This is my first God of War game ever, and I just finished it. Here's what I loved, and what I didn't like (so much). For reference, I'm a big Souls fan + Bloodborne and Sekiro, so my opinions are from this background.
Fantastic story + Music
It's clear that a lot of love has gone into this game. Whoever wrote the story truly feels invested. The music drives home the emotional highlights. Kratos's journey with his son is a study in character development. I didn't expect a video game story to be this sophisticated and emotional.
Freya was magnificent as well. A complex personality, whom we love. And though we never see Kratos's wife and Atreus's mother, we can still feel her presence throughout the game.
The story is a beautiful work of art. The Baldur fights are cinematic accomplishments in their own right, and carry a lot of weight.
Almost no Boss Fights
The only "real" boss in the game is Sigrun – the Valkyrie queen. The others big enemies are just repeats of one another. This is one of the biggest departures from the Souls games.
Combat is Frenetic: Can be Either Good or Bad Depending on Taste
Unlike Souls games, Kratos fights multiple enemies at all times. In Souls games, fights are methodical, and carefully controlled. In GoW, there are waves and waves of enemies, luck plays a big role, and you get surrounded often. It's a matter of taste. I personally didn't like fighting multiple enemies at once, but that's the GoW signature I suppose.
Can Induce Motion Sickness
For someone who gets seasick easily, there's altogether too much boat riding! In the first 5 minutes of the game, I had to turn off the camera shake options. Without that, I wouldn't have been able to continue at all. But there's still a bunch of boat travel that induces motion sickness. And at one point in the game, you have to be on a huge ship that's floating around. Very bad!
Difficulty Levels are Messed Up
The game's difficulty at higher levels consists of more health for enemies, and more damage taken. Unlike Souls' games, where the difficulty is more organic. It's difficult to explain, but when playing "Give me a Challenge" with no skills unlocked, I didn't feel satisfied beating mobs. Just tired. It's a bit ridiculous.
Bottom Line: Story Makes up for it All
The story and the music are killer. It's what makes the game awesome in my opinion. I won't be playing it again on harder difficulties, because like I said, I don't like the way the game makes things hard. But it's been an amazing experience. Even the lack of boss fights (exception Sigrun) doesn't detract from the experience. I'm very happy I bought and played it!
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