-of-field, motion blur, crepuscular 'god' rays and refraction were either added or improved in quality and speed" during that same time period.[79]

On April 12, 2012, Sony released a teaser image for Ascension on its official PlayStation Facebook page,[80] which was followed by the game's announcement on April 19 on PlayStation.Blog.[81] Todd Papy, who had previously worked as a designer on God of War and God of War II and as design director on God of War III, assumed the role of game director; God of War III director Stig Asmussen was busy with another project at Santa Monica and did not work on Ascension.[82] The announcement officially confirmed the game's title and Papy said it was not titled God of War IV to avoid confusion because it is a prequel, rather than a sequel, to the trilogy.[10][83] The game features a retooled God of War III engine, enabling online multiplayer battles for up to eight players.[10] The decision to add multiplayer came about from curiosity, according to lead combat designer Jason McDonald. The multiplayer was first tested using Kratos, and McDonald said the testers had "a lot of fun".[84] Seeing their reaction made the team feel that the multiplayer had value and they then began to put the "God of War spin on it".[84] In the developmental transition from God of War III to Ascension, one of the graphics engineers, Cedric Perthuis, noted that the limits of the God of War III engine restricted artist creativity, so they "tried to remove or push those limits as far as possible without losing any performance."[79]Ascension did not have a graphical leap over its predecessor like God of War III did. Dynamic lighting was added, which allowed for development of the Life Cycle gameplay mechanic. Particle effects were also greatly improved upon from God of War III.[79]

PlayStation 4[edit]

Santa Monica began work on the fifth main installment in 2014, which was confirmed by the returning Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year.[85] The official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo,[32] which also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director.[37] The game was deliberately titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because although it is a continuation of the series, "we are reimagining everything."[86][87] Other mythologies were also considered for the new setting, but Norse was picked to keep the focus on Kratos;[88] there was also consideration to use a different protagonist, but it was decided to keep Kratos as he "is intrinsically tied" to the series.[37] Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[86] They claimed that they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[52] Some gameplay characteristics found in the previous installments were cut, such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges; these were cut due to the camera being closer to Kratos.[89] Although Ascension had introduced multiplayer to the series, the team dropped the mode to focus on the single-player experience.[90] The Leviathan Axe was chosen as Kratos' new main weapon because the developers wanted a more grounded direction for the game.[91] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen; God of War III and Ascension could do up to 50.[86] Although the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4,[92] Barlog confirmed that it would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[93] The game's story was estimated to take 25–35 hours to complete, which is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[94] As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022, with support for graphics options. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[95]

Cory Barlog also confirmed that the 2018 game would not be Kratos' last.[96] He said that future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[97] and that although the 2018 game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact that there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[98] Barlog also said that he liked the idea of having different directors for each game, seen throughout the first seven games, and although he may not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[99]

[edit]

PlayStation Portable[edit]

Game developer Ready at Dawn pitched the idea of a God of War game for the PlayStation Portable to Santa Monica Studio soon after the original God of War launched.[100] Cory Barlog officially confirmed the development of Chains of Olympus at a God of War II launch event, stating "It is its own story that connects to the overall story."[101]Chains of Olympus uses a proprietary, in-house engine referred to as the Ready at Dawn engine, which expanded on the engine created for their previous game, Daxter (2006).[102] Originally designed for the PlayStation Portable's restricted 222-megahertz (MHz) processor,[103] Ready at Dawn convinced Sony to increase the clock speed of the PSP to 333 MHz, which they did in a firmware upgrade. The faster processor allowed for more realistic blood effects, lighting effects, and shadows as well as improved enemy intelligence, but noticeably decreased battery life.[103][104] After the game's completion, game director Ru Weerasuriya stated multiplayer options and other puzzles, characters, and dialogue had to be removed due to time constraints.[102]

Ghost of Sparta was announced on May 4, 2010, on PlayStation.Blog.[105] According to Sony, Ready at Dawn utilized "state-of-the-art visual technologies" that allowed "higher quality environments and characters."[106]Ghost of Sparta offers "over 25% more gameplay" than Chains of Olympus, while adding more enemies on screen and more boss encounters.[106] Development of Ghost of Sparta took 23 months to complete.[106] Due to Weerasuriya's schedule at Ready at Dawn, he could not return to direct; Dana Jan, the lead level designer for Chains of Olympus, became director for Ghost of Sparta. At Comic-Con 2010, Jan noted that when development began in 2008, the goal was to make the game bigger than Chains of Olympus, which had apparently pushed the PSP to its functional limits. Jan stated that Ghost of Sparta took the PSP to its "absolute capacity", with another feature being more on-screen foes.[107] The game concept was originally used as a teaser for players who obtained the platinum trophy from God of War III. The trophy revealed a site called spartansstandtall.com, which became the official site for Ghost of Sparta on May 4.[108] Jan stated the reason they chose to have the game take place between God of War and God of War II was because "It seemed to make a lot of sense to fill in that void."[106]

Mobile[edit]

Betrayal was announced by Sony Online Entertainment at a press conference in Los Angeles in May 2007. The game utilizes a total of 110 different animations and features a 2D rendition of the series' three-dimensional (3D) graphics.[109][110] Game director Phil Cohen said that although the game was enjoyable to develop, the greatest challenge was creating a single tileset and palette swapping scheme that was diverse enough to portray multiple environments with only several hundred kilobytes, and that met Santa Monica Studio's high standards.[111] Cohen wrote the initial design document between September and October 2005, and revisited it in August 2006, the month development started. The versions for high-end handsets were completed in April 2007, with final versions for low-end handsets completed by June 2007. The porting team adapted the game to over 200 handsets in a matter of weeks. Both David Jaffe and Cory Barlog ensured that the Betrayal development team captured the feel of the combat and visual style, and were "helpful with feedback and positive support".[111]

Adaptations[edit]

Film and documentaries[edit]

A film adaptation of the first game was announced in 2005.[112] Creator David Jaffe confirmed that a completed script had been written by David Self and would be sent to an unspecified director. He said that Universal Studios was behind the making of the God of War movie, but was unaware of its status,[113] and eventually said, "it's doubtful that the film will even be made."[114] In September 2010, Jaffe said that the "script went out a year and a half ago to Daniel Craig who plays [James] Bond, but he turned it down."[115] He also said that another actor had since been cast as Kratos; he said, "this new person is pretty good, if that ends up true."[115] In July 2012, The Hollywood Reporter said that writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan had been hired to adapt the God of War film.[116] The writers told IGN that they intended to "humanize" Kratos and explore his past. Melton said that they were emotionally invested and it could become a series of films, and that Ares "[would] become a more proactive villain."[117][118] A script had been "turned in"[119] and the film had a budget of US$150 million.[117] Following the release of 2018's God of War, with no updates on the original game's film, rumors about a potential adaptation of the 2018 game began circulating. Pacific Rim: Uprising's (2018) director Steven S. DeKnight stated he would like to direct an adaptation of that game and talked with Sony about making it R-rated.[120] In May 2021, however, a Sony spokesperson confirmed that there was no film or television show adaptation for any God of War in development.[121]

God of War: Unearthing the Legend (75 minutes, 2010)[122] is a documentary about the God of War franchise and is hosted by Peter Weller. The production discusses the relationship between the God of War games and Greek mythology, and features members of the God of War III development team and professional historians. It was included as part of the God of War III Ultimate Edition (North America) and Ultimate Trilogy Edition (Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) packages. On March 25, 2010, it was released on the PlayStation Store in North America to purchase.[123]

God of War – Game Directors Live (80 minutes, 2010)[124] is a documentary featuring five game directors of the God of War series: David Jaffe (original God of War), Cory Barlog (just God of War II at the time), Ru Weerasuriya (Chains of Olympus), Stig Asmussen (God of War III), and Dana Jan (Ghost of Sparta). The documentary takes the form of an interview panel hosted by G4's Alison Haislip, with the five game directors, 150 members of PlayStation.Blog, and members of GodofWar.com and SpartansStandTall.com. It was filmed at the El Portal theater in Los Angeles on September 1, 2010, and was released as a pre-order bonus for Ghost of Sparta in North America on November 2, 2010, and was included with the Origins Collection and later released on the PlayStation Store.[125]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making 2018's God of War, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[126][127]

Comic series and novels[edit]

Main articles: God of War (DC Comics) and God of War (Dark Horse Comics)

A six-issue comic book series titled God of War, written by Marv Wolfman with art by Andrea Sorrentino, was published by WildStorm and DC Comics between March 2010 and January 2011.[128] Taking place during the Greek era, the narrative switches between Kratos' past and present; it occurs while he is a soldier of Sparta and involves his search for the Ambrosia of Asclepius, which has legendary healing properties and eventually saved his plague-ridden daughter, Calliope. Kratos also embarks upon a quest to destroy the same elixir to deny it to the worshippers of the slain god Ares, who wish to resurrect him.[129]

In the lead up to Ascension's release, Santa Monica released a graphic novel titled Rise of the Warrior on the God of War website that featured a social experience from October 2012 until March 2013. The graphic novel was a prequel story that tied into the single-player of Ascension, and was the backstory of the player's multiplayer character.[130]

A limited comic series from Dark Horse Comics, also titled God of War and written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, was published from November 2018 to February 2019. The four-issue miniseries serves as a prequel story to the 2018 game. Issue #0 was included digitally with the three different special editions of the game.[131][132]

The God of War novels recount the events of the games and offer deeper insights into their stories. God of War, the official novelization of the first game, was written by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman. It was published on May 25, 2010, by Del Rey Books.[133]God of War II, the second novelization of the series, was written by Vardeman alone and was published by Del Rey Books on February 12, 2013.[134] The third novelization in the series, titled God of War – The Official Novelization, is of 2018's God of War. It was released on August 28, 2018 by Titan Books and was written by Cory Barlog's father, James Barlog.[135]

Music[edit]

Six God of War soundtracks have been commercially released and have featured several composers, including Gerard K. Marino, Ron Fish, Winifred Phillips, Mike Reagan, Cris Velasco, Winnie Waldron, Marcello De Francisci, Jeff Rona, Tyler Bates, and Bear McCreary. On March 1, 2005, God of War: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE as an exclusive product for the Sony Connect Music Store. It was praised for its well-developed orchestral themes, and the creative use of ancient and ethnic instrumentation. The composers were also praised for avoiding the production of never-ending action themes.[136]God of War II: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE on April 10, 2007. Praised as strong, the album features ominous orchestral pieces, and each composer's contributions are slightly more distinctive than the previous soundtrack.[137]God of War III: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE and Sumthing Else on March 30, 2010.[138] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections.[139] The soundtrack was praised as an orchestral success and the best score in the series at the time.[140]

The original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III were nominated for Best Original Score at the 2005,[141] 2007,[142] and 2010[143]Spike Video Game Awards, respectively. The God of War Trilogy Soundtrack was included with the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections as downloadable content. The Trilogy Soundtrack consists of the original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III. It was praised by critics as the best way to experience the series' musical development, and allows the listener to note the development of the composers during the series.[144]

On October 18, 2010, God of War: Ghost of Sparta – Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on the iTunes Store by SIE. It was also included as downloadable content as part of the Ghost of Sparta pre-order package and includes three previously unreleased tracks from Chains of Olympus.[145][146] Several tracks were cited as being intended for purely contextual purposes, and the remaining tracks rated well in comparison to the soundtracks of the main installments in the series.[147]God of War: Ascension (Original Soundtrack) differed from the previously released soundtracks as it was composed by Tyler Bates alone, and is the only God of War score that he has worked on. It was released on March 5, 2013, on iTunes by SIE and La-La Land Records.[148] It was included as downloadable content in the God of War: Ascension–Collector's Edition and Special Edition.[149] Reviewers praised it for being powerful, rich, and pulsing, though felt it was repetitive at times.[150]

Bear McCreary is the most recent composer to work on the series as he composed the music for 2018's God of War.[151]God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. McCreary composed completely new music for the game, not reusing any music from the Greek era. However, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting using Nordic ethnic instruments.[152] The soundtrack was well received, receiving various nominations at award shows as well as winning the award for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition at the 22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.[153]

God of War: Blood & Metal[edit]

God of War: Blood & Metal is a heavy metal homage by various bands on the Roadrunner Records label, and features original music inspired by the God of War video game series. The EP was released for purchase on March 2, 2010, and is available from ShockHound[154] and the iTunes Store.[155] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections, which included a bonus track.[139][156] The second track, "Shattering the Skies Above" by Trivium,[154] and the bonus track, "Even Gods Cry" by The Turtlenecks,[157] were made into music videos. 1UP.com (2.5/5) said, "it's not offensive to [the] ears" and "mainstream listeners may enjoy [the album]".[158] Square Enix Music Online (8/10) stated the album is a "good selection of metal music" and listeners will be "surprised with the variety of music".[159]

Track listing

7."Even Gods Cry" (The Turtlenecks)7.32
Total length:36:56

Critical reception[edit]

With physical and digital copies combined, the God of War franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide (as of November 2020).[173][179]God of War (2005), God of War II, Chains of Olympus, God of War Collection, God of War III, and God of War (2018) each received critical acclaim from several reviewers as compiled by review aggregatorMetacritic,[180] with both the 2005 and 2018 titles being tied for the highest score in the franchise at 94/100.[160][172]Betrayal and Ghost of Sparta only received generally favorable reception.[4][167]Ascension also only had a generally favorable reception and, not including the PlayStation Vita port of God of War Collection, it has the lowest score in the series from Metacritic (80/100).[170]

At the time of its release, Raymond Padilla of GameSpy wrote that the original God of War was the "best action game ever to grace the PS2".[181] Other critics similarly said that it was one of the best action games of all time; it received over a dozen "Game of the Year" awards.[182] In 2009, it was named the "seventh-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time on IGN's "Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time" list.[183]God of War II was also on IGN's list, and was named the "second-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time.[184]God of War II was similarly called one of the best action games of all time and is considered the swan song of the PlayStation 2 era.[185] In November 2012, Complex.com named God of War II the best PlayStation 2 game of all time—where God of War was named the 11th best—and consider it better than its successor, God of War III.[186]Betrayal was acclaimed for its fidelity to the series in terms of gameplay, art style, and graphics.[4]

Chains of Olympus was praised for "fantastic" graphics and "tight and responsive" controls for the PSP at the time.[187] In 2008, IGN awarded Chains of Olympus the "Best PSP Action Game",[188] and in September 2010, it was listed as the best PSP game by GamePro.[189]God of War III received praise for its graphics, in particular of Kratos; at the time, IGN stated that Kratos was "perhaps the single most impressive-looking character ever in videogames."[190] IGN also said that, at the time, God of War III "redefines what the word 'scale' means with regards to videogames, as it throws you into scenes with Titans that are larger than entire levels in some other games."[190]God of War III received awards for "Most Anticipated Game of 2010" and "Best PS3 Game" at the 2009 and 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, respectively.[191] The game also won the "Artistic Achievement" award at the 2011 BAFTA awards.[192]Ghost of Sparta was praised for its graphics and story, with Chris Pereira of 1UP saying that it was "a more personal story than the [previous] GOW games."[193] It received several awards at E3 2010, including "Best Handheld Game", "Best PSP Game", and "PSP Game of Show",[194] and won "Best Handheld Game" at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards.[191] 2018's God of War received particular praise for its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many also felt that it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[195] It won several awards, among which were "Game of the Year" and "Best Game Direction" at The Game Awards 2018 and "Best Storytelling" and "PlayStation Game of the Year" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards.[196][197]

The series has also received criticism because of problems with puzzles, weapons, and technical issues. Chains of Olympus was criticized by G4, who stated that the game "occasionally suffers from screen tearing and framerate drops", and that some of the puzzles "are so maddeningly difficult to solve".[198] The game was also criticized for its lack of variety in enemies, its continued use of puzzles that require players to move boxes,[187] and its relatively short story.[199]God of War III also received some criticism. GameFront's Phil Hornshaw said it had an overly cruel protagonist, and the game assumed that the players reveled in the misery and violence as much as Kratos did.[200] IGN complained about the game's weapons, and said "that two of the three additional weapons that you'll earn are extremely similar to your blades. They have unique powers and slightly different moves, but by and large, they're more of the same."[190]Ghost of Sparta received criticism from Eurogamer, which said that the "game's primary problem ... is in its in-built focus" and that "there is a sense that Ghost of Sparta is a step back for the series if you've played [God of War III]."[201] Some reviewers stated that Ascension's story was not as compelling as previous installments, with IGN stating that in comparison to Zeus and Ares, "the Furies don't quite cut it".[202] The multiplayer received a mixed response. Although reviewers claimed gameplay translated well into the multiplayer, they were critical of the balance and depth of combat. Edge magazine approved of the multiplayer, stating it was an "evolutionary step" with "some fine ideas ... that [would] form part of this genre's future template."[203] 2018's God of War received some criticism, for example, a couple of reviewers disliked that the fast travel option unlocked very late into the game.[204][205]

The collections have also received praise. IGN (9.4/10) awarded God of War Collection (PS3) the "Editor's Choice" Award and praised the enhanced resolutions, lower price point and smoother frame rates, and stated it was the "definitive way to play the game[s]".[206] Due to the success of God of War Collection, Sony announced that further titles would receive similar treatment for release under its new "Classics HD" brand.[22] The Origins Collection was similarly well received. IGN (9/10) stated "Sony succeeded at making good games better",[207] although GamePro criticized it for its lack of new bonus content.[208]God of War Saga also received praise. Ryan Fleming of Digital Trends wrote that the collection "is perhaps the best value buy for any console available," although the collection is not likely for fans of the series, but rather inexperienced players or newcomers.[209]God of War III Remastered was met with generally favorable reception. Praise was given to the smoother textures and improved frame rate, though because the original already had remarkable graphics, the changes were not major, and reviewers said these changes were not a strong enough argument to rebuy the game for US$40.[210]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

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  33. ^ abcdeSanta Monica Studio, ed. & (2010), pp. 6–7
  34. ^Santa Monica Studio. God of War: Ascension (PlayStation 3). Sony Computer Entertainment. Scene: Castor and Pollux.
  35. ^ abcdeSanta Monica Studio, ed. & (2009), pp. 6–7
  36. ^Santa Monica Studio, ed. & (2009), pp. 9–10
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  40. ^Ready at Dawn & (2010), pp. 7
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  47. ^Juba 2018, p. 41
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  50. ^Ready at Dawn, ed. & (2010), p. 6
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  • This game is the third game in the God of War series.
  • You will play the role of a Spartan warrior, Kratos.
  • High-quality graphics and enhanced images.
  • You can also take the help of titans in battles.
  • Perform combos to earn more orbs.
  • You can also perform the final step with a quick event.
  • Solve different puzzles using clues.
  • Hack and slash gameplay with double swords.
  • In the game, you also need to collect new weapons and germs from dead enemies.
  • You can also unlock new items by completing the game.
  • It also enables you to customize your personality with new costumes.
  • You also have to fight different types of enemies.
  • It also has great soundtracks as well as amazing battle sounds.
  • This game is a revenge story of the Fallen God.

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  • CPU clock speed, the clock of 1200 GHz or higher.
  • 512 MB of RAM or more.
  • Video card 128 MB or better.
  • 750 MB of available hard disk space.
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  • A mouse and keyboard are required, and a microphone is also optional.
  • Access to an Internet connection

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God of War (2018 video game)

2018 video game

For the 2005 video game, see God of War (2005 video game).

2018 video game

God of War[b] is a 2018 action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). It was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) with a Microsoft Windows version set to release on January 14, 2022. The game is the eighth installment in the God of War series, the eighth chronologically, and the sequel to 2010's God of War III. Unlike previous games, which were loosely based on Greek mythology, this installment is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, with the majority of it set in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. For the first time in the series, there are two protagonists: Kratos, the former Greek God of War who remains the only playable character, and his young son, Atreus. Following the death of Kratos' second wife, and Atreus' mother, they journey to fulfill her request that her ashes be spread at the highest peak of the nine realms. Kratos keeps his troubled past a secret from Atreus, who is unaware of his divine nature. Along their journey, they come into conflict with monsters and gods of the Norse world.

Described by creative director Cory Barlog as a reimagining of the franchise, a major gameplay change is that Kratos makes prominent use of a magical battle axe instead of his signature double-chained blades. God of War also uses an over-the-shoulder free camera, with the game in one shot, as opposed to the fixed cinematic camera of the previous entries. The game also includes role-playing video game elements, and Kratos' son Atreus provides assistance in combat. The majority of the original game's development team worked on God of War and designed it to be accessible and grounded. A separate short text-based game, A Call from the Wilds, was released in February 2018 and follows Atreus on his first adventure.

God of War received universal acclaim for its story, world design, art direction, music, graphics, combat system, and characters, in particular the dynamic between Kratos and Atreus. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors. It received a number of perfect review scores, tying it with the original God of War (2005) as the highest-rated game in the series, as well as one of the highest-rated PlayStation 4 games on the review aggregatorMetacritic. Among other awards and nominations, God of War was awarded Game of the Year by numerous media outlets and award shows. The game performed well commercially, selling over five million copies within a month of its release and over 19.5 million by August 2021, making it the best-selling PlayStation 4 game as well as the best-selling game in the series. A novelization was released in August 2018, followed by a prequel comic series published from November 2018 to February 2019. A sequel titled God of War Ragnarök is scheduled for release in 2022 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Gameplay[edit]

God of War is a third-personaction-adventure video game. It features an over-the-shoulder free camera, a departure from the previous installments, which featured a fixed cinematic camera (with the exception of 2007's two-dimensionalside-scrollerBetrayal).[6] Cinematographically, the game is presented in a continuous shot, with no camera cuts or loading screens.[7] Although the previous main installment, Ascension (2013), introduced multiplayer to the series, this installment is single-player-only.[4] Regarding the level structure, director Cory Barlog said "it's open, but it is not an open world."[8] Due to its openness, a fast travel feature is unlocked later in the game.[9] Swimming, an ability in previous games, was cut;[10] players instead use a boat to traverse bodies of water.[9] Unlike previous games, which allowed players to jump freely at anytime, jumping can now only be done at designated areas, such as at a rock face or ledge. Throughout the game, players battle Norse mythological foes, like dark elves, wulvers, and draugrs,[11] as well as Gullveig and the revenants, beings warped by seiðr magic, among many others.[12]Valkyries appear as optional boss battles. Among the many side quests, players can free the imprisoned dragonsFáfnir, Otr, and Reginn—dwarves who were turned into dragons—in addition to battling one called Hræzlyr, a story-based boss battle.[9][13]

A GIF that shows the character Kratos throwing his weapon, the Leviathan Axe, at an enemy, magically freezing it in place. Important character information is shown in both bottom corners.
A GIFshowing Kratosthrowing the Leviathan Axe to magically freeze an enemy draugrin place, allowing Kratos to easily attack it. The in-game HUDcan be seen in the bottom left and right corners. The left shows information for Kratos, such as his healthand what runicattacks are equipped. The right shows similar information for Atreus.

The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat and puzzle game elements. The gameplay is vastly different from previous games, as it was completely rebuilt.[8] A major change is that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades, the Blades of Chaos, as his default weapon. Instead, he uses a magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe,[14] which is infused with ice elemental magic. The axe can be thrown at enemies and magically summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Larger enemies have precision targets, and throwing the axe at those targets stuns the enemy. The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects to trigger a damaging explosion. It can freeze objects and some enemies in place for puzzle solving until the axe is summoned back to Kratos' hand. The axe has standard light and heavy attacks. Over time, it can be upgraded with runes to allow for magical runic attacks, with one slot being for a light magical attack and the other for a heavy one. This provides players with a variety of options to cater to their own play style.[15] Another new weapon that Kratos utilizes is the Guardian Shield. When not in use, it folds up and appears like a vambrace on his left forearm. When summoned, the shield can be used offensively or defensively, similar to the Golden Fleece in previous games.[16] Kratos also utilizes hand-to-hand combat, a feature originally introduced in Ascension.[6] The Blades of Chaos, infused with fire elemental magic, are acquired later in the game via a plot device and perform in a similar manner as in previous installments—they are a pair of blades attached to chains that can be swung around in various maneuvers. The weapon can also be upgraded with magical runic attacks.[17]

As in the earlier games, there is a "Rage" ability, this one called Spartan Rage. Like the previous versions, the Rage ability has a meter that gradually fills during combat. With this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies. The game also features role-playing video game (RPG) elements.[6][18] There are crafting resources for the player to find that allow them to create new or upgrade existing armor with better perks.[19] Players also accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, a key component in crafting and purchasing new items. Experience points (XP) are used for learning new combat skills.[18] Throughout the game world, players find chests containing random items, such as enchantments for improving armor and weapons, as well as the Hacksilver currency. There are also two special items, Iðunn's Apples and Horns of Blood Mead, which increase the maximum length of the health and rage meters, respectively. These meters are replenished by green and red orbs dropped by downed foes and found throughout the game world.[20]Quick time events have changed from previous games.[8] Enemies display two meters above their heads, one for health (the color of which indicates the enemy's difficulty) and the other for stun. Filling the stun meter helps to defeat more difficult enemies. When the stun meter is full, a grab prompt will appear. Depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes.[21]

Although the game is played entirely as Kratos,[22] there are times when the player may choose to passively control his son, Atreus. One button is dedicated to Atreus, and its use depends on the context. For example, if the player needs assistance, they can look at an enemy, press the button, and Atreus will use his Talon Bow to shoot arrows at the enemy.[23] The arrows have little effect on an enemy's health but do increase the stun meter.[21] Over the course of the game, Atreus helps in combat, traversal, exploration, and puzzle-solving. When facing a large number of enemies, he distracts the weaker ones as Kratos fights the stronger ones.[19] If too many enemies gang up on Atreus, he is briefly stunned, but he cannot be knocked out or killed. Atreus also acquires new skills, armor, and runic attacks, as well as special light and shock arrows for his Talon Bow. Atreus' runic attacks summon different spectral animals with different abilities. For example, one summons a pack of wolves that attacks enemies, while another summons the squirrel Ratatoskr who will dig up orbs for the health and rage meters.[20]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

While the first seven games were loosely based on Greek mythology, this episode is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, taking place several decades after God of War III (2010).[24] Six of the nine realms of Norse mythology can be explored. Predating the Vikings,[23][25] most of the game takes place in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard, which is inhabited by humans and other creatures. It is the same realm in which the Greek world exists. As more dangerous creatures began appearing, many humans fled. Other realms visited as part of the story include Alfheim, the mystical home of the light and dark elves; Helheim, the icy land of the dead; and Jötunheim, the mountainous land of the giants. Optional explorable realms include Niflheim, a realm of poisonous fog with a maze-like structure of rewards; and the fire realm Muspelheim, featuring the six Trials of Muspelheim. Completing each trial grants rewards and advances Kratos and Atreus closer to the top of a large volcano. Access to the other three realms—Asgard, home of the Æsir gods; Vanaheim, home of the Vanir gods; and Svartalfheim, home of the dwarves—has been blocked by Odin, the ruler of Asgard and the Æsir gods.[26] At the center of the realms is the mythical treeYggdrasil, which connects each realm. Although each realm is a different world, they exist simultaneously in the same space. Travel to and from realms can be done by using the Bifröst from a root of Yggdrasil contained within a temple at the center of the Lake of the Nine. The temple was created by Týr, a peaceful God of War who traveled to other lands and learned about their mythologies; it was told that Odin had him killed as he believed Týr was secretly aiding the giants and would try to overthrow him.[24]

Characters[edit]

Main article: Characters of God of War

The game's protagonists are Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) and his young son Atreus (Sunny Suljic). Kratos is a warrior originally from Sparta who became the Greek God of War and is a son of Zeus. After ending up in ancient Scandinavia following his war against Olympus, he met his second and now deceased wife, Laufey (addressed as Faye), who died from an unknown cause. She bore their son, Atreus, who does not know about Kratos' past or his divine nature but can hear other beings' thoughts. The main antagonist is the Æsir god Baldur (Jeremy Davies), the half-brother of Thor, whose sons Modi and Magni (Nolan North and Troy Baker, respectively) assist him. Baldur's parents are Odin, the Allfather and King of the Æsir, and the Vanir goddess Freya (Danielle Bisutti), the former Queen of the Valkyries. Freya tried leaving Odin, as she did not truly love him. He in turn stripped her of her Valkyrie wings, banished her to Midgard, and cast a spell on her that prevented her from causing harm to others and from leaving the realm. She then hid her identity under an alias, the Witch of the Woods. To protect her son from a prophecy that foretold his death, Freya cast a spell of immortality on Baldur, which also prevented him from feeling pain or pleasure. The effects of the spell caused Baldur to greatly resent his mother. The only thing capable of harming him was mistletoe, a fact which Freya kept secret.[27]

Other characters include Mímir (Alastair Duncan), who claims to be the smartest man alive, and the Huldra Brothers—Brok (Robert Craighead) and Sindri (Adam J. Harrington)—dwarves who appear at various points in the world and assist Kratos and Atreus by forging new gear. Weapons forged by the Huldra brothers, including Thor's hammer Mjölnir, were used by the Æsir gods. They also forged Kratos' Leviathan Axe, which originally belonged to Faye, who also gifted Kratos her Guardian Shield.[14] The spirit of the Greek goddess Athena (Carole Ruggier)[c] makes a cameo appearance, and Zeus (Corey Burton)[d] appears to Kratos as an illusion in Helheim.[27]

Plot[edit]

Many years after Kratos defeated the Olympian gods,[e] he now lives with his son Atreus in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. After cremating the body of his wife, Faye, and after a short hunting/survival lesson with Atreus, Kratos is confronted by a mysterious stranger with godlike power and invulnerability. The two battle and Kratos seemingly kills the stranger, after which Kratos and Atreus begin their journey to honor Faye's last wish: to scatter her ashes at the highest peak in the nine realms.

Reaching the Lake of the Nine, the pair encounter the friendly World Serpent, Jörmungandr, the last remaining Giant. When they find their path blocked by impenetrable black mist, the Witch of the Woods appears and instructs them to use the Bifröst to travel to Alfheim and secure its Light to extinguish the mist. Successful, they reach Midgard's peak and overhear a conversation between the mysterious stranger — revealed to be Baldur — his nephews Magni and Modi, and the imprisoned Mímir. After they leave, Kratos and Atreus confront Mímir, who reveals that the highest peak is in Jötunheim, but the Giants have blocked travel there to keep out Odin and Thor. Knowing of another passage, Mímir instructs Kratos to behead him and have his head revived by the Witch of the Woods, whom he reveals to be Freya upon resurrection. Kratos' longstanding hatred of gods causes him to immediately distrust her, but both Freya and Mímir warn him that he must tell Atreus about his true nature.

In search of components to open Jötunheim's portal, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir are attacked by Magni and Modi. After Kratos kills Magni, Modi flees but later ambushes the trio. Kratos fends him off, but Atreus collapses, suddenly ill, due to the contradiction of a god believing himself to be mortal. Freya offers to help Atreus and instructs Kratos to retrieve the heart of a specific troll in Helheim; however, his frost-based Leviathan Axe is useless in the icy realm. Kratos returns home to unearth his old weapons, the fiery Blades of Chaos, and is haunted by Athena's spirit. After retrieving the heart, he has a haunting vision of Zeus, and Mímir pieces together Kratos' bloody past. Freya revives Atreus and Kratos tells him that they are gods. Atreus becomes increasingly arrogant and, against Kratos' orders, murders a weakened Modi, who was beaten by his father Thor for leaving his brother Magni to die. At Midgard's peak, Kratos and Atreus are ambushed by Baldur, resulting in Jötunheim's portal being destroyed and the group falling into Helheim.

Atreus makes amends with Kratos, and they learn of Freya and Baldur's familial relationship as well as the immortality spell that she cast on him. Returning to Midgard, Mímir realizes there is another way to reach Jötunheim, but he needs his missing eye. After obtaining it from Jörmungandr's belly —who had inadvertently eaten it along with a statue of Thor — they are attacked by Baldur again, but Freya intervenes. During the fight, Baldur is pierced by Atreus's mistletoe arrow, breaking Freya's spell. Baldur is finally defeated; despite being given an opportunity to retreat, he attempts to strangle Freya and forces Kratos to kill him. A grieving Freya swears revenge and taunts Kratos about hiding his true nature. Kratos finally tells Atreus about his own past and how he killed his fellow Greek gods, including his father, Zeus. Atreus laments this cycle of violence, and Kratos tells him that they should learn from their experiences and not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. A silent Freya leaves with Baldur's corpse, and Mímir hopefully suggests that she will eventually move on and realize that Kratos did the right thing.

In Jötunheim, they find a temple with a mural depicting their adventures, showing that the Giants had vaguely foretold the future. In addition, they discover that Faye was a Giant who decided to stay behind in Midgard, meaning that Atreus is half Giant, one-quarter god, and one-quarter mortal. Their fight with Baldur is shown, revealing that he was after Faye the whole time but was unaware that she was deceased. It is also revealed that Atreus was named Loki by his mother. Kratos and Atreus then fulfill their promise and spread her ashes at the peak, overlooking a valley of Giant corpses. Afterward, Kratos reveals to Atreus that his given name was that of a compassionate Spartan comrade. Returning to Midgard, Mímir warns them that the three-year-long Fimbulwinter has begun, meaning Ragnarök is soon to follow – which was not supposed to occur for another one hundred years.

In the game's secret ending, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir return home and slumber. Atreus has a vision that Thor will arrive at the end of Fimbulwinter to confront them.

Development[edit]

Development on the next God of War began in 2014. This was confirmed by Santa Monica Studio's creative director Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year, where Barlog said the game was in very early development, and that it would not be a prequel, but possibly a reboot.[28] In April 2016, concept art was leaked that showed images of Kratos in the world of Norse mythology, a concept originally considered by series creator David Jaffe after Kratos eliminated the Greek gods.[29] The game's official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo that confirmed the setting. The demo showed a fully bearded Kratos teaching his son how to hunt. The pair also battled a troll. The end of the demo showed the title God of War and confirmed it was in development for the PlayStation 4.[1][6] The E3 announcement also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director for the new installment. Since the original 2005 game, Barlog has been a major contributor in the development of the series, previously most notably as the director of God of War II (2007); this new installment was his fifth God of War game.[23]

Barlog said the game was titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because, although it was a continuation of the series, "we ... [reimagined] everything."[24][22] Head of Santa Monica Studio, Shannon Studstill, and Barlog said that Sony Interactive Entertainment had to be convinced to do another God of War game as many people at Sony wanted the series to "sleep and rest" due to the lackluster response to the previous game, Ascension.[30] In explaining why Barlog was brought back, Studstill said he knew the series very well, "and bringing in someone that understands that history is the respect the franchise deserves."[10] Barlog responded, "You gotta know the rules to break the rules."[10] Series creator David Jaffe was also considered but was unavailable.[31]

In explaining the transition from Greek mythology to Norse mythology, Barlog said: "It's kind of this BC–AD change over kind of thing. We're moving and starting from zero and kind of moving forward on that."[24][22] Before settling on Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology was also considered. Barlog said that half of the team was for it, but because Egypt has "a lot more about civilization – it's less isolated, less barren", he decided on the Norse setting to keep the game focused on Kratos. Barlog explained further: "Having too much around distracts from that central theme of a stranger in a strange land."[25] To explain why Kratos was now in the Norse world, Barlog said that different cultures' belief systems coexisted, but they were "separated by geography", suggesting that Kratos traveled from Greece to Norway (Scandinavia) after the conclusion of God of War III.[32] Clarifying the conclusion of that game, Barlog said Kratos did not destroy what was believed to be the entire world, but only the portion ruled over by the Greek pantheon.[9] Barlog said the new game predates the Vikings as it takes place in the time when their gods walked the Earth.[23][25] It was also confirmed that this would not be Kratos' last game.[4] Barlog said future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[30] and although this game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[33] Barlog also said he liked the idea of having different directors for each game as had happened with the first seven. He said that although he might not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[9]

Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[24] They claimed they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[8] It was confirmed that the game would not feature any morality system or branching story; all players have the same story experience. The developers also confirmed that some of the more controversial mini-games found in previous entries (such as the sex mini-game) would not return.[24] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen, although this limit is never approached; God of War III and Ascension had up to 50.[24] Some gameplay characteristics such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges found in the previous installments were cut because of the camera being closer to Kratos.[10] Although the previous installment, Ascension, introduced multiplayer to the series, the team decided to drop it and focus on the single-player experience.[5] In changing the gameplay, Studstill said, "I felt like, in order to reinvent, we really needed to turn a lot of things around."[34] With regard to the camera change, Barlog said they wanted a more intimate and player-controlled experience.[8]

The entire game was done in a single shot with no camera cuts; there are no loading screens and no fade-to-black between gameplay and cutscenes.[19] Barlog said about forty percent of the team did not originally agree with this decision due to the increased work and production to implement the feature, especially since this was the first time that a one-shot technique was being used for a three-dimensionalAAA game. This meant Barlog had no examples to show if this would work or was a good idea. (The only other game to fully utilize this technique was the indie gameHellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, which also began development in 2014 and was released eight months before God of War.[35]) After the game was finished and the team got to play through it, Barlog said they finally understood his vision and said it was a feature they should use from now on.[36] Barlog had originally pitched the idea for a one-shot camera while he was at Crystal Dynamics working on 2013's Tomb Raider, but he was turned down. Sony, however, was much more supportive of Barlog's creative ideas.[37] Furthermore, Barlog and lead level designer Rob Davis were also influenced by the Resident Evil series, particularly Resident Evil 4's "combination of poised camera exploration and scavenging" and Resident Evil 7's "strong vision" from a team making "bold decisions, and actually hav[ing] the audience follow them." Barlog noted how there was initial disagreement over the camera distance. He wanted it close whereas the combat team wanted it further away, like the Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham games; he eventually convinced the team to go with a close camera.[38]

Explaining Kratos' axe, lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, who had worked on the series since the original game, said the axe was chosen because they wanted a more grounded direction for the game. Initially, they were unsure how to make it unique. After they came up with the concept of throwing the axe and having it return to Kratos, "things started to fall into place."[39] McDonald said that combat with the axe was a little slower than with the Blades of Chaos, "but it's just as fluid and just as brutal as it's ever been."[39] Barlog took inspiration from Dark Souls (2011), which influenced the game's combat system, particularly its gameplay loop and strategic decision-making,[40] as well as the game's approach to storytelling.[41] In addition, designers Anthony DiMento and Luis Sanchez revealed how God of War's level design and exploration were influenced by Bloodborne (2015). They wanted to "just have the world breathe a little bit" and expand upon player discovery by including "micro-loops where you're unlocking paths, unlocking shortcuts" that gave purpose.[42] DiMento said that a team dedicated to focusing on the game's exploration was formed. One challenge was creating quests in a world that did not have non-playable characters outside of the core narrative. DiMento said, "I set out to create a quest giver that was light-weight, but also flexible enough to be used in multiple locations, while providing a varied suite of quest activities." This resulted in the "wayward spirits" (ghosts with ties to the world) found throughout the game. Having the spirits tell their stories "made [the world] feel more alive". The developers ended up with a four-tiered system for side quests: the top tier quests were from the characters Brok and Sindri, the next level from wayward spirits, then treasure maps and artifacts, and the bottom tier were milestones, such as destroying all of Odin's ravens. Brok and Sindri's quests were made into dungeons while the others were used for exploration. The developers also had to find the reasons that would motivate Kratos to undertake these quests. For Brok and Sindri, it was to obtain more powerful gear, but for the wayward spirits, it was because of Atreus' naiveté and kind-hearted nature, as well as opportunities for Kratos to teach him a lesson.[13]

Unlike the previous games, Santa Monica did not make a demo specifically for public release. Barlog explained that doing so would have delayed the game by a couple of months.[43] He also confirmed the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4[43] but would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[44] Players with a Pro have the option to favor resolution or favor performance when playing the game. Favoring resolution runs the game in 4K with checkerboard rendering at a target frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), while the performance option runs the game at 1080p and targets 60fps.[45] In late December 2016, Barlog confirmed the game was playable from start to finish,[46] and later said its story would take 25–35 hours to complete. This is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[47]

A new trailer was shown at E3 2017, featuring new gameplay, cinematics, and characters. In it, Kratos was shown using a shield that he could use offensively and defensively. At one point, Kratos finds a Greek vase with himself on it, wielding his infamous double-chained blades. During the trailer, an unnamed woman warned Kratos about the Norse gods, as they knew what he did to the Greek gods, while a pair of wolves were also shown. The trailer ended with Kratos and Atreus encountering the World Serpent. Atreus was able to translate what it said, which was that it wanted to help the pair. It was confirmed that the game would release in early 2018.[16] Until the game's launch, Santa Monica included a section on the God of War website titled "The Lost Pages", detailing some of the lore of God of War's Nordic world.[14] In January 2018, the game's release date was confirmed for April 20, 2018. A trailer was also released that showed that the character Mímir from the mythology would have a role in the game.[48]God of Warwent gold on March 22.[49]

Characterization[edit]

During early development, there was talk of having a different protagonist for the game. Some of the team said that Kratos was "annoying" and felt Kratos' story had run its course. Barlog said it took a lot of convincing to keep Kratos.[50] Referencing the Nintendo character Mario and the Mario games, Barlog said that like Mario, "Kratos is intrinsically tied" to the God of War series.[23] In regard to the new changes, Barlog said that:

I knew I didn't want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over with a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.[51]

Barlog explained that Kratos had to change his cycle of violence and learn to control his rage. He said Kratos had made many bad decisions, which led to the destruction of Olympus. He wanted to know what would happen if Kratos made a good decision. The birth of Barlog's own son influenced the idea of Kratos' character change.[51] The canceled live-action Star Wars television series was also an influence.[52] The bond between Kratos and his son is at the heart of the game. Barlog said, "This game is about Kratos teaching his son how to be a god, and his son teaching Kratos how to be human again."[19] Referencing the Marvel Comics character Hulk, Barlog said that in regards to Kratos, "We've already told the story of The Hulk. We want to tell the story of [Bruce] Banner now."[19] One of their goals was to make Kratos "a more nuanced and interesting character."[53] In changing the narrative focus, Studstill said, "I think we inherently knew the franchise needed to evolve in that emotional beat and be something meatier for the older generation of gamers."[53]

Christopher Judge, best known as Teal'c from Stargate SG-1, replaced Terrence C. Carson as the voice of Kratos; Carson had voiced Kratos since the original God of War. Commenting on the change, Carson said, "Sony went in a new direction."[54] Carson later explained that he understood the reason for the actor change and that Judge's casting made sense for what Sony was wanting to do. He also said that losing acting jobs is part of the business, but he did feel a lack of respect as he was not contacted by anyone at Sony to be informed of the change.[55]

In explaining the actor change, Barlog said that the way the previous games were made, they were able to have someone else do the motion capture instead of the voice actor. Although Carson had done the motion capture for Kratos in Ascension, Barlog said the actor change was made because of the type of camera work they wanted to do. For the new camera work, they needed someone who was closer to Kratos' size to do the motion capture along with a child. Carson was unsuitable for this because he was much shorter than Kratos, who is over 6-feet tall: "Offsetting [Carson's height] for the size of a child, it turned out it was going to be almost impossible to try and actually shoot them and go in and redo the animations."[56] Judge was chosen because he was 6-foot-3 and had the body of a professional football player. He was also chosen because of the chemistry with his then-10-year-old co-star, Sunny Suljic, whose opinion was also sought in making the decision; out of all the auditions, he liked Judge the most. The two bonded well, and Judge described his time with Suljic as time he had missed with his own children. In stepping into the role of Kratos, Judge took it as an opportunity to add something new to the character. He researched the character and Carson's performance but decided not to imitate it. Since Santa Monica was going in a new direction, he decided to start fresh. Judge was thrown off when he first read the script, saying it "was a real script," and not just "a way to get into battles," which is why he decided to take the role.[56] He said, "it was really this great story of this relationship and this crazy mythology."[56] While Judge did all of Kratos' motion capture for the cinematic scenes, stuntman Eric Jacobus did Kratos' combat motion capture; Jacobus was found by God of War's animators on YouTube. Instead of going directly to Santa Monica to audition, he recorded an audition tape and sent that in and was hired immediately.[57] Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard also performed some of the motion capture for Kratos; Gaspard's body was digitally scanned as the model for Kratos' new look in the game.[58]

During E3 2016, GameSpot mistakenly reported that Kratos' son's name was Charlie, which Barlog laughingly denied.[59] In January 2017, after a fan downloaded the God of Waroverture and saw the track's details that said, "An introduction to Kratos and Atreus", Barlog confirmed on Twitter that Atreus was in fact the son's name.[60] Barlog said Atreus was unaware that Kratos was a demigod and did not know about his past.[4] They did not reveal details of Atreus' mother before the release because she was a critical part of the story.[24] Barlog said that during gameplay, Atreus would be "like magic, an additional combat resource, and [the player is] training him and teaching him."[23] The developers said Atreus would not be a burden during gameplay.[14] The team experimented with several different approaches for Atreus to ensure he was an empowering presence. Barlog said he did not want the game to be an escort mission where the artificial intelligence caused a problem for the player. Their goal was for Atreus to enhance Kratos' capabilities without becoming a liability. This resulted in the developers having Atreus act freely unless the player uses a button to issue specific commands to him.[21] Atreus was also designed to call out enemy locations during combat. Since the camera is closer to Kratos, some enemies might be difficult for the player to see. Jason McDonald said it took a lot of iterations with the enemies and Atreus to make it all work together.[39]

Early in development, it was suggested that Atreus be cut, or his role significantly reduced because of the many developmental challenges and their costs. Barlog stated the game could have worked without Atreus, but it would have been completely different, likening it to the 2013 film All Is Lost. Barlog said that with just Kratos, it would have been "one character who talks to himself occasionally, but generally, it will be very silent and everyone will talk in old Norse, so that you won't understand anything anybody's saying."[61] After hearing Barlog's case, Sony gave him the freedom to incorporate Atreus. Lead level designer Rob Davis also noted that Atreus allowed for "significant gameplay and storytelling opportunities that might not otherwise [have been] possible."[61] After God of War was revealed at E3 2016, it drew comparisons to Naughty Dog's The Last of Us (2013), a game that also featured a father-child type story and gameplay. Barlog felt it was "fantastic" to be compared to that game and found it odd that some people considered the similarities a negative thing. Although he did not directly state they were influenced by The Last of Us in developing God of War, he did say, "I think we're all inspired by each other."[62] He did, however, use The Last of Us as an example to show the development team how an in-game companion could work without the game becoming an escort mission.[50]

Soundtrack[edit]

God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. It was composed by Bear McCreary, who is best known for his work on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.[63] McCreary was called into Santa Monica Studio in November 2014 to meet with music producers Peter Scaturro and Keith Leary to discuss "a secret project"; McCreary had previously collaborated with Scaturro and Leary on 2011's SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. Ideas of folk music, mythology, Nordic ethnic instruments, vocal writing, and classical thematic development were discussed; McCreary correctly guessed that the discussions were about a new God of War. McCreary met with Barlog early on to discuss his narrative vision for the game. After meeting with him, McCreary felt the franchise was in good hands because God of War II, which Barlog also directed, was his favorite installment.[64]

During the initial discussions, McCreary realized he needed to compose completely new music for the game and not reuse any previous music from the series.[65] He said that although he loved those games, he "would not describe them as emotionally dynamic."[66] Based on his memory of the earlier games' music, however, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting.[65] To ensure the music represented the setting, McCreary spent months researching and listening to Viking folk music,[66] which resulted in him using "exotic instrumentation and languages from various Northern European folk traditions."[65] He also wanted the score to be huge and varied, "full of peaks and valleys, tiny incantations and gigantic set pieces."[66] The main Kratos theme in particular features low orchestral instruments, an Icelandic choir, deep male vocals, powerful female vocals (in particular Faroese singer Eivør Pálsdóttir), folk percussion, and Nordic stringed instruments, like the nyckelharpa and hurdy gurdy.[64] The track "Witch of the Woods" uses a renaissance and baroque instrument called a viola da gamba, which is an ancestor of the modern cello. The Stranger's theme, found in the track "Deliverance", uses a Hardanger fiddle.[67]

The first theme composed for the game was "Memories of Mother". McCreary said the theme itself was not originally for Atreus' mother Faye but was for Kratos himself. His initial sketches were different variations of this melancholy tune. After the game had gone into full production, McCreary and the development team realized it was "too sad and lyrical to represent Kratos." McCreary stepped away from this theme and focused on writing a new one, or what he called the Kratos Theme, which he felt was more representative of the character: "masculine, relentless, and badass".[65] He spent several months working with Barlog, Scaturro, Leary, Sony music director Chuck Doud, and the rest of the development team to make this new theme. McCreary described it as "arguably one of my most structurally satisfying and catchy melodies."[64] After further scoring, McCreary realized that Faye would require a theme, and his original one was "exactly [what] I needed." This melody was woven throughout several scenes and is featured as prominently in the game as Kratos' theme.[65] The three-note Kratos theme is most obviously heard in the title track, "God of War".[67]

When it was decided that God of War would be revealed at E3 2016, Sony wanted McCreary to perform his original score with a live orchestra at the press conference. McCreary opened the show with the new main theme before the unveiling of God of War and performed the gameplay demo's music live during the presentation.[64] On January 13, 2017, a live recording from E3 2016 of God of War's overture was released for a limited time free of charge. Barlog released the overture as a thank you to fans for God of War's E3 2016 trailer reaching fifteen million views on YouTube.[68]

Release[edit]

The game was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4.[48] In addition to the standard base game, there were three special editions: the Stone Mason Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Digital Deluxe Edition. Only available in the United States and Canada, the Stone Mason Edition came with several physical items, including: the base game in a SteelBook case, a 9-inch (230 mm) statue of Kratos and Atreus created by Gentle Giant, 2-inch (51 mm) carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a horse, and a troll, an exclusive lithograph, a cloth map, a stone mason's ring, and a keychain of Mímir's head that talks. There was a variety of downloadable content (DLC), including an exclusive shield skin, as well as an armor set and another shield skin for Kratos, a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme, a digital artbook, and God of War #0 by Dark Horse Comics.[69] The Collector's Edition came with many of the same items, minus the ring, the keychain, the carvings of the horse and troll, and the exclusive shield skin. The Digital Deluxe Edition came with all the digital content, minus the exclusive shield skin. U.S. and Canadian customers also received a Kratos and Atreus pin for pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders at select retailers received three skins for Kratos' shield. Pre-orders from GameStop or EB Games also received the "Luck of Ages XP Talisman", granting increased XP gain, increased Hacksilver gain, and increased ability to trigger perks.[70]

In addition to the special editions of the game, a Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle was available the same day as the game's release. The bundle included the standard base game, a PlayStation 4 Pro console decorated with the runes as on Kratos' axe, and a similarly themed DualShock 4 controller with the God of War logo.[71] Among the digital content in the collector's editions was God of War #0 from Dark Horse Comics. The four-part miniseries began publishing monthly with Issue #1 in November 2018. Written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, it takes place between the events of God of War III and the 2018 game.[72][73]

Game Director Cory Barlog confirmed that God of War would not have microtransactions post-launch, a feature that had become prominent with other games and criticized.[74] Barlog also confirmed there would not be any post-release DLC, like an expansion pack. He said he had pitched an idea for DLC, "but it was too ambitious". His idea was similar in scope to that of The Last of Us: Left Behind and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, large standalone expansions for The Last of Us (2013) and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016), respectively. He said it would have been too big to be DLC, warranting its own standalone release.[75]

Since launch, Santa Monica has supported the game with patch updates to address software bugs. As well, the developers have added new features along with these free updates. A Photo Mode was released as part of update patch 1.20 on May 9, 2018. It allows players to take customized in-game screenshots. Players can adjust the field of view, depth of view, filters, borders, the visibility of characters, and the ability to change the facial expressions of Kratos and Atreus.[76] A New Game Plus mode was released as part of update patch 1.30 on August 20, 2018. To access the mode, players must have completed the game at any difficulty level. The mode itself can be played at any difficulty, but enemies are at a higher level with new maneuvers. All obtained items carry over to New Game Plus, and there are new resources to further upgrade gear, which also have new rarity levels. The option to skip cutscenes was also added.[77][78][79] In November 2020, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) launched and is backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games; these games see a performance boost when playing on the PS5 thanks to the power of the newer console. To further enhance the playing experience of God of War on the PS5, Santa Monica released an enhancement update on February 2, 2021, allowing the game to be played at full 60fps with checkerboard 4K resolution.[80]

As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022. The port, handled by Jetpack Interactive with supervision by Santa Monica, includes additional graphic options support for Windows, including Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology and ultra-widescreen support. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[81][82]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds[edit]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a text-based game playable through Facebook Messenger. To help further promote God of War, Sony partnered with Facebook, Inc. to develop the play-by-web game, which released on February 1, 2018. Completing the game unlocks downloadable concept art. The short story follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. After archery training and learning runes with his mother, Atreus ventures into the wilderness after telepathically hearing the voice of a dying deer; he finds it covered in blood and stays with it during its final moments. A couple of draugrs appear and Atreus attempts to fight them but is injured. He is saved by his father, Kratos, who was out hunting. The two then battle a revenant before returning home.[83][84][85]

Raising Kratos[edit]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making the game, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[86][87]

Tie-in books[edit]

The Art of God of War[edit]

The Art of God of War is a book collecting various pieces of artworks created for the game during its development. It was written by Evan Shamoon and published by Dark Horse on April 24, 2018.[88]

God of War – The Official Novelization[edit]

An official novelization of the game, written by Cory Barlog's father, James M. Barlog, was released on August 28, 2018, by Titan Books.[89] An audiobook version is also available, narrated by Alastair Duncan, who voiced Mímir in the game.[90]

The novel retells the events of the game, but unlike the series' previous two novels, this one closely follows the source material with a few notable exceptions. The game never revealed how or why Kratos ended up in ancient Norway, or how much time had passed since the ending of God of War III, but the novel gives some indication. Kratos chose to leave ancient Greece to hide his identity and change who he was.[91] At some point after leaving Greece, he battles some wolves and is saved by a cloaked female figure, presumably Faye.[92] Later, during their journey, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir see a mural with the wolves Sköll and Hati. This causes Kratos to have a flashback to that battle and makes him wonder if they dragged him to this new land and if so, why?[93] There was also some retconning. At the end of God of War III, Kratos had the Blades of Exile, but this novel says he had the Blades of Chaos after killing Zeus. It is also mentioned that he tried several times to get rid of the blades, but by fate they kept returning to him. (For example, he threw them off a cliff, but they washed up on shore near him.) Sometime after ending up in Norway, he decided to hide them under his house and never use them again. This moment was said to have occurred 50 years before the start of the current story. When Kratos does recover the Blades of Chaos, he hears Pandora's speech about hope from God of War III.[94]

In the game, Kratos sees one last image on the mural in Jötunheim. It seemingly shows Atreus holding Kratos' dead body, but in the novel, this mural is partially broken and does not show the corpse that Atreus is holding.[95] Brok and Sindri also reveal why they made the Leviathan Axe for Faye. She had come to them as the last Guardian of Jötnar and needed a weapon to protect her people. The Huldra Brothers crafted the Leviathan Axe for her to be Mjölnir's equal. Mímir also mentioned that Faye, or rather Laufey the Just, thwarted many of the Æsir's plans, including freeing slaves, and Thor could never find her.[96] Kratos' Guardian Shield is never mentioned, and Modi does not ambush them, resulting in Atreus falling ill. Atreus falls ill shortly after the first encounter when Kratos kills Magni.[97]

God of War: B is For Boy[edit]

AuthorAndrea Robinson
IllustratorRomina Tempest
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesGod of War
PublisherInsight Editions

Publication date

September 1, 2020
Media typeHardcover
ISBN978-1-68383-889-0

God of War: B is For Boy is an "ABC storybook for adults" in which the story of the game is retold in an abridged format with illustrations. It was written by Andrea Robinson, with the illustrations being provided by Romina Tempest. It released on September 1, 2020 by Insight Editions.[98]

God of War: Lore and Legends[edit]

God of War: Lore and Legends is a tome that recreates Atreus' journal from the game. The book features new expanded lore that was written in collaboration with the writing team for the game. It was written by Rick Barba and published by Dark Horse on September 9, 2020.[99]

Reception[edit]

Reception

God of War received "universal acclaim" according to review aggregatorMetacritic,[100] tying it with the original God of War for the highest score in the franchise.[113] It has the fourth-highest score of all-time for a PlayStation 4 game, and the highest score for an original, non-remastered PlayStation 4 exclusive.[114] It was the highest rated PlayStation 4 game of 2018 until the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in October, which pushed God of War to second.[115] It is also tied with the Xbox One version of Celeste for the second-highest score of 2018, regardless of platform.[116]God of War received particular praise for: its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[117]

The story was well praised. Nick Plessas of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) said the story's most memorable moments were the interactions between Kratos and Atreus. He also noted, "there is often some comic relief to be found when Kratos' curtness and Atreus' charming naivety collide."[102] He felt the presence of Atreus showed a side to Kratos not seen before, and that Kratos had evolved emotionally: "The rage and pain of his past is in constant conflict with his desire to spare his son from it, which comes across in even the most subtle actions and words, demonstrating the effort he is putting in." Plessas said Atreus' character was similarly complex. He commented it is easy for child characters "to succumb to a number of annoying child archetypes," but Atreus is more like a young man who is doing his best in an adult world.[102]Game Informer's Joe Juba similarly praised the story, particularly the relationship between Kratos and Atreus: "The interactions of Kratos and Atreus range from adversarial to compassionate, and these exchanges have ample room to breathe and draw players in." Juba said that Kratos conveys more character than in any previous game.[103] Peter Brown of GameSpot felt that although Kratos and Atreus were enjoyable, it was Mímir who stole the show. He also said that regardless of which character the player meets, the cast of God of War is "strong, convincing, and oddly enchanting."[105] Writing for Game Revolution, Jason Faulkner praised Santa Monica for creating a sequel that new players would be able to understand without having played any of the previous games, while at the same time providing story references to those past games that returning fans would appreciate. Speaking of the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, Faulkner wrote that, "Watching the two grow throughout their journey is incredibly rewarding," equating it to that of Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us or Lee and Clementine from Telltale Games' The Walking Dead.[104]

In terms of the game's combat system, Plessas said that unlike previous games, which often relied on the player to use many combos in a sequential fashion, this game is "more about individual moves strung together in response to the assortment of enemies being fought." Although that difference may be small, he said that the independent attacks of the axe "feature benefits and drawbacks players will need to understand and master to be as effective as possible." Furthermore, although the axe is "conceptually simple", it is "mechanically fascinating". It "succeeds as both a versatile means of dismembering foes and as a key element in puzzle solving." He felt the axe and all of its features was "distinctly rewarding to use" and that it had more versatility than all of the weapons in many other games.[102] Juba said the Leviathan Axe is "a well-balanced and entertaining tool of destruction." He liked how it "emphasizes a more calculated style of combat; instead of zoomed-out, combo-driven encounters, Leviathan makes you a tactician." He also enjoyed how the combat system gradually unfolded through the course of the game; although seemingly restrictive at first, he noted players will be rapidly alternating between weapons and skills.[103] While some reviewers greatly enjoyed the ability to call the Leviathan Axe back to Kratos' hand,[103][108] Chris Carter of Destructoid felt it got old after a while.[101] Atreus' implementation was praised. Plessas said Atreus is "surprisingly useful" and that he "lands in the perfect spot on the spectrum between independence and reliance."[102] Faulkner noted that, "The interplay between Kratos ax, fists, and shield, and Atreus' bow makes for an impressive fighting system."[104] Despite its different approach to combat, compared to the previous games, GamesRadar+'s Leon Hurley felt the game was "every bit as brutally unflinching as previous games."[106]

Writing for Polygon, Chris Plante praised the camerawork as a technical marvel, noting the seamless nature of the game shifting from cinematic back to the gameplay.[109] Juba said the decision to shift the camera closer to Kratos "[proved] immensely rewarding during big moments by giving [the player] an intimate view."[103] Faulkner, however, claimed "it can be difficult to control the camera and keep a bead on the enemies you're fighting."[104] In his review for IGN, Jonathon Dornbush felt the intimacy of the camera makes all the emotions "more real and impactful."[108] Speaking of the game's visuals, Faulkner said the game looks amazing, "and with 4K and HDR this game goes a step beyond what even games like Horizon Zero Dawn showed us was possible on this platform."[104] Brown noted that "God of War is a technical and artistic showcase. It is without a doubt one of the best-looking console games ever released."[105] Dan Ryckert of Giant Bomb claimed that games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn "made great cases for a PS4 Pro and a 4K television, but God of War's visuals are a bigger selling point than anything I've seen on Sony's platform to date."[107]

Despite the game's grandeur, Plessas felt that the boss fights "do not hit quite the same frequency as they did in the past few games." However, the few boss fights in the game "do the series proud".[102] As to the vast world of God of War, Faulkner said that, "The great thing about the exploration in God of War is that you can participate in it as little or as much as you want." He said an excellent design decision is that during main plot points, the game keeps the player on task, while in between, the player can explore, allowing God of War "to have the best of both worlds".[104] Plessas noted that although the puzzles require thought, they were not "hair-pullingly" difficult as some were in previous games.[102] Juba also found that the puzzles were not too challenging, saying they were fun.[103]

Plessas felt that the RPG elements present in the game make this installment "unique" compared to previous entries. He said the game allows players to "specialize Kratos to meet the specific task at hand, or develop a build that best suits a preferred playstyle." Although this did not make the game easier, he felt it did make it more manageable.[102] Juba noted that although this type of upgrading "may be less exciting" compared to previous games where Kratos just learns new moves, it still "provides a powerful incentive to explore."[103] Ryckert was disappointed by this type of customization. He felt the presentation was "half-baked" and that some materials were confusing as there was little explanation given for their use. He did, however, say it was "cool" to see new armor on Kratos.[107]

In terms of flaws, Plessas said that "God of War is so good that its most egregious failing is not letting fans play more of it", as New Game Plus was not an option at the time of the review.[102] Juba said that "God of War's momentum rarely falters, and when it does, the inconvenience is brief." One example he gave was the map, saying that although players have freedom to explore, it can be difficult to track Kratos' position. He also felt the fast-travel system was "weirdly cumbersome" and that it opens up too late in the game.[103] Although he enjoyed these features, Faulkner noted some players may dislike that God of War has a lack of player agency, and players have to explore the majority of the game on foot or by boat since the fast-travel feature is unlocked late in the game.[104] Brown felt that if anything in God of War was a letdown, it was the final fight against Baldur: "He's great from a narrative standpoint, unraveling in a manner that changes your perspective, but it's the fight itself that leaves you wanting. There are plenty of big boss battles and tests of skill throughout the course of the game, yet this fight doesn't reach the same heights, and feels like it was played a little safe."[105] Hurley said his only criticism was that, "You can occasionally find yourself unsure if you're doing something wrong, or don't have the right equipment yet."[106]

Sales[edit]

During its release week in the United Kingdom, God of War became the fastest-selling entry in the franchise, selling 35% more physical copies than God of War III.[118] The game remained at the top of the all format sales chart for six consecutive weeks through April and May, setting a record for a PlayStation 4 exclusive having the most consecutive weeks at number one.[119] It sold 46,091 copies in its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number two on the sales chart.[120] The game sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide within three days of its release, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive at the time.[121] The game was the fastest-selling game of the month of its release and contributed to the PlayStation 4 being the best-selling console of that month.[122] In total, the game sold over five million copies in its first month, with 2.1 million in digital sales.[123][124] By May 2019, the game had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game in the series.[125][126] By August 2021, total sales of the game had exceeded over 19.5 million copies.[81]

Accolades[edit]

God of War won Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, including British Academy Games Awards,[127]The Blade,[128]CNET,[129]Destructoid,[130]D.I.C.E. Awards,[131]Empire,[132]Entertainment Weekly,[133]G1,[134]The Game Awards,[135]Game Developers Choice Awards,[136]Game Informer,[137]Game Revolution,[138]GamesRadar+,[139]IGN,[140]Nerdist,[141] New York Game Awards,[142]Polygon,[143]Push Square,[144]Slant Magazine,[145]Time magazine,[146]Variety,[147] and VideoGamer.com.[148] The game was named among the best games of the 2010s by Areajugones,[149]BuzzFeed,[150]GameSpew,[151]GamesRadar+,[152]Gaming Age,[153]GamingBolt,[154]The Hollywood Reporter,[155]IGN,[156] Metacritic,[157]Slant Magazine,[158]Stuff,[159] and VG247.[160]

The game was nominated for Game of the Show, Best PlayStation 4 Game, and Best Action Game at IGN's Best of E3 2016 Awards.[161] It won the award for Game of the Year, Best PlayStation 4 Game, Best Action-Adventure Game, Best Art Direction, and Best Story at IGN's Best of 2018 Awards.[140][162][163][164] It was a runner-up for Best Graphics,[163] and was nominated for Best Music.[165]

Sequel[edit]

Main article: God of War Ragnarök

A sequel, God of War Ragnarök, is currently in development. It was originally announced to release in 2021 on the PlayStation 5.[194] However, in June 2021, the game was delayed to 2022 and it was also confimed that it would release on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.[195]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^Wagner, Jayce (June 13, 2017). "In The New 'God of War 4' Trailer, Kratos Is Old, Grizzled, And As Brutal As Ever". Digital Trends. Designtechnica Corp. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ abcdPaget, Mat (June 21, 2016). "God of War PS4 Doesn't Include Multiplayer, Won't Be Kratos's Last Game". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
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  7. ^Bratt, Chris (June 21, 2017). "God of War director explains why entire game has no camera cuts". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ abcdePaget, Mat (June 14, 2016). "New God of War Set After Third Game, Won't Be Open World". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  9. ^ abcdeBarlog, Cory; Hanson, Ben (February 2, 2018). Answering God Of War's Lingering Questions (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  10. ^ abcdJuba 2018, p. 38
  11. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 27, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Rise Of The Draugr". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  12. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 29, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Manifestation Of The Revenant". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  13. ^ abDiMento, Anthony (December 5, 2018). "How Santa Monica Studio Nailed Exploration in God of War". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ abcdHenges, Elizabeth (December 13, 2017). "Latest God of War Podcast Episode Details the Origin of the Leviathan Axe". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  15. ^Juba 2018, pp. 40–41
  16. ^ abPereira, Chris; Fillari, Alessandro (June 12, 2017). "E3 2017: New God Of War Trailer Released, Release Date Set For Early 2018". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  17. ^Little, Riley (April 21, 2018). "How Kratos Gets The Blades of Chaos Back in God of War 4". Screen Rant. Valnet, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ abJuba 2018, p. 41
  19. ^ abcdeSliva, Marty (June 14, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War Made Me Care About The Series For The First Time". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
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God of War (franchise)

Video game series

Video game series

God of War is an action-adventure game franchise created by David Jaffe at Sony's Santa Monica Studio. It began in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console, and has become a flagship title for the PlayStation brand, consisting of eight games across multiple platforms with a ninth currently in development. Based in ancient mythology, the story follows the titularprotagonist, Kratos, a Spartan warrior and later the God of War, who was tricked into killing his family by his former master, the original Greek god of war Ares. This sets off a series of events that leads to wars with the mythological pantheons. The Greek mythology era of the series sees Kratos follow a path of vengeance due to the machinations of the Olympian gods, while the Norse mythology era, which introduces his son Atreus as a secondary protagonist, shows an older Kratos on a path of redemption, which inadvertently brings the two into conflict with the Norse gods.

Santa Monica has developed all main entries, while Ready at Dawn and Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles (SOE-LA) developed the three side games. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has published all games except the mobile phone installment, which was published by Sony Pictures Digital. The first seven games make up the Greek era of the franchise. God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), and God of War III (2010) comprise its main trilogy; the first two were released on the PS2 with the third on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). A prequel, Ascension (2013), was also released for the PS3. Other games include Chains of Olympus (2008) and Ghost of Sparta (2010) for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Betrayal (2007) for mobile phones that supported the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME). The Norse era began with the 2018 installment that was also titled God of War and released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and later Microsoft Windows in January 2022. It was accompanied by a short prequel, A Call from the Wilds (2018), a text-based game through Facebook Messenger. A sequel, Ragnarök, is in development for a 2022 release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and will be the finale to the Norse era.

Games in the series have been praised as some of the best action games of all time. The series has received numerous awards, including several Game of the Year recognitions for the 2005 and 2018 installments. Some games have also been remastered for newer PlayStation platforms. As of November 2020, the franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide. Strong sales and support of the series led to the franchise's expansion into other media, such as three comic book series and three novels. A film adaptation of the original installment had been in development but was ultimately canceled. Merchandise includes artwork, clothing, toys, and prop replicas, as well as the games' soundtracks, including a heavy metal album, Blood & Metal (2010), featuring original music by various bands who were inspired by the series.

Games[edit]

See also: Characters of God of War

Series[edit]

God of War was first released in North America on March 22, 2005, for the PlayStation 2. After ten years in the service of the Olympian gods, Spartan soldier Kratos is tasked by Athena to find Pandora's box, the key to defeating Ares, the God of War, who is running amok through Athens. A series of flashbacks reveals that Kratos was once the servant of Ares, who saved the Spartan and his army from annihilation in battle, but tricked him into killing his family, which forced his metamorphosis into the "Ghost of Sparta". Kratos eventually finds Pandora's Box, and after finally killing Ares, he ascends to Mount Olympus to become the new God of War.[1]

God of War II was first released in North America on March 13, 2007, for the PlayStation 2. Angered at his fellow gods, Kratos runs amok across the city of Rhodes. Zeus intervenes and betrays Kratos, who is saved by the TitanGaia. She tells him he must now find the Sisters of Fate, who can change his fate and prevent his death at the hands of Zeus. Kratos is ultimately successful and as he is about to kill the god, Athena sacrifices herself to save Zeus and preserve Olympus, and tells Kratos that he is Zeus' son and that he betrayed Kratos out of fear. Kratos then joins forces with Gaia and the Titans to attack Olympus.[2]

God of War: Betrayal was released on June 20, 2007, for mobile phones supporting Java ME. It is the only game in the series to be released as a two-dimensional (2D) side-scroller and released on a non-PlayStation platform. The narrative of the game takes place between the events of Ghost of Sparta and God of War II. Kratos is framed for murder, and rampages across Greece seeking the true assassin. Kratos succumbs to bloodlust and kills Ceryx, the son of the god Hermes—an act that alienates him from his fellow gods.[3][4]

God of War: Chains of Olympus was first released in North America on March 4, 2008, for the PlayStation Portable. Its narrative takes place sometime between Ascension and God of War during Kratos' ten years of service to the gods. Kratos halts a Persian invasion of the Greek city of Attica, and learns that the world has been plunged into darkness by the god Morpheus. Kratos investigates the abduction of the sun god Helios, and prevents the Machiavellian plan of the goddess Persephone to use the Titan Atlas to destroy the world.[5]

God of War III was first released in North America on March 16, 2010, for the PlayStation 3. Reigniting the Great War, Kratos is soon abandoned by the Titans, who were only using him to exact their own revenge. Now seeking revenge against both Titans and Gods, he is helped by the spirit of a recently deceased Athena who was elevated to a new level of understanding and instructs him to seek the Flame of Olympus in order to defeat Zeus. Kratos engages the gods and the Titans in a series of battles across the Underworld and Olympus and learns that Pandora's Box is within the Flame. He discovers that Pandora herself is the key to pacifying the Flame and allowing him to open the Box, at the expense of her life. After finally killing Zeus, Kratos refuses to help Athena assume the role of new patron of mankind and disappears.[6]

God of War: Ghost of Sparta was first released in North America on November 2, 2010, for the PlayStation Portable. Set between the events of God of War and Betrayal, the God of War Kratos is still haunted by visions of his mortal past and embarks on a quest to discover his origins by finding his mother, Callisto. He learns that his brother Deimos was taken by the gods and imprisoned by the God of Death, Thanatos, and decides to find and save his sibling. Although successful, Thanatos engages the brothers in combat, and kills Deimos. Kratos then kills Thanatos and returns to Olympus, further enraged at the gods.[7]

God of War: Ascension[8] was first released in North America on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3.[9] It is the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play.[10][11] Predating Chains of Olympus, the game is set roughly six months after Kratos was tricked into killing his wife and daughter, and sees him imprisoned by the three Furies for breaking his blood oath to Ares. With the help of the oath keeper and Ares' estranged son Orkos, Kratos learns that the God of War and the Furies plan to overthrow Mount Olympus and that Ares chose Kratos as his servant to help him for that very purpose. The Spartan escapes his imprisonment and eventually kills the Furies, as well as Orkos, who begs for release. Although free of Ares' bond, Kratos begins to suffer the nightmares that plague him for years.[12]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a short text-based game, released through Facebook Messenger on February 1, 2018. The game serves as a prequel story to 2018's God of War, and follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds.[13]

God of War: Mimir's Vision is a mobile AR game released on April 17, 2018. The game provides some background for the Norse setting of God of War.[14]

God of War was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4. Many years after the events of God of War III, Kratos has ended up in the world of Norse mythology in ancient Norway, in the realm of Midgard, and has a son named Atreus. After Kratos' second wife and Atreus' mother, Faye, passes away from an unknown cause, the two set out on a journey to fulfill her final wish of spreading her ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms, later revealed to be in Jötunheim. Along their journey, they are attacked by Baldur, who was sent by Odin to get to Faye in order to prevent Ragnarök, unaware she has died. After Kratos eventually kills Baldur, the three-year-long Fimbulwinter begins, with Ragnarök soon to follow, which was not supposed to occur for another hundred years. While Baldur's mother Freya swears revenge on Kratos, he and Atreus complete their journey and discover that Faye was a giant who had foreseen the future and chose to remain in Midgard; it is also revealed that Atreus was originally named Loki by his mother before Kratos renamed him in the memory of a former Spartan comrade. The game is a new direction for the series, not only by its new mythological setting, but also by its gameplay. Kratos now prominently uses a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe instead of his iconic dual blades from the previous installments.[15] On September 13, 2021 a leaked list of games on Nvidia GeForce servers reportedly showed God of War will be coming to PC via Steam sometime in the near future.[16]

God of War Ragnarök was announced on September 16, 2020 and is scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 in 2022, marking the first game in the series to release on both a previous and current generation console simultaneously.[17] It is expected to bring about the events of Ragnarök foretold in the previous game.[18]Cory Barlog had previously confirmed that the 2018 installment would not be Kratos' last game,[19] and that following games would continue to be set in the Norse environment and include Atreus.[20] Eric Williams, the game's director, stated at the 2021 PlayStation Showcase event that Ragnarök would "cap off the Norse series".[21] The accompanying trailer revealed that Kratos and Atreus will seek out the Norse God of War Týr to team up with against Odin and the rest of Asgard.

Collections and remasters[edit]

Main article: God of War video game collections

God of War Collection was first released in North America on November 17, 2009, for the PlayStation 3—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered port of the original God of War and God of War II.[22] The games were ported by Bluepoint Games and feature high-definition 1080panti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second and trophies.[23]Sanzaru Games later ported the collection to the PlayStation Vita and it was released in May 2014—the franchise's only appearance on this platform.[24]

God of War: Origins Collection was first released in North America on September 13, 2011, for the PlayStation 3. It is a remastered port of the two PlayStation Portable installments in the series—Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. God of War Origins was ported by Ready at Dawn and features 1080p high-definition video, anti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second, DualShock 3 rumble features, trophies,[25] and it is the only God of War release to feature Stereoscopic 3D.[26]

God of War Saga was released in North America on August 28, 2012. It is a collection of five of the God of War games for the PlayStation 3, released as part of Sony's PlayStation Collections line. The collection includes the original God of War, God of War II, God of War III, Chains of Olympus, and Ghost of Sparta. It features two Blu-ray Discs—God of War I and II on the first and III on the second—and a voucher to download Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. The games retain the same features as their first PS3 releases.[27][28]

God of War III Remastered was first released in North America on July 14, 2015, for the PlayStation 4—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered version of God of War III, and features full 1080p support targeted at 60 frames per second, a photo mode, and all downloadable content of the original. The game's announcement and release was in celebration of the franchise's tenth anniversary.[29] It was ported by Wholesale Algorithms.[30]

Gameplay[edit]

The series consists of seven single-player-only games, and one that includes multiplayer. Throughout the first era, the games featured a third-person, fixed cinematic camera with the exception of Betrayal, which is the only installment to feature a 2D side-scrolling view.[31] In 2018's God of War, the camera was switched from being fixed and became an over-the-shoulder free camera.[32] A first-person camera is featured in God of War III[33] and Ascension.[34] Throughout the series, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of hack and slash combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements to achieve goals and complete the story (platforming elements were removed from 2018's God of War due to the camera change).[35][36] 2018's God of War adds Kratos' son Atreus, and although the game is played entirely as Kratos, there are times when the player may choose to passively control Atreus (a button is dedicated to Atreus, and he will fire an arrow from his bow depending on where the camera is pointed).[37]

Throughout the Greek era, Kratos' main weapon is a pair of double-chained blades that appear in three iterations: the Blades of Chaos, the Blades of Athena (or Athena's Blades), and the Blades of Exile. They each perform similarly, but differ in the types of combos and amount of damage each yields, as well as cosmetic differences. Other weapons are also obtained during the games and vary in gameplay.[38]Magic is also used, and four abilities are typically acquired.[39]God of War III differs in that instead of separate abilities, there are four primary weapons that possess their own respective magic offensive. The game also features "Items"—additional secondary weapons with limited usage, such as the Bow of Apollo.[33] With each new game, most weapons and magic are lost via a plot device, and a new arsenal of weapons and abilities are acquired during gameplay.[40]Ascension differs from the previous games in that instead of acquiring new weapons that are kept throughout the entire game, the player collects up to five World Weapons (such as a sword or a javelin) that have limited usage. When there is not a World Weapon equipped, the player can punch or kick foes as part of a new mechanic added to the game.[41] In 2018's God of War, Kratos' primary weapon is a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe. It can be thrown and summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Later on in the game, he recovers the Blades of Chaos, which perform similarly as they did during the Greek games, but with different abilities. Both the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos can be upgraded to use special magical attacks called runic attacks. Each weapon has a light and heavy runic attack, and the player can choose which runic attacks to equip on the weapons.[42]

The series offers combo-based combat, and includes a quick time event (QTE) feature, also called context sensitive attacks, which is initiated when the player has weakened a foe or to perform a defensive maneuver. It allows limited control of Kratos during the QTE cinematic sequence; success ends the battle, while failure usually results in damage to the player.[33][43] As well as the QTE system, Ascension features a prompt-less free-form system, allowing players the choice of when to attack or dodge based on the enemy's actions.[44] A grab maneuver can be used on minor foes.[45] 2018's God of War changed this up; after an enemy has been weakened enough, a prompt will appear above its head, and depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes. He will also jump on top of and ride large enemies, such as ogres, causing them to attack other enemies, similar to the cyclopes in the Greek games.[46]

Two video game characters fight in a brown-colored room with mystical symbols.
A cropped gameplay screenshot from the original God of War(2005): weakening foes allows the use of controller buttons for greater damage or finishing moves. This gameplay mechanic has been utilized throughout the series.

Relics, which the player can use in successive games (such as Poseidon's Trident obtained in the original God of War allowing Kratos to swim underwater for extended periods) are also found and necessary for game progression.[35] Kratos often has a special ability, which provides temporary invulnerability and increased attack damage. This ability has become an ongoing feature of gameplay throughout the series—Rage of the Gods in the original God of War and Ascension, Rage of the Titans in God of War II, Rage of Sparta in God of War III, and Thera's Bane in Ghost of Sparta.[33] This ability can be recharged by building hits on foes in combat, and gaining game-specific orbs. Thera's Bane, however, is recharged automatically.[33][35][45] While Kratos does not retain any relics from the Greek era in 2018's God of War, he does have a rage ability, called Spartan Rage, and with this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies.[32][47]

Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers, found throughout the Greek games in unmarked chests (white chests in Ascension), increase the maximum amount of health and magic, respectively.[35][48]Minotaur Horns, which increase the Items and Fire meter's maximum length, are available in God of War III and Ghost of Sparta, respectively. The Items meter allows the use of secondary weapons, called Items, and the Fire meter allows the use of Thera's Bane. The meters are increased in increments and reach their maximum once a certain number of Eyes, Feathers, and Horns are found. Other chests contain green, blue, or red orbs.[49] Green orbs replenish the player's health, blue orbs replenish magic allowing further usage, and red orbs provide experience points (XP) for upgrading weapons and magic for new, more powerful attacks, and replenish the Rage meter in the original God of War. Gold orbs found in God of War II and Ascension, and white orbs in God of War III, replenish the Rage meter instead of red orbs; the Rage meter in Ascension is also refilled by landing attacks on foes. Chests with changing colors, which allow players to choose which meter to replenish, have also been available.[50] Red orbs can also be collected by killing foes and destroying certain inanimate objects. Bosses and more powerful opponents release a combination of colored orbs when killed via the quick-time feature.[35] For 2018's God of War, Iðunn's Apples replaced the Gorgon Eyes to increase the maximum length of the health meter, while Horns of Blood Mead increase the maximum length of the rage meter. While the game retains green health orbs to replenish the health meter, magic is done differently. Instead of blue orbs, there is a cool down time on magical runic attacks. Once that cool down time is up, the magical runic attack can be used again. Furthermore, players accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, which is a key component in crafting and purchasing new items, such as new armor or upgrading existing armor, and XP is used for learning new combat skills. Chests in this game provide a variety of different items.[51][52]

With the exception of Ascension, each installment offers a challenge mode, which yields extra red orbs (or XP), secret costumes, and behind-the-scenes videos.[53]Bonus content can also be unlocked by defeating the game's difficulty levels.[54] 2018's God of War also includes a challenge mode, which ends with an optional fight with a Valkyrie, who provides various items upon defeat. Battle arenas, which allow players to set difficulty levels and choose their own opponents, are included in God of War II, God of War III, and Ghost of Sparta.[55] Excluding Betrayal, the Greek games were known for including a quick-time sex minigame in each installment until Ascension, which dropped the mini-game.[56]

Ascension is the only installment in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play. Up to eight players on two teams of two to four players (or a four to eight player deathmatch) battle for control of a map in order to earn rewards from the gods. Players can also fight each other in one-on-one matches. Players must sell their champion's soul to either Zeus, Hades, Ares, or Poseidon, which allows players to try different weapons, armor sets, and powers inspired by the god of their choice, and extras can be unlocked.[10][57]

Development[edit]

Main series[edit]

PlayStation 2[edit]

After the success of their first game Kinetica (2002), Santa Monica Studio began development of the original God of War in 2002, and unveiled it two years later at SCEA Santa Monica Gamers' Day 2004.[58] Game director and creator David Jaffe said that although the idea for God of War was his own, the concept owed a debt to Capcom because he had played Onimusha and said "let's do that with Greek Mythology".[59] He was inspired in part by the 1981 feature film, Clash of the Titans, saying, "the real high concept for me was ... merging it with Heavy Metal magazine".[59] He said he liked both "the kids stuff ... with Greek Mythology" and the idea of adding more adult themes such as sex and violence.[59] He was also inspired by the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[60] Although the game is based on Greek mythology, the development team gave themselves "lots of freedom" to modify the myths, and Jaffe said they took the "coolest aspects of the subject" and created art and story using those elements.[61] Director of visual development and lead concept artist, Charlie Wen, drew inspiration from these films as well as more contemporary films such as Gladiator (2000) for tonal inspiration to lead the visual design of Kratos, other characters, and the world of God of War.[61] According to Eurogamer, the gameplay of the Strider arcade franchise was also a vital influence on God of War.[62]GameSpot said the developers described the gameplay "as merging the action of Devil May Cry with the puzzle-solving of Ico" and noted that players would be able to "sunder enemies with a single move, such as by ripping them in half".[63] The game uses Santa Monica's Kineticaengine, which they developed for Kinetica.[64]

A sequel to God of War was first teased at the end of its credits, which stated, "Kratos Will Return".[65]God of War II was officially announced at the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC).[66] David Jaffe stepped down and became the creative director of its sequel and God of War's lead animator Cory Barlog assumed the role of game director.[67] Barlog said that in the game, players would see "a larger view of Kratos' role within the mythological world."[68] Like God of War, the game uses Santa Monica's Kinetica engine. Magic attacks became an integral part of the combat system and it was more refined. New creatures and heroes from the mythology, and more boss battles were added.[69] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that they did not view God of War II as a sequel, but rather a continuation of the previous game. Jaffe said that they did not want to include the Roman numeral number two (II) in the title for this reason, but they did not want the title to convey the impression it was an expansion pack.[70] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that the reason God of War II appeared on the PlayStation 2 instead of the PlayStation 3—which was released four months prior to God of War II—was because "there's a 100 million people out there that will be able to play God of War II as soon as it launches."[71][72] Barlog assured that the game would be playable on the newer platform, which originally had PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility.[71][72]

PlayStation 3[edit]

God of War III was first mentioned by Cory Barlog at a God of War II launch event,[73] and it was officially announced at the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).[74] After serving as game director during the first eight months of development, Barlog left Santa Monica for other opportunities and Stig Asmussen took on the role, having previously been the lead environment artist and art director on God of War and God of War II, respectively. Asmussen said that one of the greatest challenges in developing God of War III for the PlayStation 3 was the "complexity of everything"; individual tasks, such as designing Helios' decapitation, could take a year because the "level of detail [that was] expected [was] so high and intricate, it [crossed] multiple departments."[75][76] He said that the PlayStation 3's hardware capabilities allowed more flexibility in character creation and interaction with the environment.[75][76] The engine for God of War III was ported from the first two installments to the PlayStation 3. As the game was being developed, the code department swapped out PlayStation 2 components with PlayStation 3 components. They replaced the renderer, the particle system, and the collision system.[77] Although they were re-using the engine from God of War II, the core engine for God of War III was brand new.[78] Between E3 2009 and the time the game shipped, morphological anti-aliasing (MLAA) was added, which graphics engineer Ben Diamand said "improved edges dramatically and saved substantial amounts of frame-rate."[79] Diamand also said that "depth-of-field, motion blur, crepuscular 'god' rays and refraction were either added or improved in quality and speed" during that same time period.[79]

On April 12, 2012, Sony released a teaser image for Ascension on its official PlayStation Facebook page,[80] which was followed by the game's announcement on April 19 on PlayStation.Blog.[81] Todd Papy, who had previously worked as a designer on God of War and God of War II and as design director on God of War III, assumed the role of game director; God of War III director Stig Asmussen was busy with another project at Santa Monica and did not work on Ascension.[82] The announcement officially confirmed the game's title and Papy said it was not titled God of War IV to avoid confusion because it is a prequel, rather than a sequel, to the trilogy.[10][83] The game features a retooled God of War III engine, enabling online multiplayer battles for up to eight players.[10] The decision to add multiplayer came about from curiosity, according to lead combat designer Jason McDonald. The multiplayer was first tested using Kratos, and McDonald said the testers had "a lot of fun".[84] Seeing their reaction made the team feel that the multiplayer had value and they then began to put the "God of War spin on it".[84] In the developmental transition from God of War III to Ascension, one of the graphics engineers, Cedric Perthuis, noted that the limits of the God of War III engine restricted artist creativity, so they "tried to remove or push those limits as far as possible without losing any performance."[79]Ascension did not have a graphical leap over its predecessor like God of War III did. Dynamic lighting was added, which allowed for development of the Life Cycle gameplay mechanic. Particle effects were also greatly improved upon from God of War III.[79]

PlayStation 4[edit]

Santa Monica began work on the fifth main installment in 2014, which was confirmed by the returning Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year.[85] The official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo,[32] which also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director.[37] The game was deliberately titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because although it is a continuation of the series, "we are reimagining everything."[86][87] Other mythologies were also considered for the new setting, but Norse was picked to keep the focus on Kratos;[88] there was also consideration to use a different protagonist, but it was decided to keep Kratos as he "is intrinsically tied" to the series.[37] Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[86] They claimed that they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[52] Some gameplay characteristics found in the previous installments were cut, such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges; these were cut due to the camera being closer to Kratos.[89] Although Ascension had introduced multiplayer to the series, the team dropped the mode to focus on the single-player experience.[90] The Leviathan Axe was chosen as Kratos' new main weapon because the developers wanted a more grounded direction for the game.[91] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen; God of War III and Ascension could do up to 50.[86] Although the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4,[92] Barlog confirmed that it would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[93] The game's story was estimated to take 25–35 hours to complete, which is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[94] As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022, with support for graphics options. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[95]

Cory Barlog also confirmed that the 2018 game would not be Kratos' last.[96] He said that future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[97] and that although the 2018 game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact that there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[98] Barlog also said that he liked the idea of having different directors for each game, seen throughout the first seven games, and although he may not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[99]

[edit]

PlayStation Portable[edit]

Game developer Ready at Dawn pitched the idea of a God of War game for the PlayStation Portable to Santa Monica Studio soon after the original God of War launched.[100] Cory Barlog officially confirmed the development of Chains of Olympus at a God of War II launch event, stating "It is its own story that connects to the overall story."[101]Chains of Olympus uses a proprietary, in-house engine referred to as the Ready at Dawn engine, which expanded on the engine created for their previous game, Daxter (2006).[102] Originally designed for the PlayStation Portable's restricted 222-megahertz (MHz) processor,[103] Ready at Dawn convinced Sony to increase the clock speed of the PSP to 333 MHz, which they did in a firmware upgrade. The faster processor allowed for more realistic blood effects, lighting effects, and shadows as well as improved enemy intelligence, but noticeably decreased battery life.[103][104] After the game's completion, game director Ru Weerasuriya stated multiplayer options and other puzzles, characters, and dialogue had to be removed due to time constraints.[102]

Ghost of Sparta was announced on May 4, 2010, on PlayStation.Blog.[105] According to Sony, Ready at Dawn utilized "state-of-the-art visual technologies" that allowed "higher quality environments and characters."[106]Ghost of Sparta offers "over 25% more gameplay" than Chains of Olympus, while adding more enemies on screen and more boss encounters.[106] Development of Ghost of Sparta took 23 months to complete.[106] Due to Weerasuriya's schedule at Ready at Dawn, he could not return to direct; Dana Jan, the lead level designer for Chains of Olympus, became director for Ghost of Sparta. At Comic-Con 2010, Jan noted that when development began in 2008, the goal was to make the game bigger than Chains of Olympus, which had apparently pushed the PSP to its functional limits. Jan stated that Ghost of Sparta took the PSP to its "absolute capacity", with another feature being more on-screen foes.[107] The game concept was originally used as a teaser for players who obtained the platinum trophy from God of War III. The trophy revealed a site called spartansstandtall.com, which became the official site for Ghost of Sparta on May 4.[108] Jan stated the reason they chose to have the game take place between God of War and God of War II was because "It seemed to make a lot of sense to fill in that void."[106]

Mobile[edit]

Betrayal was announced by Sony Online Entertainment at a press conference in Los Angeles in May 2007. The game utilizes a total of 110 different animations and features a 2D rendition of the series' three-dimensional (3D) graphics.[109][110] Game director Phil Cohen said that although the game was enjoyable to develop, the greatest challenge was creating a single tileset and palette swapping scheme that was diverse enough to portray multiple environments with only several hundred kilobytes, and that met Santa Monica Studio's high standards.[111] Cohen wrote the initial design document between September and October 2005, and revisited it in August 2006, the month development started. The versions for high-end handsets were completed in April 2007, with final versions for low-end handsets completed by June 2007. The porting team adapted the game to over 200 handsets in a matter of weeks. Both David Jaffe and Cory Barlog ensured that the Betrayal development team captured the feel of the combat and visual style, and were "helpful with feedback and positive support".[111]

Adaptations[edit]

Film and documentaries[edit]

A film adaptation of the first game was announced in 2005.[112] Creator David Jaffe confirmed that a completed script had been written by David Self and would be sent to an unspecified director. He said that Universal Studios was behind the making of the God of War movie, but was unaware of its status,[113] and eventually said, "it's doubtful that the film will even be made."[114] In September 2010, Jaffe said that the "script went out a year and a half ago to Daniel Craig who plays [James] Bond, but he turned it down."[115] He also said that another actor had since been cast as Kratos; he said, "this new person is pretty good, if that ends up true."[115] In July 2012, The Hollywood Reporter said that writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan had been hired to adapt the God of War film.[116] The writers told IGN that they intended to "humanize" Kratos and explore his past. Melton said that they were emotionally invested and it could become a series of films, and that Ares "[would] become a more proactive villain."[117][118] A script had been "turned in"[119] and the film had a budget of US$150 million.[117] Following the release of 2018's God of War, with no updates on the original game's film, rumors about a potential adaptation of the 2018 game began circulating. Pacific Rim: Uprising's (2018) director Steven S. DeKnight stated he would like to direct an adaptation of that game and talked with Sony about making it R-rated.[120] In May 2021, however, a Sony spokesperson confirmed that there was no film or television show adaptation for any God of War in development.[121]

God of War: Unearthing the Legend (75 minutes, 2010)[122] is a documentary about the God of War franchise and is hosted by Peter Weller. The production discusses the relationship between the God of War games and Greek mythology, and features members of the God of War III development team and professional historians. It was included as part of the God of War III Ultimate Edition (North America) and Ultimate Trilogy Edition (Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) packages. On March 25, 2010, it was released on the PlayStation Store in North America to purchase.[123]

God of War – Game Directors Live (80 minutes, 2010)[124] is a documentary featuring five game directors of the God of War series: David Jaffe (original God of War), Cory Barlog (just God of War II at the time), Ru Weerasuriya (Chains of Olympus), Stig Asmussen (God of War III), and Dana Jan (Ghost of Sparta). The documentary takes the form of an interview panel hosted by G4's Alison Haislip, with the five game directors, 150 members of PlayStation.Blog, and members of GodofWar.com and SpartansStandTall.com. It was filmed at the El Portal theater in Los Angeles on September 1, 2010, and was released as a pre-order bonus for Ghost of Sparta in North America on November 2, 2010, and was included with the Origins Collection and later released on the PlayStation Store.[125]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making 2018's God of War, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[126][127]

Comic series and novels[edit]

Main articles: God of War (DC Comics) and God of War (Dark Horse Comics)

A six-issue comic book series titled God of War, written by Marv Wolfman with art by Andrea Sorrentino, was published by WildStorm and DC Comics between March 2010 and January 2011.[128] Taking place during the Greek era, the narrative switches between Kratos' past and present; it occurs while he is a soldier of Sparta and involves his search for the Ambrosia of Asclepius, which has legendary healing properties and eventually saved his plague-ridden daughter, Calliope. Kratos also embarks upon a quest to destroy the same elixir to deny it to the worshippers of the slain god Ares, who wish to resurrect him.[129]

In the lead up to Ascension's release, Santa Monica released a graphic novel titled Rise of the Warrior on the God of War website that featured a social experience from October 2012 until March 2013. The graphic novel was a prequel story that tied into the single-player of Ascension, and was the backstory of the player's multiplayer character.[130]

A limited comic series from Dark Horse Comics, also titled God of War and written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, was published from November 2018 to February 2019. The four-issue miniseries serves as a prequel story to the 2018 game. Issue #0 was included digitally with the three different special editions of the game.[131][132]

The God of War novels recount the events of the games and offer deeper insights into their stories. God of War, the official novelization of the first game, was written by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman. It was published on May 25, 2010, by Del Rey Books.[133]God of War II, the second novelization of the series, was written by Vardeman alone and was published by Del Rey Books on February 12, 2013.[134] The third novelization in the series, titled God of War – The Official Novelization, is of 2018's God of War. It was released on August 28, 2018 by Titan Books and was written by Cory Barlog's father, James Barlog.[135]

Music[edit]

Six God of War soundtracks have been commercially released and have featured several composers, including Gerard K. Marino, Ron Fish, Winifred Phillips, Mike Reagan, Cris Velasco, Winnie Waldron, Marcello De Francisci, Jeff Rona, Tyler Bates, and Bear McCreary. On March 1, 2005, God of War: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE as an exclusive product for the Sony Connect Music Store. It was praised for its well-developed orchestral themes, and the creative use of ancient and ethnic instrumentation. The composers were also praised for avoiding the production of never-ending action themes.[136]God of War II: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE on April 10, 2007. Praised as strong, the album features ominous orchestral pieces, and each composer's contributions are slightly more distinctive than the previous soundtrack.[137]God of War III: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE and Sumthing Else on March 30, 2010.[138] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections.[139] The soundtrack was praised as an orchestral success and the best score in the series at the time.[140]

The original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III were nominated for Best Original Score at the 2005,[141] 2007,[142] and 2010[143]Spike Video Game Awards, respectively. The God of War Trilogy Soundtrack was included with the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections as downloadable content. The Trilogy Soundtrack consists of the original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III. It was praised by critics as the best way to experience the series' musical development, and allows the listener to note the development of the composers during the series.[144]

On October 18, 2010, God of War: Ghost of Sparta – Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on the iTunes Store by SIE. It was also included as downloadable content as part of the Ghost of Sparta pre-order package and includes three previously unreleased tracks from Chains of Olympus.[145][146] Several tracks were cited as being intended for purely contextual purposes, and the remaining tracks rated well in comparison to the soundtracks of the main installments in the series.[147]God of War: Ascension (Original Soundtrack) differed from the previously released soundtracks as it was composed by Tyler Bates alone, and is the only God of War score that he has worked on. It was released on March 5, 2013, on iTunes by SIE and La-La Land Records.[148] It was included as downloadable content in the God of War: Ascension–Collector's Edition and Special Edition.[149] Reviewers praised it for being powerful, rich, and pulsing, though felt it was repetitive at times.[150]

Bear McCreary is the most recent composer to work on the series as he composed the music for 2018's God of War.[151]God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. McCreary composed completely new music for the game, not reusing any music from the Greek era. However, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting using Nordic ethnic instruments.[152] The soundtrack was well received, receiving various nominations at award shows as well as winning the award for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition at the 22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.[153]

God of War: Blood & Metal[edit]

God of War: Blood & Metal is a heavy metal homage by various bands on the Roadrunner Records label, and features original music inspired by the God of War video game series. The EP was released for purchase on March 2, 2010, and is available from ShockHound[154] and the iTunes Store.[155] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections, which included a bonus track.[139][156] The second track, "Shattering the Skies Above" by Trivium,[154] and the bonus track, "Even Gods Cry" by The Turtlenecks,[157] were made into music videos. 1UP.com (2.5/5) said, "it's not offensive to [the] ears" and "mainstream listeners may enjoy [the album]".[158] Square Enix Music Online (8/10) stated the album is a "good selection of metal music" and listeners will be "surprised with the variety of music".[159]

Track listing

7."Even Gods Cry" (The Turtlenecks)7.32
Total length:36:56

Critical reception[edit]

With physical and digital copies combined, the God of War franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide (as of November 2020).[173][179]God of War (2005), God of War II, Chains of Olympus, God of War Collection, God of War III, and God of War (2018) each received critical acclaim from several reviewers as compiled by review aggregatorMetacritic,[180] with both the 2005 and 2018 titles being tied for the highest score in the franchise at 94/100.[160][172]Betrayal and Ghost of Sparta only received generally favorable reception.[4][167]Ascension also only had a generally favorable reception and, not including the PlayStation Vita port of God of War Collection, it has the lowest score in the series from Metacritic (80/100).[170]

At the time of its release, Raymond Padilla of GameSpy wrote that the original God of War was the "best action game ever to grace the PS2".[181] Other critics similarly said that it was one of the best action games of all time; it received over a dozen "Game of the Year" awards.[182] In 2009, it was named the "seventh-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time on IGN's "Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time" list.[183]God of War II was also on IGN's list, and was named the "second-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time.[184]God of War II was similarly called one of the best action games of all time and is considered the swan song of the PlayStation 2 era.[185] In November 2012, Complex.com named God of War II the best PlayStation 2 game of all time—where God of War was named the 11th best—and consider it better than its successor, God of War III.[186]Betrayal was acclaimed for its fidelity to the series in terms of gameplay, art style, and graphics.[4]

Chains of Olympus was praised for "fantastic" graphics and "tight and responsive" controls for the PSP at the time.[187] In 2008, IGN awarded Chains of Olympus the "Best PSP Action Game",[188] and in September 2010, it was listed as the best PSP game by GamePro.[189]God of War III received praise for its graphics, in particular of Kratos; at the time, IGN stated that Kratos was "perhaps the single most impressive-looking character ever in videogames."[190] IGN also said that, at the time, God of War III "redefines what the word 'scale' means with regards to videogames, as it throws you into scenes with Titans that are larger than entire levels in some other games."[190]God of War III received awards for "Most Anticipated Game of 2010" and "Best PS3 Game" at the 2009 and 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, respectively.[191] The game also won the "Artistic Achievement" award at the 2011 BAFTA awards.[192]Ghost of Sparta was praised for its graphics and story, with Chris Pereira of 1UP saying that it was "a more personal story than the [previous] GOW games."[193] It received several awards at E3 2010, including "Best Handheld Game", "Best PSP Game", and "PSP Game of Show",[194] and won "Best Handheld Game" at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards.[191] 2018's God of War received particular praise for its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many also felt that it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[195] It won several awards, among which were "Game of the Year" and "Best Game Direction" at The Game Awards 2018 and "Best Storytelling" and "PlayStation Game of the Year" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards.[196][197]

The series has also received criticism because of problems with puzzles, weapons, and technical issues. Chains of Olympus was criticized by G4, who stated that the game "occasionally suffers from screen tearing and framerate drops", and that some of the puzzles "are so maddeningly difficult to solve".[198] The game was also criticized for its lack of variety in enemies, its continued use of puzzles that require players to move boxes,[187] and its relatively short story.[199]God of War III also received some criticism. GameFront's Phil Hornshaw said it had an overly cruel protagonist, and the game assumed that the players reveled in the misery and violence as much as Kratos did.[200] IGN complained about the game's weapons, and said "that two of the three additional weapons that you'll earn are extremely similar to your blades. They have unique powers and slightly different moves, but by and large, they're more of the same."[190]Ghost of Sparta received criticism from Eurogamer, which said that the "game's primary problem ... is in its in-built focus" and that "there is a sense that Ghost of Sparta is a step back for the series if you've played [God of War III]."[201] Some reviewers stated that Ascension's story was not as compelling as previous installments, with IGN stating that in comparison to Zeus and Ares, "the Furies don't quite cut it".[202] The multiplayer received a mixed response. Although reviewers claimed gameplay translated well into the multiplayer, they were critical of the balance and depth of combat. Edge magazine approved of the multiplayer, stating it was an "evolutionary step" with "some fine ideas ... that [would] form part of this genre's future template."[203] 2018's God of War received some criticism, for example, a couple of reviewers disliked that the fast travel option unlocked very late into the game.[204][205]

The collections have also received praise. IGN (9.4/10) awarded God of War Collection (PS3) the "Editor's Choice" Award and praised the enhanced resolutions, lower price point and smoother frame rates, and stated it was the "definitive way to play the game[s]".[206] Due to the success of God of War Collection, Sony announced that further titles would receive similar treatment for release under its new "Classics HD" brand.[22] The Origins Collection was similarly well received. IGN (9/10) stated "Sony succeeded at making good games better",[207] although GamePro criticized it for its lack of new bonus content.[208]God of War Saga also received praise. Ryan Fleming of Digital Trends wrote that the collection "is perhaps the best value buy for any console available," although the collection is not likely for fans of the series, but rather inexperienced players or newcomers.[209]God of War III Remastered was met with generally favorable reception. Praise was given to the smoother textures and improved frame rate, though because the original already had remarkable graphics, the changes were not major, and reviewers said these changes were not a strong enough argument to rebuy the game for US$40.[210]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

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  54. ^Ready at Dawn, ed. & (2010), p. 3
  55. ^Santa Monica Studio, ed. & (2010), p. 11
  56. ^Gaudiosi, John (October 7, 2011). "The 10 Most Important Sex Scenes in Recent Video Games". Maxim.com. Alpha Media Group. Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  57. ^Santa Monica Studio, ed. & (2013), pp. 4, 6–10, & 18–25
  58. ^Dunham, Jeremy (February 19, 2004). "SCEA Santa Monica Gamers' Day: Sony Announces God of War". IGN. Ziff Davis Media. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  59. ^ abcReed, Krisan (July 11, 2005). "Godlike". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  60. ^Cifaldi, Frank (February 10, 2006). "DICE Feature: 'The Search For Perfection: David Jaffe Goes To War'". Gamasutra. Think Services. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  61. ^ abLewis, Ed (June 10, 2004). "God of War Interview". IGN. Ziff Davis Media. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  62. ^Fahey, Rob (January 1, 2007). "Strider 1/2 •". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  63. ^Shoemaker, Brad (May 12, 2004). "God of War E3 2004 Hands-On Impressions". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  64. ^Moriarty, Colin (March 21, 2012). "The House That God of War Built: Sony Santa Monica". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
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God of War (2018 video game)

2018 video game

For the 2005 video game, see God of War (2005 video game).

2018 video game

God of War[b] is a 2018 action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). It was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) with a Microsoft Windows version set to release on January 14, 2022. The game is the eighth installment in the God of War series, the eighth chronologically, and the sequel to 2010's God of War III. Unlike previous games, which were loosely based on Greek mythology, this installment is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, with the majority of it set in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. For the first time in the series, there are two protagonists: Kratos, the former Greek God of War who remains the only playable character, and his young son, Atreus. Following the death of Kratos' second wife, and Atreus' mother, they journey to fulfill her request that her ashes be spread at the highest peak of the nine realms. Kratos keeps his troubled past a secret from Atreus, who is unaware of his divine nature. Along their journey, they come into conflict with monsters and gods of the Norse world.

Described by creative director Cory Barlog as a reimagining of the franchise, a major gameplay change is that Kratos makes prominent use of a magical battle axe instead of his signature double-chained blades. God of War also uses an over-the-shoulder free camera, with the game in one shot, as opposed to the fixed cinematic camera of the previous entries. The game also includes role-playing video game elements, and Kratos' son Atreus provides assistance in combat. The majority of the original game's development team worked on God of War and designed it to be accessible and grounded. A separate short text-based game, A Call from the Wilds, was released in February 2018 and follows Atreus on his first adventure.

God of War received universal acclaim for its story, world design, art direction, music, graphics, combat system, and characters, in particular the dynamic between Kratos and Atreus. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors. It received a number of perfect review scores, tying it with the original God of War (2005) as the highest-rated game in the series, as well as one of the highest-rated PlayStation 4 games on the review aggregatorMetacritic. Among other awards and nominations, God of War was awarded Game of the Year by numerous media outlets and award shows. The game performed well commercially, selling over five million copies within a month of its release and over 19.5 million by August 2021, making it the best-selling PlayStation 4 game as well as the best-selling game in the series. A novelization was released in August 2018, followed by a prequel comic series published from November 2018 to February 2019. A sequel titled God of War Ragnarök is scheduled for release in 2022 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Gameplay[edit]

God of War is a third-personaction-adventure video game. It features an over-the-shoulder free camera, a departure from the previous installments, which featured a fixed cinematic camera (with the exception of 2007's two-dimensionalside-scrollerBetrayal).[6] Cinematographically, the game is presented in a continuous shot, with no camera cuts or loading screens.[7] Although the previous main installment, Ascension (2013), introduced multiplayer to the series, this installment is single-player-only.[4] Regarding the level structure, director Cory Barlog said "it's open, but it is not an open world."[8] Due to its openness, a fast travel feature is unlocked later in the game.[9] Swimming, an ability in previous games, was cut;[10] players instead use a boat to traverse bodies of water.[9] Unlike previous games, which allowed players to jump freely at anytime, jumping can now only be done at designated areas, such as at a rock face or ledge. Throughout the game, players battle Norse mythological foes, like dark elves, wulvers, and draugrs,[11] as well as Gullveig and the revenants, beings warped by seiðr magic, among many others.[12]Valkyries appear as optional boss battles. Among the many side quests, players can free the imprisoned dragonsFáfnir, Otr, and Reginn—dwarves who were turned into dragons—in addition to battling one called Hræzlyr, a story-based boss battle.[9][13]

A GIF that shows the character Kratos throwing his weapon, the Leviathan Axe, at an enemy, magically freezing it in place. Important character information is shown in both bottom corners.
A GIFshowing Kratosthrowing the Leviathan Axe to magically freeze an enemy draugrin place, allowing Kratos to easily attack it. The in-game HUDcan be seen in the bottom left and right corners. The left shows information for Kratos, such as his healthand what runicattacks are equipped. The right shows similar information for Atreus.

The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat and puzzle game elements. The gameplay is vastly different from previous games, as it was completely rebuilt.[8] A major change is that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades, the Blades of Chaos, as his default weapon. Instead, he uses a magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe,[14] which is infused with ice elemental magic. The axe can be thrown at enemies and magically summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Larger enemies have precision targets, and throwing the axe at those targets stuns the enemy. The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects to trigger a damaging explosion. It can freeze objects and some enemies in place for puzzle solving until the axe is summoned back to Kratos' hand. The axe has standard light and heavy attacks. Over time, it can be upgraded with runes to allow for magical runic attacks, with one slot being for a light magical attack and the other for a heavy one. This provides players with a variety of options to cater to their own play style.[15] Another new weapon that Kratos utilizes is the Guardian Shield. When not in use, it folds up and appears like a vambrace on his left forearm. When summoned, the shield can be used offensively or defensively, similar to the Golden Fleece in previous games.[16] Kratos also utilizes hand-to-hand combat, a feature originally introduced in Ascension.[6] The Blades of Chaos, infused with fire elemental magic, are acquired later in the game via a plot device and perform in a similar manner as in previous installments—they are a pair of blades attached to chains that can be swung around in various maneuvers. The weapon can also be upgraded with magical runic attacks.[17]

As in the earlier games, there is a "Rage" ability, this one called Spartan Rage. Like the previous versions, the Rage ability has a meter that gradually fills during combat. With this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies. The game also features role-playing video game (RPG) elements.[6][18] There are crafting resources for the player to find that allow them to create new or upgrade existing armor with better perks.[19] Players also accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, a key component in crafting and purchasing new items. Experience points (XP) are used for learning new combat skills.[18] Throughout the game world, players find chests containing random items, such as enchantments for improving armor and weapons, as well as the Hacksilver currency. There are also two special items, Iðunn's Apples and Horns of Blood Mead, which increase the maximum length of the health and rage meters, respectively. These meters are replenished by green and red orbs dropped by downed foes and found throughout the game world.[20]Quick time events have changed from previous games.[8] Enemies display two meters above their heads, one for health (the color of which indicates the enemy's difficulty) and the other for stun. Filling the stun meter helps to defeat more difficult enemies. When the stun meter is full, a grab prompt will appear. Depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes.[21]

Although the game is played entirely as Kratos,[22] there are times when the player may choose to passively control his son, Atreus. One button is dedicated to Atreus, and its use depends on the context. For example, if the player needs assistance, they can look at an enemy, press the button, and Atreus will use his Talon Bow to shoot arrows at the enemy.[23] The arrows have little effect on an enemy's health but do increase the stun meter.[21] Over the course of the game, Atreus helps in combat, traversal, exploration, and puzzle-solving. When facing a large number of enemies, he distracts the weaker ones as Kratos fights the stronger ones.[19] If too many enemies gang up on Atreus, he is briefly stunned, but he cannot be knocked out or killed. Atreus also acquires new skills, armor, and runic attacks, as well as special light and shock arrows for his Talon Bow. Atreus' runic attacks summon different spectral animals with different abilities. For example, one summons a pack of wolves that attacks enemies, while another summons the squirrel Ratatoskr who will dig up orbs for the health and rage meters.[20]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

While the first seven games were loosely based on Greek mythology, this episode is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, taking place several decades after God of War III (2010).[24] Six of the nine realms of Norse mythology can be explored. Predating the Vikings,[23][25] most of the game takes place in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard, which is inhabited by humans and other creatures. It is the same realm in which the Greek world exists. As more dangerous creatures began appearing, many humans fled. Other realms visited as part of the story include Alfheim, the mystical home of the light and dark elves; Helheim, the icy land of the dead; and Jötunheim, the mountainous land of the giants. Optional explorable realms include Niflheim, a realm of poisonous fog with a maze-like structure of rewards; and the fire realm Muspelheim, featuring the six Trials of Muspelheim. Completing each trial grants rewards and advances Kratos and Atreus closer to the top of a large volcano. Access to the other three realms—Asgard, home of the Æsir gods; Vanaheim, home of the Vanir gods; and Svartalfheim, home of the dwarves—has been blocked by Odin, the ruler of Asgard and the Æsir gods.[26] At the center of the realms is the mythical treeYggdrasil, which connects each realm. Although each realm is a different world, they exist simultaneously in the same space. Travel to and from realms can be done by using the Bifröst from a root of Yggdrasil contained within a temple at the center of the Lake of the Nine. The temple was created by Týr, a peaceful God of War who traveled to other lands and learned about their mythologies; it was told that Odin had him killed as he believed Týr was secretly aiding the giants and would try to overthrow him.[24]

Characters[edit]

Main article: Characters of God of War

The game's protagonists are Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) and his young son Atreus (Sunny Suljic). Kratos is a warrior originally from Sparta who became the Greek God of War and is a son of Zeus. After ending up in ancient Scandinavia following his war against Olympus, he met his second and now deceased wife, Laufey (addressed as Faye), who died from an unknown cause. She bore their son, Atreus, who does not know about Kratos' past or his divine nature but can hear other beings' thoughts. The main antagonist is the Æsir god Baldur (Jeremy Davies), the half-brother of Thor, whose sons Modi and Magni (Nolan North and Troy Baker, respectively) assist him. Baldur's parents are Odin, the Allfather and King of the Æsir, and the Vanir goddess Freya (Danielle Bisutti), the former Queen of the Valkyries. Freya tried leaving Odin, as she did not truly love him. He in turn stripped her of her Valkyrie wings, banished her to Midgard, and cast a spell on her that prevented her from causing harm to others and from leaving the realm. She then hid her identity under an alias, the Witch of the Woods. To protect her son from a prophecy that foretold his death, Freya cast a spell of immortality on Baldur, which also prevented him from feeling pain or pleasure. The effects of the spell caused Baldur to greatly resent his mother. The only thing capable of harming him was mistletoe, a fact which Freya kept secret.[27]

Other characters include Mímir (Alastair Duncan), who claims to be the smartest man alive, and the Huldra Brothers—Brok (Robert Craighead) and Sindri (Adam J. Harrington)—dwarves who appear at various points in the world and assist Kratos and Atreus by forging new gear. Weapons forged by the Huldra brothers, including Thor's hammer Mjölnir, were used by the Æsir gods. They also forged Kratos' Leviathan Axe, which originally belonged to Faye, who also gifted Kratos her Guardian Shield.[14] The spirit of the Greek goddess Athena (Carole Ruggier)[c] makes a cameo appearance, and Zeus (Corey Burton)[d] appears to Kratos as an illusion in Helheim.[27]

Plot[edit]

Many years after Kratos defeated the Olympian gods,[e] he now lives with his son Atreus in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. After cremating the body of his wife, Faye, and after a short hunting/survival lesson with Atreus, Kratos is confronted by a mysterious stranger with godlike power and invulnerability. The two battle and Kratos seemingly kills the stranger, after which Kratos and Atreus begin their journey to honor Faye's last wish: to scatter her ashes at the highest peak in the nine realms.

Reaching the Lake of the Nine, the pair encounter the friendly World Serpent, Jörmungandr, the last remaining Giant. When they find their path blocked by impenetrable black mist, the Witch of the Woods appears and instructs them to use the Bifröst to travel to Alfheim and secure its Light to extinguish the mist. Successful, they reach Midgard's peak and overhear a conversation between the mysterious stranger — revealed to be Baldur — his nephews Magni and Modi, and the imprisoned Mímir. After they leave, Kratos and Atreus confront Mímir, who reveals that the highest peak is in Jötunheim, but the Giants have blocked travel there to keep out Odin and Thor. Knowing of another passage, Mímir instructs Kratos to behead him and have his head revived by the Witch of the Woods, whom he reveals to be Freya upon resurrection. Kratos' longstanding hatred of gods causes him to immediately distrust her, but both Freya and Mímir warn him that he must tell Atreus about his true nature.

In search of components to open Jötunheim's portal, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir are attacked by Magni and Modi. After Kratos kills Magni, Modi flees but later ambushes the trio. Kratos fends him off, but Atreus collapses, suddenly ill, due to the contradiction of a god believing himself to be mortal. Freya offers to help Atreus and instructs Kratos to retrieve the heart of a specific troll in Helheim; however, his frost-based Leviathan Axe is useless in the icy realm. Kratos returns home to unearth his old weapons, the fiery Blades of Chaos, and is haunted by Athena's spirit. After retrieving the heart, he has a haunting vision of Zeus, and Mímir pieces together Kratos' bloody past. Freya revives Atreus and Kratos tells him that they are gods. Atreus becomes increasingly arrogant and, against Kratos' orders, murders a weakened Modi, who was beaten by his father Thor for leaving his brother Magni to die. At Midgard's peak, Kratos and Atreus are ambushed by Baldur, resulting in Jötunheim's portal being destroyed and the group falling into Helheim.

Atreus makes amends with Kratos, and they learn of Freya and Baldur's familial relationship as well as the immortality spell that she cast on him. Returning to Midgard, Mímir realizes there is another way to reach Jötunheim, but he needs his missing eye. After obtaining it from Jörmungandr's belly —who had inadvertently eaten it along with a statue of Thor — they are attacked by Baldur again, but Freya intervenes. During the fight, Baldur is pierced by Atreus's mistletoe arrow, breaking Freya's spell. Baldur is finally defeated; despite being given an opportunity to retreat, he attempts to strangle Freya and forces Kratos to kill him. A grieving Freya swears revenge and taunts Kratos about hiding his true nature. Kratos finally tells Atreus about his own past and how he killed his fellow Greek gods, including his father, Zeus. Atreus laments this cycle of violence, and Kratos tells him that they should learn from their experiences and not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. A silent Freya leaves with Baldur's corpse, and Mímir hopefully suggests that she will eventually move on and realize that Kratos did the right thing.

In Jötunheim, they find a temple with a mural depicting their adventures, showing that the Giants had vaguely foretold the future. In addition, they discover that Faye was a Giant who decided to stay behind in Midgard, meaning that Atreus is half Giant, one-quarter god, and one-quarter mortal. Their fight with Baldur is shown, revealing that he was after Faye the whole time but was unaware that she was deceased. It is also revealed that Atreus was named Loki by his mother. Kratos and Atreus then fulfill their promise and spread her ashes at the peak, overlooking a valley of Giant corpses. Afterward, Kratos reveals to Atreus that his given name was that of a compassionate Spartan comrade. Returning to Midgard, Mímir warns them that the three-year-long Fimbulwinter has begun, meaning Ragnarök is soon to follow – which was not supposed to occur for another one hundred years.

In the game's secret ending, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir return home and slumber. Atreus has a vision that Thor will arrive at the end of Fimbulwinter to confront them.

Development[edit]

Development on the next God of War began in 2014. This was confirmed by Santa Monica Studio's creative director Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year, where Barlog said the game was in very early development, and that it would not be a prequel, but possibly a reboot.[28] In April 2016, concept art was leaked that showed images of Kratos in the world of Norse mythology, a concept originally considered by series creator David Jaffe after Kratos eliminated the Greek gods.[29] The game's official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo that confirmed the setting. The demo showed a fully bearded Kratos teaching his son how to hunt. The pair also battled a troll. The end of the demo showed the title God of War and confirmed it was in development for the PlayStation 4.[1][6] The E3 announcement also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director for the new installment. Since the original 2005 game, Barlog has been a major contributor in the development of the series, previously most notably as the director of God of War II (2007); this new installment was his fifth God of War game.[23]

Barlog said the game was titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because, although it was a continuation of the series, "we ... [reimagined] everything."[24][22] Head of Santa Monica Studio, Shannon Studstill, and Barlog said that Sony Interactive Entertainment had to be convinced to do another God of War game as many people at Sony wanted the series to "sleep and rest" due to the lackluster response to the previous game, Ascension.[30] In explaining why Barlog was brought back, Studstill said he knew the series very well, "and bringing in someone that understands that history is the respect the franchise deserves."[10] Barlog responded, "You gotta know the rules to break the rules."[10] Series creator David Jaffe was also considered but was unavailable.[31]

In explaining the transition from Greek mythology to Norse mythology, Barlog said: "It's kind of this BC–AD change over kind of thing. We're moving and starting from zero and kind of moving forward on that."[24][22] Before settling on Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology was also considered. Barlog said that half of the team was for it, but because Egypt has "a lot more about civilization – it's less isolated, less barren", he decided on the Norse setting to keep the game focused on Kratos. Barlog explained further: "Having too much around distracts from that central theme of a stranger in a strange land."[25] To explain why Kratos was now in the Norse world, Barlog said that different cultures' belief systems coexisted, but they were "separated by geography", suggesting that Kratos traveled from Greece to Norway (Scandinavia) after the conclusion of God of War III.[32] Clarifying the conclusion of that game, Barlog said Kratos did not destroy what was believed to be the entire world, but only the portion ruled over by the Greek pantheon.[9] Barlog said the new game predates the Vikings as it takes place in the time when their gods walked the Earth.[23][25] It was also confirmed that this would not be Kratos' last game.[4] Barlog said future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[30] and although this game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[33] Barlog also said he liked the idea of having different directors for each game as had happened with the first seven. He said that although he might not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[9]

Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[24] They claimed they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[8] It was confirmed that the game would not feature any morality system or branching story; all players have the same story experience. The developers also confirmed that some of the more controversial mini-games found in previous entries (such as the sex mini-game) would not return.[24] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen, although this limit is never approached; God of War III and Ascension had up to 50.[24] Some gameplay characteristics such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges found in the previous installments were cut because of the camera being closer to Kratos.[10] Although the previous installment, Ascension, introduced multiplayer to the series, the team decided to drop it and focus on the single-player experience.[5] In changing the gameplay, Studstill said, "I felt like, in order to reinvent, we really needed to turn a lot of things around."[34] With regard to the camera change, Barlog said they wanted a more intimate and player-controlled experience.[8]

The entire game was done in a single shot with no camera cuts; there are no loading screens and no fade-to-black between gameplay and cutscenes.[19] Barlog said about forty percent of the team did not originally agree with this decision due to the increased work and production to implement the feature, especially since this was the first time that a one-shot technique was being used for a three-dimensionalAAA game. This meant Barlog had no examples to show if this would work or was a good idea. (The only other game to fully utilize this technique was the indie gameHellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, which also began development in 2014 and was released eight months before God of War.[35]) After the game was finished and the team got to play through it, Barlog said they finally understood his vision and said it was a feature they should use from now on.[36] Barlog had originally pitched the idea for a one-shot camera while he was at Crystal Dynamics working on 2013's Tomb Raider, but he was turned down. Sony, however, was much more supportive of Barlog's creative ideas.[37] Furthermore, Barlog and lead level designer Rob Davis were also influenced by the Resident Evil series, particularly Resident Evil 4's "combination of poised camera exploration and scavenging" and Resident Evil 7's "strong vision" from a team making "bold decisions, and actually hav[ing] the audience follow them." Barlog noted how there was initial disagreement over the camera distance. He wanted it close whereas the combat team wanted it further away, like the Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham games; he eventually convinced the team to go with a close camera.[38]

Explaining Kratos' axe, lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, who had worked on the series since the original game, said the axe was chosen because they wanted a more grounded direction for the game. Initially, they were unsure how to make it unique. After they came up with the concept of throwing the axe and having it return to Kratos, "things started to fall into place."[39] McDonald said that combat with the axe was a little slower than with the Blades of Chaos, "but it's just as fluid and just as brutal as it's ever been."[39] Barlog took inspiration from Dark Souls (2011), which influenced the game's combat system, particularly its gameplay loop and strategic decision-making,[40] as well as the game's approach to storytelling.[41] In addition, designers Anthony DiMento and Luis Sanchez revealed how God of War's level design and exploration were influenced by Bloodborne (2015). They wanted to "just have the world breathe a little bit" and expand upon player discovery by including "micro-loops where you're unlocking paths, unlocking shortcuts" that gave purpose.[42] DiMento said that a team dedicated to focusing on the game's exploration was formed. One challenge was creating quests in a world that did not have non-playable characters outside of the core narrative. DiMento said, "I set out to create a quest giver that was light-weight, but also flexible enough to be used in multiple locations, while providing a varied suite of quest activities." This resulted in the "wayward spirits" (ghosts with ties to the world) found throughout the game. Having the spirits tell their stories "made [the world] feel more alive". The developers ended up with a four-tiered system for side quests: the top tier quests were from the characters Brok and Sindri, the next level from wayward spirits, then treasure maps and artifacts, and the bottom tier were milestones, such as destroying all of Odin's ravens. Brok and Sindri's quests were made into dungeons while the others were used for exploration. The developers also had to find the reasons that would motivate Kratos to undertake these quests. For Brok and Sindri, it was to obtain more powerful gear, but for the wayward spirits, it was because of Atreus' naiveté and kind-hearted nature, as well as opportunities for Kratos to teach him a lesson.[13]

Unlike the previous games, Santa Monica did not make a demo specifically for public release. Barlog explained that doing so would have delayed the game by a couple of months.[43] He also confirmed the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4[43] but would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[44] Players with a Pro have the option to favor resolution or favor performance when playing the game. Favoring resolution runs the game in 4K with checkerboard rendering at a target frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), while the performance option runs the game at 1080p and targets 60fps.[45] In late December 2016, Barlog confirmed the game was playable from start to finish,[46] and later said its story would take 25–35 hours to complete. This is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[47]

A new trailer was shown at E3 2017, featuring new gameplay, cinematics, and characters. In it, Kratos was shown using a shield that he could use offensively and defensively. At one point, Kratos finds a Greek vase with himself on it, wielding his infamous double-chained blades. During the trailer, an unnamed woman warned Kratos about the Norse gods, as they knew what he did to the Greek gods, while a pair of wolves were also shown. The trailer ended with Kratos and Atreus encountering the World Serpent. Atreus was able to translate what it said, which was that it wanted to help the pair. It was confirmed that the game would release in early 2018.[16] Until the game's launch, Santa Monica included a section on the God of War website titled "The Lost Pages", detailing some of the lore of God of War's Nordic world.[14] In January 2018, the game's release date was confirmed for April 20, 2018. A trailer was also released that showed that the character Mímir from the mythology would have a role in the game.[48]God of Warwent gold on March 22.[49]

Characterization[edit]

During early development, there was talk of having a different protagonist for the game. Some of the team said that Kratos was "annoying" and felt Kratos' story had run its course. Barlog said it took a lot of convincing to keep Kratos.[50] Referencing the Nintendo character Mario and the Mario games, Barlog said that like Mario, "Kratos is intrinsically tied" to the God of War series.[23] In regard to the new changes, Barlog said that:

I knew I didn't want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over with a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.[51]

Barlog explained that Kratos had to change his cycle of violence and learn to control his rage. He said Kratos had made many bad decisions, which led to the destruction of Olympus. He wanted to know what would happen if Kratos made a good decision. The birth of Barlog's own son influenced the idea of Kratos' character change.[51] The canceled live-action Star Wars television series was also an influence.[52] The bond between Kratos and his son is at the heart of the game. Barlog said, "This game is about Kratos teaching his son how to be a god, and his son teaching Kratos how to be human again."[19] Referencing the Marvel Comics character Hulk, Barlog said that in regards to Kratos, "We've already told the story of The Hulk. We want to tell the story of [Bruce] Banner now."[19] One of their goals was to make Kratos "a more nuanced and interesting character."[53] In changing the narrative focus, Studstill said, "I think we inherently knew the franchise needed to evolve in that emotional beat and be something meatier for the older generation of gamers."[53]

Christopher Judge, best known as Teal'c from Stargate SG-1, replaced Terrence C. Carson as the voice of Kratos; Carson had voiced Kratos since the original God of War. Commenting on the change, Carson said, "Sony went in a new direction."[54] Carson later explained that he understood the reason for the actor change and that Judge's casting made sense for what Sony was wanting to do. He also said that losing acting jobs is part of the business, but he did feel a lack of respect as he was not contacted by anyone at Sony to be informed of the change.[55]

In explaining the actor change, Barlog said that the way the previous games were made, they were able to have someone else do the motion capture instead of the voice actor. Although Carson had done the motion capture for Kratos in Ascension, Barlog said the actor change was made because of the type of camera work they wanted to do. For the new camera work, they needed someone who was closer to Kratos' size to do the motion capture along with a child. Carson was unsuitable for this because he was much shorter than Kratos, who is over 6-feet tall: "Offsetting [Carson's height] for the size of a child, it turned out it was going to be almost impossible to try and actually shoot them and go in and redo the animations."[56] Judge was chosen because he was 6-foot-3 and had the body of a professional football player. He was also chosen because of the chemistry with his then-10-year-old co-star, Sunny Suljic, whose opinion was also sought in making the decision; out of all the auditions, he liked Judge the most. The two bonded well, and Judge described his time with Suljic as time he had missed with his own children. In stepping into the role of Kratos, Judge took it as an opportunity to add something new to the character. He researched the character and Carson's performance but decided not to imitate it. Since Santa Monica was going in a new direction, he decided to start fresh. Judge was thrown off when he first read the script, saying it "was a real script," and not just "a way to get into battles," which is why he decided to take the role.[56] He said, "it was really this great story of this relationship and this crazy mythology."[56] While Judge did all of Kratos' motion capture for the cinematic scenes, stuntman Eric Jacobus did Kratos' combat motion capture; Jacobus was found by God of War's animators on YouTube. Instead of going directly to Santa Monica to audition, he recorded an audition tape and sent that in and was hired immediately.[57] Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard also performed some of the motion capture for Kratos; Gaspard's body was digitally scanned as the model for Kratos' new look in the game.[58]

During E3 2016, GameSpot mistakenly reported that Kratos' son's name was Charlie, which Barlog laughingly denied.[59] In January 2017, after a fan downloaded the God of Waroverture and saw the track's details that said, "An introduction to Kratos and Atreus", Barlog confirmed on Twitter that Atreus was in fact the son's name.[60] Barlog said Atreus was unaware that Kratos was a demigod and did not know about his past.[4] They did not reveal details of Atreus' mother before the release because she was a critical part of the story.[24] Barlog said that during gameplay, Atreus would be "like magic, an additional combat resource, and [the player is] training him and teaching him."[23] The developers said Atreus would not be a burden during gameplay.[14] The team experimented with several different approaches for Atreus to ensure he was an empowering presence. Barlog said he did not want the game to be an escort mission where the artificial intelligence caused a problem for the player. Their goal was for Atreus to enhance Kratos' capabilities without becoming a liability. This resulted in the developers having Atreus act freely unless the player uses a button to issue specific commands to him.[21] Atreus was also designed to call out enemy locations during combat. Since the camera is closer to Kratos, some enemies might be difficult for the player to see. Jason McDonald said it took a lot of iterations with the enemies and Atreus to make it all work together.[39]

Early in development, it was suggested that Atreus be cut, or his role significantly reduced because of the many developmental challenges and their costs. Barlog stated the game could have worked without Atreus, but it would have been completely different, likening it to the 2013 film All Is Lost. Barlog said that with just Kratos, it would have been "one character who talks to himself occasionally, but generally, it will be very silent and everyone will talk in old Norse, so that you won't understand anything anybody's saying."[61] After hearing Barlog's case, Sony gave him the freedom to incorporate Atreus. Lead level designer Rob Davis also noted that Atreus allowed for "significant gameplay and storytelling opportunities that might not otherwise [have been] possible."[61] After God of War was revealed at E3 2016, it drew comparisons to Naughty Dog's The Last of Us (2013), a game that also featured a father-child type story and gameplay. Barlog felt it was "fantastic" to be compared to that game and found it odd that some people considered the similarities a negative thing. Although he did not directly state they were influenced by The Last of Us in developing God of War, he did say, "I think we're all inspired by each other."[62] He did, however, use The Last of Us as an example to show the development team how an in-game companion could work without the game becoming an escort mission.[50]

Soundtrack[edit]

God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. It was composed by Bear McCreary, who is best known for his work on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.[63] McCreary was called into Santa Monica Studio in November 2014 to meet with music producers Peter Scaturro and Keith Leary to discuss "a secret project"; McCreary had previously collaborated with Scaturro and Leary on 2011's SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. Ideas of folk music, mythology, Nordic ethnic instruments, vocal writing, and classical thematic development were discussed; McCreary correctly guessed that the discussions were about a new God of War. McCreary met with Barlog early on to discuss his narrative vision for the game. After meeting with him, McCreary felt the franchise was in good hands because God of War II, which Barlog also directed, was his favorite installment.[64]

During the initial discussions, McCreary realized he needed to compose completely new music for the game and not reuse any previous music from the series.[65] He said that although he loved those games, he "would not describe them as emotionally dynamic."[66] Based on his memory of the earlier games' music, however, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting.[65] To ensure the music represented the setting, McCreary spent months researching and listening to Viking folk music,[66] which resulted in him using "exotic instrumentation and languages from various Northern European folk traditions."[65] He also wanted the score to be huge and varied, "full of peaks and valleys, tiny incantations and gigantic set pieces."[66] The main Kratos theme in particular features low orchestral instruments, an Icelandic choir, deep male vocals, powerful female vocals (in particular Faroese singer Eivør Pálsdóttir), folk percussion, and Nordic stringed instruments, like the nyckelharpa and hurdy gurdy.[64] The track "Witch of the Woods" uses a renaissance and baroque instrument called a viola da gamba, which is an ancestor of the modern cello. The Stranger's theme, found in the track "Deliverance", uses a Hardanger fiddle.[67]

The first theme composed for the game was "Memories of Mother". McCreary said the theme itself was not originally for Atreus' mother Faye but was for Kratos himself. His initial sketches were different variations of this melancholy tune. After the game had gone into full production, McCreary and the development team realized it was "too sad and lyrical to represent Kratos." McCreary stepped away from this theme and focused on writing a new one, or what he called the Kratos Theme, which he felt was more representative of the character: "masculine, relentless, and badass".[65] He spent several months working with Barlog, Scaturro, Leary, Sony music director Chuck Doud, and the rest of the development team to make this new theme. McCreary described it as "arguably one of my most structurally satisfying and catchy melodies."[64] After further scoring, McCreary realized that Faye would require a theme, and his original one was "exactly [what] I needed." This melody was woven throughout several scenes and is featured as prominently in the game as Kratos' theme.[65] The three-note Kratos theme is most obviously heard in the title track, "God of War".[67]

When it was decided that God of War would be revealed at E3 2016, Sony wanted McCreary to perform his original score with a live orchestra at the press conference. McCreary opened the show with the new main theme before the unveiling of God of War and performed the gameplay demo's music live during the presentation.[64] On January 13, 2017, a live recording from E3 2016 of God of War's overture was released for a limited time free of charge. Barlog released the overture as a thank you to fans for God of War's E3 2016 trailer reaching fifteen million views on YouTube.[68]

Release[edit]

The game was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4.[48] In addition to the standard base game, there were three special editions: the Stone Mason Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Digital Deluxe Edition. Only available in the United States and Canada, the Stone Mason Edition came with several physical items, including: the base game in a SteelBook case, a 9-inch (230 mm) statue of Kratos and Atreus created by Gentle Giant, 2-inch (51 mm) carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a horse, and a troll, an exclusive lithograph, a cloth map, a stone mason's ring, and a keychain of Mímir's head that talks. There was a variety of downloadable content (DLC), including an exclusive shield skin, as well as an armor set and another shield skin for Kratos, a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme, a digital artbook, and God of War #0 by Dark Horse Comics.[69] The Collector's Edition came with many of the same items, minus the ring, the keychain, the carvings of the horse and troll, and the exclusive shield skin. The Digital Deluxe Edition came with all the digital content, minus the exclusive shield skin. U.S. and Canadian customers also received a Kratos and Atreus pin for pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders at select retailers received three skins for Kratos' shield. Pre-orders from GameStop or EB Games also received the "Luck of Ages XP Talisman", granting increased XP gain, increased Hacksilver gain, and increased ability to trigger perks.[70]

In addition to the special editions of the game, a Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle was available the same day as the game's release. The bundle included the standard base game, a PlayStation 4 Pro console decorated with the runes as on Kratos' axe, and a similarly themed DualShock 4 controller with the God of War logo.[71] Among the digital content in the collector's editions was God of War #0 from Dark Horse Comics. The four-part miniseries began publishing monthly with Issue #1 in November 2018. Written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, it takes place between the events of God of War III and the 2018 game.[72][73]

Game Director Cory Barlog confirmed that God of War would not have microtransactions post-launch, a feature that had become prominent with other games and criticized.[74] Barlog also confirmed there would not be any post-release DLC, like an expansion pack. He said he had pitched an idea for DLC, "but it was too ambitious". His idea was similar in scope to that of The Last of Us: Left Behind and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, large standalone expansions for The Last of Us (2013) and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016), respectively. He said it would have been too big to be DLC, warranting its own standalone release.[75]

Since launch, Santa Monica has supported the game with patch updates to address software bugs. As well, the developers have added new features along with these free updates. A Photo Mode was released as part of update patch 1.20 on May 9, 2018. It allows players to take customized in-game screenshots. Players can adjust the field of view, depth of view, filters, borders, the visibility of characters, and the ability to change the facial expressions of Kratos and Atreus.[76] A New Game Plus mode was released as part of update patch 1.30 on August 20, 2018. To access the mode, players must have completed the game at any difficulty level. The mode itself can be played at any difficulty, but enemies are at a higher level with new maneuvers. All obtained items carry over to New Game Plus, and there are new resources to further upgrade gear, which also have new rarity levels. The option to skip cutscenes was also added.[77][78][79] In November 2020, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) launched and is backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games; these games see a performance boost when playing on the PS5 thanks to the power of the newer console. To further enhance the playing experience of God of War on the PS5, Santa Monica released an enhancement update on February 2, 2021, allowing the game to be played at full 60fps with checkerboard 4K resolution.[80]

As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022. The port, handled by Jetpack Interactive with supervision by Santa Monica, includes additional graphic options support for Windows, including Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology and ultra-widescreen support. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[81][82]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds[edit]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a text-based game playable through Facebook Messenger. To help further promote God of War, Sony partnered with Facebook, Inc. to develop the play-by-web game, which released on February 1, 2018. Completing the game unlocks downloadable concept art. The short story follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. After archery training and learning runes with his mother, Atreus ventures into the wilderness after telepathically hearing the voice of a dying deer; he finds it covered in blood and stays with it during its final moments. A couple of draugrs appear and Atreus attempts to fight them but is injured. He is saved by his father, Kratos, who was out hunting. The two then battle a revenant before returning home.[83][84][85]

Raising Kratos[edit]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making the game, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[86][87]

Tie-in books[edit]

The Art of God of War[edit]

The Art of God of War is a book collecting various pieces of artworks created for the game during its development. It was written by Evan Shamoon and published by Dark Horse on April 24, 2018.[88]

God of War – The Official Novelization[edit]

An official novelization of the game, written by Cory Barlog's father, James M. Barlog, was released on August 28, 2018, by Titan Books.[89] An audiobook version is also available, narrated by Alastair Duncan, who voiced Mímir in the game.[90]

The novel retells the events of the game, but unlike the series' previous two novels, this one closely follows the source material with a few notable exceptions. The game never revealed how or why Kratos ended up in ancient Norway, or how much time had passed since the ending of God of War III, but the novel gives some indication. Kratos chose to leave ancient Greece to hide his identity and change who he was.[91] At some point after leaving Greece, he battles some wolves and is saved by a cloaked female figure, presumably Faye.[92] Later, during their journey, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir see a mural with the wolves Sköll and Hati. This causes Kratos to have a flashback to that battle and makes him wonder if they dragged him to this new land and if so, why?[93] There was also some retconning. At the end of God of War III, Kratos had the Blades of Exile, but this novel says he had the Blades of Chaos after killing Zeus. It is also mentioned that he tried several times to get rid of the blades, but by fate they kept returning to him. (For example, he threw them off a cliff, but they washed up on shore near him.) Sometime after ending up in Norway, he decided to hide them under his house and never use them again. This moment was said to have occurred 50 years before the start of the current story. When Kratos does recover the Blades of Chaos, he hears Pandora's speech about hope from God of War III.[94]

In the game, Kratos sees one last image on the mural in Jötunheim. It seemingly shows Atreus holding Kratos' dead body, but in the novel, this mural is partially broken and does not show the corpse that Atreus is holding.[95] Brok and Sindri also reveal why they made the Leviathan Axe for Faye. She had come to them as the last Guardian of Jötnar and needed a weapon to protect her people. The Huldra Brothers crafted the Leviathan Axe for her to be Mjölnir's equal. Mímir also mentioned that Faye, or rather Laufey the Just, thwarted many of the Æsir's plans, including freeing slaves, and Thor could never find her.[96] Kratos' Guardian Shield is never mentioned, and Modi does not ambush them, resulting in Atreus falling ill. Atreus falls ill shortly after the first encounter when Kratos kills Magni.[97]

God of War: B is For Boy[edit]

AuthorAndrea Robinson
IllustratorRomina Tempest
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesGod of War
PublisherInsight Editions

Publication date

September 1, 2020
Media typeHardcover
ISBN978-1-68383-889-0

God of War: B is For Boy is an "ABC storybook for adults" in which the story of the game is retold in an abridged format with illustrations. It was written by Andrea Robinson, with the illustrations being provided by Romina Tempest. It released on September 1, 2020 by Insight Editions.[98]

God of War: Lore and Legends[edit]

God of War: Lore and Legends is a tome that recreates Atreus' journal from the game. The book features new expanded lore that was written in collaboration with the writing team for the game. It was written by Rick Barba and published by Dark Horse on September 9, 2020.[99]

Reception[edit]

Reception

God of War received "universal acclaim" according to review aggregatorMetacritic,[100] tying it with the original God of War for the highest score in the franchise.[113] It has the fourth-highest score of all-time for a PlayStation 4 game, and the highest score for an original, non-remastered PlayStation 4 exclusive.[114] It was the highest rated PlayStation 4 game of 2018 until the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in October, which pushed God of War to second.[115] It is also tied with the Xbox One version of Celeste for the second-highest score of 2018, regardless of platform.[116]God of War received particular praise for: its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[117]

The story was well praised. Nick Plessas of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) said the story's most memorable moments were the interactions between Kratos and Atreus. He also noted, "there is often some comic relief to be found when Kratos' curtness and Atreus' charming naivety collide."[102] He felt the presence of Atreus showed a side to Kratos not seen before, and that Kratos had evolved emotionally: "The rage and pain of his past is in constant conflict with his desire to spare his son from it, which comes across in even the most subtle actions and words, demonstrating the effort he is putting in." Plessas said Atreus' character was similarly complex. He commented it is easy for child characters "to succumb to a number of annoying child archetypes," but Atreus is more like a young man who is doing his best in an adult world.[102]Game Informer's Joe Juba similarly praised the story, particularly the relationship between Kratos and Atreus: "The interactions of Kratos and Atreus range from adversarial to compassionate, and these exchanges have ample room to breathe and draw players in." Juba said that Kratos conveys more character than in any previous game.[103] Peter Brown of GameSpot felt that although Kratos and Atreus were enjoyable, it was Mímir who stole the show. He also said that regardless of which character the player meets, the cast of God of War is "strong, convincing, and oddly enchanting."[105] Writing for Game Revolution, Jason Faulkner praised Santa Monica for creating a sequel that new players would be able to understand without having played any of the previous games, while at the same time providing story references to those past games that returning fans would appreciate. Speaking of the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, Faulkner wrote that, "Watching the two grow throughout their journey is incredibly rewarding," equating it to that of Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us or Lee and Clementine from Telltale Games' The Walking Dead.[104]

In terms of the game's combat system, Plessas said that unlike previous games, which often relied on the player to use many combos in a sequential fashion, this game is "more about individual moves strung together in response to the assortment of enemies being fought." Although that difference may be small, he said that the independent attacks of the axe "feature benefits and drawbacks players will need to understand and master to be as effective as possible." Furthermore, although the axe is "conceptually simple", it is "mechanically fascinating". It "succeeds as both a versatile means of dismembering foes and as a key element in puzzle solving." He felt the axe and all of its features was "distinctly rewarding to use" and that it had more versatility than all of the weapons in many other games.[102] Juba said the Leviathan Axe is "a well-balanced and entertaining tool of destruction." He liked how it "emphasizes a more calculated style of combat; instead of zoomed-out, combo-driven encounters, Leviathan makes you a tactician." He also enjoyed how the combat system gradually unfolded through the course of the game; although seemingly restrictive at first, he noted players will be rapidly alternating between weapons and skills.[103] While some reviewers greatly enjoyed the ability to call the Leviathan Axe back to Kratos' hand,[103][108] Chris Carter of Destructoid felt it got old after a while.[101] Atreus' implementation was praised. Plessas said Atreus is "surprisingly useful" and that he "lands in the perfect spot on the spectrum between independence and reliance."[102] Faulkner noted that, "The interplay between Kratos ax, fists, and shield, and Atreus' bow makes for an impressive fighting system."[104] Despite its different approach to combat, compared to the previous games, GamesRadar+'s Leon Hurley felt the game was "every bit as brutally unflinching as previous games."[106]

Writing for Polygon, Chris Plante praised the camerawork as a technical marvel, noting the seamless nature of the game shifting from cinematic back to the gameplay.[109] Juba said the decision to shift the camera closer to Kratos "[proved] immensely rewarding during big moments by giving [the player] an intimate view."[103] Faulkner, however, claimed "it can be difficult to control the camera and keep a bead on the enemies you're fighting."[104] In his review for IGN, Jonathon Dornbush felt the intimacy of the camera makes all the emotions "more real and impactful."[108] Speaking of the game's visuals, Faulkner said the game looks amazing, "and with 4K and HDR this game goes a step beyond what even games like Horizon Zero Dawn showed us was possible on this platform."[104] Brown noted that "God of War is a technical and artistic showcase. It is without a doubt one of the best-looking console games ever released."[105] Dan Ryckert of Giant Bomb claimed that games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn "made great cases for a PS4 Pro and a 4K television, but God of War's visuals are a bigger selling point than anything I've seen on Sony's platform to date."[107]

Despite the game's grandeur, Plessas felt that the boss fights "do not hit quite the same frequency as they did in the past few games." However, the few boss fights in the game "do the series proud".[102] As to the vast world of God of War, Faulkner said that, "The great thing about the exploration in God of War is that you can participate in it as little or as much as you want." He said an excellent design decision is that during main plot points, the game keeps the player on task, while in between, the player can explore, allowing God of War "to have the best of both worlds".[104] Plessas noted that although the puzzles require thought, they were not "hair-pullingly" difficult as some were in previous games.[102] Juba also found that the puzzles were not too challenging, saying they were fun.[103]

Plessas felt that the RPG elements present in the game make this installment "unique" compared to previous entries. He said the game allows players to "specialize Kratos to meet the specific task at hand, or develop a build that best suits a preferred playstyle." Although this did not make the game easier, he felt it did make it more manageable.[102] Juba noted that although this type of upgrading "may be less exciting" compared to previous games where Kratos just learns new moves, it still "provides a powerful incentive to explore."[103] Ryckert was disappointed by this type of customization. He felt the presentation was "half-baked" and that some materials were confusing as there was little explanation given for their use. He did, however, say it was "cool" to see new armor on Kratos.[107]

In terms of flaws, Plessas said that "God of War is so good that its most egregious failing is not letting fans play more of it", as New Game Plus was not an option at the time of the review.[102] Juba said that "God of War's momentum rarely falters, and when it does, the inconvenience is brief." One example he gave was the map, saying that although players have freedom to explore, it can be difficult to track Kratos' position. He also felt the fast-travel system was "weirdly cumbersome" and that it opens up too late in the game.[103] Although he enjoyed these features, Faulkner noted some players may dislike that God of War has a lack of player agency, and players have to explore the majority of the game on foot or by boat since the fast-travel feature is unlocked late in the game.[104] Brown felt that if anything in God of War was a letdown, it was the final fight against Baldur: "He's great from a narrative standpoint, unraveling in a manner that changes your perspective, but it's the fight itself that leaves you wanting. There are plenty of big boss battles and tests of skill throughout the course of the game, yet this fight doesn't reach the same heights, and feels like it was played a little safe."[105] Hurley said his only criticism was that, "You can occasionally find yourself unsure if you're doing something wrong, or don't have the right equipment yet."[106]

Sales[edit]

During its release week in the United Kingdom, God of War became the fastest-selling entry in the franchise, selling 35% more physical copies than God of War III.[118] The game remained at the top of the all format sales chart for six consecutive weeks through April and May, setting a record for a PlayStation 4 exclusive having the most consecutive weeks at number one.[119] It sold 46,091 copies in its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number two on the sales chart.[120] The game sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide within three days of its release, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive at the time.[121] The game was the fastest-selling game of the month of its release and contributed to the PlayStation 4 being the best-selling console of that month.[122] In total, the game sold over five million copies in its first month, with 2.1 million in digital sales.[123][124] By May 2019, the game had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game in the series.[125][126] By August 2021, total sales of the game had exceeded over 19.5 million copies.[81]

Accolades[edit]

God of War won Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, including British Academy Games Awards,[127]The Blade,[128]CNET,[129]Destructoid,[130]D.I.C.E. Awards,[131]Empire,[132]Entertainment Weekly,[133]G1,[134]The Game Awards,[135]Game Developers Choice Awards,[136]Game Informer,[137]Game Revolution,[138]GamesRadar+,[139]IGN,[140]Nerdist,[141] New York Game Awards,[142]Polygon,[143]Push Square,[144]Slant Magazine,[145]Time magazine,[146]Variety,[147] and VideoGamer.com.[148] The game was named among the best games of the 2010s by Areajugones,[149]BuzzFeed,[150]GameSpew,[151]GamesRadar+,[152]Gaming Age,[153]GamingBolt,[154]The Hollywood Reporter,[155]IGN,[156] Metacritic,[157]Slant Magazine,[158]Stuff,[159] and VG247.[160]

The game was nominated for Game of the Show, Best PlayStation 4 Game, and Best Action Game at IGN's Best of E3 2016 Awards.[161] It won the award for Game of the Year, Best PlayStation 4 Game, Best Action-Adventure Game, Best Art Direction, and Best Story at IGN's Best of 2018 Awards.[140][162][163][164] It was a runner-up for Best Graphics,[163] and was nominated for Best Music.[165]

Sequel[edit]

Main article: God of War Ragnarök

A sequel, God of War Ragnarök, is currently in development. It was originally announced to release in 2021 on the PlayStation 5.[194] However, in June 2021, the game was delayed to 2022 and it was also confimed that it would release on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.[195]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abSkipper, Ben (June 13, 2016). "God of War 4 kicks off Sony E3 2016 press conference". International Business Times. IBT Media. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  2. ^Loveridge, Sam; Mahboubian-Jones, Justin (March 24, 2017). "God of War 4 PS4 trailers, release date, price, gameplay and everything we know so far". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  3. ^Wagner, Jayce (June 13, 2017). "In The New 'God of War 4' Trailer, Kratos Is Old, Grizzled, And As Brutal As Ever". Digital Trends. Designtechnica Corp. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ abcdPaget, Mat (June 21, 2016). "God of War PS4 Doesn't Include Multiplayer, Won't Be Kratos's Last Game". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  5. ^ abSeeto, Damian (June 18, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War PS4 Won't Have A Multiplayer Mode". Attack of the Fanboy. Modern Media Group. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  6. ^ abcdNewhouse, Alex; Crossley, Rob (June 13, 2016). "God of War Revealed for PS4 at E3 2016". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  7. ^Bratt, Chris (June 21, 2017). "God of War director explains why entire game has no camera cuts". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ abcdePaget, Mat (June 14, 2016). "New God of War Set After Third Game, Won't Be Open World". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  9. ^ abcdeBarlog, Cory; Hanson, Ben (February 2, 2018). Answering God Of War's Lingering Questions (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  10. ^ abcdJuba 2018, p. 38
  11. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 27, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Rise Of The Draugr". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  12. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 29, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Manifestation Of The Revenant". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  13. ^ abDiMento, Anthony (December 5, 2018). "How Santa Monica Studio Nailed Exploration in God of War". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ abcdHenges, Elizabeth (December 13, 2017). "Latest God of War Podcast Episode Details the Origin of the Leviathan Axe". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  15. ^Juba 2018, pp. 40–41
  16. ^ abPereira, Chris; Fillari, Alessandro (June 12, 2017). "E3 2017: New God Of War Trailer Released, Release Date Set For Early 2018". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  17. ^Little, Riley (April 21, 2018). "How Kratos Gets The Blades of Chaos Back in God of War 4". Screen Rant. Valnet, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ abJuba 2018, p. 41
  19. ^ abcdeSliva, Marty (June 14, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War Made Me Care About The Series For The First Time". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
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God of War 3 PC Download is another great part of the action game series. This time there is remaster prepared on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the series, and was also converted to PC Windows platform.

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God of War (2018 video game)

2018 video game

For the 2005 video game, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, see God of War (2005 video game).

2018 video game

God of War[b] is a 2018 action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). It was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) with a Microsoft Windows version set to release on January 14, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2022. The game is the eighth installment in the God of War series, the eighth chronologically, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, and the sequel to 2010's God of War III. Unlike previous games, which were loosely based on Greek mythology, this installment is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, with the majority of it set in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. For the first time in the series, there are two protagonists: Kratos, the former Greek God of War who remains the only playable character, and his young son, Atreus. Following the death of Kratos' second wife, and Atreus' mother, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, they journey to fulfill her request that her ashes be spread at the highest peak of the nine realms. Kratos keeps his troubled past a secret from Atreus, who is unaware of his divine nature. Along their journey, they come into conflict with monsters and gods of the Norse world.

Described by creative director Cory Barlog as a reimagining of the franchise, a major gameplay change is that Kratos makes prominent use of a magical battle axe instead of his signature double-chained blades. God of War also uses an over-the-shoulder free camera, with the game in one shot, as opposed to the fixed cinematic camera of the previous entries. The game also includes role-playing video game elements, and Kratos' son Atreus provides assistance in combat. The majority of the original game's development team worked on God of War and designed it to be accessible and grounded. A separate short God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key game, A Call from the Wilds, was released in February 2018 and follows Atreus on his first adventure.

God of War received universal acclaim for its story, world design, art direction, music, graphics, combat system, and characters, in particular the dynamic between Kratos and Atreus. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key losing the core identity of its predecessors. It received a number of perfect review scores, tying it with the original God of War (2005) as the highest-rated game in the series, as well as one of the highest-rated PlayStation 4 games on the review aggregatorMetacritic. Among other awards and nominations, God of War was awarded Game of the Year by numerous media outlets and award shows. The game performed well commercially, selling over five million copies within a month of its release and over 19.5 million by August 2021, making it the best-selling PlayStation 4 game as well as the best-selling game in the series. A novelization was released in August 2018, followed by a prequel comic series published from November 2018 to February 2019. A sequel titled God of War Ragnarök is scheduled for release in 2022 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Gameplay[edit]

God of War is a third-personaction-adventure video game. It features an over-the-shoulder free camera, a departure from the previous installments, which featured a fixed cinematic camera (with the exception of 2007's two-dimensionalside-scrollerBetrayal).[6] Cinematographically, the game is presented in a continuous shot, with no camera cuts or loading screens.[7] Although the previous main installment, Ascension (2013), introduced multiplayer to the series, this installment is single-player-only.[4] Regarding the level structure, director Cory Barlog said "it's open, but it is not an open world."[8] Due to its openness, a fast travel feature is unlocked later in the game.[9] Swimming, an ability in previous games, was cut;[10] players instead use a boat to traverse bodies of water.[9] Unlike previous games, which allowed players to jump freely at anytime, jumping can now only be done at designated areas, such as at a rock face or ledge. Throughout the game, players battle Norse mythological foes, like dark elves, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, wulvers, and draugrs,[11] God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key well as Gullveig and the revenants, beings warped by seiðr magic, among many others.[12]Valkyries appear as optional boss battles. Among the many side quests, players can free the imprisoned dragonsFáfnir, Otr, and Reginn—dwarves who were turned into dragons—in addition to battling one called Hræzlyr, a story-based boss battle.[9][13]

A GIF that shows the character Kratos throwing his weapon, the Leviathan Axe, at an enemy, magically freezing it in place. Important character information is shown in both bottom corners.
A GIFshowing Kratosthrowing the Leviathan Axe to magically freeze an enemy draugrin place, allowing Kratos to easily attack it. The in-game HUDcan be seen in the bottom left and right corners. The left shows information for Kratos, such as his healthand what runicattacks are equipped. The right shows similar information for Atreus.

The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat and puzzle game elements. The gameplay is vastly different from previous games, as it was completely rebuilt.[8] A major change is that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades, the Blades of Chaos, as his default weapon. Instead, he uses a magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe,[14] which is infused with ice elemental magic. The axe can be thrown at enemies and magically summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Larger enemies have precision targets, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, and throwing the axe at those targets stuns the enemy. The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects to trigger a damaging explosion. It can freeze objects and some enemies in place for puzzle solving until the axe is summoned back to Kratos' hand. The axe has standard light and heavy attacks. Over time, it can be upgraded with runes to allow for magical runic attacks, with one slot being for a light magical attack and the other for a heavy one. This provides players with a variety of options to cater to their own play style.[15] Another new weapon that Kratos utilizes is the Guardian Shield. When not in use, it folds up and appears like a vambrace on his left forearm. When summoned, the shield can be used offensively or defensively, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key to the Golden Fleece in previous games.[16] Kratos also utilizes hand-to-hand combat, a feature originally introduced in Ascension.[6] The Blades of Chaos, infused with fire elemental magic, are acquired later in the God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key via a plot device and perform in a similar manner as in previous installments—they are a pair of blades attached to chains that can be swung around in various maneuvers. The weapon can also be upgraded with magical runic attacks.[17]

As in the earlier games, there is a "Rage" ability, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, this one called Spartan Rage. Like the previous versions, the Rage ability has a meter that gradually fills during combat. With this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies. The game also features role-playing video game (RPG) elements.[6][18] There are crafting resources for the player to find that allow them to create new or upgrade existing armor with better perks.[19] Players also accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, a key component in crafting and purchasing new items. Experience points (XP) are used for learning new combat skills.[18] Throughout the game world, players find chests containing random items, such as enchantments for improving armor and weapons, as well as the Hacksilver currency. There are also two special items, Iðunn's Apples and Horns of Blood Mead, which increase the maximum length of the health and rage meters, respectively. These meters are replenished by green and red orbs dropped by downed foes and found throughout the game world.[20]Quick time events have changed from previous games.[8] Enemies display two meters above their heads, one for health (the color of which indicates the enemy's difficulty) and the other for stun, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Filling the stun meter helps to defeat more difficult enemies. When the stun meter is full, a grab prompt will appear. Depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes.[21]

Although the game is played entirely as Kratos,[22] there are times when the player may choose to passively control his son, Atreus. One button is dedicated to Atreus, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, and its use depends on the context. For example, if the player needs assistance, they can look at an enemy, press the button, and Atreus will use his Talon Bow to shoot arrows at the enemy.[23] The arrows have little effect on an enemy's health but do increase the stun meter.[21] Over the course of the game, Atreus helps in combat, traversal, exploration, and puzzle-solving. When facing a large number of enemies, he distracts the weaker ones as Kratos fights the stronger ones.[19] If too many enemies gang up on Atreus, he is briefly stunned, but he Download Siege Survival: Gloria Victis + Crack [PT-BR] be knocked out or killed. Atreus also acquires new skills, armor, and runic attacks, as well as special light and shock arrows for his Talon Bow. Atreus' runic attacks summon different spectral animals with different abilities. For example, one summons a pack of wolves that attacks enemies, while another summons the squirrel Ratatoskr who will dig up orbs for the health and rage meters.[20]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

While God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key first seven games were loosely based on Greek mythology, this episode is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, taking place several decades after God of War III (2010).[24] Six of the nine realms of Norse mythology can be explored. Predating the Vikings,[23][25] most of the game takes place in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard, which is inhabited by humans and other creatures. It is the same realm in which the Greek world exists. As more dangerous creatures began appearing, many humans fled. Other realms visited as part of the story include Alfheim, the mystical home of the light and dark elves; Helheim, the icy land of the dead; and Jötunheim, the mountainous land of the giants. Optional explorable realms include Niflheim, a realm of poisonous fog with a maze-like structure of rewards; and the fire realm Muspelheim, featuring the six Trials of Muspelheim. Completing each trial grants rewards and advances Kratos and Atreus closer to the top of a large volcano. Access to the other three realms—Asgard, home of the Æsir gods; Vanaheim, home of the Vanir gods; and Svartalfheim, home of the dwarves—has been blocked by Odin, the ruler of Asgard and the Æsir gods.[26] At the center of the realms is the mythical treeYggdrasil, which connects each realm. Although each realm is a different world, they exist simultaneously in the same space. Travel to and from realms can be done by using the Bifröst from a root of Yggdrasil contained within a temple at the center of the Lake of the Nine, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. The temple was created by Týr, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, a peaceful God of War who traveled to other lands and learned about their mythologies; it was told that Odin had him God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key as he believed Týr was secretly aiding the giants and would try to overthrow him.[24]

Characters[edit]

Main article: Characters of God of War

The game's protagonists are Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) and his young son Atreus (Sunny Suljic). Kratos is a warrior originally from Sparta who became the Greek God of War and is a son of Zeus. After ending up in ancient Scandinavia following his war against Olympus, he met his second and now deceased wife, Laufey (addressed as Faye), who died from an unknown cause. She bore their son, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Atreus, who does not know about Kratos' past or his divine nature but can hear other beings' thoughts. The main antagonist is the Æsir god Baldur (Jeremy Davies), the half-brother of Thor, whose sons Modi and Magni (Nolan North and Troy Baker, respectively) assist him. Baldur's parents are Odin, the Allfather and King of the Æsir, and the Vanir goddess Freya (Danielle Bisutti), the former Queen of the Valkyries. Freya tried leaving Odin, as she did not truly love him. He in turn stripped her of her Valkyrie wings, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, banished her to Midgard, and cast a spell on her that prevented her from causing harm to others and from leaving the realm. She then hid her identity under an alias, the Witch of the Woods. To protect her son from a prophecy that foretold his death, Freya cast a spell of immortality on Baldur, which also prevented him from feeling pain or pleasure. The effects of the spell caused Baldur to greatly resent his mother. The only thing capable of harming him was mistletoe, a fact which Freya kept secret.[27]

Other characters include Mímir (Alastair Duncan), who claims to be the smartest man alive, and the Huldra Brothers—Brok (Robert Craighead) and Sindri (Adam J. Harrington)—dwarves who appear at various points in the world and assist Kratos and Atreus by forging new gear. Weapons forged by the Huldra brothers, including Thor's hammer Mjölnir, were used by the Æsir gods. They also forged Kratos' Leviathan Axe, which originally belonged to Faye, who also gifted Kratos her Guardian Shield.[14] The spirit of the Greek goddess Athena (Carole Ruggier)[c] makes a cameo appearance, and Zeus (Corey Burton)[d] appears to Kratos as an illusion in Helheim.[27]

Plot[edit]

Many years after Kratos defeated the Olympian gods,[e] he now lives with his son Atreus in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. After cremating the body of his wife, Faye, and after a short hunting/survival lesson with Atreus, Kratos is confronted by a mysterious stranger with godlike power and invulnerability. The two battle and Kratos seemingly kills the stranger, after which Kratos and Atreus begin their journey to honor Faye's last wish: to scatter her ashes at the highest peak in the nine realms.

Reaching the Lake of the Nine, the pair encounter the friendly World Serpent, Jörmungandr, the last remaining Giant. When they find their path blocked by impenetrable black mist, the Witch of the Woods God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key and instructs them to use the Bifröst to travel to Alfheim and secure its Light to extinguish the mist. Successful, they reach Midgard's peak and overhear a conversation between the mysterious stranger — revealed to be Baldur — his nephews Magni and Modi, and the imprisoned Mímir. After they leave, Kratos and Atreus confront Mímir, who reveals that the highest peak is in Jötunheim, but the Giants have blocked travel there to keep out Odin and Thor. Knowing of another passage, Mímir instructs Kratos to behead him and have his head revived by the Witch of the Woods, whom he reveals to be Freya upon resurrection. Kratos' longstanding hatred of gods causes him to immediately distrust her, but both Freya and Mímir warn him that he must tell Atreus about his true nature.

In search of components to open Jötunheim's portal, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir are attacked by Magni and Modi. After Kratos kills Magni, Modi flees but later ambushes the trio. Kratos fends him off, but Atreus collapses, suddenly ill, due to the contradiction of a god believing himself to be mortal. Freya offers to help Atreus and instructs Kratos to retrieve the heart of a specific troll in Helheim; however, his frost-based Leviathan Axe is useless in the icy realm. Kratos returns home to unearth his old weapons, the fiery Blades of Chaos, and is haunted by Dungeon Siege 2 - Broken World crack serial keygen spirit. After retrieving the heart, he has a haunting vision of Zeus, and Mímir pieces together Kratos' bloody past. Freya revives Atreus and Kratos tells him that they are gods. Atreus becomes increasingly arrogant and, against Kratos' orders, murders a weakened Modi, who was beaten by his father Thor for leaving his brother Magni to die. At Midgard's peak, Kratos and Atreus are ambushed by Baldur, resulting in Jötunheim's portal being destroyed and the group falling into Helheim.

Atreus makes amends with Kratos, and they learn of Freya and Baldur's familial relationship as well as the immortality spell that she cast on him. Returning to Midgard, Mímir realizes there is another way to reach Jötunheim, but he needs his missing eye. After obtaining it from Jörmungandr's belly —who had inadvertently eaten it along with a statue of Thor — they are attacked by Baldur again, but Freya intervenes, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. During the fight, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Baldur is pierced by Atreus's mistletoe arrow, breaking Freya's spell. Baldur is finally defeated; despite being given an opportunity to retreat, he attempts to strangle Freya and forces Kratos to kill him. A grieving Freya swears revenge and taunts Kratos about hiding his true nature. Kratos finally tells Atreus about his own past and how he killed his fellow Greek gods, including his father, Zeus. Atreus laments this cycle of violence, and Kratos tells him that they should learn from their experiences and not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. A silent Freya leaves with Baldur's corpse, and Mímir hopefully suggests that she will eventually move on and realize that Kratos did the right thing.

In Jötunheim, they find a temple with a mural depicting their adventures, showing that the Giants had vaguely foretold the future. In addition, they discover that Faye was a Giant who decided to stay behind in Midgard, meaning that Atreus is half Giant, one-quarter god, and one-quarter mortal. Their fight with Baldur is shown, revealing that he was after Faye the whole time but was unaware that she was deceased. It is also revealed that Atreus was named Loki by his mother. Kratos and Atreus then fulfill their promise and spread her ashes at the peak, overlooking a valley of Giant corpses. Afterward, Kratos reveals to Atreus that his given name was that of a compassionate Spartan comrade. Returning to Midgard, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Mímir warns them that the three-year-long Fimbulwinter has begun, meaning Ragnarök is soon to follow – which was not supposed to occur for another one hundred years.

In the game's secret ending, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir return home and slumber. Atreus has a vision that Thor will arrive at the end of Fimbulwinter to confront them.

Development[edit]

Development on the next God of War began in 2014. This was confirmed by Santa Monica Studio's creative director Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year, where Barlog said the game was in very early development, and that it would not be a prequel, but possibly a reboot.[28] In April 2016, concept art was leaked that showed images of Kratos in the world of Norse mythology, a concept originally considered by series creator David Jaffe after Kratos eliminated the Greek gods.[29] The game's official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo that confirmed the setting. The demo showed a fully bearded Kratos teaching his son how to hunt. The pair also battled a troll. The end of the demo showed the title SuperCopier 2.2.4.11 With Crack Download [Latest Version] of War and confirmed it was in development for the PlayStation 4.[1][6] The E3 announcement also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director for the new installment. Since the original 2005 game, Barlog has been a major contributor in the development of the series, previously most notably as the director of God of War II (2007); this new installment was his fifth God of War game.[23]

Barlog said the game was titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because, although it was a continuation of the series, "we . [reimagined] everything."[24][22] Head of Santa Monica Studio, Shannon Studstill, and Barlog said that Sony Interactive Entertainment had to be convinced to do another God of War game as many people at Sony wanted the series to "sleep and rest" due to the lackluster response to the previous game, Ascension.[30] In explaining why Barlog was brought back, Studstill said he knew the series very well, "and bringing in someone that understands that history is the respect the franchise deserves."[10] Barlog responded, "You gotta know the rules to break the rules."[10] Series creator David Jaffe was also considered but was unavailable.[31]

In explaining the transition from Greek mythology to Norse mythology, Barlog said: "It's kind of this BC–AD change over kind of thing. We're moving and starting from zero and kind of moving forward on that."[24][22] Before settling on Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology was also considered. Barlog said that half of the team was for it, but because Egypt has "a lot more about civilization – it's less isolated, less barren", he decided on the Norse setting to keep the game focused on Kratos. Barlog explained 2D Vector Pak for ACDSee 1.0 crack serial keygen "Having too much around distracts from that central theme of a stranger in a strange land."[25] To explain why Kratos was now in the Norse world, Barlog said that different cultures' belief systems coexisted, but they were "separated by geography", suggesting that Kratos traveled from Greece to Norway (Scandinavia) after the conclusion of God of War III.[32] Clarifying the conclusion of that game, Barlog said Kratos did not destroy what was believed to be the entire world, but only the portion ruled over by the Greek pantheon.[9] Barlog said the new game predates the Vikings as it takes place in the time when their gods walked the Earth.[23][25] It was also confirmed that this would not be Kratos' last game.[4] Barlog said future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[30] and although this game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[33] Barlog also said he liked the idea of having different directors for each game as had happened with the first seven. He said that although he might not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[9]

Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[24] They claimed they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[8] It was confirmed that the game would not feature any morality system or branching story; all players have the same story experience. The developers also confirmed that some of the more controversial mini-games found in previous entries (such as the sex mini-game) would not return.[24] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen, although this limit is never approached; God of War III and Ascension had up to 50.[24] Some gameplay characteristics such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges found in the previous installments were cut because of the camera being closer to Kratos.[10] Although the previous installment, Ascension, introduced multiplayer to the series, the team decided to drop it and focus on the single-player experience.[5] In changing the gameplay, Studstill said, "I felt like, in order to reinvent, we really needed to turn a lot of things around."[34] With regard to the camera change, Barlog said they wanted a more intimate and player-controlled experience.[8]

The entire game was done in a single shot with no camera cuts; there are no loading screens and no fade-to-black between gameplay and cutscenes.[19] Barlog said about forty percent of the team did not originally agree with this decision due to the increased work and production to implement the feature, especially since this was the first time that a one-shot technique was being used for a three-dimensionalAAA game. This meant Barlog had no examples to show if this would work or was a good idea. (The only other game to fully utilize this technique was the indie gameHellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, which also began development in 2014 and was released eight months before God of War.[35]) After the game was finished and the team got to play through it, Barlog said they finally understood his vision and said it was a feature they should use from now on.[36] Barlog had originally pitched the idea for a one-shot camera while he was at Crystal Dynamics working on 2013's Tomb Raider, but he was turned down. Sony, however, was much more supportive of Barlog's creative ideas.[37] Furthermore, Barlog and lead level designer Rob Davis were also influenced by the Resident Evil series, particularly Resident Evil 4's "combination of poised camera exploration and scavenging" and Resident Evil 7's "strong vision" from a team making "bold decisions, and actually hav[ing] the audience follow them." Barlog noted how there was initial disagreement over the camera distance. He wanted it close whereas the combat team wanted it further away, like the Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham games; he eventually convinced the team to go with a close camera.[38]

Explaining Kratos' axe, lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, who had worked on the series since the original game, said the axe was chosen because they wanted a more grounded direction for the game. Initially, they were unsure how to make it unique. After they came up with the concept of throwing the axe and having it return to Kratos, "things started to fall into place."[39] McDonald said that combat with the axe was a little slower than with the Blades of Chaos, "but it's just as fluid and just as brutal as it's ever been."[39] Barlog took inspiration from Dark Souls (2011), which influenced the game's combat system, particularly its gameplay loop and strategic decision-making,[40] as well as the game's approach to storytelling.[41] In addition, designers Anthony DiMento and Luis Sanchez revealed how God of War's level design and exploration were influenced by Bloodborne (2015). They wanted to "just have the world breathe a little bit" and expand upon player discovery by including "micro-loops where you're unlocking paths, unlocking shortcuts" that gave purpose.[42] DiMento said that a team dedicated to focusing on the game's exploration was formed. One challenge was creating quests in a world that did not have non-playable characters outside of the core narrative. DiMento said, "I set out to create a quest giver that was light-weight, but also flexible enough to be used in multiple locations, while providing a varied suite of quest activities." This resulted in the "wayward spirits" (ghosts with ties to the world) found throughout the game. Having the spirits tell their stories "made [the world] feel more alive". The developers ended up with a four-tiered system for side quests: the top tier quests were from the characters Brok and Sindri, the next level from wayward spirits, then treasure maps and artifacts, and the bottom tier were milestones, such as destroying all of Odin's ravens. Brok and Sindri's quests were made into dungeons while the others were used for exploration. The developers also had to find the reasons that would motivate Kratos to undertake these quests. For Brok and Sindri, it was to obtain more powerful gear, but for the wayward spirits, it was because of Atreus' naiveté and kind-hearted nature, as well as opportunities for Kratos to teach him a lesson.[13]

Unlike the previous games, Santa Monica did not make a demo specifically for public release. Barlog explained that doing so would have delayed the game by a couple of months.[43] He also confirmed the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4[43] but would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[44] Players with a Pro have the option to favor resolution or favor performance when playing the game. Favoring resolution runs the game in 4K with checkerboard rendering at a target frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), while the performance option runs the game at 1080p and targets 60fps.[45] In late December 2016, Barlog confirmed the game was playable from start to finish,[46] and later said its story would take 25–35 hours to complete. This is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[47]

A new trailer was shown at E3 2017, featuring new gameplay, cinematics, and characters. In it, Kratos was shown using a shield that he could use offensively and defensively. At one point, Kratos finds a Greek vase with himself on it, wielding his infamous double-chained blades. During the trailer, an unnamed woman warned Kratos about the Norse gods, as they knew what he did to the Greek gods, while a pair of wolves were also shown. The trailer ended with Kratos and Atreus encountering the World Serpent. Atreus was able to translate what it said, which was that it wanted to help the pair. It was confirmed that the game would release in early 2018.[16] Until the game's launch, Santa Monica included a section on the God of War website titled "The Lost Pages", detailing some of the lore of God of War's Nordic world.[14] In January 2018, the game's release date was confirmed for April 20, 2018. God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key trailer was also released that showed that the character Mímir from the mythology would have a role in the game.[48]God of Warwent gold on March 22.[49]

Characterization[edit]

During early development, there was talk of having a different protagonist for the game. Some of the team said that Kratos was "annoying" and felt Kratos' story had run its course. Barlog said it took a lot of convincing to keep Kratos.[50] Referencing the Nintendo character Mario and the Mario games, Barlog said that like Mario, "Kratos is intrinsically tied" to the God of War series.[23] In regard to the new changes, Barlog said that:

I knew I didn't want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over Avast Enterprise Edition 4.6.603 crack serial keygen a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.[51]

Barlog explained that Kratos had to Dashlane Premium SERIAL CODE Archives his cycle of violence and learn to control his rage. He said Kratos had made many bad decisions, which led to the destruction of Olympus. He wanted to know what would happen if Kratos made a good decision. The birth of Barlog's own son influenced the idea of Kratos' character change.[51] The canceled live-action Star Wars television series was also an influence.[52] The bond between Kratos and his son is at the heart of the game. Barlog said, "This game is about Kratos teaching his son how to be a god, and his son teaching Kratos how to be human again."[19] Referencing the Marvel Comics character Hulk, Barlog said that in regards to Kratos, "We've already told the story of The Hulk. We want to tell the story of [Bruce] Banner now."[19] One of their goals was to make Kratos "a more nuanced and interesting character."[53] In changing the narrative focus, Studstill said, "I think we inherently knew the franchise needed to evolve in that emotional beat and be something meatier for the older generation of gamers."[53]

Christopher Judge, best known as Teal'c from Stargate SG-1, replaced Terrence C. Carson as the voice of Kratos; Carson had voiced Kratos since the original God of War. Commenting on the change, Carson said, "Sony went God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key a new direction."[54] Carson later explained that he understood the reason for the actor change and that Judge's casting made sense for what Sony was wanting to do. He also said that losing acting jobs is part of the business, but he did feel a lack of respect as he was not contacted by anyone at Sony to be informed of the change.[55]

In explaining the actor change, Barlog said that the way the previous games were made, they were able to have someone else do the motion capture instead of the voice actor. Although Carson had done the motion capture for Kratos in Ascension, Barlog said the actor change was made because of the type of camera work they wanted to do. For the new camera work, they needed someone who was closer to Kratos' size to do the motion capture along with a child. Carson was unsuitable for this because he was much shorter than Kratos, who is over 6-feet tall: "Offsetting [Carson's height] for the size of a child, it turned out it was going to be almost impossible to try and actually shoot them and go in and redo the animations."[56] Judge was chosen because he was 6-foot-3 and had the body of a professional football player. He was also chosen because of the chemistry with his then-10-year-old co-star, Sunny Suljic, whose opinion was also sought in making the decision; out of all the auditions, he liked Judge the most. The two bonded well, and Judge described his time with Suljic as time he had missed with his own children. In stepping into the role of Kratos, Judge took it as an opportunity to add something new to the character. He researched the character and Carson's performance but decided not to imitate it. Since Santa Monica was going in a new direction, he decided to start fresh. Judge was thrown off when he first read the script, saying it "was a real script," and not just "a way to get into battles," which is why he decided to take the role.[56] He said, "it was really this great story of this relationship and this crazy mythology."[56] While Judge did all of Kratos' motion capture for the cinematic scenes, stuntman Eric Jacobus did Kratos' combat motion capture; Jacobus was found by God of War's animators on YouTube, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Instead of going directly to Santa Monica to audition, he recorded an audition tape and sent that in and was hired immediately.[57] Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard also performed some of the motion capture for Kratos; Gaspard's body was digitally scanned as the model for Kratos' new look in the game.[58]

During E3 2016, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, GameSpot mistakenly reported that Kratos' son's name was Charlie, which Barlog laughingly denied.[59] In January 2017, after a fan downloaded the God of Waroverture and saw the track's God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key that said, "An introduction to Kratos and Atreus", Barlog confirmed on Twitter that Atreus was in fact the son's name.[60] Barlog said Atreus was unaware that Kratos was a demigod and did not know about his past.[4] They did not reveal details of Atreus' mother before the release because she was a critical part of the story.[24] Barlog said that during gameplay, Atreus would be "like magic, an additional combat resource, and [the player is] training him and teaching him."[23] The developers said Atreus would not be a burden during gameplay.[14] The team experimented with several different approaches for Atreus to ensure he was an empowering presence. Barlog said he did not want the game to be an escort mission where the artificial intelligence caused a problem for the player. Their goal was for Atreus to enhance Kratos' capabilities without becoming a liability. This resulted in the developers having Atreus act freely unless the player uses a button to issue specific commands to him.[21] Atreus was also designed to call out enemy locations during combat. Since the camera is closer to Kratos, some enemies might be difficult for the player to see. Jason McDonald said it took a lot of iterations with the enemies and Atreus to make it all work together.[39]

Early in development, it was suggested that Atreus be cut, or his role significantly reduced because of the many developmental NCH Switch Plus v1.24 crack serial keygen and their costs. Barlog stated the game could have worked without Atreus, but it would have been completely different, likening it to the 2013 film All Is Lost. Barlog said that with just Kratos, it would have been "one character who talks to himself occasionally, but generally, it will be very silent and everyone will talk in old Norse, so that you won't understand anything anybody's saying."[61] After hearing Barlog's case, Sony gave him the freedom to incorporate Atreus. Lead level designer Rob Davis also noted that Atreus allowed for "significant gameplay and storytelling opportunities that might not otherwise [have been] possible."[61] After God of War was revealed at E3 2016, it drew comparisons to Naughty Dog's The Last of Us (2013), a game that also featured a father-child type story and gameplay. Barlog felt it was "fantastic" to be compared to that game and found it odd that some people considered the similarities a negative thing. Although he did not directly state they were influenced by The Last of Us in developing God of War, he did say, "I think we're all inspired by each other."[62] He did, however, use The Last of Us as an example to show the development team how an in-game companion could work without the game becoming an escort mission.[50]

Soundtrack[edit]

God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. It was composed by Bear McCreary, who is best known for his work on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.[63] McCreary was called into Santa Monica Studio in November 2014 to meet with music producers Peter Scaturro and Keith Leary to discuss "a secret project"; McCreary had previously collaborated with Scaturro and Leary on 2011's SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. Ideas of folk music, mythology, Nordic ethnic instruments, vocal writing, and classical thematic development were discussed; McCreary correctly guessed that the discussions were about a new God of War. McCreary met with Barlog early on to discuss his narrative vision for the game. After meeting with him, McCreary felt the franchise was in good hands because God of War II, which Barlog also directed, was his favorite installment.[64]

During the initial discussions, McCreary realized he needed to compose completely new music for the game and not reuse any previous music from the series.[65] He said that although he loved those games, he "would not describe them as emotionally dynamic."[66] Based on his memory of the earlier games' music, however, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting.[65] To ensure the music represented the setting, McCreary spent months researching and listening to Viking folk music,[66] which resulted in him using "exotic instrumentation and languages from various Northern European folk traditions."[65] He also wanted the score to be huge and varied, "full of peaks and valleys, tiny incantations and gigantic set pieces."[66] The main Kratos theme in particular features low orchestral instruments, an Icelandic choir, deep male vocals, powerful female vocals (in particular Faroese singer Eivør Pálsdóttir), folk percussion, and Nordic stringed instruments, like the nyckelharpa and hurdy gurdy.[64] The track "Witch of the Woods" uses a renaissance and baroque instrument called a viola da gamba, which is an ancestor of the modern cello. The Stranger's theme, found in the track "Deliverance", uses a Hardanger fiddle.[67]

The first theme composed for the game was "Memories of Mother". McCreary said the theme itself was not originally for Atreus' mother Faye but was for Kratos himself. His initial sketches were different variations of this melancholy tune. After the game had gone into full production, McCreary and the development team realized it was "too sad and lyrical God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key represent Kratos." McCreary stepped away from this theme and focused on writing a new one, or what he called the Kratos Theme, which he felt was more representative of the character: "masculine, relentless, and badass".[65] He spent several months working with Barlog, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Scaturro, Leary, Sony music director Chuck Doud, and the rest of the development team to make this new theme. McCreary described it as "arguably one of my most structurally satisfying and catchy melodies."[64] After further scoring, McCreary realized that Faye would require a theme, and his original one was "exactly [what] I needed." This melody was woven throughout several scenes and is featured as prominently in the game as Kratos' theme.[65] The three-note Kratos theme is most obviously heard in the title track, "God of War".[67]

When it was decided that God of War would be revealed at E3 2016, Sony wanted McCreary to perform his original score with a live orchestra at the press conference. McCreary opened the show with the new main theme before the unveiling of God of War and performed the gameplay demo's music live during the presentation.[64] On January 13, 2017, a live recording from E3 2016 of God of War's overture was released for a limited time free of charge. Barlog released the overture as a thank you to fans for God of War's E3 2016 trailer reaching fifteen million views on YouTube.[68]

Release[edit]

The game was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4.[48] In addition to the standard base game, there were three special editions: the Stone Mason Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Digital Deluxe Edition. Only available in the United States and Canada, the Stone Mason Edition came with several physical Autodesk Revit 2016 crack serial keygen, including: the base game in a SteelBook case, a 9-inch (230 mm) statue of Kratos and Atreus created by Gentle Giant, 2-inch (51 mm) carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a horse, and a troll, an exclusive lithograph, a cloth map, a stone mason's ring, and a keychain of Mímir's head that talks. There was a variety of downloadable content (DLC), including an exclusive shield skin, as well as an armor set and another shield skin for Kratos, a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme, a digital artbook, and God of War #0 by Dark Horse Comics.[69] The Collector's Edition came with God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key of the same items, minus the ring, the keychain, the carvings of the horse and troll, and the exclusive shield skin. The Digital Deluxe Edition came with all the digital content, minus the exclusive shield skin. U.S. and Canadian customers also received a Kratos and Atreus pin for pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders at select retailers received three skins for Kratos' shield. Pre-orders from GameStop or EB Games also received the "Luck of Ages XP Talisman", granting increased XP gain, increased Hacksilver gain, and increased ability to trigger perks.[70]

In addition to the special editions of the game, a Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle was available the same day as the game's release. The bundle included the standard base game, a PlayStation 4 Pro console decorated with the runes as on Kratos' axe, and a similarly themed DualShock 4 controller with the God of War logo.[71] Among the digital content in the collector's editions was God of War #0 from Dark Horse Comics. The four-part miniseries began publishing monthly with Issue #1 in November 2018. Written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, it takes place between the events of God of War III and the 2018 game.[72][73]

Game Director Cory Barlog confirmed that God of War would not have microtransactions post-launch, a feature that had become prominent with other games and criticized.[74] Barlog God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key confirmed there would not be any post-release DLC, like an expansion pack. He said he had pitched an idea for DLC, "but it was too ambitious". His idea was similar in scope to that of The Last of Us: Left Behind and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, large standalone expansions for The Last of Us (2013) and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016), respectively. He said it would have been too big to be DLC, warranting its own standalone release.[75]

Since launch, Santa Monica has supported the game with patch updates to address software bugs. As well, the developers have added new features God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key with these free updates. A Photo Mode was released as part of update patch 1.20 on May 9, 2018. It allows players to take customized in-game screenshots. Players can adjust the field of view, depth of view, filters, borders, the visibility of characters, and the ability to change the facial expressions of Kratos and Atreus.[76] A New Game Plus IObit Smart Defrag Pro 6.4 crack serial keygen was released as part of update patch 1.30 on August 20, 2018. To access the mode, players must have completed the game at any difficulty level. The mode itself can be played at any difficulty, but enemies are at a higher level with new maneuvers. All obtained items carry over to New Game Plus, and there are new resources to further upgrade gear, which also have new rarity levels. The option to skip cutscenes was also added.[77][78][79] In November 2020, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) launched and is backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games; these games see a performance boost when playing on the PS5 thanks to the power of the newer console. To further enhance the playing experience of God of War on the PS5, Santa Monica released an enhancement update on February 2, 2021, allowing the game to be played at full 60fps with checkerboard 4K resolution.[80]

As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022. The port, handled by Jetpack Interactive with supervision by Santa Monica, includes additional graphic options support for Windows, including Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology and ultra-widescreen support. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[81][82]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds[edit]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a text-based game playable through Facebook Messenger. To help further promote God of War, Sony partnered with Facebook, Inc. to develop the play-by-web game, which released on February 1, 2018. Completing the game unlocks downloadable concept art, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. The short story follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. After archery training and learning runes with his mother, Atreus ventures into the wilderness after telepathically hearing the voice of a dying deer; he finds it covered in blood and stays with it during its final moments. A couple of draugrs appear and Atreus attempts to fight them but is injured. He is saved by his father, Kratos, who was out hunting. The two then battle a revenant before returning home.[83][84][85]

Raising Kratos[edit]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making the game, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[86][87]

Tie-in books[edit]

The Art of God of War[edit]

The Art of God of War is a book collecting various pieces of artworks created for the game during its development. It was written by Evan Shamoon and published by Dark Horse on April 24, 2018.[88]

God of War – The Official Novelization[edit]

An official novelization of the game, written by Cory Barlog's father, James M. Barlog, was released on August 28, 2018, by Titan Books.[89] An audiobook version is also available, narrated by Alastair Duncan, who voiced Mímir in the game.[90]

The novel retells the events of the game, but unlike the series' previous two novels, this one closely follows the source material with a few notable exceptions. The game never revealed how or why Kratos ended up in ancient Norway, or how much time had passed since the ending of God of War III, but the novel gives some indication. Kratos chose to leave ancient Greece to hide his identity and change who he was.[91] At some point after leaving Greece, he battles some wolves and is saved by a cloaked female figure, presumably Faye.[92] Later, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, during their journey, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir see a mural with the wolves Sköll and Hati. This causes Kratos to have a flashback to that battle and makes him wonder if they dragged him to this new land and if so, why?[93] There was also some retconning. At the end of God of War III, Kratos had the Blades of Exile, but this novel says he had the Blades of Chaos after killing Zeus. It is also mentioned that he tried several times to get rid of the blades, but by fate they kept returning to him. (For example, he threw them off a cliff, but they washed up on shore near him.) Sometime after ending up in Norway, he decided to hide them under his house and never use them again. This moment was said to have occurred 50 years before the start of the current story. When Kratos does recover the Blades of Chaos, he hears Pandora's speech about hope from God of War III.[94]

In the game, Kratos sees one last image on the mural in Jötunheim. It seemingly shows Atreus holding Kratos' dead body, but in the novel, this mural is partially broken and does not show the corpse that Atreus is holding.[95] Brok and Sindri also reveal why they made the Leviathan Axe for Faye. She had come to them as the last Guardian of Jötnar and needed a weapon to protect her people. The Huldra Brothers crafted the Leviathan Axe for her to be Mjölnir's equal. Mímir also mentioned that Faye, or rather Laufey the Just, thwarted many of the Æsir's plans, including freeing slaves, and Thor could never find her.[96] Kratos' Guardian Shield is never mentioned, and Modi does not ambush them, resulting in Atreus falling ill. Atreus falls ill shortly after the first encounter when Kratos kills Magni.[97]

God of War: B is For Boy[edit]

AuthorAndrea Robinson
IllustratorRomina Tempest
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesGod of War
PublisherInsight Editions

Publication date

September 1, 2020
Media typeHardcover
ISBN978-1-68383-889-0

God of War: B is For Boy is an "ABC storybook for adults" in which the story of the game is retold in an abridged format with illustrations. It was written by Andrea Robinson, with the illustrations being provided by Romina Tempest. It released on September 1, 2020 by Insight Editions.[98]

God of War: Lore and Legends[edit]

God of War: Lore and Legends is a tome that recreates Atreus' journal from the game. The book features new expanded lore that was written in collaboration with the writing team for the game. It was written by Rick Barba and published by Dark Horse on September 9, 2020.[99]

Reception[edit]

Reception

God of War received "universal acclaim" according to review aggregatorMetacritic,[100] tying it with the original God of War for the highest score in the franchise.[113] It has the fourth-highest score of all-time for a PlayStation 4 game, and the highest score for an original, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, non-remastered PlayStation 4 exclusive.[114] It was the highest rated PlayStation 4 game of 2018 until the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in October, which pushed God of War to second.[115] It is also tied with the Xbox One version of Celeste for the second-highest score of 2018, regardless of platform.[116]God of War received particular praise for: its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[117]

The story was well praised. Nick Plessas of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) said the story's most memorable moments were the interactions between Kratos and Atreus. He also noted, "there is often some comic relief to be found when Kratos' curtness and Atreus' charming naivety collide."[102] He felt the presence of Atreus showed a side to Kratos not seen before, and that Kratos had evolved emotionally: "The rage and pain of his past is in constant conflict with his desire to spare his son from it, which comes across in even the most subtle actions and words, demonstrating the effort he is putting in." Plessas said Atreus' character was similarly complex. He commented it is easy for child characters "to succumb to a number of annoying child archetypes," but Atreus is more like a young man who is doing his best in an adult world.[102]Game Informer's Joe Juba similarly praised the story, particularly the relationship between Kratos and Atreus: "The interactions of Kratos and Atreus range from adversarial to compassionate, and these exchanges have ample room to breathe and draw players in." Juba said that Kratos conveys more character than in any previous game.[103] Peter Brown of GameSpot felt that although Kratos and Atreus were enjoyable, it was Mímir who stole the show. He also said that regardless of which character the player meets, the cast of God of War is "strong, convincing, and oddly enchanting."[105] Writing for Game Revolution, Jason Faulkner praised Santa Monica for creating a sequel that new players would be able to understand without having played any of the previous games, while at the same time providing story references to those past games that returning fans would appreciate. Speaking of the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, Faulkner wrote that, "Watching the two grow throughout their journey is incredibly rewarding," equating it to that of Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us or Lee and Clementine from Telltale Games' The Walking Dead.[104]

In terms of the game's combat system, Plessas said that unlike previous games, which often relied on the player to use many combos in a sequential fashion, this game is "more about individual moves strung together in response to the assortment of enemies being fought." Although that difference may be small, he said that the independent attacks of the axe "feature benefits and drawbacks players will need to understand and master to be as effective as possible." Furthermore, although the axe is "conceptually simple", it is "mechanically fascinating", God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. It "succeeds as both a versatile means of dismembering foes and as a key element in puzzle solving." He felt the axe and all of its features was "distinctly rewarding to use" and that it had more versatility than all of the weapons in many other games.[102] Juba said the Leviathan Axe is "a well-balanced and entertaining tool of destruction." He liked how it "emphasizes a more calculated style of combat; instead of zoomed-out, combo-driven encounters, Leviathan makes you a tactician." He also enjoyed how the combat system gradually unfolded through the course of the game; although seemingly restrictive at first, he noted players will be rapidly alternating between weapons and skills.[103] While some reviewers greatly enjoyed the ability to call the Leviathan Axe back to Kratos' hand,[103][108] Chris Carter of Destructoid felt it got old after a while.[101] Atreus' implementation was praised. Plessas said Atreus is "surprisingly useful" and that he "lands in the perfect spot on the spectrum between independence and reliance."[102] Faulkner noted that, "The interplay between Kratos ax, fists, and shield, and Atreus' bow makes for an impressive fighting system."[104] Despite its different approach to combat, compared to the previous games, GamesRadar+'s Leon Hurley felt the game was "every bit as brutally unflinching as previous games."[106]

Writing for Polygon, Chris Plante praised the camerawork as a technical marvel, noting the seamless nature of the game shifting from cinematic back to the gameplay.[109] Juba said the decision to shift the camera closer to God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key "[proved] immensely rewarding during big moments by giving [the player] an intimate view."[103] Faulkner, however, claimed "it can be difficult to control the camera God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key keep a bead on the enemies you're fighting."[104] In his review for IGN, Jonathon Dornbush felt the intimacy of the camera makes all the emotions "more real and impactful."[108] Speaking of the game's visuals, Faulkner said the game looks amazing, "and with 4K and HDR this game goes a step beyond what even games like Horizon Zero Dawn showed us was possible on this platform."[104] Brown noted that "God of War is a technical and artistic showcase. It is without a doubt one of the best-looking console games ever released."[105] Dan Ryckert of Giant Bomb claimed that games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn "made great cases for a PS4 Pro and a 4K television, but God of War's visuals are a bigger selling point than anything I've seen on Sony's platform to date."[107]

Despite the game's grandeur, Plessas felt that the God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key fights "do not hit quite the same frequency as they did in the past few games." However, the few boss fights in the game "do the series proud".[102] As to the vast world of God of War, Faulkner said that, "The great thing about the exploration in God of War is that you can participate in it as little or as much God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key you want." He said an excellent design decision is that during main plot points, the game keeps the player on task, while in between, the player can explore, allowing God of War "to have the best of both worlds".[104] Plessas noted that although the puzzles require thought, they were not "hair-pullingly" difficult as some were in previous games.[102] Juba also found that the puzzles were not too challenging, saying they were fun.[103]

Plessas felt that the RPG elements present in the game make this installment "unique" compared to previous entries. He said the game allows players to "specialize Kratos to meet the specific task at hand, or develop a build that best suits a preferred playstyle." Although this did not make the game easier, he felt it did make it more manageable.[102] Juba noted that although this type of upgrading "may be less exciting" compared to previous games where Kratos just learns new moves, it still "provides a powerful incentive to explore."[103] Ryckert was disappointed by this type of customization. He felt the presentation was "half-baked" and that some materials were confusing as there was little explanation given for their use. He did, however, say it was "cool" to see new armor on Kratos.[107]

In terms of flaws, Plessas said that "God of War is so good that its most egregious failing is not letting fans play more of it", as New Game Plus was not an option at the time of the review.[102] Juba said that "God of War's momentum rarely falters, and when it does, the inconvenience is brief." One example he gave was the map, saying that although players have freedom to explore, it can be difficult to track Kratos' position. He also felt the fast-travel system was "weirdly cumbersome" and that it opens up too late in the game.[103] Although he enjoyed these features, Faulkner noted some players may dislike that God of War has a lack of player agency, and players have to explore the majority of the game on foot or by boat since the fast-travel feature is unlocked late in the game.[104] Brown felt that if anything in God of War was a letdown, it was the final fight against Baldur: "He's great from a narrative standpoint, unraveling in a manner that changes your perspective, but it's the fight itself that leaves you wanting. There are plenty of big boss battles and tests of skill throughout the course of the game, yet this fight doesn't reach the same heights, and feels like it was played a little safe."[105] Hurley said his only criticism was that, "You can occasionally find yourself unsure if you're doing something wrong, or don't have God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key right equipment yet."[106]

Sales[edit]

During its release week in the United Kingdom, God of War became the fastest-selling entry in the franchise, selling 35% more physical copies than God of War III.[118] The game remained at the top of the all format sales chart for six consecutive weeks through April and May, setting a record for a PlayStation 4 exclusive having the most consecutive weeks at number one.[119] It sold 46,091 copies in its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number two on the sales chart.[120] The game sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide within three days of its release, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive at the time.[121] The game was the fastest-selling game of the month of its release and contributed to the PlayStation 4 being the best-selling console of that month.[122] In total, the game sold over five million copies in its first month, with 2.1 million in digital sales.[123][124] By May 2019, the game had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game in the series.[125][126] By August 2021, HitFilm Pro 16.1 Crack Mac + Torrent Full Activate Free Download sales of the game had exceeded over 19.5 million copies.[81]

Accolades[edit]

God of War won Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, including British Academy Games Awards,[127]The Blade,[128]CNET,[129]Destructoid,[130]D.I.C.E. Awards,[131]Empire,[132]Entertainment Weekly,[133]G1,[134]The Game Awards,[135]Game Developers Choice Awards,[136]Game Informer,[137]Game Revolution,[138]GamesRadar+,[139]IGN,[140]Nerdist,[141] New York Game Awards,[142]Polygon,[143]Push Square,[144]Slant Magazine,[145]Time magazine,[146]Variety,[147] and VideoGamer.com.[148] The game was named among the best games of the 2010s by Areajugones,[149]BuzzFeed,[150]GameSpew,[151]GamesRadar+,[152]Gaming Age,[153]GamingBolt,[154]The Hollywood Reporter,[155]IGN,[156] Metacritic,[157]Slant Magazine,[158]Stuff,[159] and VG247.[160]

The game was nominated for Game of the Show, Best PlayStation 4 Game, and Best Action Game at IGN's Best of E3 2016 Awards.[161] It won the award for Game of the Year, Best PlayStation 4 Game, Best Action-Adventure Game, Best Art Direction, and Best Story at IGN's Best of 2018 Awards.[140][162][163][164] It was a runner-up for Best Graphics,[163] and was nominated for Best Music.[165]

Sequel[edit]

Main article: God of War Ragnarök

A sequel, God of War Ragnarök, is currently in development, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. It was originally announced to release in 2021 on the PlayStation 5.[194] However, in June 2021, the game was delayed to 2022 and it was also confimed that it would release on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.[195]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abSkipper, Ben (June 13, 2016). "God of War 4 kicks off Sony E3 2016 press conference". International Business Times. IBT Media. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  2. ^Loveridge, Sam; Mahboubian-Jones, Justin (March 24, 2017). "God of War 4 PS4 trailers, release date, price, gameplay and everything we know so far". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  3. ^Wagner, Jayce (June 13, 2017). "In The New 'God of War 4' Trailer, Kratos Is Old, Grizzled, And As Brutal As Ever". Digital Trends. Designtechnica Corp. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2017.
  4. ^ abcdPaget, Mat (June 21, 2016). "God of War PS4 Doesn't Include Multiplayer, Won't Be Kratos's Last Game". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  5. ^ abSeeto, Damian (June 18, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War PS4 Won't Have A Multiplayer Mode". Attack of the Fanboy. Modern Media Group. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  6. ^ abcdNewhouse, Alex; Crossley, Rob (June 13, 2016). "God of War Revealed for PS4 at E3 2016". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Chris (June 21, 2017). "God of War director explains why entire game has no camera cuts". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  7. ^ abcdePaget, Mat (June 14, 2016). "New God of War Set After Third Game, Won't Be Open World". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  8. ^ abcdeBarlog, Cory; Hanson, Ben (February 2, 2018). Answering God Of War's Lingering Questions (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  9. ^ abcdJuba 2018, p. 38
  10. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 27, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Rise Of The Draugr". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  11. ^Kulasingham, Gajan (September 29, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Manifestation Of The Revenant". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  12. ^ abDiMento, Anthony (December 5, 2018). "How Santa Monica Studio Nailed Exploration in God of War". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 17, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2018.
  13. ^ abcdHenges, Elizabeth (December 13, 2017). "Latest God of War Podcast Episode Details the Origin of the Leviathan Axe". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 14, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2017.
  14. ^Juba 2018, pp. 40–41
  15. ^ abPereira, Chris; Fillari, Alessandro (June 12, 2017). "E3 2017: New God Of War Trailer Released, Release Date Set For Early 2018". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  16. ^Little, Riley (April 21, 2018). "How Kratos Gets The Blades of Chaos Back in God of War 4", God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Screen Rant. Valnet, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  17. ^ abJuba 2018, p. 41
  18. ^ abcdeSliva, Marty (June 14, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War Made Me Care About The Series For The First Time". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
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God of War 3 PC Download is another great part of the action game series. This time there is remaster prepared on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the series, and was also converted to PC Windows platform.

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God of War (franchise)

Video game series

Video game series

God of War is an action-adventure game franchise created by David Jaffe at Sony's Santa Monica Studio. It began in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console, and has become a flagship title for the PlayStation brand, consisting of eight games across multiple platforms with a ninth currently in development. Based in ancient mythology, the story follows the titularprotagonist, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, Kratos, a Spartan warrior and later the God of War, who was tricked into killing his family by his former master, the original Greek god of war Ares. This sets off a series of events that leads to wars with the mythological pantheons. The Greek mythology era of the series sees Kratos follow a path of vengeance due to the God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key of the Olympian gods, while the Norse mythology era, which introduces his son Atreus as God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key secondary protagonist, shows an older Kratos on a path of redemption, which God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key brings the two into conflict with the Norse gods.

Santa Monica has developed all main entries, while Ready at Dawn and Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles (SOE-LA) developed the three side games. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has published all games except the mobile phone installment, which was published by Sony Pictures Digital. The first seven games make up the Greek era of the franchise. God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), and God of War III (2010) comprise its main trilogy; the first two were released God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key the PS2 with the third on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). A prequel, Ascension (2013), was also released for the PS3. Other games include Chains of Olympus (2008) and Ghost of Sparta (2010) for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Betrayal (2007) for mobile phones that supported the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME). The Norse era began with the 2018 installment that was also titled God of War and released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and later Microsoft Windows in January 2022. It was accompanied by a short prequel, A Call from the Wilds (2018), a text-based game through Facebook Messenger. A sequel, Ragnarök, is in development for a 2022 release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and will be the finale to the Norse era.

Games in the series have been praised as some of the best action games of all time. The series has received numerous awards, including several Game of the Year recognitions for the 2005 and 2018 installments. Some games have also been remastered for newer PlayStation platforms. As of November 2020, the franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide. Strong sales and support of the series led to the franchise's expansion into other media, such as three comic book series and three novels. A film adaptation of the original installment had been in development but was ultimately canceled. Merchandise includes artwork, clothing, toys, and prop replicas, as well as the games' soundtracks, including a heavy metal album, Blood & Metal (2010), featuring original music by various bands who were inspired by the series.

Games[edit]

See also: Characters of God of War

Series[edit]

God of War was first released in North America on March 22, 2005, for the PlayStation 2. After ten years in the service of the Olympian gods, Spartan soldier Kratos is tasked by Athena to find Pandora's box, the key to defeating Ares, the God of War, who is running amok through Athens. A series of flashbacks reveals that Kratos was once the servant of Ares, who saved the Spartan and his army from annihilation in battle, but tricked him into killing his family, which forced his metamorphosis into the "Ghost of Sparta". Kratos eventually finds Pandora's Box, and after finally killing Ares, he ascends to Mount Olympus to become the new God of War.[1]

God of War II was first released in North America on March 13, 2007, for the PlayStation 2. Angered at his fellow gods, Kratos runs amok across the city of Rhodes. Zeus intervenes and betrays Kratos, who is saved by the TitanGaia. She tells him he must now find the Sisters of Fate, who can change his fate and prevent his death at the hands of Zeus. Kratos is ultimately successful and as he is about to kill the god, Athena sacrifices herself to save Zeus and preserve Olympus, and tells Kratos that he is Zeus' son and that he betrayed Kratos out of fear. Kratos then joins forces with Gaia and the Titans to attack Olympus.[2]

God of War: Betrayal was released on June 20, 2007, for mobile phones supporting Java ME. It is the only game in the series to be released as a two-dimensional (2D) side-scroller and released on a non-PlayStation platform. The narrative of the game takes place between the events of Ghost of Sparta and God of War II. Kratos is framed for murder, and rampages across Greece seeking the true assassin. Kratos succumbs to bloodlust and kills Ceryx, the son of the god Hermes—an act that alienates him from his fellow gods.[3][4]

God of War: Chains of Olympus was first released in North America on March 4, 2008, for the PlayStation Portable. Its narrative takes place sometime between Ascension and God of War during Kratos' ten years of service to the gods. Kratos halts a Persian invasion of the Greek city of Attica, and learns that the world has been plunged into darkness by the god Morpheus. Kratos investigates the abduction of the sun god Helios, and prevents the Machiavellian plan of the goddess Persephone to use the Titan Atlas to destroy the world.[5]

God of War III was first released in North America on March 16, 2010, for the PlayStation 3. Reigniting the Great War, Kratos is soon abandoned by the Titans, who were only using him to exact their own revenge. Now seeking revenge against both Titans and Gods, he is helped by the spirit of a recently deceased Athena who was elevated to a new level of understanding and instructs him to seek the Flame of Olympus in order to defeat Zeus. Kratos engages the gods and the Titans in a series of battles across the Underworld and Olympus and learns that Pandora's Box is within the Flame. He discovers that Pandora herself is the key to pacifying the Flame and allowing him to open the Box, at the expense of her life. After finally killing Zeus, Kratos refuses to help Athena assume the role of new patron of mankind and disappears.[6]

God of War: Ghost of Sparta was first released in North America on November 2, 2010, for the PlayStation Portable. Set between the events of God of War and Betrayal, the God of War Kratos is still haunted by visions of his mortal past and embarks on a quest to discover his origins by finding his mother, Callisto. He learns that his brother Deimos was taken by the gods and imprisoned by the God of Death, Thanatos, and decides to find and save his sibling. Although successful, Thanatos engages the brothers in combat, and kills Deimos. Kratos then kills Thanatos and returns to Olympus, further enraged at the gods.[7]

God of War: Ascension[8] was first released in North America on March 12, 2013, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, for the PlayStation 3.[9] It is the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play.[10][11] Predating Chains of Olympus, the game is set roughly six months after Kratos was tricked into killing his wife and daughter, and sees him imprisoned by the three Furies for breaking his blood oath to Ares. With the help of the oath keeper and Ares' God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key son Orkos, Kratos learns that the God of War and the Furies plan to overthrow Mount Olympus and that Ares chose Kratos as his servant to help him for that very purpose. The Spartan escapes his imprisonment and eventually kills the Furies, as well as Orkos, who begs for release. Although free of Ares' bond, Kratos begins to suffer the nightmares that plague him for years.[12]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a short text-based game, released through Facebook Messenger on February 1, 2018. The game serves as a prequel story to 2018's God of War, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, and follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds.[13]

God of War: Mimir's Vision is a mobile AR game released on April 17, 2018. The game provides some background for the Norse setting of God of War.[14]

God of War was released worldwide on April 20, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2018, for the PlayStation 4. Many years after the events of God of War III, Kratos has ended up in the world of Norse mythology in ancient Norway, in the realm of Midgard, and has a son named Atreus. After Kratos' second wife and Atreus' mother, Faye, passes away from an unknown cause, the two set out on a journey to fulfill her final wish of spreading her ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms, later revealed to be in Jötunheim. Along their journey, they are attacked by Baldur, who was sent by Odin to get to Faye in order to prevent Ragnarök, unaware she has died. After Kratos eventually kills Baldur, the three-year-long Fimbulwinter begins, with Ragnarök soon to follow, which was not supposed to occur for another hundred years, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. While Baldur's mother Freya swears revenge on Kratos, he and Atreus complete their journey and discover that Faye was a giant who had foreseen the future and chose to remain in Midgard; it is also revealed that Atreus was originally named Loki by his mother before Kratos renamed him in the memory of a former Spartan comrade. The game is a new direction for the series, not only by its new mythological setting, but also by its gameplay. Kratos now prominently uses a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe instead of his iconic dual blades from the previous installments.[15] On September 13, 2021 a leaked list of games on Nvidia GeForce servers reportedly showed God of War will be coming to PC via Steam sometime in the near future.[16]

God of War Ragnarök was announced on September 16, 2020 and is scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 in 2022, marking the first game in the series to release on both a previous and current generation console simultaneously.[17] It is expected to bring about the events of Ragnarök foretold in the previous game.[18]Cory Barlog had previously confirmed that the 2018 installment would not be Kratos' last game,[19] and that following games would continue to be set in the God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key environment and include Atreus.[20] Eric Williams, the game's director, stated at the 2021 PlayStation Showcase event that Ragnarök would "cap off the Norse series".[21] The accompanying trailer revealed that Kratos and Atreus will seek out the Norse God of War Týr to team up with against Odin and the rest of Asgard.

Collections and remasters[edit]

Main article: God of War video game collections

God of War Collection was first released in North America on November 17, 2009, for the PlayStation 3—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered port of the original God of War and God of War II.[22] The games were ported by Bluepoint Games and feature high-definition 1080panti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second and trophies.[23]Sanzaru Games later ported the collection to the PlayStation Vita and it was released in May 2014—the franchise's only appearance on this platform.[24]

God of War: Origins Collection was first released in North America on September 13, 2011, for the PlayStation 3. It is a remastered port of the two PlayStation Portable installments in the series—Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. God of War Origins was ported by Ready at Dawn and features 1080p high-definition video, anti-aliased graphics at 60 frames per second, DualShock 3 rumble features, trophies,[25] and it is the only God of War release to feature Stereoscopic 3D.[26]

God of War Saga was released in North America on August 28, 2012, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. It is a collection of five of the God of War games for the PlayStation 3, released as part of Sony's PlayStation Collections line. The collection includes the original God of War, God of War II, God of War III, Chains of Olympus, and Ghost of Sparta. It features two Blu-ray Discs—God of War I and II on the first and III on the second—and a voucher to download Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta. The games retain the same features as their first PS3 releases.[27][28]

God of War III Remastered was first released in North America on July 14, 2015, for the PlayStation 4—the franchise's first appearance on the platform. It is a remastered version of God of War III, and features full 1080p support targeted at 60 frames per second, a photo mode, and all downloadable content of the original. The game's announcement and release was in celebration of the franchise's tenth anniversary.[29] It was ported by Wholesale Algorithms.[30]

Gameplay[edit]

The series consists of seven single-player-only games, and one that includes multiplayer, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. Throughout the first era, the games featured a third-person, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, fixed cinematic camera with the exception of Betrayal, which is the only installment to feature a 2D side-scrolling view.[31] In 2018's God of War, the camera was switched from being fixed and became an over-the-shoulder free camera.[32] A first-person camera is featured in God of War III[33] and Ascension.[34] Throughout the series, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of hack and slash combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements to achieve goals and complete the story (platforming elements were removed from 2018's God of War due to the camera change).[35][36] 2018's God of War adds Kratos' son Atreus, and although the game is played entirely as Kratos, there are times when the player may choose to passively control Atreus (a button is dedicated to Atreus, and he will fire an arrow from his bow depending on where the camera is pointed).[37]

Throughout the Greek era, Kratos' main weapon is a pair of double-chained blades that appear in three iterations: the Blades of Chaos, the Blades of Athena (or Athena's Blades), and the Blades of Exile. They each perform similarly, but differ in the types of combos and amount of damage each yields, as well as cosmetic differences. Other weapons are also obtained during the games and vary in gameplay.[38]Magic is also used, and four abilities are typically acquired.[39]God of War III differs in that instead of separate abilities, there are four primary weapons that possess their own respective magic offensive. The game also features "Items"—additional secondary weapons with limited usage, such as the Bow of Apollo.[33] With each new game, most weapons and magic are lost via a plot device, and a new arsenal of weapons and abilities are acquired during gameplay.[40]Ascension differs from the previous games in that instead of acquiring new weapons that are kept throughout the entire game, the player collects up to five World Weapons (such as a sword or a javelin) that have limited usage. When there is not a World Weapon equipped, the player can punch or kick foes as part of a new mechanic added to the game.[41] In 2018's God of War, Kratos' primary weapon is a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe. It can be thrown and summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Later on in the game, he recovers the Blades of Chaos, which perform similarly as they did during the Greek games, but with different abilities. Both the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos can be upgraded to use special magical attacks called runic attacks. Each weapon has a light and heavy runic attack, and the player can choose which runic attacks to equip on the weapons.[42]

The series offers combo-based combat, and includes a quick time event (QTE) feature, also called context sensitive attacks, which is initiated when the player has weakened a foe or to perform a defensive maneuver. It allows limited control of Kratos during the QTE cinematic sequence; success ends the battle, while failure usually results in damage to the player.[33][43] As well as the QTE system, Ascension features a prompt-less free-form system, allowing players the choice of when to attack or dodge based on the enemy's actions.[44] A grab maneuver can be used on minor foes.[45] 2018's God of War changed this up; after an enemy has been weakened enough, a prompt will appear above its head, and depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes. He will also jump on top of and ride large enemies, such as ogres, causing them to attack other enemies, similar to the cyclopes in the Greek games.[46]

Two video game characters fight in a brown-colored room with mystical symbols.
A cropped gameplay screenshot from the original God of War(2005): weakening foes allows the use of controller buttons for greater damage or finishing moves. This gameplay mechanic has been utilized throughout the series.

Relics, which the player can use in successive games (such as Poseidon's Trident obtained in the original God of War allowing Kratos to swim underwater for extended periods) are also found and necessary for game progression.[35] Kratos often has a special ability, which provides temporary invulnerability and increased attack damage. This ability has become an ongoing feature of gameplay throughout the series—Rage of the Gods in the original God of War and Ascension, Rage of the Titans in God of War II, Rage of Sparta in God of War III, and Thera's Bane in Ghost of Sparta.[33] This ability can be recharged by building hits on foes in combat, and gaining game-specific orbs. Thera's Bane, however, is recharged automatically.[33][35][45] While Kratos does not retain any relics from the Greek era in 2018's God of War, he does have a rage ability, called Spartan Rage, and with this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies.[32][47]

Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers, found throughout the Greek games in unmarked chests (white chests in Ascension), increase the maximum amount of health and magic, respectively.[35][48]Minotaur Horns, which increase the Items and Fire meter's maximum length, are available in God of War III and Ghost of Sparta, respectively. The Items meter allows the use of secondary weapons, called Items, and the Fire meter allows the use of Thera's Bane. The meters are increased in increments and reach God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key maximum once a certain number of Eyes, Feathers, and Horns are found. Other MixMeister Fusio 7.4.4.0 crack serial keygen contain green, blue, or red orbs.[49] Green orbs replenish the player's health, blue orbs replenish magic allowing further usage, and red orbs provide experience points (XP) for upgrading weapons and magic for new, more powerful attacks, and replenish the Rage meter in the original God of War. Gold orbs found in God of War II and Ascension, and white orbs in God of War III, replenish the Rage meter instead of red orbs; the Rage meter in Ascension is also refilled by landing attacks on foes. Chests with changing colors, which God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key players to choose which meter to replenish, have also been available.[50] Red orbs can also be collected by killing foes and destroying certain inanimate objects. Bosses and more powerful opponents release a combination of colored orbs when killed via the quick-time feature.[35] For 2018's God of War, Iðunn's Apples replaced the Gorgon Eyes to increase the maximum length of the health meter, while Horns of Blood Mead increase the maximum length of the rage meter. While the game retains green health orbs to replenish the health meter, magic is done differently. Instead of blue orbs, there is a cool down time on magical runic attacks. Once that cool down time is up, the magical runic attack can be used again. Furthermore, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, which is a key component in crafting and purchasing new items, such as new armor or upgrading existing armor, and XP is used for learning new combat skills. Chests in this game provide a variety of different items.[51][52]

With the exception of Ascension, each installment offers a challenge mode, which yields extra red orbs (or XP), secret costumes, and behind-the-scenes videos.[53]Bonus content can also be unlocked by defeating the game's difficulty levels.[54] 2018's God of War also includes a challenge mode, which ends with an optional fight with a Valkyrie, who provides various items upon defeat. Battle arenas, which allow players to set difficulty levels and choose their own opponents, are included in God of War II, God of War III, and Ghost of Sparta.[55] Excluding Betrayal, the Greek games were known for including a quick-time sex minigame in God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key installment until Ascension, which dropped the mini-game.[56]

Ascension is the only installment in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play. Up to eight players on two teams of two to four players (or a four to eight player deathmatch) battle for control of a map in order to earn rewards from the gods. Players can also fight each other in one-on-one matches. Players must sell their champion's soul to either Zeus, Hades, Ares, or Poseidon, which allows players to try different weapons, armor sets, and powers inspired by the god of their choice, and extras can be unlocked.[10][57]

Development[edit]

Main series[edit]

PlayStation 2[edit]

After the success of their first game Kinetica (2002), Santa Monica Studio began development of the original God of War in 2002, and unveiled it two years later at SCEA Santa Monica Gamers' Day 2004.[58] Game director and creator David Jaffe said that although the idea for God of War was his own, the concept owed a debt to Capcom because he had played Onimusha and said "let's do that with Greek Mythology".[59] He was inspired in part by the 1981 feature film, Clash of the Titans, saying, "the real high concept for me was . merging it with Heavy Metal magazine".[59] He said he liked both "the kids stuff . with Greek Mythology" and the idea of adding more adult themes such as sex and violence.[59] He was also inspired by the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.[60] Although the game is based on Greek mythology, the development team gave themselves "lots of freedom" to modify the myths, and Jaffe said they took the "coolest aspects of the subject" and created art and story using those elements.[61] Director of visual development and lead concept artist, Charlie Wen, drew inspiration from these films as well as more contemporary films such as Gladiator (2000) for tonal inspiration to lead the visual design of Kratos, other characters, and the world of God of War.[61] According to Eurogamer, the gameplay of the Strider arcade franchise was also a vital influence on God of War.[62]GameSpot said the developers described the gameplay "as merging the action of Devil May Cry with the puzzle-solving of Ico" and noted that players would be able to "sunder enemies with a single move, such as by ripping them in half".[63] The game uses Santa Monica's Kineticaengine, which they developed for Kinetica.[64]

A sequel to God of War was first teased at the end of its credits, which stated, "Kratos Will Return".[65]God of War II was officially announced at the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC).[66] David Jaffe stepped down and became the creative director of its sequel and God of War's lead animator Cory Barlog assumed the role of game director.[67] Barlog said that in the game, players would see "a larger view of Kratos' role within the mythological world."[68] Like God of War, the game uses Santa Monica's Kinetica engine. Magic Drag and File v30 for Windows 95 crack serial keygen became an integral part of the combat system and it was more refined. New creatures and heroes from the mythology, and more boss battles were added.[69] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that they did not view God of War II as a sequel, but rather a continuation of the previous game. Jaffe said that they did not want to include the Roman numeral number two (II) in the title for this reason, but they did not want the title to convey the impression it was an expansion pack.[70] Both Jaffe and Barlog said that the reason God of War II appeared on the PlayStation 2 instead of the PlayStation 3—which was released four months prior to God of War II—was because "there's a 100 million people out there that will be able to play God of War II as soon as it launches."[71][72] Barlog assured that the game would be playable on the newer platform, which originally had PlayStation 2 backwards compatibility.[71][72]

PlayStation 3[edit]

God of War III was first mentioned by Cory Barlog at a God of War II launch event,[73] and it was officially announced at the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).[74] Smart Generator Hack v4.1 crack serial keygen serving as game director during the first eight months of development, Barlog left Santa Monica for other opportunities and Stig Asmussen took on the role, having previously been the lead environment artist and art director on God of War and God of War II, respectively. Asmussen said that one of the greatest challenges in developing God of War III for the PlayStation 3 God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key the "complexity of everything"; individual tasks, such as designing Helios' decapitation, could take a year because the "level of detail [that was] expected [was] so high and intricate, it [crossed] multiple departments."[75][76] He said that the PlayStation 3's hardware capabilities allowed more flexibility in character creation and interaction with the environment.[75][76] The engine for God of War III was ported from the first two installments to the PlayStation 3. As the game was being developed, the code department swapped out PlayStation 2 components with PlayStation 3 components. They replaced the renderer, the particle system, and the collision system.[77] Although they were re-using the engine from God of War II, the core engine for God of War III was brand new.[78] Between E3 2009 and the time the game shipped, morphological anti-aliasing (MLAA) was added, which graphics engineer Ben Diamand said "improved edges dramatically and saved substantial amounts of frame-rate."[79] Diamand also said that "depth-of-field, motion blur, crepuscular 'god' rays and refraction were either added or improved in quality and speed" during that same time period.[79]

On April 12, 2012, Sony released a teaser image for Ascension on its official PlayStation Facebook page,[80] which was followed by the game's announcement on April 19 on PlayStation.Blog.[81] Todd Papy, who had previously worked as a designer on God of War and God of War II and as design director on God of War III, assumed the role of game director; God of QuickBooks pro 2010 crack serial keygen III director Stig Asmussen was busy with another project at Santa Monica and did not work on Ascension.[82] The announcement officially confirmed the game's title and Papy said it was not titled God of War IV to avoid confusion because it is a prequel, rather than a sequel, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, to the trilogy.[10][83] The game features a retooled God of War III engine, enabling online multiplayer battles for up to eight players.[10] The decision to add multiplayer came about from curiosity, according to lead combat designer Jason McDonald. The multiplayer was first tested using Kratos, and McDonald said the testers had "a lot of fun".[84] Seeing their reaction made the team feel that the multiplayer had value and they then began to put the "God of War spin on it".[84] In the developmental transition from God of War III to Ascension, one of the graphics engineers, Cedric Perthuis, noted that the limits of the God of War III engine restricted artist creativity, so they "tried to remove or push those limits as far as possible without losing any performance."[79]Ascension did not have a graphical leap over its predecessor like God of War III did. Dynamic lighting was added, which allowed for development of the Life Cycle gameplay mechanic. Particle effects were also greatly improved upon from God of God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key III.[79]

PlayStation 4[edit]

Santa Monica began work on the fifth main installment in 2014, which was confirmed by the returning Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year.[85] The official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo,[32] which also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director.[37] The game was deliberately titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because although it is a continuation of the series, "we are reimagining everything."[86][87] Other mythologies were also considered for the new setting, but Norse was picked to keep the focus on Kratos;[88] there was also consideration to use a different protagonist, but it was decided to keep Kratos as he "is intrinsically tied" to the series.[37] Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[86] They claimed that they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[52] Some gameplay characteristics found in the previous installments were cut, such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges; these were cut due to the camera being closer to Kratos.[89] Although Ascension had introduced multiplayer to the series, the team dropped the mode to focus on the single-player experience.[90] The Leviathan Axe was chosen as Kratos' new main weapon because the developers wanted a more grounded direction for the game.[91] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen; God of War III and Ascension could do up to 50.[86] Although the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4,[92] Barlog confirmed that it would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[93] The game's story was estimated to take 25–35 hours to complete, which is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[94] As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022, with support for graphics options. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[95]

Cory Barlog also confirmed that the 2018 game would not be Kratos' last.[96] He said that future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[97] and that although the 2018 game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact that there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[98] Barlog also said that he liked the idea of having different directors for each game, seen throughout the first seven games, and although he may not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[99]

[edit]

PlayStation Portable[edit]

Game developer Ready at Dawn pitched the idea of a God of War game for the PlayStation Portable to Santa Monica Studio soon after the original God of War launched.[100] Cory Barlog officially confirmed the development of Chains of Olympus at a God of War II launch event, Rosetta Stone TOTALe Torrent Archives "It is its own story that connects to the overall story."[101]Chains of Olympus uses a proprietary, in-house engine referred to as the Ready at Dawn engine, which expanded on the engine created for their previous game, Daxter (2006).[102] Originally designed for the PlayStation Portable's restricted 222-megahertz (MHz) processor,[103] Ready at Dawn convinced Sony to increase the clock speed of the PSP to 333 MHz, which they did in a firmware upgrade. The faster processor allowed for more realistic blood effects, lighting effects, and shadows as well as improved enemy intelligence, but noticeably decreased battery God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key After the game's completion, game director Ru Weerasuriya stated multiplayer options and other puzzles, characters, and dialogue had to be removed due to time constraints.[102]

Ghost of Sparta was announced on May 4, 2010, on PlayStation.Blog.[105] According to Sony, Ready at Dawn utilized "state-of-the-art visual technologies" that allowed "higher quality environments and characters."[106]Ghost of Sparta offers "over 25% more gameplay" than Chains of Olympus, while adding more enemies on screen and more boss encounters.[106] Development of Ghost of Sparta took 23 months to complete.[106] Due to Weerasuriya's schedule at Ready at Dawn, he could not return to direct; Dana Jan, the lead level designer for Chains of Olympus, became director for Ghost of Sparta. At Comic-Con 2010, Jan noted that when development began in 2008, the goal was to make the game bigger than Chains of Olympus, which had apparently pushed the PSP to its functional limits. Jan stated that Ghost of Sparta took the PSP to its "absolute capacity", with another feature being more on-screen foes.[107] The game concept was originally used as a teaser for players who obtained the platinum trophy from God of War III. The trophy revealed a site called spartansstandtall.com, which became the official site for Ghost of Sparta on May 4.[108] Jan stated the reason they chose to have the game take place between God of War and God of War II was because "It seemed to make a lot of sense to fill in that void."[106]

Mobile[edit]

Betrayal was announced by Sony Online Entertainment at a press conference in Los Angeles in May 2007. The game utilizes a total of 110 different animations and features a 2D rendition of the series' three-dimensional (3D) graphics.[109][110] Game director Phil Cohen said that although the game was enjoyable to develop, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, the greatest challenge was creating a single tileset and palette swapping scheme that was diverse enough to portray multiple environments with only several hundred kilobytes, and that met Santa Monica Studio's high standards.[111] Cohen wrote the initial design document between September and October 2005, and revisited it in August 2006, the month development started. The versions for high-end handsets were completed in April 2007, with final versions for low-end handsets completed by June 2007. The porting team adapted the game to over 200 handsets in a matter of weeks. Both David Jaffe and Cory Barlog ensured that the Betrayal development team captured the feel of the combat and visual style, and were "helpful with feedback and positive support".[111]

Adaptations[edit]

Film and documentaries[edit]

A film adaptation of the first game was announced in 2005.[112] Creator David Jaffe confirmed that a completed script had been written by David Self and would be sent to an unspecified director. He said that Universal Studios was behind the making of the God of War movie, but was unaware of its status,[113] and eventually said, "it's doubtful that the film will even be made."[114] In September 2010, Jaffe said that the "script went out a year and a half ago to Daniel Craig who plays [James] Bond, but he turned it down."[115] He also said that another actor had since been cast as Kratos; he said, "this new person is pretty good, if that ends up true."[115] In July 2012, The Hollywood Reporter said that writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan had been hired to adapt the God of War film.[116] The writers told IGN that they intended to "humanize" Kratos and explore his past. Melton said that they were emotionally invested and it could become a series of films, and that Ares "[would] become a more proactive villain."[117][118] A script had been "turned in"[119] and the film had a budget of US$150 million.[117] Following the release of 2018's God of War, with no updates on the original game's film, rumors about a potential adaptation of the 2018 game began circulating. Pacific Rim: Uprising's (2018) director Steven S. DeKnight stated he would like to direct an adaptation of that game and talked with Sony about making it R-rated.[120] In May 2021, however, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, a Sony spokesperson confirmed that there was no film or television show adaptation for any God of War in development.[121]

God of War: Unearthing the Legend (75 minutes, 2010)[122] is a documentary about the God of War franchise and is hosted by Peter Weller. The production discusses the relationship between the God of War games and Greek mythology, and features members of the God of War III development team and professional historians. It was included as part of the God of War III Ultimate Edition (North America) and Ultimate Trilogy Edition (Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) packages. On March 25, 2010, it was released on the PlayStation Store in North America to purchase.[123]

God of War – Game Directors Live (80 minutes, 2010)[124] is a documentary featuring five game directors of the God of War series: David Jaffe (original God of War), Cory Barlog (just God of War II at the time), Ru Weerasuriya (Chains of Olympus), Stig Asmussen (God of War III), and Dana Jan (Ghost of Sparta). The documentary takes the form of an interview panel hosted by G4's Alison Haislip, with the five game directors, 150 members of PlayStation.Blog, and members of GodofWar.com and SpartansStandTall.com. It was filmed at the El Portal theater in Los Angeles on September 1, 2010, and was released as a pre-order bonus for Ghost of Sparta in North America on November 2, 2010, and was included with the Origins Collection and later released on the PlayStation Store.[125]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making 2018's God of War, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[126][127]

Comic series and novels[edit]

Main articles: God of War (DC Comics) and God of War (Dark Horse Comics)

A six-issue comic book series titled God of War, written by Marv Wolfman with art by Andrea Sorrentino, was published by WildStorm and DC Comics between March 2010 and January 2011.[128] Taking place during the Greek era, the narrative switches between Kratos' past and present; it occurs while he is a soldier of Sparta and involves his search for the Ambrosia of Asclepius, which has legendary healing properties and eventually saved his plague-ridden daughter, Calliope. Kratos also embarks upon a quest to destroy the same elixir to deny it to the worshippers of the slain god Ares, who wish to resurrect him.[129]

In the lead up to Ascension's release, Santa Monica released a graphic novel titled Rise of the Warrior on the God of War website that featured a social experience from October 2012 until March 2013. The graphic novel was a prequel story that tied into the single-player of Ascension, and was the backstory of the player's multiplayer character.[130]

A limited comic series from Dark Horse Comics, also titled God of War and written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, was published from November 2018 to February 2019. The four-issue miniseries serves as a prequel story to the 2018 game. Issue #0 was included digitally with the three different special editions of the game.[131][132]

The God of War novels recount the events of the games and offer deeper insights into their stories. God of War, the official novelization of the first game, was written by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman. It was published on May 25, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, 2010, by Del Rey Books.[133]God of War II, the second novelization of the series, was written by Vardeman alone and was published by Del Rey Books on February 12, 2013.[134] The third novelization in the series, titled God of War – The Official Novelization, is of 2018's God of War. It was released on August 28, 2018 by Titan Books and was written by Cory Barlog's father, James Barlog.[135]

Music[edit]

Six God of War soundtracks have been commercially released and have featured several composers, including Gerard K. Marino, Ron Fish, Winifred Phillips, Mike Reagan, Cris Velasco, Winnie Waldron, Marcello De Francisci, Jeff Rona, Tyler Bates, and Bear McCreary. On March 1, 2005, God of War: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE as an exclusive product for the Sony Connect Music Store. It was praised for its well-developed orchestral themes, and the creative use of ancient and God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key instrumentation. The composers were also praised for avoiding the production of never-ending action themes.[136]God of War II: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE on April 10, 2007. Praised as strong, the album features ominous orchestral pieces, and each composer's contributions are slightly more distinctive than the previous soundtrack.[137]God of War III: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game was released on CD by SIE and Sumthing Else on March 30, 2010.[138] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections.[139] The soundtrack was praised as an orchestral success and the best score in the series at the time.[140]

The original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III were nominated for Best Original Score at the 2005,[141] 2007,[142] and 2010[143]Spike Video Game Awards, respectively. The God of War Trilogy Soundtrack was included with the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections as downloadable content. The Trilogy Soundtrack consists of the original scores for God of War, God of War II, and God of War III. It was praised by critics as the best way to experience the series' musical development, and allows the listener to note the development of the composers during the series.[144]

On October 18, 2010, God of War: Ghost of Sparta – Original Soundtrack Nero Platinum Suite 2021 v23.5.1020 Crack + Serial Key [Latest] the Video Game was released on the iTunes Store by SIE. It was also included as downloadable content as part of the Ghost of Sparta pre-order package and includes three previously unreleased tracks from Chains of Olympus.[145][146] Several tracks were cited as being intended for purely contextual purposes, and the remaining tracks rated well in comparison to the soundtracks of the main installments in the series.[147]God of War: Ascension (Original Soundtrack) differed from the previously released soundtracks as it was composed by Tyler Bates alone, and is the only God of War score that he has worked on. It was released on March 5, 2013, on iTunes by SIE and La-La Land Records.[148] It was included as downloadable content in the God of War: Ascension–Collector's Edition and Special Edition.[149] Reviewers praised it God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key being powerful, rich, and pulsing, though felt it was repetitive at times.[150]

Bear McCreary is the most recent composer to work on the series as he composed the music for 2018's God of War.[151]God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. McCreary composed completely new music for the game, not reusing any music from the Greek era. However, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting using Nordic ethnic instruments.[152] The soundtrack was well received, receiving various nominations at award shows as well as winning the award for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition at the 22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.[153]

God of War: Blood & Metal[edit]

God of War: Blood & Metal is a heavy metal homage by various bands on the Roadrunner Records label, and features original music inspired by the God of War video game series. The EP was released for purchase on March 2, 2010, and is available from ShockHound[154] and the iTunes Store.[155] It was also included as downloadable content in the God of War III Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition collections, which included a bonus track.[139][156] The second track, "Shattering the Skies Above" by Trivium,[154] and the bonus track, "Even Gods Cry" by The Turtlenecks,[157] were made into music videos. 1UP.com (2.5/5) said, "it's not offensive to [the] ears" and "mainstream listeners may enjoy [the album]".[158] Square Enix Music Online (8/10) stated the album is a "good selection of metal music" and listeners will be "surprised with the variety of music".[159]

Track listing

7."Even Gods Cry" (The Turtlenecks)7.32
Total length:36:56

Critical reception[edit]

With physical and digital copies combined, the God of War franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide (as of November 2020).[173][179]God of War (2005), God of War II, Chains of Olympus, God of War Collection, God of War III, and God of War (2018) each received critical acclaim from several reviewers as compiled by review aggregatorMetacritic,[180] with both the 2005 and 2018 titles being tied for the highest score in the franchise at 94/100.[160][172]Betrayal and Ghost of Sparta only received generally favorable reception.[4][167]Ascension also only had a generally favorable reception and, not including the PlayStation Vita port of God of War Collection, it has the lowest score in the series from Metacritic (80/100).[170]

At the time of its release, Raymond Padilla of GameSpy wrote that the original God of War was the "best action game ever to grace the PS2".[181] Other critics similarly said that it was one of the best action games of all time; it received over a dozen "Game of the Year" awards.[182] In 2009, it was named the "seventh-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time on IGN's "Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time" list.[183]God of War II was also on IGN's list, and was named the "second-best" PlayStation 2 game of all time.[184]God of War II was similarly called one of the best action games of all time and is considered the swan song of the PlayStation 2 era.[185] In November 2012, Complex.com named God of War II the best PlayStation 2 game of all time—where God of War was named the 11th best—and consider it better than its successor, God of War III.[186]Betrayal was acclaimed for its fidelity to the series in terms of gameplay, art style, and graphics.[4]

Chains of Olympus was praised for "fantastic" graphics and "tight and responsive" controls for the PSP at the time.[187] In 2008, IGN awarded Chains of Olympus the "Best PSP Action Game",[188] and in September 2010, it was listed as the best PSP game by GamePro.[189]God of War III received praise for its graphics, in particular of Kratos; at the time, IGN stated that Kratos was "perhaps Category Archives: 2021 single most impressive-looking character ever in videogames."[190] IGN also said that, at the time, God of War III "redefines what the word 'scale' means with regards to videogames, as it throws you into scenes with Titans that are larger than entire levels in some other games."[190]God of War III received awards for "Most Anticipated Game of 2010" and "Best PS3 Game" at the 2009 and 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, respectively.[191] The game also won the "Artistic Achievement" award at the 2011 BAFTA awards.[192]Ghost of Sparta was praised for its graphics and story, with Chris Pereira of 1UP saying that it was "a more personal story than the [previous] GOW games."[193] It received several awards at E3 2010, including "Best Handheld Game", "Best PSP Game", and "PSP Game of Show",[194] and won "Best Handheld Game" at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards.[191] 2018's God of War received particular praise for its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many also felt that it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[195] It won several awards, among which were "Game of the Year" and "Best Game Direction" at The Game Awards 2018 and "Best Storytelling" and "PlayStation Game of the Year" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards.[196][197]

The series has also received criticism because of problems with puzzles, weapons, and technical issues. Chains of Olympus was criticized by G4, who stated that the game "occasionally suffers from screen tearing and framerate drops", God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key, and that some of the puzzles "are so maddeningly difficult to solve".[198] The game was also criticized for its lack of variety in enemies, its continued use of puzzles that require players to move boxes,[187] and its relatively short story.[199]God of War III also received some criticism. GameFront's Phil Hornshaw said it had an overly cruel protagonist, and the game assumed that the players reveled in the misery and violence as much God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key Kratos did.[200] IGN complained about the game's weapons, and said God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key two of the three additional weapons that you'll earn are extremely similar to your blades. They have unique powers and slightly different moves, but by and large, they're more of the same."[190]Ghost of Sparta received criticism from Eurogamer, which said that the "game's primary problem . is in its in-built focus" and that "there is a sense that Ghost of Sparta is a step back for the series if you've played [God of War III]."[201] Some reviewers stated that Ascension's story was not as compelling as previous installments, with IGN stating that in comparison to Zeus and Ares, "the Furies don't quite cut it".[202] The multiplayer received a mixed response. Although reviewers claimed gameplay translated well into the multiplayer, they were critical of the balance and depth of combat. Edge God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key approved of the multiplayer, stating it was an "evolutionary step" with "some fine ideas . that [would] form part of this genre's future template."[203] 2018's God of War received some criticism, for example, a couple of reviewers disliked that the fast travel option unlocked very late into the game.[204][205]

The collections have also received praise, God of War 4 Archives - PC Product key. IGN (9.4/10) awarded God of War Collection (PS3) the "Editor's Choice" Award and praised the enhanced resolutions, lower price point and smoother frame rates, and stated it was the "definitive way to play the game[s]".[206] Due to the success of God of War Collection, Sony announced that further titles would receive similar treatment for release under its new "Classics HD" brand.[22] The Origins Collection was similarly well received. IGN (9/10) stated "Sony succeeded at making good games better",[207] although GamePro criticized it for its lack of new bonus content.[208]God of War Saga also received praise. Ryan Fleming of Digital Trends wrote that the collection "is perhaps the best value buy for any console available," although the collection is not likely for fans of the series, but rather inexperienced players or newcomers.[209]God of War III Remastered was met with generally favorable reception. Praise was given to the smoother textures and improved frame rate, though because the original already had remarkable graphics, the changes were not major, and reviewers said these changes were not a strong enough argument to rebuy the game for US$40.[210]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

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