God of War is an upcoming game from Sony Santa Monica and is strangely not a reboot despite the fact that it has the same name as the first game. While it did garner some praise at this E3 and it certainly looks like a pretty game, there is something distinctly not God of War about it. These are just a few of the reasons that we are just not entirely sold on the new God of War just yet, confusing name aside.
From everything that has been shown to us at E3, everything seems a little on the slow side. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in of itself, but I don't think it mixes well with the God of War franchise. When someone mentions God of War, I don't think of daddy Kratos trying to teach a child. I think of a man who is far more likely to introduce the back of his hand to said child's face. I admit that I'm interested and excited to see Kratos go back to having a character arch and growing, but from what has been shown so far, I just feel it is a little too slow.
Kratos' main weapon in the trailers so far is the axe, and I'm not a huge fan of it. It is a much slower and less interesting weapon that his old duel blades. While I'm sure that axe is just one of many weapons, I don't feel it is a particularly interesting weapon to showcase. It makes the combat seem almost sluggish when compared to the other games in the franchise. This could easily be saved by having the other weapons be far more interesting, but I'm not entirely convinced the pace will completely change. I feel like what they have shown in the trailers is a good indicator of what players can expect of combat throughout the game. While they will obviously mix it up here and there, I don't think the overall pace will change.
If they do decide to slow the pace of combat down, I believe it to be an odd change. God of War has always been about quick and visceral combat and that just hasn't been evident in the trailers we have seen so far, which is a shame. They can clearly still do size, as the giant snake monster at in the E3 trailer shows, but I need more than just big things to kill now. Killing big things was the entire point of God of War III. I'm curious to see if the slowing of pace is an attempt to make the combat more nuanced. Personally, though, I don't have any problem with hack-and-slash combat that focuses on dodging and rolling to avoid taking big damage. It is definitely something to keep an eye on in future trailers and when the game eventually launches.
The enemies shown off so far in God of War have been lackluster. There hasn't been too many of them and they seem so unthreatening. Even that snake monster at the end doesn't look that great. Though if it is as dangerous as it is ugly then I'll be singing a different tune come launch. I'm pretty sure it has an algae beard and I don't know how to feel about that.
An odd part of this may be the camera angle. They decided to go for a more over-the-shoulder approach which limits what they can throw at the screen so the combat encounters appear more limited than the zoomed out approach the previous games used. Still, I won't deny that some of them do look pretty awesome, but they also look like things I've seen before.
I think that is my biggest gripe so far. I haven't seen anything interesting creature that isn't at least familiar to me from the previous entries in the series. The switch to Norse mythology gives them a lot of room to work with, and I want to see unique and diverse enemy designs that aren't recognizable from the other games. They have a lot to work with, and I just don't feel they have lived up to the possibility with what has been showcased so far.
These are just a few of my current worries for God of War. I don't doubt that it will be a good game, I'm just worried it won't be a great one. God of War is a fantastic series and I want to see them do justice for Kratos and his journey. While I certainly don't mind them mixing with the formula, what I've seen so far doesn't even really feel like God of War. I think I would prefer it if this were a new IP.
Still, I do have high hopes for the game. Sony Santa Monica has done fantastic work in the past and exploring a Kratos as he adapts to the world without his pure hatred is an interesting idea. I think this game can be done very well. I just don't want them to get too far away from the fast-paced combat that was both challenging and fun along with interesting boss fights that kept you engaged that made God of War that fantastic series it has become.