Kratos' story in God of War has epic proportions. If in the first PS2 game we saw him take on the god of war, Ares, and take his place, the next two installments narrated a revolution to defeat the gods of Olympus. Kratos led the Titans - with a special mention for Cronos and Gaia - to take revenge on whimsical gods.
In God of War Ascension we already appreciate the first physical change of the character. It was a prequel, and therefore the warrior was more agile, but had lost physical presence. Although it was the worst installment of the saga (behind the numerical games and the PSP versions: Ghost of Sparta and Chains of Olympus) the truth is that it offered a more complete portrait of the character.
The most obvious evolution of the ghost of Sparta is in its new appearance. The passage of time is reflected in her bushy beard, instead of the goatee and less marked scars. Kratos has aged, and although he does not lose muscle mass, he does have more volume. Some wrinkles are also noticeable on the face.
Metal armor pieces on his right shoulder and forearms have been replaced by a leather shoulder pad. And since she is in a colder environment, instead of wearing greaves and sandals, she wears leather boots, which also give her greater solidity. The image of Kratos seems more venerable and less aggressive, as befits his new role in the game.
If you recall the story of Kratos, the pale color of his skin is that of the ashes of his victims. In God of War II we could see how Ares had tricked him into killing his wife Lisandra and daughter Calliope himself, thereby condemning himself to carry this reminder forever.
In God of War, however, Kratos has a new family: a woman and her son Atreus, who have been estranged from him, living in a cabin hidden in the woods. We still don't know what explanation this new family has, and why Kratos has not confessed to his teenage son that he is actually a god.
During the first three games, the Spartan warrior was armed with the Swords of Chaos (although he could also change weapons). They were two blades forged in Hades, which were sealed to his forearms with chains. After Kratos faced Ares, his weapons were replaced by the Swords of Athena, with similar characteristics. It is assumed that once Kratos wields these swords he will never be able to part with them.
However, in the beginning of God of War for PS4, we see that the only memory that remains of those sheets are the bandages on the arms of the warrior. He may have ripped them off to leave his life of destruction behind, but that doesn't mean he's unarmed. He now possesses the Leviathan ax, forged by brothers Brok and Sindri Huldra (who also forged Thor's hammer, Mjolnir). It is named after a sea creature, and its blade is covered in runes that give it special powers.
One of the most controversial decisions of the new installment is to deprive Kratos of his jumping or swimming abilities. But that does not mean that it is more limited. The movements have been "reconverted" to contextual buttons, which are only activated when we approach a certain point on the stage.
For now we have not seen him dive, but we have seen him navigate in a small canoe, drag huge trunks, climb or sneak through the small cracks in the wall. To solve the puzzles, she can throw her ax to break seals and freeze items such as chains and pulleys.
The fighting in God of War was frantic. The character's behavior was completely offensive, and any player was capable of landing combos of more than 100 hits, which were completed with bloody QTE. There were different types of special attack: Poseidon's fury, Cronos's fury, and the Titans' fury. The action would freeze for a few moments to give the combos more impact.
In the PS4 game we find a more strategic component: you have to alternate attacks with movements to dodge or parries (with a circular shield). The possibility of throwing the ax and retrieving it, with the triangle button, allows you to fight at a distance. When an anger meter fills up, we can unleash Spartan fury by pressing L3 + R3. In the latest installment of the saga, the action is smoother, but slow motion is also used to make it more spectacular.
Perhaps the biggest shortcoming in what we've seen of God of War is that the bombastic sense of action from previous games has disappeared. There is no city reduced to rubble, nor a gigantic creature that challenges the limits of scale in a video game. If we are allowed to express it, it seems like a "more intimate" story.