Warning: Spoilers for God of War
We are well into 2020, and we find ourselves just a few months away from an avalanche of new games, pun not intended. Once we hit March, the flood gates will open, and we will find ourselves with more games than we can likely afford. Stack that up with the next generation of consoles coming at the end of the month, and it probably will be fair to say 2020 will be a tremendous year in gaming. So imagine, if you will, that out of all the games that people are talking about, the one that strangely seems to be coming up more times than not is from 2018: God of War.
Now, it isn’t hard to figure out why exactly this would be. God of War was one of the best games we got that year, and it did something that not many people thought was possible: changing the God of War formula and make it just as enjoyable as all the other titles before it. Was it perfect? Nothing ever is, but a 94 on Metacritic certainly makes it very close to it. The game was certainly a masterpiece and a game that deserves to be in every PlayStation 4 owner’s library.
Now, as for why exactly we are talking about God of War was because of an interview with game director, Cory Barlog on PlayStation Access, and “Recreating Kratos.” It is a nice interview, and if you also haven’t seen Raising Kratos, you should watch it.
But certainly got many people thinking about the future of God of War and what to expect from it if and when the sequel comes on PS5. What could be some things to look forward to from its impending return? Let’s speculate a bit.
1) Ice, Fire, and Thunder?
With Thor being the most recognizable name from Greek Mythology, many players out there did think he was going to die to Kratos and Boy. While that didn’t exactly happen, we got the next best thing with a small teaser of what was likely to come with the sequel. The question now becomes: When will this happen? And if Kratos and Boy kill Thor, will they add a special new weapon to their arsenal? Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, has been depicted as one of the most fearsome and powerful weapons in existence. While it might look small, it can pack a punch that can destroy mountains.
So would it be possible for us to see Kratos use Mjolnir for himself? Or perhaps even Atreus? It is difficult to say, but it certainly would open something that some could say was an ever so slight issue: the lack of weapon variety. And by slight, we can say “barely any issue at all” since the Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos certainly did a lot for God of War‘s Combat. But then one could say that with other games in the series, Kratos did tend to use a nice variety of weapons to help keep the combat from feeling too repetitive.
But what exactly could Mjolnir give us that the Leviathan Axe hasn’t already? Technically speaking, you can toss the hammer just like the axe and have it return to you, and it would be just another melee weapon in the hands of the player. Still, it does feel like the son (or grandson) of Zeus can certainly come up with a few fun ideas. If it is at all possible: please expand on the combat even further.
2) Realms Explored?
In God of War, we got to explore six of the Nine Realms. While some of them were more played off as “Special areas” (such as Muspelheim working as a challenge mode or “Trials” and Niflheim like a randomized dungeon), each realm you did visit were unique in their way. Each one was visually pleasing to the eye while also serving a nice way to add some character variety.
But then one has to ask: Why did we not get to visit all nine realms during the game? Well, it would be pretty obvious to say that in a possible sequel, we likely would, but then what would that entail? And more importantly: Would we even want to go there? The realms in question are Svartalfhim (home of the Dwarves), Vanaheim (home of the Vanir Gods, like Freya) and Asgard (home of the Aesir gods, like Thor and Odin). In-game, Odin did seal the path to Svartalfhim to prevent any alliances between the Dwarves and the Vanir. He would later do the same with Vanaheim after the marriage between Freya and Odin had a falling out. As for Asgard, that one should be obvious if you had Odin close out the other two for reasons.
Now on that flip side, would there even be a need to explore those realms if we did not visit the other locations as much either? Imagine if we do go to Muspelheim and travel further in, or a different area in Niflheim? There are just as many reasons why we shouldn’t even worry about go to those realms and focus on what we currently have. Why would we ever want to go there? Well… there’s one way to make that happen…
So what exactly is Ragnarok? In Norse Mythology, it is a series of events that include a great battle that would result in the death of many Norse Gods and the submersion of the world into water.
While it might be a coincidence, this is literally what happened back in God of War 3. Kratos did flood the world after killing Posideon, and his actions did lead to the death of the many Greek Gods, including his father, Zeus. Even if Kratos might not be as “rage dependant” as he was when he was younger, Kratos did set in motion another “World-ending” situation by killing off Baldur at the end of God of War. And while it is difficult to say if God of War‘s sequel will take place three years after that (as what the secret ending did show us with Thor), then it would be safe to assume that Kratos will likely play a hand in the world’s destruction. Again.
Unlike the first time, though, Kratos isn’t exactly blinded by rage this time around. When Baldur got his neck snapped, it wasn’t because “Kratos needs to kill,” but rather as a means to protect Freya from dying. But because Kratos and Atreus intervened, the end of the world got a quick push forward.
So what will Kratos and his son do during this time? And what will they do when Ragnarok commences? Will they fight back until the end comes? Or will they attempt to stop it from happening (although it could accelerate even faster)? It is possible that they could do the right thing, but then there might be another God that might have blind rage.
4) Freya’s Revenge
Say what you will about Kratos, but it probably would be fair to say that if there was a God that had it bad in God of War, it was Freya. As pointed out earlier: Odin didn’t take too kindly to her breaking off the marriage and sealed off a good number of realms because of it. But he also made an example of Freya by putting a curse on her so she could never leave Midgard or harm any living creature through physical or magical means (and took her wings too). Finally, there is also her son, Baldur, who she made invulnerable to protect him. Instead, though, Baldur berated his mother for what she did (saying that she made him into a coward) and vowed to hate her and never forgive her for what she did.
So imagine how she felt when the only thing she did care about in the whole world (and seemingly the only gift she did treasure from her marriage with Odin) got his neck snapped by Kratos. Again, just like in the previous point, it was done to save her, but she saw her son’s death as needless. She would vow revenge on her son’s killer and even went as far as to approach Mimir (when Kratos and Atreus were in Jotunheim) and asked him where Odin had Freya’s Valkryie wings.
Could it be that the curse against her is tied in with her wings? The moment she reattaches them on her back, she can fight once more? Will she be the next main antagonist in the sequel? Would she be someone who tries to kill Kratos, but instead helps Ragnarok to happen sooner? She will certainly be someone to keep an eye out for in the sequel.
5) Boss Fights- More Variety Required?
This might sound a bit strange to consider, but God of War did have plenty of boss fights. The reason why we would point this out is mainly due to the fact of how some people thought there weren’t enough. Besides the three fights with Baldur, you also have the Trolls, the Ancients, the King of the Dark Elves, Thor’s sons, and one Dragon and the God-Forsaken Valkyries. That’s a good number of fights, but some players did want to have more “variety” than what we actually got.
Not to say the boss fights were terrible, but when you compare them to the fights we got in other God of War titles, the latest title could feel underwhelming in comparison. But was that really a bad thing? When you think of the bosses throughout the history of the series, you probably will name off a good chunk of them that had Kratos going up against a giant monster. The Hydra, Poseidon, Pandora’s Guardian, The Kraken, and The Colossus of Rhodes, (to name a few) did do something big (literally) to have Kratos go up against a giant foe, and you got to watch him take them down through violent means.
But would God of War benefit from having more of those unique fights?
The fight against Hraezlyr was still fun, but it doesn’t seem like the game would have seen anymore benefit from having more bosses like that. There’s a reason why most people tend to focus more on the Valkyries than some of the more giant bosses in the game, and that was because of how the gameplay tends to compliment the new fighting system they put here. Not to say, “Old Man Kratos is so old, he lost his ability to jump,” but it does seem like there’s really no need for Kratos to jump during combat anymore. Why would he need to jump and hit someone if he has a magical frost axe that he can toss into their skull instead?
Perhaps we will be lucky and see more giant bosses in a possible sequel, but I don’t think there is really that big of a demand for them anymore (apologies for another accidental pun). We will likely see more of them, but it isn’t like we need Thor to transform himself into a fifty-foot giant to squash Kratos under his palm if he has a hammer that can pummel his opponent just fine.
If anything else, this point does kind of fall back to the point about “more weapons” since a wider arsenal could mean the chance for more unique bosses to come up. A giant who is out of the reach of the Blades of Chaos, while someone who can’t really be hurt by the Leviathan Axe. That alone is wishful thinking, but the chances are that it is something we likely won’t have to worry too much about.
So what do you think?
Is there anything in a God of War sequel you’d like to see? How drastic should the story’s tone be? And should it end with a tease of one final game to make a second God of War trilogy? Or should it mark the end of “Kratos kills the Norse Gods” and have Kratos turn his attention towards Egypt or Japan?
For all we know, God of War is likely not going to see anything come in 2020. Hell, we can probably go as far as to say if we were to get a “God of War: Ragnarok,” it likely would be at least three years after the release of the PS4 title to keep it in with the theme.
Either way, we got plenty to look forward to for the future of gaming, and if you want to keep in touch with the current landscape of gaming, be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more news, articles, and editorials in the gaming world.
Might have said gaming one too many times there… Thank you for reading and take care.