Some spoilers ahead. You've been rewarned.
When the first God of War came out, I was about 15. It was clearly an adult game with loads of violence and sex. Initially took an interest because for a ps2 game it looked amazing, then I played it. And realised that the graphics and scale were just the beginning. The two major sequels after that were true to form and incremental improvements. 2nd one was a slight letdown in terms of not being able to slay major gods. 3 was incredible. The violence, the personal nature of the rage, the ascension of Athena after the fall of Olympus, the Blades through all this. All amazing. Special notable point, its exclusives like this that have kept me with the ps consoles. Once I played GoW3, I thought maybe this is the end. Then a new God of War was announced. And they didn't call it 4. I knew things would change, I didn't know whether I wanted that or not. I'd been trying to look up reviews and because of some algorithm I received this YouTube notification which showed me that Athena and the Blades were in this game. I then decided I didn't want to know. I got the game on digital, thought they deserved full price with no middle men after all this time. By God, did they deserve it. From the first fight with Baldur, every Valkyrie, the Elves, the puzzles, the storytelling and the portrayal of a calmer and more intelligent father. Kratos was a father in game 1 but he didn't really embrace it until game 3 where he suddenly felt fatherly for Pandora.
Also one huge thing that changed between the original series and now is that I became a big brother to a sister 18 years younger than i. The whole father figure thing started to make sense. I understood Kratos well in this game and from the documentary it was clear that Cory Barlog reshaped Kratos because of his little girl. Weird how that worked out. Whether it was the emotion of Freya wanting to protect her son by sacrificing herself, or Kratos accepting his fate as just being a vehicle for Arteus becoming what he's meant to be. The strong ties of family and friendship binds you to the story of the game. And the Valkyries, they help you to value your soul because, you pretty much have to give a part of it to survive those beasts. It's been a journey, maybe God of War has been a total of 200 hours of my life. But those 200 have affected me as a person, whether it's about having an outlet for rage whilst being entertained or to truly understand humans, humanity and growth. The 4 game console journey along with one handheld one has shown me things I won't otherwise have known, but most importantly it has given me the timely life lessons of controlling and using your rage, moving on from tragedy, and finally valuing relationships like nothing else has. Kratos has been raised well.
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