Are you ready to give Kratos a chance?

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Edited 5 months, 12 days ago

Poll: Are you ready to give Kratos a chance? (450 votes)

Yeah, I wasn't a fan of his, but hearing things mature sounds great! 28%
Nope. Kratos sucks and will always suck no matter what. 12%
I've more or less always liked Kratos despite his one-note vengeance driven personality, but I'm into what changes might be in store. 45%
I've always liked Kratos the way he was. I'm pretty disappointed by them trying to make him more 'relatable' or whatever it is they're doing. 4%
Other. 10%

This might be a dumb poll/thread ha ha, but still, I am curious. Are you interested in how Kratos is going to turn out as a character, or do you feel that at this point he is simply unredeemable? Personally, I think this is the best way to go when bringing him back as the protagonist. Kratos in one and two was one of my favorite characters because I felt he had, even though slight, shown some semblance of remorse for his past actions, and his anger came from being tricked into killing his family, which he loved. In two, he seemed to regret stabbing Athena too.

Despite some of his seemingly careless actions against a couple of human characters in the first (dropping the ship captain down the hydra's throat and the infamous caged Spartan moment), I wasn't deterred from liking him. It wasn't until three where he became one of my least favorite characters and is in part why three was disappointing to me. That said, I had some expectations of where the trilogy might go and end, but didn't go in the direction I was hoping, pretty much starting with two though. The new game looks like it's going in the exact direction I was hoping it'd go in the first place.

When I played the first one and then the second, maybe I was naive, but I was hoping for (albeit perhaps cliche [think Gladiator]) it all to lead to Kratos dying from battle wounds after he achieved his goal and meeting with his wife and daughter in Elysium, not Kratos becoming more and more villainous. I would have liked to see Kratos' character go in the total opposite direction than he did, so I'm glad that the new game seems to be about what I wanted out of it all along anyway. I'm glad too that they brought him back again so they can possibly redeem him.

When you finally play the game, if you do play the game, you should come back on here and say what you think of his character (although, if you plan on giving spoilers, use the spoiler tag).

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#1 Edited by alexl86 (858 posts) -

I played the first game in my teens and loved it, partly because I’ve always been fascinated by mythology and partly because of the spectacle. I’ve never really thought much of Kratos as a character. He didn’t really have much to him, beyond being angry and killing things. I guess I didn’t think much of it because that’s about as much personality that was given to Link, Agent 47 and Gordon Freeman.

Then I played through some of God of War 3 on PS4, and I didn’t really care for it. I know it’s a more direct sequel to 2 and having not played that game kinda made me feel like I came in halfway through a movie. I didn’t like the gameplay all that much either, and I think being more than a decade older might have played a role in me being completely turned off by it. I just didn’t find any aspect of the game appealing.

Strangely, I am very excited to play the new one. I’m from Norway and grew up reading stories of Norse mythology. What I’ve seen of it looks great and I like the idea of an older Kratos who has motivations beyond being angry about slaughtering his own family and blaming the Gods for it.

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#2 Edited by fnrslvr (544 posts) -

Seems like a shitty character who shouldn't be celebrated. Whilst it's good to hear they managed to revamp enough of the God of War formula to make a very well-received game in 2018, I'm apprehensive about whether they really did deal with Kratos properly. Hopefully they killed him off in the second act or something.

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#3 Edited by Justin258 (15387 posts) -

@fnrslvr said:

Seems like a shitty character who shouldn't be celebrated. Whilst it's good to hear they managed to revamp enough of the God of War formula to make a very well-received game in 2018, I'm apprehensive about whether they really did deal with Kratos properly. Hopefully they killed him off in the second act or something.

I dunno, I'm certainly interested to play the game for myself and see what they do with him.

A lot of people seem to forget that the first God of War's story, while simple, was actually pretty effective. Kratos never stopped being an asshole, sure, but the game does manage to build some sympathy for his plight. That story is actually pretty damn close to being a proper Greek tragedy, if only Kratos had actually died in his suicide attempt. Everything that happens in God of War II and forward kind of ruins any goodwill I might have had towards the character - until now, where they seem less concerned about making canonical sense (any sense the plots might have made before was lost when they fucking hopped to a different mythology, something I hope they just flat-out don't explain) and more concerned with exploring a character. In a sort of meta sense, God of War 2018 also seems concerned with exploring how much video games have matured - actually matured - since 2005. That might be me thinking too much about it, though.

Anyway, my brother's getting it, I'm going to let him finish it and then I'll play through it. I don't know that much about the game, but what little I do know of both the story and the gameplay has me excited to dive into it.

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#4 Posted by glots (3936 posts) -

Never really had a serious problem with the character. That isn't to say that I wouldn't have noticed him doing a bunch of awful things and that he wouldn't have been kinda one-dimensional, but it's kinda odd to sometimes notice how some people seem to think that Kratos was the only character in GoW doing bad things. Like that some of the gods also weren't a bunch of assholes.

So my pick is the middle option and I really can't wait for it to be friday already.

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#5 Posted by NTM (11356 posts) -

@glots: That's true, but to me, it wasn't just about Kratos killing the gods, which are themselves not good; it was the handful of moments he slew seemingly innocent people that made him seem like a bad dude. There weren't that many that were forced (there were a bunch that was optional of people just running around scared), but more than enough times it has happened when you're forced to do it to progress.

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#6 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2584 posts) -

I've always loved what a reprehensible asshole Kratos was. Playing as him was a fun. anger-fueled power fantasy. I never understood why anyone put so much stock into actively hating him, as if you can't have fun playing as someone morally questionable.

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#7 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1619 posts) -

I'd really like to try the new God of War game, but I don't know when I'm going to have time. :(

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#8 Posted by liquiddragon (2992 posts) -

I can't seem to muster any excitement for this game.

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#9 Edited by nicksmi56 (781 posts) -

I'm not really into the new Kratos at the moment. I just started up God of War 2 a few days ago, and had a smile on my face the whole time because of how over-the-top it was. I'm sure plenty of people hate old Kratos, but for me he's awesome. His perpetual anger and being a giant prick, him screaming "ARES!/ATHENA!/ZEUS!" at the sky, it was all part of the fun!

Taking that goofy power fantasy character and making him into a serious, repentant father figure in order to prove how "mature" their game is just tells me that the heart of the franchise isn't there. I understand that the franchise had to change in some ways to survive (instead of, ya know, just realizing the story was over and moving on to something else), but I can't help feeling like they threw the baby out with the bathwater here.

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#10 Posted by Slag (8094 posts) -

I'll play it, in spite of Kratos

Frankly this seems like such a departure from what makes a God of War game, God of War, that I think it should have been a new IP.

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#11 Edited by OurSin_360 (6075 posts) -

I always liked kratos and as one note as he is there was always a bit of affection there for his family. I remember in 3 there is a child you kind of bond with so the whole dynamic of the new game isnt that big a leap for me. I wasnt planning on getting it anytime soon but i may end up getting it before i get yakuza 6 (if money and time allow anyway)

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#12 Edited by NTM (11356 posts) -

@oursin_360: It's only the last half hour or so of God of War 3 (where Pandora comes into it [which is the 'child']) that I really cared for the story. It was the only moment in GOW3 that brought back the 'you were a father' bit.

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#13 Posted by Mike (17951 posts) -

I haven't played a God of War game in years, but I always thought Kratos was such an uninteresting edgelord. Completely forgettable.

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#14 Posted by dgtlty (1103 posts) -

They could have made a game featuring a completely new protagonist instead of dredging up one as uninspired as Kratos.

Is more Kratos really what the people want?

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#15 Posted by rethla (3722 posts) -

Im glad to see the sensible choice winning

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#16 Posted by Deathstriker (986 posts) -

I liked Kratos, he was one note, but so are 99% of video games characters (Master Chief, Snake, Marcus Fenix, etc). They'll probably find the needed balance of him being a more mature person and father, but still being filled with rage and a badass.

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#17 Posted by mems1224 (2347 posts) -

Kratos has always sucked and will always suck no matter what. Probably the worst video game character ever created

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#18 Posted by Ungodly (420 posts) -

I have a hard time not thinking that Kratos is an asshole. I never minded him being one note, but he’s responsible for all of the shit he is angry about. So I don’t find him compelling, and he always just came across to me as nothing more than a power fantasy.

Him being a shitty dad doesn’t make him any more endearing, and if this game doesn’t introduce him as the main antagonist of the new trilogy, then it’s inevitably just going to be angry Kratos angrily killing a new set of gods, just with a bit more brood.

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#19 Posted by CurseTheseMetalHands (119 posts) -

I never thought Kratos was a particularly appealing character, but I steadily grew to outright hate him - and the God of War franchise - the more they milked it without actually evolving the character or the gameplay. At this point, I don't know that I'm capable of giving him/the franchise another chance - and switching him from always/only angry to all serious and moody isn't exactly bringing me around on him. Plus, his fucking kid seems like he sucks. Admittedly, I don't much care for children to begin with, especially children in video games, and Ellie set the bar impossibly high. Atreus sure as shit ain't no Ellie.

I do kind of like that God of War PS4 Pro, though. But, in all likelihood, I won't touch the game until it's free with PS+.

(I think my favorite memory of the God of War games was one of them had Kratos shouting, "I have no time for the lies of the gods!" and, for weeks after, I went around singing, "I have no time for the lies of the gooooooooods!" like it was a death metal song. It caught on with my friends and we'd just randomly bust that out. Stupid as fuck, but it still makes me laugh.)

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#20 Posted by KingBonesaw (1245 posts) -

I really like the God of War franchise. I’ve never had any problem with Kratos aside from at times in the third game when it becomes clear he is going too far.

I’m super excited for this new game. Turns out the games I like/am excited for are just as meaningless as the games you like in the grand scheme of things so I’ll stick to being positive about the games I like and let others speak positively about the games that I don’t like but others do.

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#21 Posted by aktivity (459 posts) -

I always liked Kratos, there's just something really fun about his single mindedness to make sure anyone who crosses him get theirs. Also the yelling, loved the yelling.

@ungodly: To be fair he kinda gets screwed over by the gods a lot, so they share some of the blame. Obviously this doesn't make him less of an asshole, but still an asshole I kinda like to root for.

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#22 Edited by Chaser324 (8574 posts) -

I was OK with Kratos in the first two games, but by the time God of War 3 rolled around, he was just plain irredeemable and unlikable.

This new game seems like a fresh start though, so I'm willing to give him another chance.

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#23 Posted by Teddie (2075 posts) -

Kratos was an over the top caricature. It's kind of hard to see anything from those games in the same context they're giving the character in the new game. The disconnect between the two alone makes it fine to "give him another chance" because I never even saw him as much of a character in the first place.

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#24 Posted by Ungodly (420 posts) -

@aktivity: If I remember correctly, he seemed shity before the gods started messing with him. I got the sense that had he not killed his family and got cursed, then he would have been fine being Ares dog. Guy just seems like a total rube.

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#25 Posted by aktivity (459 posts) -

@ungodly: He was as shitty as any other warrior in that setting would've been. And what kind of raised from childhood Spartan warrior wouldn't want to be a part of an Ares posse.

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#26 Posted by Ungodly (420 posts) -

@aktivity: All of that is fine, but the dude doesn’t learn anything from his actions. I think that’s my biggest problem with him, just keeps barreling forward with no concept of what he’s doing.

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#27 Posted by Mister_V (2421 posts) -

Can't sat I have ever thought deeply enough about him to have much of an opinion other than "oh it's the guy who rips heads of things" so I never really had a problem with him. That said I like what I have seen of him in the new game (I also really like christopher Judge) so I'm looking forward to it.

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#28 Posted by Humanity (17985 posts) -

@ungodly: that’s the unique Kratos trait, this blind perseverance that drives him forward no matter the consequences or people hurt along the way.

It’s not a good trait mind you, or one most people can empathize with really, but it serves as a great gameplay element and will act as an amazing foil for what I hope is a more complex Kratos in this new iteration.

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#29 Posted by Master_Funk (789 posts) -

I don't like Kratos, but I want to play this game in spite of that. He can never be redeemed for me, but it will be interesting to see how SSM try to humanise him.

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#30 Posted by nutter (1366 posts) -

Kratos was never cool. Never a likable anti-hero. Never sympathetic. He was always a one dementional shithead.

If they managed to turn him into a good character, there’s still hope for Duke Nukem afterall.

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#31 Posted by fisk0 (6759 posts) -

@nutter said:

Kratos was never cool. Never a likable anti-hero. Never sympathetic. He was always a one dementional shithead.

If they managed to turn him into a good character, there’s still hope for Duke Nukem afterall.

Very much this! I have zero interest in giving Kratos another chance, got my fill within 30 minutes of the first God of War, but I'm really interested in seeing this kind of treatment applied to Duke Nukem.

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#32 Posted by glots (3936 posts) -

Huh. The mob really has it out for Kratos over here. I wonder what type of a reaction GOTY brings, if he wins.

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#33 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15443 posts) -

I don't have a burning hatred of Kratos like some other people seem to, but I've also only played the first God of War. I think he "works" in that game, inasmuch as God of War is a silly, juvenile, video game-ass video game with a silly, juvenile video game-ass video game protagonist. I could see his shtick getting really old if I ever get around to the rest of the series, but I dunno, at least he's more memorable than a lot of other action game protagonists.

In regards to the new one, I've gotten the impression from most of the reviews that like half the point of this new God of War is an examination (and in a lot of ways, a refutation) of Kratos' whole deal. I'm interested in seeing what they do with that while still trying to retain the absurd spectacle and mythological bulldozing the series is known for.

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#34 Posted by nutter (1366 posts) -

@fisk0: Oh, I’m sure I’ll check the game out soon. It’s getting all kinds of praise and I’m sure it’s rock solid. PS2/3 Kratos was just a garbage character.

His rage was comical. His fate (killing his family and wearing their ashes) seemed just enough considering his deeds. The entire series, he was this idiot that never learned lessons, just killed.

The only reason he killed his family, from what I recall, is because he was a power-hungry marauding maniac who probably brutally murdered hundreds of other women and children.

Along his path to vengence for shit he was complicit in, he kills seemingly innocent strangers for convenience sake.

If he learned a lesson about gods, war, the value of life, and was a tropey relictant killer, it still would have played far better than he did.

Again, I may be missing a key plot point, but I recall him directly and indirectly causing his family’s death on multiple levels.

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#35 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

@nutter said:

@fisk0: Oh, I’m sure I’ll check the game out soon. It’s getting all kinds of praise and I’m sure it’s rock solid. PS2/3 Kratos was just a garbage character.

His rage was comical. His fate (killing his family and wearing their ashes) seemed just enough considering his deeds. The entire series, he was this idiot that never learned lessons, just killed.

The only reason he killed his family, from what I recall, is because he was a power-hungry marauding maniac who probably brutally murdered hundreds of other women and children.

Along his path to vengence for shit he was complicit in, he kills seemingly innocent strangers for convenience sake.

If he learned a lesson about gods, war, the value of life, and was a tropey relictant killer, it still would have played far better than he did.

Again, I may be missing a key plot point, but I recall him directly and indirectly causing his family’s death on multiple levels.

Kratos killed many by the orders of Ares, seeing as Ares owned him after he pledged himself to him. Ares tricked Kratos into killing his family. The only thing Kratos cared about at that point was killing the gods, he didnt really care about "innocent lives" nor try to redeem himself for it. Killing the Gods, that was it.

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#36 Posted by Humanity (17985 posts) -

@glots said:

Huh. The mob really has it out for Kratos over here. I wonder what type of a reaction GOTY brings, if he wins.

Yah I'm kind of surprised as well! I mean Kratos is very one-note but I never actively disliked the dood as a videogame protagonist, especially since Greek Gods were all, more or less, the biggest "shitheads" around, toying with mortals out of boredom. Seeing them get taken down a peg by this monster they created on a whim did have a bit of poetic justice to it.

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#37 Posted by FrostyRyan (2774 posts) -

The character has always just been to contextualize the brutal and incredible things you do in the gameplay. that's it.

I'm excited to see this new one apparently maturing the character though. It's cool when characters genuinely age and change

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#38 Posted by TheHT (15641 posts) -

I've always enjoyed Kratos despite the games never exploring his personality--they never needed to, they were bombastic (genuinely) revenge romps--and I'm looking forward to a God of War game that's interested in telling a different kind of tale.

Side note: I always thought it was pretty hilarious how high-falutin some folks would get over Kratos and God of War.

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#39 Posted by nutter (1366 posts) -

@sasnake: Yeah, and I guess going from killing to killing because he was blinded/tricked/deceived into killing his innocent family, when he had doubtlessly done the same to countless others, shows a colossal lack of character development. Continuing to kill innocents is icing on the cake.

He’s a shallow lunkhead.

I’m cool with unlikable protaganists, just not utterly boring protaganists.

I’ll have to look into the new game some more, but I assume from what I’ve seen, he’s a 2+ note character in 2018...which would be great.

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#40 Posted by nutter (1366 posts) -

@theht: I guess, for me, the line from Kratos to Drawn to Life is straight and readily apparent.

I’m not offended. I just find the character lacking and hope he shows some growth this go around.

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#41 Posted by aktivity (459 posts) -

@nutter: Kratos in the first GoW really isn't as shallow you make it seem. There was an arc to his character and killing Ares wasn't even about revenge. That was just bonus.
He was suffering from guilt and nightmares for having killed his family and started serving the other "nicer" Gods as a form of redemption. He only went after Ares when Athena asked him to do so.
Only to have the gods screw him over again, ending in his suicide attempt. It still wasn't stellar writing, but I've seen far worse big budget movies on Greek mythology.

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#42 Posted by nutter (1366 posts) -

@aktivity: Maybe the finer points just didn’t stick with me a decade or so later. I mostly remember grunting, screaming, and setting men in cages on fire to solve puzzles.

The game was enjoyable enough that I stuck with it through the end of God of War 2 and bought 3 (which I barely touched). So I did find it fun, I just have zero attachment to Kratos. He may as well be one of the Ghost Recon Wildlands operators.

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#43 Posted by Scampbell (517 posts) -

I've never played a God of War game, so I'm bringing no personal baggage to the game, and plan to pick it up when it comes out. I had no gripe with the previous iteration, but neither did it make me want to play it. I was a fan of the last of us, and a similarly more nuanced storyline, combined with a more deliberate combat system, in game that by all accounts is very good, made me think, that I should give this one a try.

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#44 Posted by glots (3936 posts) -
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#45 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

@nutter said:

@sasnake: Yeah, and I guess going from killing to killing because he was blinded/tricked/deceived into killing his innocent family, when he had doubtlessly done the same to countless others, shows a colossal lack of character development. Continuing to kill innocents is icing on the cake.

He’s a shallow lunkhead.

I’m cool with unlikable protaganists, just not utterly boring protaganists.

I’ll have to look into the new game some more, but I assume from what I’ve seen, he’s a 2+ note character in 2018...which would be great.

Personally I find Mario to be a shallow and boring character, yet I don't seem to see anybody doing character studies on him for the sake of hating.

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#46 Edited by nutter (1366 posts) -

@sasnake: I totally agree about Mario, Link, and other Nintendo characters (avatars?), but the poll was about Kratos so people are critiquing current and past Kratos. Seems pretty harmless.

EDIT: Reading into GOW3, it looks like they actually turned his one-beat-ness around in an interesting way. I just didn’t have another X hours of GAHHH! in me at the time. I’d be curious to go back and see how 3 executes on the consequences of Kratos’ dumb, blind rage.

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#47 Posted by Rodin (347 posts) -

I honestly think Kratos is irredeemable and pretty shitty for all the things hes done and i honestly couldn't care less about him anymore, that being said i'm honestly very interested in the story this new GoW is going to tell.

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#48 Posted by kknialler (26 posts) -

Anyone who legit hated Kratos takes video games too seriously. And anyone who thinks he can't be interesting in this new game is similarly annoying. Cory said it's pivotal that this "new Kratos" is still Kratos and not some new character, and all the review coverage seems to be saying the same thing.

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#49 Edited by Drachmalius (413 posts) -

I'm having a really hard time caring one way or the other. My experience with the character is limited and I don't see a reason to change that based on what I've seen on this iteration. Glad people seem to like the new direction though. More power to the folks who dig it!

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#50 Posted by Ungodly (420 posts) -

@kknialler: I don’t think anyone lays in a bed at night seething with rage over the existence of Kratos, and I think you can do something interesting with him, I personally just don’t like the character enough to spend twenty plus hours with him. I do hope the game is as good as it seems like it’s going to be, and hope people enjoy themselves. It’s just not for me.

Different strokes.

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