Hipster neckbeard Kratos: the end of God Of War?
There have been rumblings for months now about a potential new God Of War. But not all was well in that land of myth and legend, as rumors spread that the setting was being left behind in favor of an entirely different location and pantheon of gods.
Fans have to ask: Is it really even God Of War if Kratos is no longer in the same world as his old nemeses Ares and Zeus?
Now that E3 is upon us, the Scylla is officially out of the bag – a new entry in the series is coming to the current gen, and it certainly does not appear to be taking place anywhere near Olympus.
Changing The Formula While Keeping The Name
One of our contributors previously argued that God Of War needs to ditch Kratos as the protagonist if a different mythology is at play, since it's so radical a departure -- not to mention that the previous story has pretty well been told already.
I'm on the fence there, as ditching the main character seems like just as big a (if not a bigger) departure than changing the setting. Sure, there's no reason there couldn't be a different godling this time around out for vengeance, and of course there could always be a twist where Kratos ends up being the bad guy, just to get everyone's knickers in a twist (bonus points if Kratos says “Hail hydra” at any point).
Judging by the quantity and tenor of the YouTube comments on the E3 footage -- a dicey place to be spending your time at the best of circumstances -- many fans aren't particularly happy with what has changed and what has stayed the same.
Sadly, gamers tend to do that all too frequently. (Just ask anyone who has ever had an opinion on whether Call Of Duty needs to change or be the same thing every year.)
Is That You, Kratos?
Of particular concern to many is the appearance of an older Kratos, who is sporting quite the hipster beard. I have to admit, he does look like he's about to drop a post-black metal album and reach for a PBR.
Kratos - who really didn't do such a bangup job of being a dad the first time around – is apparently also now in charge of a child again. Run, kid, run!
A real twist would be to give both sides what they want but not advertise it before hand: perhaps you control old man Kratos for a small beginning portion of the game to learn the controls, then he dies and his son or another character takes over.
While his attire and personal grooming might leave something to be desired, those environmental shots in the gameplay footage are looking stellar, with many shouting “God Of War meets Skyrim!” due to the new mechanics and snowy setting. To that I ask: why the heck not? We all love both games, and they have potential coming together.
And hey, just think -- if the new God Of War gets a PC release, the number of nude mods is sure to be through the roof.
It's hard to tell based off just a few minutes of gameplay, but the environment seems a bit larger than in previous entries as well, so there's a question of if God Of War is perhaps going more towards an open world style along the lines of Tomb Raider, Shadow Of Mordor, or even the GoT-clone Darksiders II.
Road To The Multiverse, God Of War Edition
While there's a lot of grumbling to be found online, I for one am digging the concept of a Kratos who can now skip between pantheons. Greek was only going to work for so long, especially since the deific anti-hero had already killed most of those gods off anyway.
If it has to go somewhere, Norse mythology has plenty of material to be mined. Let's face it: ice giants and dragons are just plain cooler than Medusa and Icarus anyway.
If this does well, who can guess where Kratos might go in future installments? Why not have him head into the Aztec mythology for awhile and battle heart-ripping priests and Quetzalcoatl?
Unfortunately it will never happen (primarily due to Wizard Of The Coast's relentless insistence on solely releasing sub-par computer games), but a God Of War / D&D crossover would also have huge potential. Imagine Kratos duking it out with Forgotten Realms gods like Bane and Auril or Greyhawk deities like Vecna or Gruumsh.
There's a whole lot of mythology rife for exploring where gods don't get along, and no reason Kratos can't be decapitating people all along the way in any number of settings. While some long-time fans are already declaring doom and gloom, the change feels more like a new beginning than an early ending.
What did you think of the E3 God Of War reveal trailer? Are you stoked to slaughter your way through the Nordic world or would you prefer the game stay Greek all the way? Let me know in the comments.