God of War wouldn't work if it didn't have masterful combat woven in the fabric of the game. Thankfully, that's not a problem. The PS4 exclusive is filled to the brim with conflict, and Kratos moves between armed and unarmed combat with the surety of a born killer. Fights are a fluid dance of attacking and defending.
And don't forget about Atreus. That adventurous boy is not going to get in your way. Rather, he'll follow commands and disrupt the flow of enemies' attacks. The combat is satisfying, and the powerful Kratos is a pleasure to control. Here are some of our favorites attacks in the game.
10 Spartan Rage
We had to include this on our list. In the departure from the Greek pantheon, Kratos now has a new arsenal of attacks with which to destroy any who stand in his path, but the nod to his past Spartan rampage is appreciated.
Not to mention it's fun as hell to charge at unprepared creatures, big and small, with a flurry of fists and unstoppable anger. Hammering opponents and rending limbs from bodies are simple moves when that Rage meter fills up. When Kratos goes supernova, we advise you get out of his way.
9 Wrath of the Wolf
One of the Runic Summons that Atreus can command when using his Talon Bow, Wrath of the Wolf is a strong attack that sends spectral wolves pouncing on enemies around you. When the summon is fully upgraded, five wolves strike simultaneously, and the sudden attack is excellent for disrupting your attackers and letting you focus on your next move.
It works as crowd control, but the spectral wolves are also heavy hitters. Atreus is good with his bow, but considering when to use a Runic Summon is just as important for an effective strategy.
8 Bitter Squirrel
Ratatöskr is a mouthful, but the little squirrel is immensely helpful. God of War does not provide much in the way of health during a fight. So, you must be very careful with your approach as reckless advances leave you weak and disadvantaged during combat.
The squirrel will dive down into the earth and dig up consumables. Useful in a pinch. Depending on the type of arrows that Atreus has equipped, Ratatöskr will unearth either Healthstones or Ragestones. If you need to recover some HP or build your rage, Bitter Squirrel is handy.
7 Countering Blast
Defensive maneuvers are not natural to Kratos in the early God of War games, but it is an essential part of well-rounded, methodical combat. The Guardian Shield can be a strong element in your strategy because it provides the chance to not only stop incoming attacks, but also to redirect that energy back toward your enemies.
Countering Blast does that by sending projectiles streaming toward the point of origin. Absorb the hit at the last second, and you can shoot it right back—a very good trick for dealing with ranged attackers.
6 Countering Strike
One of the first skills that you can purchase will be one of the parries that you'll use throughout the game. Countering Strike functions as Countering Blast does, but it's designed for melee attacks up close.
When a creature presses close and lunges at you, block it right before the blow lands. You'll sweep away the attack and use that momentum to deliver a crushing strike at your opponents. That force will knock them back and allows Kratos to initiate offensive action. It's your bread and butter.
5 Charge of the White Bear
At times, you will be overwhelmed by enemies. A swarm of creatures will descend upon you and all of the parries and dodges in the world will not save you from getting hit, so you should reposition. Kratos is not invincible, and you shouldn't hold your ground no matter the consequences.
Charge of the White Bear will give you the out you need. The dash and follow up strike takes you away from the oncoming horde. If you single out a target lurking in the background, the strike will also give you the chance to put pressure on the enemies. You're not running away. You're just moving around the ring.
4 Breath of Thamur
Every God of War should have a terrifying area-of-effect attack, and Breath of Thamur is one of the strongest frost attacks that Kratos can use. The animation is also a pleasure to watch, so that certainly helps.
The bearded Spartan raises his Leviathan Axe above his hand and swirling frost damage batters any creature unfortunate enough to be standing in the affected zone. For the trials on Muspelheim or any other instance where you need to clear a large area, call upon the Breath of Thamur and you won't be disappointed.
3 Hyperion Slam
It's a sight for sore eyes whenever the Blades of Chaos make a return in God of War. Make no mistake, the Leviathan Axe is one of the coolest weapons in recent video game memory, but the nostalgic appearance of the vaunted chain swords warms the heart.
One of the best Heavy Runic Attacks for the Blades of Chaos is the Hyperion Slam. The move features Kratos whipping down both blades onto an enemy while a geyser of molten lava burns them. It doesn't get old to watch smaller creatures flung into the air as they incinerate.
2 Fire of Ares
Frost damage and burn damage are important aspects of combat that should be considered in every fight. Different creatures are susceptible to elemental effects, and burn damage can assist in finishing off enemies with lingering damage.
Fire of Ares is a wave-based Heavy Runic Attack for the Blades of Chaos, and the upgraded version of the move is a beast. Five shockwaves ripple out and burn anything in its path. Switching between your Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos can allow you to chain runic attacks, and Fire of Ares will definitely surprise advancing foes.
1 Axe Throw
How could this not be the top of the list? If you thought Mjolnir was the only badass weapon of the gods that thrums with power and flies back to its owner's hand, then you're wrong!
God of War is not the same without the thrilling power of sending a destructive axe soaring through the air to penetrate the skull or sweep the legs of any threat around you. The feel of the metal grip slamming back into your hands after a hefty toss is unforgettable. It's one of the best mechanics in a combat game. Period. If you mess with Kratos, you mess with the Leviathan.