God of War Combat and Crafting Analysis | Gaming Instincts

About a month away from the much anticipated Nordic-themed reboot/sequel of God of War, and yet outside of press conferences and events, there has been a slight drought of raw, unedited gameplay from the iconic Spartan godslayer. Better late than never, as the old adage goes, and no one is going to tell the God of War he can’t come to the party late, if they value their limbs anyway. Now in late March, Kratos springs back into action with 15+ minutes of raw, mostly unedited,  gameplay with a few exceptions being some transitions between combat, and a short break to look at the long-awaited new weapon and armor crafting mechanics, as well as a few other small details that will be discussed more in the video.

The footage wastes little time getting to business: the Spartan kind of business. We came here to see what Kratos does best, and it seems the developers know that as well. If this footage is trying to send one message, it’s that even though there are fewer enemies on screen, the violence, gore, and intensity are still going to come by the bucketful. And the sound effects add to the amazing visuals. Every single hit sounds full, crunchy and satisfying. It’s the kind of sound design that can bring a game to a higher level.  In case you’ve been out of the loop, Kratos’s iconic Blades of Chaos/Exile are long gone, but he still bears the scars left by the chains that were wrapped around his forearms for years. However, Kratos isn’t empty-handed, and now carries the Leviathan Axe: a weapon attempting to fill big shoes. The body count is already climbing just a few minutes into the video, and Kratos and his son, Atreus, aren’t slowing down.

Kratos and his Son looking over at the beautiful scenery of the new setting in God of War

We get a look at enemies’ health bars and the fact that enemies’ strength will be reflected by their level, which is displayed next to their health. These enemies are mostly level 1, and judging from other dialogue, this is clearly very early in the game. We also get a look at what is replacing the old magic system: the new runic and elemental attacks. For example, Kratos enchants his Leviathan Axe with ice elemental damage, which freezes enemies after a few hits, leaving them at the mercy of Kratos, who can literally smash them into tiny pieces in a variety of ways. If only we could use the leftover ice crystals to make a snowball projectile. Come on, nobody thought of that?

While the Leviathan Axe doesn’t have the wide sweeping arcs the Blades of Chaos did, Kratos can throw the axe a great distance to hit or impale enemies, drop hazards from above, or hit weak points in structures to open environmental hazards to help deal with tougher enemies. It’s also going to be a component in the game’s puzzles, it seems, which are trying to move away from overusing block-moving, like previous games

If your eyebrows flared up earlier when you read “weapon and armor crafting” earlier, let me reassure you it’s not a typo.  Among its many changes, the new God of War is replacing the old one-currency upgrade system for a more modern weapon and armor crafting system, including a blacksmith who looks a little too much like a Smurf to me personally, and just a bit of out of place in a very visually appealing game. In addition to becoming a father, Kratos will be opening up the Nordic catalog book of fashion, and it appears as though the Daddy of War will be required to seek new and better armor along his journey.

Kratos getting ready to fight the fire troll in the new Norse Mythology setting in God of War

There is no getting around it, seeing Kratos dawn a full breastplate is kind of strange, he wore armor briefly at times before, but his skin and simple Spartan cloth were the only armor he ever needed, perhaps my eyes just need to adjust to it, although I hope the option to hide armor is available.

Whenever you see the words “crafting” and “blacksmith,” you know the phrase “loot gathering” is not too far behind, and God of War is no exception. We get to see a variety of resources including crafting materials, currency, how XP works and a brief look at Kratos’s stats, which are broken-down into six categories: Strength, Runic, Defense, Vitality, Luck and Cooldown, which I will discuss more in the video. The gameplay footage ends with a satisfying flurry of combat, along with an old school QTE against a mini-boss, or at least tougher enemy. God of War fans should be very pleased to see Kratos can still turn his enemies’ bones to dust without a second thought. There are plenty more details to hear in the post-analysis, listen and enjoy.