About once a year, a studio puts out a video game that doesn’t necessarily flip the script on the entire industry, but it does change the landscape and proves that even the classics have to change to keep people intrigued and coming back for the next step in their evolution. @CallofDuty, are you listening…?
While some risks don’t always pay out or take shape how we hope (RIP Hopes and Dreams for No Man’s Sky), the hype has been real for God of War since we got our first hints a couple of years back at E3 in 2016. Since then, speculation swirled around the game and tons of fan theories were thrown around as they usually are, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw and the changes that were coming to the old-school, side-angle fights of the original GoW trilogy… but, it worked.
Opting in to shift to a 3rd person, behind-the-back angle on all of its shots and shying away from the routine, planned course of the first three games, the open world shots were incredible, the fighting sequences were seamless, and the story line blew us away with its depth and emotional connection. But, what could possibly push a game into our coveted list among the ranks of the best games of all time?
Here are three reasons why God of War really IS one of the best games of all time:
1. The Hidden Secrets of Open-World Gameplay
In retrospect, it’s safe to say that the original trilogy of GoW was excellent, but by today’s standards, the only long-standing contributor to its staying power was the intensity of the games’ major battles. In fact, we played through the entire trilogy again just for good measure before playing the new game… still cool. Still not sure what was up with the random, massive tits everywhere, but it’s cool.
What will ultimately make this game legendary, though, is the fact that you get all of the smashing, violent goodness that the series is known for, but without the predetermined journey that accompanied the originals. The map may not be as large as most of Bethesda’s games, but nothing is lost on the battles and there are plenty of hidden gems and secrets to explore along the way with interesting dialogues that fall into place only upon completion of exploration. It’s been a month and we’re still discovering new things! Easter eggs are everywhere, too… just keep looking.
2. The Dual-Action Fighting Sequences
The latest God of War game isn’t the first to take on dual-action fighting, but we have to say that it’s the first that actually feels, well… natural. There’s nothing clanky about it in the slightest and combos are relatively easy to rack up with some practice as the game progresses. The BOY! (heh) even naturally picks up fun little skills as you progress through the storyline. It’s pretty fun to watch him choke baddies into submission before landing a massive blow with the axe.
3. The Emotional Connection
Games rarely, if ever, nail exercises in character-building. Far too often, it feels forced upon us or the story lines are tired, worn out, or just plain cliche. That couldn’t be further than the case with God of War. As if seeing Kratos become kind of a softy at times for his son isn’t adorable enough, their banter is just plain hilarious at times. To both those who do and do not have a close relationship with their fathers, there are plenty of jokes and scenarios to laugh at. It’s almost as if the studio knew that original series’ players were growing older, but may still be playing video games… only now with a family. Huh.
Ultimately, there’s no denying that God of War is an impressive work of art. Hell, after playing, we felt like we stole it from the studio for the mere price of $60. The dedication to the craft is so apparent within this game. Even if this isn’t your favorite genre, there’s a lot to love about the concept and story. If you haven’t had a chance to play it yet, you should probably get on that, because it’ll soon be one of your favorites, too.