It’s almost a guarantee that Sony’s upcoming God of War will be one of their flagship titles for this year’s conference, and while early impressions from last year’s trailer have been good, it has me a bit worried. The series is clearly going in a new direction, and while this may be a good change of pace, is this really what we wanted? Because there are so many questions that will (most likely) be answered at this year’s conference, I’m left at a crossroads. Should I be eagerly anticipating this title, or should I be concerned with this “new” Kratos?
The God of War series has always been about the combat: tight controls, fluid animations, skillful setups, etc. Deriders have labelled it a button masher, however these people have clearly not played it on higher difficulties. Regardless, it’s a series that has always put gameplay first without having to sacrifice spectacle. However, last year’s E3 trailer for the upcoming title, God of War, didn’t even look like it was from the same series. If Kratos didn’t appear in the trailer, I would’ve had no idea this was a God of War game.
The setting change is not what bothered me, as Norse mythology could be a very cool mythos to explore. It’s the change in gameplay and the tone that has me worried. God of War seems to be trying to become more of a narrative based game than an action one, and while that may excite some fans, it doesn’t do much for me. The PS4 already has plenty of narrative based games for me to choose from, and while it’s not a bad thing that this new title is focusing on it, I don’t want it to take away from the visceral gameplay that the series is known for.
I should mention again that this is all speculation based off of a short trailer from last year, however that’s precisely why I feel as though this year’s conference hinges upon what is shown from this title. They need to demonstrate what the real gameplay is going to be, as much of last years trailer was little bits of gameplay sprinkled around scripted segments. Until I see how the majority of the game will play, I will remain cautiously optimistic about Kratos’ upcoming adventure.
Speaking of the spartan warrior, his voice actor has even been changed to go along with the new direction. This has been something of a controversy among fans, as some feel that changing the voice actor for a major character after a decade is somewhat of a low blow. Others feel that the new voice actor will do a better job given the circumstances. It’s very clear that Santa Monica is doubling down on this being sort of a reboot (without actually rebooting the story).
Hopefully, Sony will show us the best of both worlds this year. Going for a deeper, narrative based experience is fine, but the gameplay needs to take center stage as well. Only time will tell exactly what kind of game this latest entry in the franchise will be, but until then, we can certainly speculate all day long. For me, this is what I’ll be paying extra close attention to at Sony’s conference, for better or for worse.
What do you think the new God of War will be like? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!