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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Art of Games: 'God of War' is a masterpiece of modern gaming

“God of War” (2018) is among this generation’s best games. The combat is enjoyable, the world is beautiful and detailed and the characters are among the best in any game I have played. 

As the name “God of War” may suggest, the main character Kratos spends most of the game fighting. Thankfully, the game is up to task with a fun and complex combat system. Battle starts simply, with Kratos only having a strong attack, light attack and the ability to throw his axe. However, even in the beginning, “God of War” makes the player feel powerful. Kratos is massively muscled, and each attack feels as though there is significant power behind it.

As the game goes on, you level up and slowly gain more abilities, many of which change the way you play the game. The game’s combat is not without flaws, however. Some of the enemies can be a pain to fight, with the flying enemies being particularly frustrating. Additionally, the game almost always pits you against multiple enemies at a time, which sometimes feels unfair. In spite of occasional frustrations, “God of War” is incredibly fun to play and does a remarkable job of making the player feel like a god.

The world of “God of War” also stands out as one of its strong suits. Set in a beautiful rendition of Norsemythology, “God of War” presents a world filled with horrific monsters and stunning vistas. The game is among the best-looking games I have ever played, with intricate details everywhere you look. The areas you journey through are varied, including mines, mountains, caves, snowy expanses and several surprising areas that I won’t spoil here. Every location feels handcrafted and interesting, with secrets and worthwhile collectibles liberally scattered throughout. The Norse setting also allows for an arresting backstory to each enemy and area. The game does a fantastic job of explaining this lore to the player. Exposition never feels forced, as Kratos is as unfamiliar with this world as you are.

The amazing cast of characters in "God of War" is what truly makes this game a masterpiece. While the cast is relatively small, all the characters are likable in their own right. Kratos is laconic (fitting as he is from Laconia) but manages to impart more meaning than you would expect from his few words. His young son Atreus is rarely grating and frequently helpful. It is the side characters, however, who steal the show. Two dwarven blacksmith brothers provide comic relief without being annoying, and the Norse gods are always a joy to have on screen, even if some of them are truly vile. With these characters in tow, the story of “God of War” is epic and full of surprises. I won’t spoil anything, but it ranges from epic landscape-changing fights to small moments that rank among gaming’s most touching. Altogether, “God of War” is an absolute masterpiece. Anyone with a PlayStation 4 should not pass it by.