God of War (2018) • A Photo Journey

Some time before God of War (2018) was announced, I decided it was time for my first Kratos adventure with God of War III: Remastered. Growing up, I was always a big fan of hack and slash-style action-adventure games, because when panicked during combat I would automatically default to button mashing. Upon finishing God of War III: Remastered I thought there was no rush for me to play as Kratos any time in the near future — I was wrong.

During E3 2016, Sony Santa Monica dropped the new God of War trailer and from that moment I was sold. It wasn’t going to be another classic God of War game from before. This one was going to be a reboot, in a new world, with new gameplay, and a new character — Kratos’s son. 

The previous entries were all about hacking and slashing, mashing buttons, and chaining combos. This new game was more about fighting smart, blocking, parrying, and using your abilities at the right moment. I pre-ordered God of War (2018) as soon as it was available. I even played through the game immediately. In my head I was going for the platinum trophy, which I never achieved. I did manage to explore a great deal of the realms.

Replaying God of War (2018)

With the release date of God of War: Ragnarok fast approaching, I decided that I would jump back into the previous game — mainly so that any big differences in the sequel would stick out to me. After a few hours I was hooked on this game again. I had to finish the main quest, and I finally did this past weekend.

Before I share my tales and thoughts on God of War: Ragnarok, I first wanted to talk a bit about replaying the first game. I also took many screenshots while playing through the main story, which I will include in this photo journey post.

God of War (2018): A Photo Journey

God of War (2018) starts off with a banger — that first fight against Baldur. I knew this fight was early on in the game, and my original plan was to basically make it through this fight before moving onto God of War: Ragnarok.

Baldur comes to the house to fight Kratos before the journey even begins. This epic battle has been on my mind ever since I first thought about replaying this game.

I was immediately reminded how hard this game can be. When asked to pick a difficulty, I flashed back to my first time playing the game. I had started off on a tougher difficulty (something like “Give me a Challenge”). That first battle against one tree monster was tough, but fair. I was victorious.

Once they added a second or third foe to a battle, I quickly switched to the easier difficulty. I’m fine with getting the story, and somewhat of a challenge, but always knowing that I could defeat the enemy. When the game gets too tough, that’s when I become a button masher, and Kratos dies.

This world is such a triumph in level design. The game features a semi-open world, where you can get lost going after side quests and searching for hidden items. It also does a great job of telling you where to go through great design.

At one point, you gain access to a compass that easily guides you toward your current quest, but just looking around at the world you can find hints in the forms of markings on walls or rocks, and so much more.

The Leviathan Axe is still one of the greatest weapons ever created in gaming. Even on my PlayStation 4, it felt so great to launch and recall. I can’t imagine how great it will feel on the PlayStation 5 with the haptic feedback and new tech on the DualSense controllers*.

*I have now started Ragnarok on the PlayStation 5, and the Leviathan Axe does feel even better and smoother.

There was even the great reveal of adding Kratos’s Blades of Chaos to his weapon arsenal. I mostly stick to the Leviathan Axe, but the Blades are still great and even feature some of his classic combos from the older games, translated to this game.

Even though I have played through this entire story before, I was still intrigued the whole time. I was paying very close attention, not skipping through dialogue or cutscenes.

What makes this game so special is that even on my second playthrough, four years later, I still had that feeling of “I can’t wait to get home to play more God of War.”

This time around I played in New Game+ Mode. Starting off in New Game+ Mode is great because you begin your journey with all of your upgrades, weapons, abilities, items, and everything else in your inventory. There’s also special New Game+ Mode only items to collect.

The problem with New Game+ Mode for me, is that I was overwhelmed by the full abilities, menus, and all. I basically stuck to wearing the same outfit the entire time and using the same basic combat moves that I remembered from before. I didn’t want to sit and read through all of these different abilities and the lore.

If I’m slowly unlocking abilities and lore, I’m more likely to read through it all. When it’s all accessible to me from the start, I am easily overwhelmed and ready to move on.

I started God of War: Ragnarok two nights ago, and I can already feel a great difference in the look and feel of the game. Once I’m done with God of War: Ragnarok, I plan to post about that one too.

If you haven’t played God of War (2018), and you own a PlayStation 5 I’d suggest you go do so. It’s a free game for PS5 owners.

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