Sony came in guns blazing to E3 2016. We saw things people have been waiting for, Days Gone, more Horizon: Zero Dawn footage after it captured everyone’s attention at E3 2015, a few random appearances such as Crash Bandicoot and The Last Guardian, and finally….God of War.
Now, this isn’t God of War 4, at least not yet. This isn’t in the Greek mythos, and that much is made clear at the end of the trailer with the following logo as well as multiple other instances in the trailer:
Norse writing is splattered all over the trailer, you discover a new area? It’s translated to English from Norse writing. You gain knowledge in an aspect of survival (archery etc.)? Translation as well. What accompanies this is also an absolutely breathtaking landscape. We’ve never seen Kratos in a snow covered tundra, or a frozen over lake. But that’s also a peculiar topic…is that actually Kratos? Or an iteration of Kratos?
There is only one Ghost of Sparta in previous God of War entries, and we all know his look, voice, and attitude very well. The “new” Kratos mirrors him in all categories, except voice. He’s also missing the very famous Blades of Chaos on his forearms, which makes you wonder. Is this considered a completely alternate universe of God of War, or Kratos before he came to be in God of War 1/2/3? My choice is most likely the former, considering the story of the Ghost of Sparta did not involve a rune covered axe, or teaching a son archery in frozen mountains. This will obviously be explained in the future, but it’s a great question for speculation.
Now on to the actual game, which almost feels like The Last of Us in it’s own right. You’re teaching your son to hunt for the family, simple enough? But instead of a typical free standing, almost top down view like we had in previous entries, you have a 3rd person, over the shoulder camera while following your son on the hunt. Even punching an enemy to death with your bare hands and breaking it’s jaw feels eerily similar to The Last of Us, and that’s not a bad thing! This almost feels like an RPG in it’s own right, combined with the action of previous entries, which seems to be a bit slower paced in comparison.
There are still familiar things from previous entries…did I mention there’s a moment of Spartan Rage that really displays Kratos with the full power of the PS4? See the gif above for proof.
The axe retracting into your grip after being thrown into the head of a troll also feels like the Blades of Chaos in the past, as well as hitting a button to rip an enemy apart. It’s definitely in the vein of God of War. But then there’s things like gaining knowledge for successfully striking a deer with a bow and arrow, almost like experience gain in a standard RPG.
The environment of this game also really encapsulates what we imagine a tundra should be like. We’ve played Skyrim, or we’ve been to Northrend in World of Warcraft, and this does not shy away in the “chilling, but beautiful” way at all. It also has dragons! These can’t be forgotten about, especially seeing the appearance of one right at the end of the trailer.
I think what we’re seeing is a new approach to God of War, with a fantastic environment, and huge potential that will inspire other game developers in the future.
Interested in what you’ve seen? The full trailer shown at E3 2016 is available below, but don’t expect it any time soon as it’s listed only as “in development” at the end of the trailer. Let us know what you think in the comments!