For many passionate action fans, ourselves included, the appeal of the ultra-violent God of War franchise has been slowly losing its touch in recent years, with 2013's Ascension doing little to advance the existing formula or bring anything new to the table. It was bloody, brutal and satisfying, but ultimately stale.
After 11 years of exciting action romps, Sony is taking the franchise back to the drawing board with God of War, a soft reboot of the series coming exclusively to PS4. Taking place after the climactic events of God War 3, Kratos is now knee-deep in Norse Mythology with a cute little kid to take care of.
Dad of War!
Thoughts from E3 2016
"Santa Monica always delivers some of the generation’s best-looking games, and looks set to continue to do so, with even the brief glimpse we saw at E3 blowing everything that’s come before out of the water." Brett Phipps 21/06/2016
Click here to read more from Brett's God of War preview. Read on below for everything you need to know about the latest God of War.
What is God of War?
Intended as a soft reboot to the popular series, God of War will once again star Kratos as the main protagonist. His son will also play a large part in the game, accompanying our bearded hero as you hunt monsters throughout a range of varied environments. The game has ditched its focus on Greek mythology, now turning its eye to the weird and wonderful world of Norse Mythology.
God of War release date – When is it coming out?
It was announced during E3 2016 that God of War is "currently in development" for PS4, with no release date in sight. It will no doubt support the upcoming features of PS4 Pro.
While we haven't seen much from God of War since E3 2016, we recently learned that shooting for the game has wrapped up, according to game director Cory Balrog.
God of War gameplay – How does it play?
From the single trailer we've seen so far, God of War is departing from the usual conventions of the franchise. Gone is the emphasis on fast-paced action and grotesque executions that once defined each new title with bigger and better bouts of spectacular action.
Kratos’ new adventure appears to be melodic and tightly focused, sharing its DNA more greatly with a title such as The Last of Us than traditional action games. Don’t worry, though, you'll still find yourself confronting large, mythic creatures that are hell bent on destroying you.
Now that Kratos is a loving father, his courageous offspring will play an important part in moment-to-moment gameplay. He'll be used to explore, solve puzzles and fight enemies as you progress. He'll also act as a dynamic distraction as battles commence, giving Kratos a chance to get a couple of extra hits in.
Our bearded hero now wields a magical battle axe that can be imbued with elemental powers to be hurled, swung and thrust at enemies. Our money is on this being upgradable and part of a much wider arsenal discovered as you progress. Unfortunately, his trademark Blades of Chaos are gone, as the Greek gods no longer exist in this new world.
Some mechanics, such as Kratos' iconic Spartan Rage, make a welcome return, and appear to play an intergral role in the exciting set pieces. During the E3 2016 demo his son can be seen firing arrows to distract and damage enemies, so it may be possible to command him to perform certain actions during gameplay.
God of War story – What it’s about?
God of War is intended as the eight game in the long-running franchise, taking place after the climactic events of God of War 3. Kratos now finds himself in the world of Norse Mythology, raising his son on the land as he teaches him valuable monster hunting techniques.
Kratos now acts as his son's mentor and protector, having mastered the dangerous rage that controlled him for years. Of course, a new setting means there will plenty of new creatures to slay. You will eventually find yourself pitted against an entire pantheon of formidable foes.
The initial reveal trailer provides only a few small clues regarding the narrative beyond its two main characters and vastly ambitious setting.
God of War trailer – How does it look?
You can check out the debut gameplay demo from E3 2016 below:
Are you excited for God of War? Let us know in the comments!