The God of War show has, until today, stuck very close to the criteria set in the first 2005 game. Over a decade (and several games) afterwards, it makes sense that Sony would want to mix up things for the elderly hack-and-slash series. Like so many popular franchises which have reinvented themselves in the last few decades, the new God of War falls into the well of open-world RPG tropes. Additionally, it shifts its attention on Norse mythology, projecting the Greek legends and gods which provided the foundation for each preceding game.
These significant changes do not indicate the conclusion of God of War as we understand it, instead they permit the series’ DNA to express itself in fresh ways. There are a lot of reasons why the structural transformations are a fantastic thing, but it is what has become of Kratos, the hulking passing machine, which leaves a lasting impression. A mad, bloodthirsty celebrity has changed to a sensitive father figure. Part of him keeps the older violent tendencies that made him a celebrity long ago. But with his youthful son Atreus to protect and direct, we also see Kratos have a deep breath and then punish his barbarous instincts so as to set a positive example.
Watching Kratos take good care of nurturing his kid’s sensibilities does feel somewhat jarring at the beginning, but as a result of its organic composing, fitting voice actors, and perfect animation, it’s easy to get sucked to the duo’s travel and purchase in their mutual expansion. Though he’s a teacher, Kratos conveys a mountain of despair and self pity that just the innocence of his son might help him conquer. And Atreus encounters his own ups and downs that may have put him down a very different path or even for Kratos’ hand.