Finally, the God of War franchise is to be back this month with a new game entitled simply God of War (However, because it takes place after the events of God of War III, it is referred to as God of War 4). The game will actually be the eighth in the series and serves as a bit of a reboot due to a fundamental change in setting and gameplay.

Kratos and Altreus shooting arrows
Kratos explaining to Altreus the skills behind shooting an arrow

The game has already received great reviews, with critics praising the game’s approach to the narrative and protagonist alongside with a mighty sidekick that was confirmed to be Kratos‘ son Atreus. The creative director “Cory Barlog” also confirmed a bunch of possible customizations for both characters.


But for this article, we are focusing more on 10 new things in this reboot that you need to consider before placing your order, so let’s jump in.


1 – Weapon changes: No more chained weapon!

Blade of chaos is my personal favorite weapon for Kratos along with the Blades of Exile and it’s not just for the look. the chained form of these weapons give Kratos, and you as a player, the possibility to annihilate multiple enemies with only a few swings. They just give you the upper hand when you are cornered.
With this reboot, the developers thought differently. Kratos’ main weapon will be Leviathan (the same name of the deadly monster from the book of job). Leviathan is a two-handed battle axe. But not only that, it was forged by the Huldra Brothers, the same blacksmiths that forget Thor‘s Hammer Mjolnir.
Aaaand yes! You guessed it right. Kratos can throw his battle axe and call it back. We might not know just yet if the axe has the Worthiness enchantment or not. so if only the worthy warrior can lift it that’d be cool, right?
The Leviathan can be upgraded, can deal elemental damage and also can pin enemies to the wall. When the Leviathan is thrown from the hand, Kratos can switch to a barehand form which is more than enough to annihilate people with supreme combos. The next element in Kratos gear is the “Collapsible Shield” which can be used for blocking, parrying (praise the sun!) and doing combos too. Also, bow and arrows will have a good impact on the fighting mechanisms with the assistance of Atreus.

Kratos using Leviathan Axe
Kratos using Leviathan Axe

2 – Spartan Rage mode

Spartan Rage is the new Rage Ability introduced in the new God of war, without much of explanation. But we already know that Rage abilities are powers which allow Kratos to gain greater strength and durability in his battles whenever needed in the God of War series (except Chains of Olympus).

Kratos Rage mode
Kratos’s Spartan Rage

3 – Interactive environment

In this new “God of war” environment is going to play a big part in the gameplay. The surrounding dynamics will help Kratos, and you as player, catch enemies off guard, pin enemies to the wall, causing AOE attacks using environment elements and the beautiful part of it all: crashing enemies using surrounding elements like tree trunks and other stuff.

 

Kratos Using a tree as a weapon
Kratos Using a tree as a weapon

4 – Battle Support: Atreus assists

“Atreus” means fearless, and in Greek mythology, Atreus was the King of Mycenae. It was also confirmed that he’s the son of Kratos’ involvement with a Nordic woman called “Faye“. he will be the deuteragonist (i.e. the second person in importance in a story) of the new God of War. So in the new game, mechanism, Altreus is a support character for Kratos and he’s endowed with super stamina and Electrokinesis which is really expected (well his grandfather is Zeus after all)
In addition, Altreus is a great archer, he was tutored by Kratos himself. In an early video of the gameplay, one witnesses amazing combos that father and son have as they fight a Soul Eater. The support provided by Altreus opens up limitless possibilities for the player to combine both characters for new outside-the-box fighting styles.

Kratos and Altreus Combination
Kratos and Altreus Combination

5 – RPG elements: Upgrading and Crafting, Runes and armors

These couple of years, almost every game has included some RPG elements into their gameplay. Whether it’s experience points, upgrading or elemental items, the new God of War makes no exception.
The Creative director Cory Barlog confirmed that Kratos will have access to an RPG based upgrading/equipment system, we will be finally able to customize our Kratos. We are sure that customization wouldn’t be as drastic as in other games but it’s confirmed that players will be able to level up stats that raise offence or defence capabilities. Players will also be able to craft items and armor, we are not sure if it’s going to be full armor like the one in games like “The Witcher” or if it would be something light like small chest pieces..

Changing Kratos Armors
Changing Kratos Armors

6 – Boss Fights: New fighting approaches 

As we mentioned above, the new God of War game has well-revised gameplay elements like shields, runes, all directional rolling and parrying. Boss fights are no longer the usually “hit first and think later”. According to all these changes in the soul of the gameplay, we think that strategic boss fights are a must that wouldn’t be at the same level of dark souls but at least we are going to see less mashing buttons and more strategic approaches such as surrounding the enemies and finding their weak points. Also, we are sure that these fights will be an alternation between free controls and cinematic fighting. That has been seen in every God of War game and we kinda miss it!

Kratos Fighting The first boss HRÆZLYR
Kratos Fighting a boss “HRÆZLYR”

7 – Lenght and Exploration: Optional Bosses and Dungeons

God of war games series is not known for their long game time. The average time for the previous games was around 10 hours (except for “chains of Olympus” (about 5 hours).
Well! Lucky for us Santa Monica studio took this game more seriously and according to them, the new game has a main story length around 25 hours which is actually very good.
Actually, that’s not all. It was confirmed that the new game will have a very big part of dungeons fo4 exploration alongside with optional bosses and new areas that encourage the player to explore and pass more time playing the game.


8 – Camera: A zoomed-out Over-the-Shoulder

We all got used to the regular God of war camera, the fixed distant camera that you need to follow instead of making it follow you. It wasn’t perfect but we managed to get used to it and attach GOW to it. So, maybe this news would frustrate some people but personally we appreciate this kind of change.
According to the videos, we no longer have the old camera of GOW and it is replaced by a modified version of the Over-the-shoulder camera which was introduced firstly by Capcom in Resident Evil 4.
The camera is a distant, zoomed-out version of this camera. it provides a great view of your character. It pushes the player to get into the story in order to see it through the eyes of Kratos instead of living it from a distance. And that was actually the Santa Monica team’s reason for changing the camera.

The New camera Angle for god of war
The New camera Angle for God of war

9 – Platforming: No more jump Button

Platforming in all God of War games was defined to be fun, punishing and exciting. Jumping from a crack to another was and still is one of the most fun mechanisms in any video game. The new God of War may have lost its jump button but that won’t be affecting any platforming capability in the game. Sony confirmed that on many occasions along with the comeback of some mind-twisting puzzles.

Kratos Climbing a rocky mountain with Altreus on his back
Kratos Climbing a rocky mountain with Altreus on his back

10 – A point of continuity

This new God of war may continue including new things but it is never a story reboot. That is what was confirmed by Sony several times and which we’ve seen in the trailer too.
We may not know the details behind this new mythology facing Kratos but it’s a continuity of what happened in the last God of War. Kratos still fears that the past is chasing him. We might know why and how soon enough.

Summary

“We are reimagining everything.”
This was the first statement from Sony after the first reveal of “God of war” trailer at E3 2016 and that statement stood its grounds with what we already explained above in this article. Santa Monica reimagined a lot of things in God of war and got inspired by a lot of successful games these days. And that’s not a bad thing. We personally wish that video games developers proceed with this kind of thinking more often; learning from other games and building on top of it. But one thing is for sure is that, with all these new features and new changes we’re not losing God of War in the depth of reimagining, we just received a new game that will build a new stage for successors in this series and in other series without losing the heart and what makes God of War unique.
And also, don’t forget that the game didn’t get a score below 95/100 and this is big.