God of War is an upcoming third-person action-adventure video game in development by Santa Monica Studio and to be published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). It is scheduled to be released on April 20, 2018 for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console. It will be the eighth installment in the God of War series, the eighth chronologically, and the sequel to 2010's God of War III. The story is a new direction for the series, as it will be loosely based on Norse mythology—all previous games were based on Greek mythology. Series protagonist Kratos returns as the main character, and he now has a son named Atreus. Kratos acts as a mentor and protector to his son, and has to master the rage that has driven him for many years.
Described as a "reimagining" for the franchise, the gameplay has been completely rebuilt, with one major change being that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades. He instead uses a magical battle axe called the Leviathan Axe. Another notable change is the camera. The game uses an over-the-shoulder free camera as opposed to the fixed cinematic camera seen in the previous entries. There will also be elements similar to role playing games and Kratos' son Atreus can provide assistance during gameplay. A short text-based game called God of War: A Call from the Wilds was released on February 1, 2018 through Facebook Messenger, and follows Atreus on his first adventure into the Norse wilds.
The gameplay is vastly different from the previous installments, as it was rebuilt from the ground up. Although the previous main installment, Ascension (2013), introduced multiplayer to the series, this new installment is single-player-only. The new installment features a third-person, over-the-shoulder free camera, a departure from the previous installments, which featured a third-person, fixed cinematic camera (with the exception of 2007's 2D side-scroller Betrayal). Enemies in the game stem from Norse mythology, such as trolls, ogres, and draugrs, as well as revenants, beings warped by seiðr magic.
A major change is that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades, as he lost these at the conclusion of God of War III (2010). Instead, he uses a magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe, which can be infused with different elemental abilities and thrown at enemies. For example, the axe can be engulfed in ice and Kratos can hurl it at an enemy and magically summon it back to his hand (similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir). Kratos can also charge the axe and let out a burst of energy that damages nearby enemies. In gameplay, the axe has light and heavy attacks; heavy attacks allow Kratos to launch enemies into the air. Larger enemies, such as an ogre, have precision targets and throwing the axe at those targets will stun the enemy. The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects, such as a container, to trigger an explosion that will damage nearby enemies. The Leviathan Axe can be upgraded by using runes, with one slot being for light attacks and the other for heavy. This provides players with a variety of options to cater to their own play style. Another new weapon that Kratos utilizes is a shield. When not in use, it folds up and appears like armor on Kratos' left forearm. When summoned, the shield can be used offensively and defensively. Kratos also utilizes hand-to-hand combat, a feature originally introduced in Ascension.
The game is open, but it is not open-world. Due to it being open, players can encounter optional boss battles, in addition to the regular story-based bosses. Quick time events are not like they were in previous games. Instead, enemies display two meters above their heads, one for health and the other for stun. Filling up the stun meter helps in defeating more difficult enemies. When the stun meter is full, a grab-prompt will appear. Depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half, or he may grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes. As the ability to swim was cut from the game, players instead use a boat to traverse over bodies of water when necessary.
💎 Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
💎 Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
💎 Director: Cory Barlog
💎 Composer: Bear McCreary
💎 Genre: Action-adventure
💎 Platform: PS4
💎 Mode: Single-player