Already a game of the year contender for 2018, God of War is finally available for PlayStation 4 players. It's an absolute must-play if you haven't read our review or seen the record-breaking ratings.
It's also the most intriguing from a story and development standpoint. SIE Santa Monica Studio spent five years crafting the latest God of War and made many bold decisions along the way. It's been widely publicized for years now how the game opted out from including a number in its title (it should be "God of War 4" in reality), how they included a son named Atreus for Kratos as a main character, how the gameplay perspective has shifted towards true third-person, and most of all, how the game's lore and setting has left the Greeks behind and embraced Norse mythology.
And what smart decisions these turned out to be! While there was talk from God of War creative director Cory Barlog leading up to release about how this opens up the franchise to limitless possibilities going forward, exploring Egyptian and Mayan mythology as examples, that's not going to be the case for a while. Forget the fact that this game took five years to develop although we don't expect the next one to take that long now that the engine and assets have been rebuilt already for the PS4 era. The series will absolutely be sticking to Norse mythology for another game or two.
God of War sets up a new trilogy for the PS4 and one that embraces Norse mythology and this was planned from the get-go as evidenced in the game's story and conclusion. Perhaps if the game wasn't as well-received as it was they could scrap plans and explore another mythos, but that's not the case. So, let's get into God of War 4 spoilers and talk about what's coming from God of War 5 (and maybe, God of War 6). We won't get into how they're going to name these games though...
**Warning: Major God of War spoilers ahead**
While God of War may not be titled God of War 4 it certainly is the latter. The Greek history explored in the original trilogy of our favorite and violent Spartan plays an important role although it's a history he's trying to forget and keep secret. As players will learn by the end of the game, the story of Atreus and Kratos was foretold by Faye and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. This is revealed in a mural at the top of the tallest mountain of the Nine Realms - the place where Faye wanted her son Atreus and lover Kratos to travel to and lay her ashes. Faye wanted them to see this, to learn the truth of her identity and of Atreus' ancestry.
As it turns out, Atreus is actually Loki, and by killing the game's main antagonist known as the The Stranger they've kickstarted the events of Ragnarok (the end of all things). The Stranger is actually Baldur, and Atreus (Loki) inadvertently helped in Baldur's death by Kratos, similar to actual Norse Mythology. When that happened, "The Witch" (who is actually Baldur's mother, Freya) swears vengeance on Kratos.
Freya, once an ally, now seems destined to be an antagonist in God of War 5, but she's not the only one. Freya is also of course the ex-wife of Odin who's the "big bad" of this franchise. He is nowhere to be seen in this God of War but his presence is felt everywhere. It's Odin who sends Baldur after Kratos to begin the game, and it's Odin who trapped the knowledgeable Mimir in a tree of torture (you rescue him and he becomes an ally of sorts).
And Odin's family is rather large, let us not forget. During the game, players also battle Odin's grandchildren and Thor's sons Magni and Modi, so he's going to want sweet vengeance too, not to mention the interesting potential relationship between Thor and Atreus (Loki). Thor shows up at the very end of the game as a stinger button sequence to tease the next game. We see his silhouette, the thunder and lighting, and of course, Mjolnir in the final shot.
So, forget Egyptian and Mayan myth. God of War 5 will have Kratos and Loki dealing with Thor, Odin, Freya and more characters we've yet to meet from Norse lore. And of course, there's also that foreboding drawing on the mural that only Kratos saw depicting his potential death...
Did we mention Kratos also helped caused the events of Ragnarok 100 winters earlier?
What do you want to see in God of War 5 and 6? Share your thoughts in the comments!
- God of War (2018 Video Game) release date: Apr 20, 2018