A new God of War game was the opening announcement at Sony’s E3 media briefing. After a dramatic orchestral performance, complete with medieval-style chanting, we got to see nearly 10 minutes of gameplay, which was not enough for me.
As the demo begins we see a boy playing with some toys. A deep voice beckons him inside the building and tells him that his mother’s knife belongs to him now. Then we see who that deep voice belongs to. Kratos (of sorts) steps into the light. While he still bears his red war paint designs, his beard is much longer and we are most definitely not in Ancient Greece. He also wears a big axe across his back, while the signature Blades of Chaos are nowhere to be found.
We follow Kratos and the boy as they track a large deer through the forest. After a short while, some unnatural beings jump into their path. Kratos springs into action using that large axe to freeze an enemy in addition to slicing them up. The battle includes the brutality and dramatic finishing moves that are a hallmark of God of War games (and that I find particularly satisfying.) After those enemies are dispatched, the duo continues their hunt across some stone ruins. But ancient ruins are always homes for evil beings and these ruins are no different.
A very large troll breaks through the path they had been following, shouts something about Valhalla and grabs one of the pillars of the ruins to use as a weapon. Then we get to see some classic God of War boss-fighting action. Kratos wrestles the troll to the ground and beckons the boy to shoot the beast, but the boy misses and shoots Kratos in the shoulder instead. Kratos finishes off the troll and the two continue their hunt. Because giant trolls are apparently a normal occurrence in…wherever we are.
The closing moments of the demo show Kratos helping the boy finish off the deer who has been brought down by an arrow. Then Kratos says the boy is ready for the “new beginning” and we see a dragon flying in the distance.
I’ve got a bunch of questions after seeing that gameplay footage. We saw the “Spartan Rage” power become available during that troll battle, so this would appear to be the same Kratos and not a re imagining of him. So, why is Kratos in what appears to be a Norse setting? Why is his beard longer? Why does he have an axe and not the Blades of Chaos that were supposed to be inseparable from his arms? And finally, why is he being so nice? OK, so he’s not nice by most people’s standards, but he’s super nice compared to the Kratos in previous games. Besides teaching the boy how to kill a beast that’s been brought down, he also checks himself when yelling at the boy earlier in the hunt.
My thought is that Kratos (who was seemingly very dead at the end of God of War III) has been given a new chance at life, but he has to learn to be kind… at least to those who aren’t evil. Also he basically killed every Greek god, so there wasn’t anything left in Greece for him anyway.
In any event, I am super excited and can’t wait for more details on the game.