Kratos is back and seems a little less pissed off and a lot more fatherly this time around. The God Of War E3 trailer that debuted during Sony’s conference featured the extremely angry Spartan hacking enemies to shreds, trekking through the snow, and sharing some tender moments with his son.
The trailer showcased the feverishly brutal combat gamers have come to expect from the God Of War series. Enemies are cleaved or ripped in half, magic is cast to suspend enemies in midair, and larger beasts require more tactically merciless methods to bring them to their knees. It looks like Kratos’s son will also be playable to some extent and will aid Kratos in combat.
The trailer highlights interaction between the Ghost of Sparta and his son, showing a more human side to the infamously unrelenting protagonist. They’re shown in combat in multiple different scenarios, the son stunning enemies with his bow while Kratos works over the majority of the threat with an axe, which looks to be the featured weapon this time around. Kratos is also seen using a shield that morphs as he swings it through the air in unison with his son firing off arrows. The familiar climbing sections seem to have returned as well, this time with Kratos’ son stabbing an enemy through the face as it attempts to disrupt their ascent. The trailer also features a cast of NPCs that Kratos has decided not to decapitate, with his son's dialogue hinting at the fact that the Ghost of Sparta may not go completely berserk every time he comes across something with a pulse. The trailer ends with the humongous World Serpent surfacing to offer the two warriors help on their quest to kick some Norse god butt.
The trailer is pretty heavy handed in offering Kratos as more than a war machine this time around, adding in lengthy voiceovers and scenes that show him passing on knowledge to his son and vice versa. His son preaches the fact that some people can be trusted, evidenced by the fact that Kratos is seen conversating with NPCs as opposed to eviscerating them with his bare hands. Despite the trailers best efforts to humanize Kratos, it’s obvious that the game won’t be short on felling your foes as brutally as possible.
This seems like a promising development for the God Of War series; fleshing out an otherwise one-dimensional Kratos may be a welcome change from the simple-minded slashing off the franchise’s previous installments. However, the attempt could fall short, taking away the merciless luster that has elevated Kratos to one of the most well-known characters in gaming. Hopefully his son won’t be too much of a bother either, becoming more of a weapon for Kratos’ disposal as opposed to a breathing moral compass that requires constant babysitting.
God Of War is expected to be released in early 2018.