So the YouTuber who runs the channel TheGamingBritShow wasn't going to play God of War 4 after blasting it in 2016 but because so many bugged him about it, he gave it a go. This was the result:
If this seems too long of a watch, here's a quick, loose summary.
More open world with tons of content
More likable characters
No more jumping which was fun and useful in previous GoWs
A lot of walking scenes
Zoomed-in camera restricts combat
God Hand from over a decade ago handled this camera angle and beat-em-up style better
Unskippable cutscenes that eat up time
Climbing is worse than in U4
Storytelling intrudes on potential fun gameplay mechanics
Cory Barlog: "It's a great thing, it's fun, but does it tell the story from a gameplay perspective of somebody who's in the "middle-aged god phase?""
Combo counter is gone
New VA for Kratos reduces credibility
RPG elements and hack-and-slash don't mix too well
More walking scenes
God of War is another franchise that's falling to cinematic trends
If that still feels like too much then consider this quick quote from the video:
"I'd much rather have a quicktime event that lasts seconds than a walking segment that lasts minutes"
Also at the end, the frustrated narrator of the video just expresses how some games are starting to become homogenized. I kind of agree which is sort of to be expected: if something is successful, other devs are going to try to adopt aspects from it because in the end, they want to sell their product. I know cinematic elements get slammed by some and I'm not too fond of them myself but if you like that stuff, I'm not gonna try to shame you for it. Play what you like, I shouldn't even have to tell you this.
God of War 4 to me seems like an alarming case of a game from a well-known hack-and-slash series adopting aspects from games like The Last of Us and becoming incredibly successful at the cost of distancing itself from its roots. This success could also potentially influence other hack-and-slash game devs to try their hand at focusing more on storytelling so much that it results in the gameplay of their games suffering.
It seriously worries me and I'm sure some of you would be up in arms if games like The Last of Us 2 or Red Dead Redemption 2 were to stray away from their single player focus and emphasize their multiplayer more (RDR 2 might fall victim to that considering how lucrative GTA Online is).
What do you guys think? Is it time to start worrying about other hack-and-slash games after the huge success of God of War 4 with its greater focus on storytelling, storytelling that may have compromised God of War 4's gameplay?
On a related note, I'm not too sure about this new Kratos. I'm a huge admirer of the God of War franchise in part because of Kratos's no-fucks-given approach to so many things he did. Some would call him one-dimensional but I'd disagree. Kratos was complex but just not very good at showing it. He was too busy just fucking shit up, shouting as he swings his blades, having sex with random women, tearing monsters limb from limb. Loved that shit: got my adrenaline pumping.
I'm serious: you may not believe this but sometimes when I'm at work and I'm feeling sleepy, rather than drink coffee, I'd just play clips of God of War characters shouting at one-another before ripping each other apart and that shit would wake me up. I really don't know how to explain it but it's a thing.
This new Kratos playing babysitter... Not sure...