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Change YoY: -1   My Rating: 9.0 / 10

God of War was never really one of my favourite franchises, despite its critical acclaim and clear fan adoration. I only ever played the first PS2 game and decided that I didn't really need to play the rest as it didn't hook me all that well. I liked it fine, but that's all. I skipped the rest of the entries on the PS2, PSP, and PS3, and outside of admiring the gorgeous graphics from the outside, never really bothered to even follow the series passively. The tone, style, and gameplay just didn't draw me in. As such, it wasn't until the new God of War was announced that my interest was piqued. It looked different, but in a way that still clearly marked it as part of the same series. The tone was instantly different, and Kratos as a character felt like he had much more depth to him. I still didn't get the game at launch, or anywhere near it, but when I eventually did, I absolutely loved it.

The difference from the previous games was immediately evident as you start the game. Instead of a huge, epic battle against some massive mythological being, you're just chopping down a tree for your deceased wife's funeral pyre as it turns out. Not exactly the kind of start you would have ever seen in the original trilogy and its spin-offs. From there the game keeps getting better, striking a perfect balance between the old and new styles. The story is expertly told, and the relationships between the various characters are wonderfully written, each bringing something unique to the game. The combat is also great, having a wonderful feeling of weight to it, and the visuals and music work in perfect sync to add meaning and atmosphere to each individual moment. In fact, to me, the parts that stayed with me the most were the small moments between the characters, even if the huge, epic scenes are awesome as well. When you can see a video game character's emotions reflected in just the way they move, you know you're seeing something special.