I’ll say this first- God of War isn’t my FAVORITE game of the year… but it is the only game that I can’t come up with a single thing to complain about. This is as close to perfection as I can imagine.
It’s the perfect length. The combat is balanced perfectly. The story is well told and interesting. The “video-gamey” mechanics like traveling merchants are explained in the story and even played around with. Every single aspect of this game just FEELS honed to perfection and it absolutely deserves GOTY.
Enough has been said about Red Dead- incredible technical achievement and one of the best stories told in gaming, but flawed in many ways. It has my respect for what it accomplished as far as providing the most detailed and realistic interaction with an open world in a game to date, and Arthur Morgan saddled my heart as one of my favorite characters of all time… but the game doesn’t come close to touching GoW’s polish of perfection.
Spider-Man is endearing as hell. Beautiful graphics, great story, great characters, fun and fluid game play… it’s so damned charming and I love it. But… it doesn’t do anything special or unique. It’s all been done before, even if Spider-Man does it better. Spider-Man also does not touch GoW.
Then there’s my favorite game of the year- Hitman 2. It’s my favorite, because I love Hitman and developer IO Interactive, and because Hitman 2 is a game made for the fans. But it’s broken in many ways and the fact that IO is understaffed and under-funded is apparent throughout. Hitman 2, my favorite game of 2018, definitely does not hold a candle to the excellence of God of War.
I’ve sat here thinking at length about what I didn’t like about GoW, or what could’ve been done better, or moments when I was frustrated because the game felt unfair or broken- nothing. I’ve got nothin’. It’s perfect, or as close to it as a game has ever been. Even when I’m getting downright embarrassed by Sigrun, I know it’s because I’m just not good enough- but I CAN be if I try.
Hats off to Sony Santa Monica. Seriously.
Now I’m just hoping for a new PlayStation All-Stars game featuring Kratos, Atreus, Aloy, Spider-Man and more. Kratos vs Spider-Man just sounds really damned interesting to me.
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