TL;DR God of War is a 10/10 for the story alone but the combat is also flawless in my opinion.
So I guess here’s my “review” of God of War. The fact that this series could go from being a basic hack-and-slash title with a narrative rooted in revenge and gore to a riveting tale that humanizes our protagonist Kratos and most if not all gods (that’s a little g) is nothing short of creative genius. It didn’t take long for me to genuinely feel for Kratos and his son Atreus. It’s subtle things like Kratos not being sure whether to console his son in times of stress that accomplish this in such a way that you don’t even realize that you’re growing attached to these characters.
They made me laugh. They made me cry. They made me angry, worried, scared, and happy. Yes, they’re gods. These powerful entities who need not obey the laws of humanity, but the fact that they’ve made the choice to be “better” (as Kratos would say) speaks volumes on their character. Their goal is very simple, and I don’t consider this a spoiler. Atreus’ mother passed away just before the beginning of the game and her last wish was for her ashes to be spread from the highest peak in all the realms. That’s really the only thing that concerns either of them, besides Atreus’ instinctive curiosity and pursuit of knowledge.
And yes, there are obstacles. God are there obstacles. But each one provokes a significant character change. Which is crazy just because of how many obstacles they have to overcome. And even the in-between content when you’re running around killing stuff and gearing up for main story progression has a lot of high points. Kratos tells stories while they’re in the boat and I honestly didn’t want to get out of the boat until he finished each story just because of their dry humor at times and just their meaning. Like one story might be to teach Atreus a lesson or one might be about his past. And I genuinely just cared about those things. And Kratos makes sure you know that ever single side quest he takes on is just because it made aid in their main objective, though secretly a good portion of them for Atreus (whether it be an opportunity to learn or just because Atreus wanted to do it).
I could go on and on about how good the storytelling in this game was, but I feel like I’m on the verge of spoiler territory. So onto the gameplay. This game has the most rewarding combat system I’ve ever experienced with puzzles and such that rarely slow down the pace of the experience. I’m not sure I had even one fight in the game, even like little dudes who are seemingly easy as hell, that I didn’t have to really focus on. It’s like each enemy has a pretty finite moveset but health is a precious resource that quickly depletes (I was on the second hardest difficulty so I’m not sure of the next person’s experience).
All in all, I loved every second of this game. It’s pretty rare that I feel compelled to 100% a video game but this is it. I finished it last Tuesday I think but I plan to go back and finish everything. And I’m honestly more than likely going to start a whole new play through on the hardest difficulty. Even looking past the vastly satisfying gameplay, God of War tells an unparalleled tale of a father learning to be a father and a son’s coming of age journey. Ten out of ten. Will play again.