I know I’m 6 months into the release, but I just beat the story in God of War 4. Many of you are way ahead of me, but work and life get in the way.
I was in college when God of War for PS2 came out. It was the most original, innovative, exciting, clever, and intense game I had ever played. GoW2 and GoW3 followed, and each time they stepped up the action, the graphic polish, and the cleverness.
But never has a GoW game carried so much emotional weight. Never has it told a story so relatable.
When I first began God of War 4, I didn’t know what to expect. I was disappointed by the noticeable differences in artwork, setting, and gameplay. In each previous GoW installment, I knew I was getting a nostalgic extension of the previous game. There was no nostalgia to be found in GoW4. This was a completely new game. And while it was beautiful and challenging, I was saddened when I realized that I would not be getting the same feeling I got when I played GoW 1-3.
Multiple hours into the game, I accepted the new gameplay style. I accepted the new axe combat. And I was intrigued by the story. The game was pulling me in. It wasn’t the same game as 1-3, but I was coming around.
Then Atreus got sick. And as I rode that boat back home with Athena taunting me, the emotions began welling up. I was so far into the game that I never thought a connection to the previous series would be possible. But now I didn’t know what to expect. What would we find when I got home. Were we really going back to get what I hoped we would?
When Kratos opens up the floor boards and pulls out those blades, my eyes literally welled up with tears. The writers of this story pulled off the surprise so masterfully that I was stunned. The first time I swung the blades at an enemy, the nostalgia was overwhelming. I felt it in waves. I had made my peace with the fact that I would never get another God of War experience like the first three games. And after that acceptance, the creators of this completely new and redefining experience somehow managed to weave the essence of those original games into this new world. I’ve never felt a moment of joy and nostalgia stronger than what I felt at this point in God of War 4
In the end, as we spread the ashes, I found myself tearing up again. So much had happened during this journey. The writers of this game created a world and made me apart of the story. And I was truly exhausted at the conclusion. What now?
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