Over the week, I’ve been playing through Santa Monica Studio’s God of War and the journey has been an amazing one, filled with a lot of emotional aspects that I wasn’t expecting in a God of War game.
Now I’m not going to review the game itself in great detail, the short story being is that it’s a must-have for any PS4 owner. However, I do want to talk about my experience playing the game and how I felt throughout my play-through.
Going into the game, I had a few expectations. The primary being that I was expecting to delve into a world that’s going to allow me to basically slaughter any giant ass monsters that stand in my way. Out here to slay the Norse gods and nothing more.
What I got instead was a strong story about a father and his son. Sure, there were a lot of really powerful and ferocious monsters to slay, but it was the story of Kratos and Atreus that kept me coming back. I was emotionally invested to these two characters, more so than I’d like to admit. As a man, this game got me wondering about what kind of a father I’d be in the future.
My father wasn’t very active in my life growing up so I never had a father figure for most of the important aspect of my life. I never had an example to strive towards and had to always look outside for example. It thought me a lot about the importance of a father in a child’s life.
Playing God of War led me to think about what it means to be a father. Atreus seeks the acceptance of his father and because of Kratos inability to connect with his son at the start, led Atreus to almost resent his father. This can be supported when Kratos and Atreus went to Hel and we hear how Atreus wished it was his mother that had lived instead of his father.
It’s so weird that a game about killing gods can get a guy thinking about what it means to be a father. It goes to show you just how powerful the narrative of God of War is and how scarily close to home it hits for most people.
The game is gorgeous, a technological marvel and possible Game of the Year, but it’s the narrative that really made a great impression on me. Watching Kratos go from a cold-hearted person who refused to call Atreus by anything but the infamous “Boy” to becoming a more caring (well as caring as Kratos can get) father. And when he called Atreus “Son” at the end of the game, that really made an impact on me.
Overall, it’s a fantastic game and I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds in God Of War 2 when they take on Thor.