GOW Impressions (no spoilers)

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#51 Posted by glots (4382 posts) -

After having spent both saturday and sunday playing for I don't even know how many hours, I'll be shocked if this won't be my game of the year. It certainly is so far, though there hasn't exactly been that many (or any) contenders for that place 'till now. Can't remember the last time I've had this much fun playing a big budget release and being bummed that I have to go to work instead of being able to just sit at home and play the game. I guess the silver lining here is that the game will last longer.

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#52 Posted by wollywoo (302 posts) -

I continue to be wowed by this game. The story is getting a little bit slow, though, with lots of fighting and puzzles but no characters other than Kratos and Atreus (and shopkeepers) for a while. Here's hoping we meet someone else soon.

I've been catching up on the Norse myths by re-reading Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology". It's a great, short read if you want to hear some of the traditional stories. Also the audiobook is great, with Neil himself reading. His voice is his perfect, effortlessly taking on different tones and accents for each character. Comedy and pathos in equal measure. Also a helpful glossary in the back that is worth leafing through to get all the references in the game.

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#53 Edited by baymax042 (4 posts) -

I have completed the main story in the game. Its a great game in my opinion but the combat (It is good of course) change makes me sad,there are already less hack and slash games (with over the top fun combat) these days. I would love to see a game with combat similar to Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta or DMC series.

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#54 Edited by Seikenfreak (1540 posts) -

@wollywoo said:

I've been catching up on the Norse myths by re-reading Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology". It's a great, short read if you want to hear some of the traditional stories. Also the audiobook is great, with Neil himself reading. His voice is his perfect, effortlessly taking on different tones and accents for each character. Comedy and pathos in equal measure. Also a helpful glossary in the back that is worth leafing through to get all the references in the game.

Was actually thinking about finding other supplemental Norse mythology stuff last night while playing.

Anyone have suggestions for movies/shows that focus on this? History channel series or a documentary. Perhaps a high quality Youtube channel? I'm very curious to know how much of GoW is their own idea and how much is "cannon". I've obviously heard a ton of the character and location names before but just about all of my reference is games; which is fun in its own way.

In terms of the game itself, at this point I'm beyond initial impressions of course. I'd like to think I'm maybe half way or two thirds? Hoping there is a lot more. Spent probably 6 hours last night exploring again. Combat continues to get better and better with more cool moves plus I'm getting better at it I think. Fights with multiple enemies continue to be very tricky since no one queues up to punch you. The attack direction indicators behind you are useless for me. I can't pay attention to them or see them a lot of the time. Still gives me the inspired-by-Souls-games impression just that it feels very player skill based. I've died a lot on normal difficulty and if I just keep practicing then I can clear a fight more easily and feel like a bad ass. Lots of dodging, being aware, picking your openings, parrying etc.

More of the gear, stats, and skills are starting to mentally click for me. Leaning more towards a "build" so to speak and less of "uhh.. I don't know.. this one looks cool"

Can't go into more story impressions without spoilers.

Overall, the game continues to be very good. I won't say its a completely new sort of experience, but its extremely polished and the interpretation of the mythology is awesome so far.

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#55 Edited by NTM (11872 posts) -

The Deluxe Edition wasn't worth the 'extras' at all, so I regret getting that. As for the main game, I got up to the point where you meet the second shop dude, the brother. So far I am not loving it. It has some cool aspects, but overall it's not doing a whole lot for me and I'm not being all that impressed by what I've seen so far. That said I am not bored or disliking it either and definitely take note of the neat things. I like some of the enemy design; the Revenant reminds me of something in a Souls game. Some of the big creatures, like the turtle was very cool to be introduced to. I like the way the bestiary is written in a way that it fits the world as well as teaches the player by making it come from Atreus jotting down notes. Maybe I have to play on a harder difficulty, but so far the combat hasn't been satisfactorily challenging. It's really cool how you have a god from Greek mythology (the fictional Kratos mind you) come into a new realm and not know how it all works makes for some cool moment.

The first fight was cool because Kratos thinks he has things handled, but he more or less gets his ass whooped. The story between Kratos and Atreus isn't all the fascinating to me, and though I like that Atreus helps out a bunch, the dialogue between them as they explore on land is pretty repetitive with a lot of 'boy' and 'yes sir'. Maybe it'll change later. I don't want to call this game super derivative, but it does feel like a 'been there, done that' kind of experience so far as it meshes a handful of aspects from other games together, and it does take great aspects from some great games, but it's just not hitting super high notes right now. Definitely going to finish it and give my take, but so far I'm not as impressed as I had hoped I would be. I felt I was being jaded before playing it as I didn't have the utmost excitement I thought I could for a new God of War game, so now that it hasn't surprised me it's slightly disappointing. Oh, and the first God of War with the word 'fuck' said in it.

I like that Kratos totally expects the worst out of everyone because every character in the Greek mythos tended to wrong him, and yet in this some of the people he and Atreus come into contact with prove him wrong. It's cool seeing him almost forced to care for things and help with things even though he doesn't want to.

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#56 Posted by BrettVandelay (126 posts) -

I'm okay with the combat. Traversal isn't great, climbing is especially bad. Climbing is like Uncharted but more restrictive (God of War used to have climbing combat, which I liked).
The dialogue is horrible. I'm not a fan of the voice acting, and Atreus talks way too much. I literally went in to the options and set dialogue volume to 0.

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#57 Posted by BoOzak (2645 posts) -

I have completed the main story in the game. Its a great game in my opinion but the combat (It is good of course) change makes me sad,there are already less hack and slash games (with over the top fun combat) these days. I would love to see a game with combat similar to Ninja Gaiden or Bayonetta or DMC series.

Yeah i'm with you. I like a good action RPG but I miss those kinds of action games that move at a decent clip and dont require any (or very little) inventory management.

On the bright side Bayonetta 3 has been announced and DMC 5 is rumored to be coming out at some point next year.

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#58 Posted by NTM (11872 posts) -

Okay, I just started playing about thirty minutes ago, and though what I said above I felt, I am already more invested in it. I just got into Alfheim. I like that they did the typical God of War wheel turning thing but in this made it one of those slow story moments that is basically just characters standing around talking. Also, I was into the Ogre fight. I'm still thinking about making the difficulty a little higher.

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#59 Posted by pompouspizza (1563 posts) -

I’m loving the game so much! I will say that, anyone that’s having a tough time with hard mode at the beginning of the game, don’t change it. I’m a decent amount of the way through the game and I have pretty much every skill unlocked and the game is still challenging but it’s a lot easier. I can imagine that normal is very easy.

Also, upgrade Atreus! He’s unbelievably useful.

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#60 Posted by burncoat (559 posts) -

I'm a bit after the second (or third?) big story turn and this game feels designed for Giant Bombs GOTY talks. It's got "Best Moment" moments, great contenders for "Best Character", and even the infamous "Best World" category.

Not a bad thing. I'm just loving how much of the game shines in the exact way Giant Bomb loves to categorize games.

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#61 Posted by CupOfDoom (95 posts) -

@burncoat: Yeah, it is impressive how well they managed to write some of those characters. The game might also be a contender for "Best Surprise" because of how much better it is than anyone was expecting.

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#62 Posted by NTM (11872 posts) -

Oh, I was too tired to post this morning, but I played for quite a while last night and into the early morning today (it was around ten hours). The game, at least to me, got better and better. While it's quite some time into the game (if you are also doing side stuff along the way), once you get into the mountain, your main mission goal, the game just hit a stride to me and took off. Now it's consistently great and I find it hard to put down. It also had, even though somewhat brief, a great dragon battle. I just got to the part in the story where the water lowered again, and Mirmir is tagging along. It was surprising because now there's even more to explore. Also, the latter spoiler tag is not a huge spoiler, but it's spoiler enough for those that want to go totally in without knowing what happens. The combat, the exploring and the things that happen in the story is all great to me right now.

I am somewhat conflicted about Kratos as a character right now because he is seemingly one-note so far, but Atreus and a lot of other things in the world are balancing it out, trying to break through Kratos' stubborn and resentful ways. It's kind of interesting to walk around as this brutish person that only wants to focus on the main goal, but then you have Atreus that is curious about the world around him and caring about things. There hasn't seemed to have been one time in this game yet either where Kratos savagely kills some innocent to get to his goal either, which is nice to see, and I think it's in large part due to Atreus' character being there, but also him trying to manage his own evils. It is cool, on Kratos' part though to go somewhere that things are happening (say, a war) and Kratos doesn't care at all about why it's happening. Maybe the player is curious, and Atreus is certainly curious, but Kratos wants nothing to do with any of it. He just wants to get on with the main mission. The only way he gets partially involved with any of it is if it's in his way or can help them in some way.

He's all about distrust and survival; trying to teach his son of how to survive as well as what to be wary about, while Atreus is about caring for creatures, and people that help them or seem to be in need as well as what the story is of everything around him, so to me, in that way the dynamic is interesting. I also find it funny when Kratos does something no ordinary human could do and Atreus will either jot it down in the notebook he has or say something out loud that shows how impressed and surprised he is with Kratos' abilities. He'll ask Kratos if something is heavy, or if Kratos' back hurts as well as be in total awe when he takes down something that seemingly no one could do or has ever done while Kratos looks totally unaffected by any of it and just wants to move onto what needs to be done next.

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#64 Posted by darklingscribe (61 posts) -

@ntm: I just reached a part where Kratos is being forced to come to terms with something and as a result he’s no longer as one-note as he was before and is starting to have a nice character arc. I’d say more, but I don’t know how to use the blackout spoiler text when posting on a mobile browser.

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#65 Edited by NTM (11872 posts) -

@darklingscribe: I am not quite sure how far I am into it because a lot of trophies I've unlocked say that I completed all of the certain side things you can do, and yet there are still a bunch of the different realms I can go to. I've also almost unlocked all of the upgrades. I've probably put around 25 to 30 hours in so far? What I mean about Kratos being one-note is that he is consistently trying to be about one thing. I simultaneously find it interesting, but also think it's kind of predictable as to where it goes (but maybe not). He hasn't stopped in all of what I played at being mostly about wanting to survive and to teach the kid. There's a lot of the kid going 'I thought you didn't want to help.' and Kratos going 'It's a good lesson' or 'It was for resources'; that kind of thing.

I do however like a lot of the back and forth between them, a lot of the time only continuing on after you get back onto the boat, so you leave and Atreus will be talking about how he has gotten angry at Kratos, and Kratos will be like 'really?; and the next boat ride will be Kratos asking him when he gets angry, and it's not in an angry manner. Many of his interactions with Atreus aren't angry and becomes less angry sounding the more you get into it. I think one of my issues with the game is that as well made as it is, and it's making me want to sit and play it without putting it down, it feels like most of it is tried and true aspects from other games so it more or less feels predictable. It hardly makes it less enjoyable mind you.

Maybe one-note isn't entirely correct, but it's not unpredictable and he does stubbornly stick to feeling one way or acts like he does. I'm just saying, it all works because of the cast of characters, rather than the characters alone. I feel like where I'm at, at this point he's kind of getting more into wanting to bond and help Atreus do the things he wants to do rather than merely do it to gain progress toward the main goal, but he's not being forward about it.

Edit - I should also mention that it is intentional that Kratos is the way he is. I do think one-note is more of a thing that he wants to present himself as, while the player knows there's more going on. I just got done fighting Magni and Modi. Spoiler tags for anyone that doesn't want to know who or what you run into. I've explored everywhere I can so far, but now that I have the ability to break those magical mirrors, I can go back to a bunch of areas to explore more. Something I am not entirely good at in this game, unfortunately, is remembering where exactly places are. I think it has to do with the multiple towers on the lake of nine that lead to different realms looking largely the same. It makes me wish that I could place multiple markers on the map so I can check back later. Earlier in the game there was two level six Revenants I couldn't kill, and there's also a place that has two of those Werewolf enemies that I couldn't kill earlier that I think I can now. I just have to find them again.

Edit 2!: I am just now at a part where 'he has to come to terms with something'. I kind of expected this to happen, but obviously not in the way it's executed. It's awesome. This'll be my last update/edit before finishing the game. This is exciting and I can see why no one would want to spoil what goes on in the story.

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#66 Posted by Pezen (2388 posts) -

So I have just reached the boat and the lake. So far I am quite enjoying the game. The combat is clicking with me, the puzzles to find chests are rewarding and fun, the story is engaging and the game looks fantastic. I was a bit worried they were going to butcher norse mythology, but so far I haven't been too offended by their artistic liberties. Knowing the mythology actually reveals a lot that probably isn't revealed until later if you don't know certain things. For example, the first person you meet I figured out who it was based on their dialogue, despite the writers pretty intentionally try to throw you a curve ball to assume something else. But realizing who that was and how they were portrayed made me pretty aware of what to expect going forward. Other things that has since been revealed makes it pretty clear how God of War overall views mythologies and perhaps even religion in general. As someone that only really played the first one or perhaps the first two and only have the most shallow grasp of Greek mythology, this was surprisingly eye opening.

Another detail I'll give the game credit for is rune-work. They adhere to a form of elder futhark and the text written on things are actually legible. It also didn't do what Hellblade did and write English with the runes, so far at least, which is a nice touch. Though it might be tough for someone not speaking a nordic language to parse what those things might actually say, but as someone that does it's a super appreciated little detail.

Can't wait to keep playing to see where things go.

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#67 Edited by handlas (3405 posts) -

Seriously... does anyone get an update for this game... Every. Single. God. Damn. Day? My internet sucks so I have a good 5 min wait every time I want to play it. Woe is me. But, rather, I just find it funny because I can count on there being an update every time I turn it on.

A day later... another update.........

....next morning... another update.

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#68 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15746 posts) -

I think I'm pretty far in (just had a boss fight with the two minor gods,) have definitely enjoyed it quite a bit thus far. When the combat flows together, it's a lot of fun. I don't mind that it's not the most technically complex thing in the world (I have Platinum for that) because all of the tools at your disposal feel effective and geared towards letting you goof around in the manner of your own choosing. Where it breaks down for me is the way it handles spatial awareness in big fights against large groups of creatures, like in the Muspelheim challenges. Obviously, you have crowd control options, like the lightning arrows and some of the runic attacks, but something about how tight the camera is combined with the speed of most enemies and the dubious usefulness of those indicator arrows made me kinda miserable when I was trying to do the first challenge to survive for 5 minutes

That said, I think my actual, real problem with this game (which I've enjoyed quite a bit) is how much it reiterates that a lot of secondary aspects in modern AAA game design are really bland and uniform. Like, I think the actual execution in God of War is generally good to excellent, but man am I tired of the Assassin's Creed-style traversal, color-coded loot, crafting materials, and RPG-lite progression that this and seemingly every other big game feel the need to exhibit in some way. If you're going to make an action RPG, make an action RPG. Don't half-ass it with vague gestures towards making the numbers higher.

In terms of story, while I like "The Adventures of Bad Dad Kratos and Son" in their quest to find the legendary macguffins, a lot of it boils down to Atreus being a kid and Kratos being grumpy. I think the plot is going to start moving at a non-lethargic pace soon, so I'm excited to see how things turn out. My favorite moments have been the return to some of that gory, crazy old God of War spectacle, so maybe I don't actually want a more mature story and am secretly part of the problem.

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