Since its PS2 days, God of War has always been a vicious series. From ripping your enemies heads off to shoving your blades down their throat, it’s not a series for the faint of heart – or those with weak stomachs. Though the new story trailer for God of War’s PS4 rebirth hits someplace it’s never hit us before…. the feels.
That’s right! Not only does a God of War game convey an emotion besides anger/ rage, but it actually does an amazing job at it! So check out the new story trailer below and I’ll meet back up with you in a second to analyze what we saw/ how far they could take these story points.
Danger Rises On An Emotional Journey:
Unlike past God of War games, the driving narrative for this game isn’t one of revenge, but rather honoring the dying wishes of his wife. Kratos and his son Atreus will bring the ashes of the still unnamed mother to “the highest peak in the realms”. This is how they will venture into the realm of the Norse Gods and make new enemies and honest to god(s) friends along the way. The trailer shows us what appears to be friendly alliances as opposed to the uneasy/ hate-born alliances of the past. All in all, even if the gameplay/ mechanics are exactly the same as past games – which they’re not – this change in tone alone makes this game something new and fresh. God of War III kind of killed the series for me in how it reached full cathartic rage in the final scenes and had odd (and ultimately pointless) emotional subplots, but God of War‘s (PS4) early trailers added new dimensions to that. This story trailer confirms that we are getting a more understanding Kratos, and it is our job to journey with him and learn what exactly changed him, how he got here and if he can prevent his son from ending up on the same dark road he did.
Kratos’s Story Isn’t Over, But His Son’s Might Just Be Beginning:
This trailer gives us a lot of foreshadowing at some interesting story points. The main one is how there is something in Kratos’s “nature” that has been passed on to Atreus. Following the mythology of the games, this could most likely be that fear and killer mentality. Remember how Zeus slew his father and feared Kratos would one day do the same to him? This could be that story moved forward and there’s a chance Atreus could ultimately turn and kill his father out of resentment. The trailer certainly hints at that, but are we really ready for another set of rage-driven games as we now follow Atreus the anti-hero (or arguably straight up villain this time)?
On the other hand, the trailer also points to their still being something dark left in Kratos too. Note how the trailer slows to reveal the bindings on his arms coming undone and Kratos trying to keep them tied. Is this simply an Easter Egg to the scars left behind by the Blades of Chaos that were seared to his arms in the original series OR is this something else? Is something in him about to be uncovered again? Though I again have to ask, are we really ready for another set of rage-driven games about Kratos (should something happen to his son and his inner monster is again let out)?
Whatever path this game takes will truly make or break this new series for me because this story trailer is absolutely beautiful! It looks like taking time away from these games gave Santa Monica Studio the time they needed to figure out a new direction for this character; and I hope this isn’t a one-off. The Santa Monica Studio team has shown they CAN convey more than just rage and betrayal. So if this game is just a one-off palate cleanser before returning to rage, rage and more rage, Santa Monica would have dropped the ball exceptionally hard! BUT if this game is truly the start of a new direction for the God of War franchise – one that acknowledges more than just one emotion – then this could easily become one of the best games of the year and years to come! It’s not impossible. No one ever thought a post-apocalyptic zombie game could be emotional, and then The Last of Us changed all that! God of War (PS4) has a chance to do the same when it hits shelves April 20th.
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Joe primarily covers video games news (i.e.: Pokemon, Spyro & Destiny) as well as the occasional ‘Theory Thursday’ pieces. Before writing for FanFest, Joe was the Creator & Editor of TheInsightfulPanda.com. He is also an illustrator and is currently working on Season 3 of his not-for-profit, fan-art crossover series PokéRangers on Instagram.