I played the first few hours of the latest God of War ̵
Warning: Slight Spoilers Follow
As the latest entry in the action-adventure God of War series on PS4 released just over a week ago, I vacillated between buying or skipping. The previous games were funny because of their hack and slash action, but I was not very invested in Kratos as a character. Kratos' relentless rage served a purpose, this purpose was the bloody blood and the fantastic near-violence for which the games are known.
I had a tradition to uphold (and it helped that reviews glow). I played the first two God of War games with my dad many years ago. He is a man who enjoys fantasy fiction and a good action-packed movie or game. We also joined other video game franchises. He knows a little about Drake, Elena and Sully because he watched me Uncharted 2 and really liked it! Until he got sick of watching me turn the camera too fast and too often to shoot a helicopter from the sky. Oops. God of War however, is the series that he liked most.
The best part is that I am well aware of the time and the panic that my parents are retiring and getting older, it's nice to get in touch with them as much as I can. And so it made sense to invest in the latest God of War though I knew that if I invited him to play, he would make me a little crazy.
My dad always has advice on how to play. Much of it ranges from the obvious attack plans to what makes sense to him as a spectator. His last advice usually leads to conversations in which he makes me "attack his head, man!" Normally, after he has let him know, his special observations in a particular situation are not possible or would not work effectively. And then he repeated his advice. A typical behavior of my father to know what's best, I think.
To betray something where it is due, he has always urged me to fight a rock creature (a & # 39; soul-eater & # 39; as it is called in the story of the game) in a certain way. The solution was also obvious to me, but my timing was over and I could not land hits. The result was that I ignored the obvious solution and tried to tackle it in another way, much to the detriment of my father.
In the end, I mastered my timing and led the fight as it should. My father could not have been more proud of his strategy.
In times like these I will give him these little victories.
He laughs at the dumbest things. Sometimes that means me.
Whenever Atreus, Kratos 'son, jumps on Kratos' back to climb cliffs, my father laughs. I chuckled with him. Atreus seems to emerge from nowhere and it is amusing. That's a little thing we laugh about. But a later adventure to overthrow a statue is the only side issue he can not stop. The search is not very inspiring, but for us it was our approach …
This specific sidequest demanded a detour to an island where stronger enemies awaited us. In God of War different colored health bars indicate how much more powerful an enemy is than Kratos. The Reavers (enemies) we found had purple bars that were well above Kratos's strength. I decided to stop and see how much of an ass kick I would get. It was over in one fell swoop – for me that's how it is.
Never the quitter (yes, right), I went back to see if I could dodge my way to victory. Two evasive maneuvers and one hit later it was over again. A blow to my ego.
On my third attempt, I threw the ax at the enemy as it rode forward, then Atreus shot down some arrows and then hurried back to the boat. Something told me to go straight back to the island. Maybe it was a divine act of the gods, or what I call a "coincidence", but I went on to reconnect the Avenger. And behold, his health had not regenerated, so I implemented my father's plan: I sneaked in a blow, ran like a coward to the boat, shoved me away, turned the boat around with my terrible rudder skills, docked, flushed and repeated.
This scenario was strategic brilliance for my dad, but mostly it was funny: ran back to the boat, watched as our opponent tried to hit us on the head, but failed as soon as the boat animation started. In the end, I spent ten minutes cleaning the island of the Reavers. My dad was proud (and could not stop laughing all the time) and he insisted that I write that story down for the article I was writing. But hey, it worked. As cheap, boring and ridiculous as it was, it was our moment; one of the funniest we had, which I'll remember for sure. It's those lighter, random moments that I appreciate.
Even if my father laughs at me for missing an object, it's understandable. Again, it comes back to the wealth of advice he always seems to give. As frustrated as it gets me, I know he has me back. These are stories he can remember and exchange with when we remember the stupid things in life.
About This New God of War Story
I have to confess: I have watched Krato's behavior not only to see how he has changed and whether he can be saved as a character to me, but draw parallels in the story about my own relationship with my dad. No, my dad is not the blood-obsessed murder machine of yesteryear. I am not an Atreus either – a child who does not understand her father.
Kratos is according to all previous information a changed man. I'm not surprised how the letter dealt with his newly found fatherhood. The story is all I expected it to be on its journey of salvation, and founded and navigated a more rooted, caring relationship with its son.
Atreus & # 39; acting has felt fluent and natural, although sometimes he has to conduct a camp dialogue. There is no real connection between my own relationship with my father and that of Kratos and Atreus. That would be a stretch. It's a story about the family and the bonds we create, and that's pretty much as far as the parallels go. This is something that many of us associate with our own loved ones, and that makes the God of War more mature.
As for my father's thoughts about history? He's more in the history of the world, watching Kratos perform his last kill moves and lead me to what I should do next.
So much for my thought experiment.
There is a point in the game where Atreus will ask Kratos to tell him stories as they paddle in their boat. Kratos, the dull, ignorant man he is, tells these stories without upholstery and they are all sober lessons in life. These are some of my favorite moments in the game because they're funny, partly because of Atreus 'reactions and Kratos' lack of humor. They are silent moments necessary for the development of their relationship – the type we have seen in many games.
In a way, these stories remind me of my father. The heat he has for his family radiates, even if he does not always show it externally, like Kratos. Somehow, I saw my father and his cheesy jokes in Kratos' total story.
In our joint transcription of God of War we did not go too far. It was just enough to pass a few extra questions, get lost in our boat, and question my father of many of my decisions about opening chests or fighting swarms. My answer was that I gave him a fierce side look of despair, with a playful, light bickering.
I knew there would be no great revelations about our relationship if we played God of War . That was a lot easier: I wanted to play with him again for a long time. Perhaps it is fitting that God of War – a game about a father and son who strengthens their relationship – is the one that a father, his daughter, and their unwavering family ties wanted to play together.
All I know I'm grateful that years later, after our first two adventures with Kratos, we could still sit together to share new moments – both the frustrations and the laughter – that matter most to me ,
If you have stories of playing with your beloved parents, I would like to hear them.