Is God of War Game of The Year?

For those of you that are new to the website, I’ve spent the year ranking games for my “best of” end of the year ranking. With every review, the ranking is subject to change. What may end up being my “game of the year” this week, may easily change with the next review. And one other thing before the review officially starts is that it’s important to note that I try and write my reviews a little differently than other reviewers. With every game, I try and find a way to write the article in a creative way that mirrors the game in some way. Some games are easier than other… With all of that being said, I hope you enjoy this week’s review! I’ll see you guys next week when I review Detroit: Become Human.

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The Tale of The War God… from his neighbor

“Welcome to a tale of absolute wonder, told by… well, let’s just say I’m a local who saw it all.”

With a simple knock on the door, the mountains rumbled. Two beings, more than men, found themselves involved in two very different fights. With one doing everything he could to be a good father and the other doing everything he could to be a good son, nothing was off limits, and with the battle’s end, the sounds of a father’s footsteps limping through the snow, now turned black from all of the dried blood, echoed through the valley as he approached his son, still hiding away inside their home.

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And as the father opened the door, his wounds already healed, he yelled for his son to come out of hiding. It was time to leave. While the son was unsure of what had just occurred his father believed he knew the reason why the stranger attacked him. They gathered their things and began on their journey. A journey that neither wanted to take, but out of the respect for the woman they both loved, they needed to do what her final wish asked for. Together they would reach the great mountain summit, spread her ashes, and say goodbye to a great mother, to a great wife.

On their travels towards the top of the greatest mountain in all the land, the pair’s journey lead them to meet others that called this land home. Whether it be the comical Dwarven blacksmiths or the beautiful woman of the woods, this journey would be not be taken without receiving help but help was something that the man known as Kratos did not accept often. If his past had taught him anything it was that if someone offers help, it is because they want something in return and it was this way of thinking that would eventually come to compromise as the innocence of the boy, Atreus, would help Kratos realize that some people in life are in fact simply good.

With all of this being said, it’s important to remember that Kratos was not the only one changed by this journey. Sure, his hard shell cracked every so often and a poor attempt at a joke may have leaked out, but it was Atreus who faced the most change. For at the start of his journey he was just a young boy who knew nothing of the outside world. Sheltered from ever learning who he truly was, he did not realize the greatness that lied dormant inside him… that was until their journey began. At first, it was simple things like killing. Kill or be killed was the law of the realms. Hesitation was something that would only lead to death, either his own or his father’s.

But even after young Atreus learned to be a great fighter, he still had to learn how to act. Imagine spending your whole life thinking you were small rodent running through the forest always wondering when the Owl would come and take you away. Now imagine learning that, in fact, you aren’t a rodent but actually one of the owls and not just any owl, but one of the fiercest. No matter what your age, 10 or 500, suddenly learning that everything should kneel at your feet would change you greatly… if you didn’t have a great teacher. Thankfully, for all of us, between that severed head (don’t ask) and Kratos wisdom and maturity managed to crack Atreus’ newly formed shell and help mold him into the great man he’s destined to be.

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A little boy learning humility isn’t the only thing that stood in Kratos’ way as he marched towards the mountaintop. No, in fact, this unexplored land was filled with both Gods and monsters that all had one thing on their mind and that was killing the boy and the God. What these adversaries were unaware of was that with every fight the pair got stronger. No matter how strong the enemy seemed to be, the pair was always ready to attack whatever evil waited for them. And attack they did. Their teamwork like poetry as they chopped down target after target. They say that if you had laid from head to foot, one after another, every enemy that they chopped down, it would have rivaled Jörmungandr.

The enemies they dispatched in great numbers weren’t the gods I mentioned though. While most stayed hidden, watching from a distance, the ones that approached Kratos and Atreus were certainly more of a match for the pair than some measly Draugr. The few times the Gods appeared the world did shake and Kratos did stumble, but like any great father he could not let his son down. No matter how dangerous the challenge, no matter how mighty the foe, they always fought, side by side, until their opposition drew their last breath.

And it was when these foes stopped breathing that the boy, his father, and that head (don’t ask) traveled the lands, finding secrets, helping lost souls, and continuing to get stronger. Yes, they had a mission to spread the ashes of the woman they both loved, but due to some unforeseen actions, the pair found themselves required to travel the world not only in hopes of finding strength and for Atreus, helping those that they came across, but to also find a way to the mountain.

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Their journey showed off both sides of the world’s face. On one side, beauty, elegance, wonder, and on the other, hideousness, sadness… hatred. This land, these realms that so many of us call home are unique and watching Kratos and his boy explore them was certainly a treat. But the biggest treat of all how was how their journey ended. While the readers of this story won’t be spoiled with the details, it’s important to know that the conclusion of this story really is something that will be remembered for ages. Once all of the fightings stopped, once the reason for killing had finally ended, all that was left was the relationship between a father and son. No matter where their story takes them next, whether it’s to faceoff against the men and women they’ve only heard of in stories, or visit far away lands that they couldn’t even imagine, the story that they both told together, on this journey, is one they’ll always remember and always hold close.

Final Thoughts:

God of War is a nearly perfect game that takes something that could have felt old and tired and breathes new life into it. As someone who’s never experienced a God of War game, I was stunned by how much I fell in love with all of the characters. God of War isn’t just going to end up being one of my favorite experiences on the PS4 but in a shocking turn of events, Kratos is going to end up being one of my favorite characters of this generation as well. If you’ve never experienced a God of War title but have always wondered what the hype is all about, this is the perfect time to jump in. Everything this game attempts to do, it nails nearly flawlessly.

Final Score: 9.75 (The Mighty Ducks Trilogy)

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