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God Of War Is Not A Masterpiece ...

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Shinobi-san said:
I have to sadly agree with GribbleGrunger on this one. I just managed to finish the game, and i found myself wondering what the justification was for all the perfect review scores.

Perhaps a 90 metacritic score I would probably understand, as that would mean an average score of 9/10. Given it a score range between 8's,9's and 10's. Which i can certainly understand.

Did nobody else feel like the game ended about 6-7 hours too soon? In terms of main storyline. There were so many references to Odin, Thor, the giants and the other realms etc. I get that this is a set up for the next installment, but it feels like there were indications given in the game that it was coming, but it never does.

I feel like the above issue leads to another issue, after the opening 2 - 3 hours (which is probably gaming's finest opening hands down) the game suffers from pacing, I often found myself wondering when the story would progress? Every time you think the story is about to move along, some arbitrary blocker comes in your way. At some point this causes major frustration, where the puzzles and mini boss fights start feeling tiresome. Then just when you think the game is picking up the pace again, it ends.

Perhaps i have been spoiled by God of War 3, where there were so many boss battles with Gods, Titans, and monsters etc. keeping the pacing up.

And as visceral and satisfying as the combat can be, I feel as though its a missed opportunity. Most fights rely on timing your attacks against enemies, regardless of what attacks you use (except when its clear your axe/blades is useless). This makes the skill system, and overall rpg system feel ineffective.

These are all in addition to the points raised in the OP, which i dont feel overly strong about but are valid. There are good arguments for the game not being a masterpiece, although despite my issues, I would still give the game a 8-9/10 quite easily.

It's a sprawling and complex game in terms of locations and agency (for the player), which is why I've limited my critique to the more linear beginning when narrative should be easily managed, but as I pointed out, even here they made fundamental errors that caused a disconnect from what they were clearly trying to achieve both narratively and  emotionally. If I had to put my finger on where it went wrong when compared to TLOU, I'd say the story in TLOU was used to create the gameplay whilst with GOW I feel as if the gameplay came first and a narrative was woven into it.

Of course I can't ignore the much bigger problem a semi-open world presents but I don't think it's impossible. If you are going through a particular narrative that contain emotional beats, and don't immediately get the payoff (or are at least supported in some way until the payoff), then those emotional beats are lost and do not resonate as they should. That leaves those scenes isolated and feeling inconsequential. Yes, the lines may point to what you're expected to feel, aided and abetted by the musical cues, but at the end of the day you can only engage sentimentally and not in any meaningful way. This is why I did not really care about the characters.

Last edited by GribbleGrunger - on 29 April 2018

 

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Spoilers: sorry for the wall of text but I disagree on the narrative and would like to explain.

I’m a huge fan of mythology and I was kinda disappointed at first when Baldur was spoiled in a Youtube notification on my phone. Baldur was the golden child of the gods, everything loved him. How is the stranger Baldur? Thats kinda dumb, I thought. But as the story played out it started to make sense. In Norse the death of Baldur would start ragnarok, that’s why the protection spells (oaths) were used. In the story Loki finds the one weakness and manipulates Baldurs brother into killing him. They added depth to Baldur by taking away his senses as a price for invulnerability and I liked it. Kratos basically accelerated the process of ragnarok by being involved and killing him. Baldur was looking for his wife the whole time, they didn’t know about Kratos. In the “I thought your kind was so enlightened” speech he wasn’t talking about the Greeks, he was talking about the artisan giants. The revelations in this game were masterful storytelling and I enjoyed it. His wife manipulated him into getting involved from the grave.

I saw Freya snatch the mistletoe arrows and throw them in the fire and I knew she was the mother of Baldur. There is a debate in Norse translation in whether or not Frigg, the queen of gods (Baldurs mother) and Freya are the same person. It was a nice touch. I wasn’t a fan of Atreus being Loki at first, I wanted to fight him. I thought “how is the world serpent (loki’s child) around if Loki is a kid? But the more I learned and thought about it, the more I liked it. Mimir (my favorite character) talks about Thor hitting him so hard that it knocked him back in time. And the mural at the end shows the snake coming out of Loki’s mouth. That’s the birth of the world serpent. It’s not the son of Loki from a giantess, it’s a manifestation of anger, guilt, whatever killed Kratos. Maybe the world serpent is the soul of kratos, there are so many ways it could go.

The signs of him being Loki were there all along and I didn’t see it. I thought maybe Loki might be impersonating Atreus when we split up and he was a little asshole, but not a younger version. “Can I change into a wolf” was his first question after learning his lineage. Maybe Fenrir the wolf (that kills Odin in ragnarok) isn’t Loki’s son either, maybe it is Loki. I liked it a lot and their own twists were entertaining. I say masterpiece in story telling. I was worried about the combat at first but it’s stellar. Crushed my expectations.

Last edited by massimus - on 29 April 2018

massimus said:

Spoilers: sorry for the wall of text but I disagree on the narrative and would like to explain.

I’m a huge fan of mythology and I was kinda disappointed at first when Baldur was spoiled in a Youtube notification on my phone. Baldur was the golden child of the gods, everything loved him. How is the stranger Baldur? That kinda dumb, I thought. But as the story played out it started to make sense. In Norse the death of Baldur would start ragnarok, that’s why the protection spells (oaths) were used. In the story Loki finds the one weakness and manipulates Baldurs brother into killing him. They added depth to Baldur by taking away his senses as a price for invulnerability and I liked it. Kratos basically accelerated the process of ragnarok by being involved and killing him. Baldur was looking for his wife the whole time, they didn’t know about Kratos. In the “I thought your kind was so enlightened” speech he wasn’t talking about the Greeks, he was talking about the artisan giants. The revelations in this game were masterful storytelling and I enjoyed it. His wife manipulated him into getting involved from the grave.

I saw Freya snatch the mistletoe arrows and throw them in the fire and I knew she was the mother of Baldur. There is a debate in Norse translation in whether or not Frigg, the queen of gods (Baldurs mother) and Freya are the same person. It was a nice touch. I wasn’t a fan of Atreus being Loki at first, I wanted to fight him. I thought “how is the world serpent (loki’s child) around if Loki is a kid? But the more I learned and thought about it, the more I liked it. Mimir (my favorite character) talks about Thor hitting him so hard that it knocked him back in time. And the mural at the end shows the snake coming out of Loki’s mouth, that’s the birth of the world serpent. It’s not the son of Loki from a giantess, it’s a manifestation of anger,guilt, whatever kills Kratos. Maybe the world serpent is the soul of kratos, there are so many ways it could go. The signs of him being Loki were there all along and I didn’t see it. I thought maybe Loki might be impersonating Atreus when we split up and he was a little asshole, but not a younger version. “Can I change into a wolf” was his first question after learning his lineage. Maybe Fenrir the wolf (that kills Odin in ragnarok) isn’t Loki’s son either, maybe it is Loki. I liked it a lot and their own twists were entertaining. I say masterpiece in story telling. I was worried about the combat at first but it’s stellar. Crushed my expectations.

That is interesting, and certainly if I had a working knowledge of Norse mythology, I would have probably taken more from the story as a whole, as have you. I'm not talking about the story per se though, I'm talking about structure and presentation. What you're doing is taking elements that relate to something you're interested in and finding that and that alone of great enjoyment, and I'm not saying that's wrong. However, the story should not rely on the players knowledge of Norse mythology, it should rely on the telling of that story. Even if someone (like myself) has no knowledge whatsoever, it should STILL resonate from a character/dialogue/narrative/emotional basis. 



 

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I totally understand that and that’s why I wanted to point out some references that I found enjoyable. My friends think of marvel Thor and didnt get the references either. “Why is Thor a dick?”... “who’s Loki” is one I got lol. That’s not a twist for someone that doesn’t know the mythology.

I just wanted to point out that they are loyal to the material, it’s their own twist and it wasn’t cheap or cheesy. I respect that a lot as a fan of mythology and the god of war franchise. I loved the pacing, it reminded me of dead space or resident evil 4. They did a really good job with mimir, the dwarves, I thought segments of Tyr were impactful and he didn’t even show up. He has a vault of treasures from different pantheons across the globe. The board showing Egyptian, Celtic, Asian and Greek symbols of war. That was over the top for me, such a cool concept. Like he’s the Norse diplomat of the UN god council. I can understand how that would fall flat and boring for some. I can’t speak on it’s accessibility because I know the references but it was still new for me as well. 



massimus said:

I totally understand that and that’s why I wanted to point out some references that I found enjoyable. My friends think of marvel Thor and didnt get the references either. “Why is Thor a dick?”... “who’s Loki” is one I got lol. That’s not a twist for someone that doesn’t know the mythology.

I just wanted to point out that they are loyal to the material, it’s their own twist and it wasn’t cheap or cheesy. I respect that a lot as a fan of mythology and the god of war franchise. I loved the pacing, it reminded me of dead space or resident evil 4. They did a really good job with mimir, the dwarves, I thought segments of Tyr were impactful and he didn’t even show up. He has a vault of treasures from different pantheons across the globe. The board showing Egyptian, Celtic, Asian and Greek symbols of war. That was over the top for me, such a cool concept. Like he’s the Norse diplomat of the UN god council. I can understand how that would fall flat and boring for some. I can’t speak on it’s accessibility because I know the references but it was still new for me as well. 

Understood. I can see you have great passion for Norse mythology ... and welcome to the forum by the way. 



 

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People should spend more time playing games and less time getting offended that somebody doesn't think a game is 100% perfect.



I like all mythology but Norse is one of my favorites. The Norse gods are the most human in the worst way possible. Manipulation is at the center of most of their stories and this game as well. Thanks.



massimus said:
I like all mythology but Norse is one of my favorites. The Norse gods are the most human in the worst way possible. Manipulation is at the center of most of their stories and this game as well. Thanks.

Use the quote feature. That way people get notified you're responding to them. :)



 

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GribbleGrunger said:
massimus said:
I like all mythology but Norse is one of my favorites. The Norse gods are the most human in the worst way possible. Manipulation is at the center of most of their stories and this game as well. Thanks.

Use the quote feature. That way people get notified you're responding to them. :)

Spoiler: My bad. One last thing, the best part about Kratos having a shape shifter son is that you can always play Kratos even after he dies lol. 



Blasphemy I say... BLASPHEMY!!