GOW Impressions (no spoilers)

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#1 Edited by BoOzak (2548 posts) -

I got the game early (yesterday) but have only spent a few hours playing it. (Yakuza 6 happend) So far i'm enjoying it. It's exactly what I expected for better and worse. Heres a few of my takeaways so far.

  • Combat is nice and crunchy
  • The game sure is pretty
  • The 'puzzles' are kind of dumb
  • The text is fucking tiny
  • I'm sure this kid is trolling me. (yes I know i'm on fire...)
  • I hope there is a way to fast travel at some point.
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#2 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

The tiny text is a real bummer for me, it's nothing that will affect my overall enjoyment I don't think but man do I have to squint to read anything in that journal.

I think the so called no camera cut thing they're trying to do is mostly ineffective but I guess harmless also so whatever.

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#3 Posted by Humanity (18641 posts) -

I’ve gotten an early copy of this so I’ve been playing since Monday and one thing that sticks out is the tutorialization is done really poorly. Tiny text at the edge of the screen while the action keeps going. It’s real iffy. Slightly better when it comes to menus and they lock you out and walk you through the thing step by step but still some stuff I had to play to fully understand. Apart from that the game is real fun and a huge departure from what GoW was to the point where I can definitely see old fans not be terribly happy or satisfied with this new direction.

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#4 Posted by Rorie (5672 posts) -

That first fight with The Stranger is one of the more impressive early setpieces in a game I've seen in a long time. Heck of a way to set the table for the rest of the game.

Staff
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#5 Posted by RubberBabyBuggyBumpers (1006 posts) -

I do not know. I do not know. I do not know.

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#6 Posted by mikewhy (331 posts) -

@humanity: That's funny, because I really liked how unobtrusive the tutorials were. Then hated when they did the dreaded "here's how you navigate menus you've already been to. Select this, now read this, now select this next thing". I find that stuff such a drag.

@rorie: Right?! When you're introduced to him it's like "yeah who is this chump that's gonna get wrecked". Then out of nowhere it's this huge battle full of spectacle. I even liked the corny "slow-mo where he gives a cheeky look as you're about to whip his body into the ground" moments.

Does new Kratos remind anyone else of Tom Hardy in Mad Max?

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#7 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

The Stranger was a fun set piece yeah, plus it revealed just enough to give away identity I'm pretty sure having played too many things featuring Norse shit.

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#8 Posted by Humanity (18641 posts) -

@mikewhy: I dunno I missed a whole bunch of the tutorials in the fight sequences because I was too engaged in the fight to even notice what was on the screen. I guess I just don't have that dual-attention to be looking at two things at the same time. I prefer to slower paced step by step approach but thats just me.

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#9 Posted by mikewhy (331 posts) -

Could also be I watched that "Dans first impression" video not long before playing those fights myself, so all the info was still pretty fresh in my mind.

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#10 Posted by Ares42 (4313 posts) -

I decided to play the game on Hard, and I feel like it might've been a mistake. The combat is not in any way the masterpiece of this new approach to the franchise. I've gotten far enough into the game now that I've gotten enough moves etc to make it bearable, but it's still mostly a chore to get through fights. Thinking about it, what made GoW combat so fun was that you had incredible movement and reach and you had a great perspective both making the fights more manageable to play and enjoyable to watch. This game throws all that away and adds a downsized combat system and one dimensional enemies on top.

But that aside, the most interesting thing about this game so far for me is the fact that they made a great Thor game. I mean this is almost Arkham Asylum levels of making a top notch comic book game. Sure, it's not actually Thor, but in every almost every way other than the name and the main character it's a Thor game. And it's not "modern" Marvel Studios style, but actually solid tangible fantasy.

(also, the upgrades and materials and runes and skills and enhancements and levels etc etc is a total mess.)

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#11 Edited by Nodima (2591 posts) -

Really enjoying the tone of the game. It's not exactly "Duke Nukem reawakens in 2018 to realize he's washed" but it does strike a really unique balance of a world weary main character who expects everything to go poorly with the young kid enchanted by all the new experiences and a supporting cast that just knows this world to be this way. The dwarven brothers are great comic relief so far and they sneak some really good comedy into the regular cutscenes as well. There is one point in particular - for the sake of spoilers, we'll call it the drawing of the curtain to reveal the play - that comes with this massive lore dump attached that had me feeling more and more baffled at just how much mythology and world building they were dropping at an insanely rapid clip...and then the character wraps everything up by saying, "but I suppose you wanted a more concise explanation?" (paraphrasing) and Kratos deadpans, simply, "Yes." And then the character just quickly goes on to translate everything into video game terms, which is perfectly goofy.

I had forgotten how much I missed just how massive things are this world. That fight against The Speaker was awesome; I had worked Thursday night and got home a bit late after a round of after hours drinks so I got to what I thought was the end of the fight, paused it and put my PS4 in rest mode, only to wake up this morning, fire up the game and find that some VERY NUTS SHIT was about to go down. I can't wait for more stuff like that, it's something really only this series can do with its gods and myths. Speaking of world, that serpent...

The combat takes some getting used to. I'm pretty awful at remembering to trigger the block or use my Runic abilities, I kind of wish enemies would respawn in locations so I could keep working on my skills against lesser enemies rather than constantly earning new abilities while facing new enemies. It's making it a little difficult to get better at any one thing, though I am getting better overall. For how much this game reminds me of Bloodborne, and the fact that they do give Atreus items that can resurrect Kratos, I kind of wish they'd have leaned into the similarities even more. It's a hard game and its a strategy-based game, but it's also on a fairly fixed path, at least so far.

Speaking of Bloodborne, what's fucking with me the most with regards to the combat is honestly the button placement. The defensive movements are just one off from that game and it's giving me fits! I keep hitting O to dodge and L2 to block (when I remember that I can block) and getting a quarter of my health lopped off as a result.

This world is super fun to be in and I dig the puzzles enough; I've never been great at puzzle games and skipped most of the Riddler stuff in the Arkham games so I've honestly been proud of myself for completing every puzzle I've come across so far. Sometimes after completing them I could tell they'd be obvious to more seasoned puzzlers, but that ain't me, babe!

I also enjoy that the main supporting character so far bears a strong, strong resemblance to a character actress I've always really enjoyed but can't remember the name of (she's a total That Guy of the actress world).

Couple more things I've thought of while watching Dan's First Minutes and getting ready for work...I've fought two trolls so far and I can't tell if their tattoos are weak points or just distractingly glowy. My assumption was the rams they carry also have tons of glowy bits so it's likely just for decoration, but I found myself constantly targeting their weak points.

Also, on the Beastcast, Bombcast and the Quick Look they alluded to not wanting to spend items on anything because they were unsure if there were a finite amount of them in the world. Has anyone else gotten this feeling yet? I feel like they pretty clearly state that there will be, say, 9 of these or 18 of these in the world when it's relevant and that a collectible has no value other than being traded in to merchants when that's the case. I've completed one of the, like, warp-in trial fights and got some interesting items that seem intended for crafting and in limited quantity so maybe there will be more of that to come? It'd be kind of disappointing if this game locked you out of experimenting freely due to item scarcity.

Lastly...BOY!

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#12 Posted by CptPanda29 (216 posts) -

If the OP doesn't spoil anything and specifies (no spoliers) can we keep that going in the replies please?

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#13 Posted by mikewhy (331 posts) -

So I just got to the World Serpent bit and boyyy is this place is friggin huge.

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#14 Posted by Big_Denim (833 posts) -

@rorie: Just finished that fight and I am feeling pretty jazzed about this game now. Top level animation and 'cinematics' blended perfectly into a really satisfying fight.

Hopefully the rest of the game can keep up that level of tension and excitement.

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#15 Posted by SethMode (1932 posts) -

My earliest impression so far is that it seems pretty good although I can see why the crew thought early game was a bit same-y. Can't wait for it to open up a bit.

Outside of that, holy crap. I say this as someone with great vision and a 50" TV, the font is insanely small and thank heavens Barlog said he'll look into it. It's not unbearable but it isn't exactly pleasant. It always does make me laugh when stuff like this gets through but I'm assuming it's just the product of no one playing on a couch during QA?

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#16 Posted by glots (4264 posts) -

Really enjoyed it so far, maybe 4-5 hours played, with the world just opening up. Haven’t minded this not playing like the old games, because this does a spectacular job at showing what a powerhouse Kratos still is.

I guess I sit (too) close to the tv, because tiny text hasn’t bothered me. I want to enjoy the graphics in their full glory, hence why my eyeballs are touching the screen.

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#17 Posted by SethMode (1932 posts) -

@glots: Hah I'm not even sitting THAT far away. It just seems kind of crazy tiny on these tutorials!

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#18 Posted by Nodima (2591 posts) -

I'm not that far away either; 2-3 feet. It's a bit of a pain. Reminds me of the earlier builds of Witcher 3.

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#19 Posted by Heltom92 (843 posts) -

Really enjoying so far, I decided to play on the third difficulty as I heard on normal that combat was too easy and it is definitely challenging on this difficulty. I died like six times in the first fight.

The Stranger fight was awesome and I think it really sells the single shot camera as it seamlessly transitions from gameplay to cinematic.

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#20 Edited by Sword_of_doom (33 posts) -

This game is very strange in a good way. The world is just opening up and I’m finding myself kind of lost and just going along with it. i love how magical the world feels.

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#21 Posted by pompouspizza (1556 posts) -

@heltom92: I am also playing on hard and I think I died more on the first fight than you did. It’s definitely hard and I find myself dying a lot but I feel like it’s really forcing me to get better at the combat. Really enjoying it so far.

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#22 Posted by BoOzak (2548 posts) -

Okay I can confirm there is a fast travel system (as i'm sure many of you know) the annoying thing though is that i've encountered inactive ones prior to the game telling me about them that havent become activated now that I can use them. Meaning i'd have to backtrack to activate them. A minor anoyance which wont really be a problem until I realised i've missed something and have to go back. (or a favour asks me to go back)

Anyway i'm still enjoying the game but the combat still hasnt quite clicked with me yet, i've got more options (I just upgraded my axe to level 3) but none of them are real game changers. I'm not finding the game very challenging on normal but from what i've heard in this thread the gap between normal and hard seems quite sizable so I think i'll stick with it and see if it gets more difficult.

The kid still annoys me, I feel like i'm going be telling him to slow down hundreds of times before he finally falls in a pit or something.

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#23 Posted by Humanity (18641 posts) -

@boozak: Weird thing about this new structure is that I want to beeline the main story because thats what I'm most curious about, but I feel like if I don't engage with all the side content along the way I'll suddenly start having a really hard time with enemies down the road. I've already encountered large groups of wolves that are high level and are sort of a pain to fight at once, especially since more often than not enemies will not stunlock enough to pull off the full 3x light 1x heavy combo.

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#24 Posted by Ares42 (4313 posts) -

@humanity: I've found the opposite to be true. Story missions have been following a nice curve, but any time I stray and try to do some side-stuff I run into way overpowered enemies. From what I understand the side-side-stuff (as in not side-quests, but like "map activities") seems to be intended as either extra challenges to play around with post-game or very late game to buy and upgrade the best equipment.

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#25 Posted by Humanity (18641 posts) -

@ares42: It's been a mixed bag for me which is why I'm not sure if I should be pursuing that stuff or not. Some places I've had NPC's tell me to go do stuff and it's fine. Other times I arrive at a rift and a monster comes out that one shots me and I can barely ding it. The placement is weird because these aren't some out of the way, remote, woah don't go in there Kratos, type of places. I'll do a quest along the lake of the nine thats a cakewalk and 2 minutes of paddling later I'm getting my ass handed to me. I think I'll try beeling for a while and see how that goes, I'm a recovering completionist, so I've been able to resist the urge that calls to me every time I see a side passage or whatever, but sometimes it's hard to not engage with content the moment the game presents it.

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#26 Posted by Seikenfreak (1506 posts) -

Spent around 6 hours ish playing it last night and I'm enjoying it.

That spot in the beginning with "The Stranger" was fan-fucking-tastic and I had a moment where I thought "This is the next step in 3D fighting games I want." Keep in mind, I don't really like fighting games because its all ridiculous button mashy impossible combo stuff.. except Dead or Alive, but yea I was thinking how something like Dragon Ball, where the source material is much more about the cinematics of it, the scale, the speed, the drama. This is how I could see a 3D Dragon Ball fighting game being presented. Of course, a series like Dragon Ball will never get the level of talent and budget that something like this has. And without that, it won't work right.

Lets see.. other than that, I keep coming up with comparisons to certain aspects of other games; if they took a bunch of big titles and mixed them up in a pot. I feel like I'm playing an Ocarina of Time adventure, with some Dark Souls combat (specifically the intro section, this is becoming more it's own thing once I started unlocking moves), adding in some Assassin's Creed climbing animation, some modern Tomb Raider gritty tone and environments, spoonful of Uncharted with the puzzles and movie-like presentation, a dab of Ico/Last Guardian with the son being there, and some of that special, uniquely God of War, awesomely detailed, violent badassery that the series always did right.

Slightly sad to hear the dudes complain about the scripted kill finishers on the podcasts because I think they're great. Almost feel too fast because I love watching Kratos fuck shit up. Feels so good stringing up some combos, getting a moment to cleave a dude in half, then walking it off into more attacks. In general, there are a bunch of animation things that seem unnaturally sped up because I imagine they found people whining about it. For a game like this, I want the more cinematic and atmospheric presentation, so I want to take things slow. Stuff like the boat. Feel like I'm in a cartels' cigarette boat blasting along the water while Kratos slowly rows at it. I have to barely touch the stick to get it to move at a more realistic looking pace so I can take in the ambience. Same for walking. I find myself trying to walk a lot in this. Other parts with the boy, scripted animations or something where you transition between areas or something, I can't remember exactly.. but those have a sped up look to them, as if some brat in focus testing said "Why is it taking so long to crawl through a crack!? This game is too slow! I want action! Action! Action! Give me ACTION!" as the mother hands him another candy bar.

Anyway, those are some initial thoughts. It's good. Looking forward to more epic Norse characters and sequences.

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#27 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

I don't even see a lot of chances to do scripted kills. I fight primarily with Axe and it doesn't stun much.

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#28 Posted by BoOzak (2548 posts) -

@ares42 said:

@humanity: I've found the opposite to be true. Story missions have been following a nice curve, but any time I stray and try to do some side-stuff I run into way overpowered enemies. From what I understand the side-side-stuff (as in not side-quests, but like "map activities") seems to be intended as either extra challenges to play around with post-game or very late game to buy and upgrade the best equipment.

Yeah, the only thing thats really posed a threat so far has been those rifts, which feel mostly like end game stuff. I've only really run into one favour and that was quite early on, i'm not sure if i'm missing them or if they dont doll them out until later. I try to explore but whenever I do the kid keeps bugging me. I swear he's like Navi except i'm supposed to care about him.

Anyway, not to turn this into my Atreus venting thread... I'm enjoying the combat more now but the puzzles are still lacking. (or really anything outside of the combat and general presentation) Zelda or even Darksiders this is not. So far this is reminding me more of the Tomb Raider reboots, which I quite liked so i'm not too bothered.

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#29 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

Those two level 6 heavies from a Rift sure taught me how to dodge and get axe headshots though.

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#30 Posted by sfw44 (274 posts) -

I've been playing this game since Thursday night, I'm not sure how far I am but the game is starting to open up and so far I've been totally immersed in this game and every about the game has been exceptional so far.

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#31 Posted by wollywoo (246 posts) -

I started playing this. I thought I had zero interest in another God of War, but I had to buy it after all the reviews. I have to say... it's pretty great. The whole game looks like MONEY. I mean, you can count the individual hairs on Kratos's beard or the tiniest stems coming out of some ivy growing on a bridge. Tiny details everywhere that 99% of people will never notice. It's nuts. I'm usually partial to indie or Nintendo-style games, but man. There is something nice about this AAAA space.

The combat is definite chunky, crunchy, visceral. It feels pretty good. I wish you could move faster when in combat. I could see it getting repetitive though. Fights can take quite a while and enemies can soak up quite a lot of damage. The game, strangely enough, gives me strong RE4 vibes. Especially when fighting the troll. Similar camera angles, puzzles, sidekick, exploration, secrets.

The story is very intriguing. The game is really keeping its secrets close to it's chest so far. I've played four or five hours and I still have no idea who Atreus's mother is, why they came to Midgard, why Kratos has the axe, etc. I'm assuming all of this will be explained. The interaction between Kratos and Atreus is very well done. I'm very, very curious to see where this all goes.

Minor complaints:

- WTF happened to the rest of that tree at the very start of the game? It is clearly an entire tree, with branches. Kratos cuts in down and a second later it's just a log. This is a very strange, glaring continuity error. Or did I miss something?

- How does Atreus know when to fire when I hit square? I don't hear Kratos yell or anything usually. Psychic connection?

- Not so much a complaint, but it is hilarious when Atreus gets walloped by a giant monster twice his size at full force, and he's just fine. He immediately jumps right into the action, which seems at odds with the whole concerned-dad thing the story is going for.

- Why can't I throw the axe from the boat? This is really annoying at times when it would clearly be useful.

- The menus are terrible and needlessly confusing.

- Why does that enormous stag immediately fall after one arrow strike? Deer can often run long distances after being wounded.

- If the game never, ever cuts does this mean that Kratos never sleeps, eats, poops, etc.? It seems like an awfully long journey to the top of the mountain, must take several days at least.

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#32 Edited by WheresDerrick (326 posts) -

I am really, really impressed you are allowed to save whenever you want.

I assume you can't during a cutscene or in the middle of a fight, but its so great to bring up the menu and manual save instead of relying on iffy checkpoints.

I feel for the most part the game does a good job of slowly introducing the combat to you. I say mostly because I was real annoyed it didn't teach you how to block or parry until several fights in, and I started on the second hardest difficulty and had a hell of a time trying to play. Other than that, its real good at teaching you the mechanics.

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#33 Posted by beforet (3470 posts) -

I live for Kratos getting really angry, breathing, and then continuing as just angry.

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#34 Posted by CupOfDoom (94 posts) -

The pacing of the early game is weird. It spends so long not revealing itself that it becomes boring then, it introduces all of its systems all at once. It is such a baffling choice in an otherwise great game. The only other gripe I have with the game is the fight against (mid game spoiler) the dragon wasn't very fun. It felt too much like a puzzle instead of a real fight.

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#35 Posted by mikewhy (331 posts) -

@cupofdoom: Huh, I didn't even consider that part a fight, and more of a puzzle / exercise in avoiding damage while freeing the beast.

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#36 Posted by RubberBabyBuggyBumpers (1006 posts) -

I like the stories "Head" tells whilst rowing around the Lake of the Nine.

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#37 Posted by hoossy (1075 posts) -

The "Give Me a Challenge" difficulty is kicking my ass in a really surprising way. This is my typical go-to difficulty setting.. but...

I'm in the early game cavern with the frozen baddies and I've died maybe 8 times. I get SO close and then some fireball hits me from above.

I roll... I kick baddies off the cliff ... I throw the Axe... MAN! I hate to go down a difficulty level but I'm getting really frustrated at this point.

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#38 Edited by Nodima (2591 posts) -

That section near Thor's statue is a lot of fun.

I really had no idea which way that was going to go right up to the very end, and I love how they just drop the situation on you with no context and it's up to you to figure out what to do with it.

It's super cool how this game opens up, from the world to the combat. As usual I'm so distracted by side stuff I can barely remember what's going on in the actual plot, but the side stuff is all really great and getting most of Kratos' abilities unlocked has turned this combat into a real blast with a nice variety of options for attacking certain enemies.

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#39 Edited by pompouspizza (1556 posts) -

@hoossy: it was really difficult in the early game but I stuck with it and now it’s a lot more manageable. I don’t know if the game is easier because I have a lot more moves or I’m getting better, it’s probably both.

I still die a fair amount but the time between deaths is getting longer and longer. Im having a blast!

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#40 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (3651 posts) -

@efesell said:

The Stranger was a fun set piece yeah, plus it revealed just enough to give away identity I'm pretty sure having played too many things featuring Norse shit.

Haha yeah same! I was trying to work out who it was and I thought I knew so ended up doing a quick dangerous google to see if I could confirm it without spoiling anything else.

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#41 Edited by BoOzak (2548 posts) -

@cupofdoom said:

The pacing of the early game is weird. It spends so long not revealing itself that it becomes boring then, it introduces all of its systems all at once. It is such a baffling choice in an otherwise great game. The only other gripe I have with the game is the fight against (mid game spoiler) the dragon wasn't very fun. It felt too much like a puzzle instead of a real fight.

Yeah, one of my least favourite things that GOW popularized is dodging giant hands and attacking them (same with feet) it just isnt very satisftying. That aside it was a cool set piece.

Now the game has opened up a bit more i'm having a better time. Atreus is less of a brat and the combat is more fun (although progressively easier) i'm playing the game like DOOM (2016) just fully spec'ing into stun and smacking the shit out of enemies with my shield and tearing them to pieces while regen'ing health in the process... It's quite fun.

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#42 Edited by handlas (3387 posts) -

Liking it a lot but my only complaint is the game looks really stuttery at times... like not really a frame rate issue but like its loading stuff or frame pacing; not sure. Makes it hard for me to play for long stretches. And my PS4 Pro sounds like an airplane at certain points so maybe it's a combination or things.

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#43 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

@handlas said:

Liking it a lot but my only complaint is the game looks really stuttery at times... like not really a frame rate issue but like its loading stuff or frame pacing; not sure. Makes it hard for me to play for long stretches. And my PS4 Pro sounds like an airplane at certain points so maybe it's a combination or things.

I definitely had an adjustment period to the way the camera moves and shakes to maintain the "No Cuts" effect they wanted to try.

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#44 Posted by WheresDerrick (326 posts) -

For a thread with no spoilers in the title people sure are revealing a bit too much for my liking

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#45 Posted by Efesell (4443 posts) -

For a thread with no spoilers in the title people sure are revealing a bit too much for my liking

Honestly cannot see where.

Even the ones I see already marked are like.. they only spoil if you have the context of a thing already.

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#46 Posted by OurSin_360 (6133 posts) -
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#47 Posted by ripelivejam (13134 posts) -

For a thread with no spoilers in the title people sure are revealing a bit too much for my liking

Talking about a game at any length = spoilers nowadays. I'd either learn to accept it or not read anything until you've finished.

Enjoying it a lot and not feeling lost at all having only briefly played the first game and knowing some things anecdotally. Played about 2 or 3 hrs now I think? I've been really stuck on the fights but am being stubborn about playing on the 3rd highest difficulty. I'm very bad about balancing dodge and shield (usually one or the other) and can't deal too well with more than two enemies. Might give it up and drop it down a peg to at least progress a little further.

Quite like the cinematic nature of the whole thing; the shaky cam hasn't put me off yet.

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#48 Edited by burncoat (557 posts) -

I love that Spartan Rage has particle effects on his forearms even though he doesn't have his edgelord weapons anymore.

This game is almost making me want to watch a let's play or longplay of the God of War games I never got to or cared to play.

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#49 Posted by NTM (11647 posts) -

Well, I just bought it. I did it quickly and got the Deluxe Edition. I clicked it and put it in my cart then noticed that's what I did. I saw that it had some armor and ax in-game stuff so I just went ahead with it even if that alone isn't worth it. So, I am not sure I regret doing that, but oh well now.

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#50 Posted by Casepb (637 posts) -

I'm about 10 hours in now and I'm really loving it. The combat took a while to grow on me though, mostly because of the close up camera. I still rather the combat of the original games I admit. And holy shit this is one of the most polished games I've ever played. So much attention to detail.

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