Despite Kratos having a deep origin story within the God of War franchise, the original games don’t need to be played first before God of War (2018).
Though there are many games in the God of War franchise that came before God of War (2018), the original series does not need to be played first before enjoying the most recent installment. Kratos, the main character of the God of War franchise, has a detailed backstory told through the original games, and nearly every part of the original God of War narrative is captivating because it explores a unique take on many of the Greek mythological figures. Whether or not players are avid history buffs or simply in it for the action and gore, there is something for everyone in the original God of War games.
However, God of War’s PC game release will allow many people to experience a God of War game for the first time, particularly for those who have always missed out on PlayStation exclusives. Those who are wondering if they can play, and enjoy, God of War (2018) without playing the originals should know they’ll be more than safe to do so. While there are callbacks to Kratos’s time in the original God of War games, there isn’t anything discussed that will leave first-time players puzzled. On the contrary, Kratos only shares information with other characters in God of War (2018) if they need to know it, and he’s extremely direct with detailing key information.
In addition to what Kratos reveals himself, the ancient mythology lore shared in God of War (2018) sticks to Norse mythology alone. For example, there are several Jotnar Shrines locations in God of War that detail events that have and will happen around Norse mythology characters only. God of War (2018) does an excellent job of leaving Kratos’s past in the past, allowing the God of War to assume full control over what he chooses to share with his son Atreus, Norse characters, and even the players themselves. That’s not to say that the parts of his history that Kratos does choose to share won’t leave players wanting more, but the details shared will, most likely, have players ask questions that don’t interrupt the story of God of War (2018) itself, and therefore don’t need to be answered immediately.
God Of War (2018) Plays Better Than All Other God Of War Games
Aside from the story, the actual gameplay of God of War (2018) is completely unique from all other entries in the franchise. Even the best skills in God of War (2018) aren’t reminiscent of what players first experienced in the original games. God of War (2018) begins everyone on the same page, with Kratos using new skills and weapons that were never seen before in the franchise. Both the Kratos’s Leviathan Axe and Guardian Shield are new pieces of gear that were first introduced in the latest game, and these are two of the primary weapons used for the majority of the game.
Though Kratos will eventually receive the Blades of Chaos, the classic weapon featured throughout every God of War game in the franchise, changes to how weapons and skills are upgraded in God of War (2018) won’t require players to have previous knowledge of how these mechanics worked in games prior. The Blades of Chaos improve similarly to the Leviathan Axe upgrades in God of War (2018), and the materials needed to upgrade the Blades are unique to the game as well.
Combat in God of War (2018) is also more fluid and personalized than it was in the original games. Prior to the latest game, combat was mainly just one area-of-effect attack after another with how the Blades of Chaos used to work, and although they have a similar attacking style now, each fight feels like it’s got a bit more room for personalization. Instead of fighting hordes of enemies at a time and sweeping them with attacks, God of War (2018) allows players to selectively focus on targets and fight them individually. During the more challenging difficulties, particularly on the Give Me God Of War difficulty setting, players will have to rely heavily upon their ability to target enemies individually to prevent them from powering up.
Of course, there are still skills and abilities that allow Kratos to more easily fight groups of enemies at a time, which is why part of what makes the combat more intimate in God of War (2018) is the camera angle itself. The entire God of War (2018) story, from start to finish, is told viewed from a single over-the-shoulder shot that only sees the camera slowly pan and zoom over the focus of the moment. Even during the actual cutscenes, there are no quick-cut transitions in God of War (2018), allowing players to remain fully immersed in the game without any interruptions. Conversely, all Greek gods Kratos meets in God of War games one through three are through quick-cut interactions that aren’t anything special cinematically.
Become Familiar With The God Of War Story Without Playing The Originals
Perhaps the biggest difference between God of War (2018) and the previous games is the actual camera angle and game progression. From the original God of War to God of War 3, every fight against every enemy is done from the cinematic-fixed shot that was popular in games from the early 2000s to the early 2010s. Since the camera angle was fixed, each game had a more linear progression and did not allow players to substantially explore the environments, further limiting the immersion. As mentioned, the story details in God of War (2018) do not require any knowledge of the previous games first. Anyone who isn’t a fan of fixed-camera, third-person action-adventure games can safely avoid playing any early God of War game in the franchise.
Before God of War Ragnarok is released, fans should absolutely play God of War (2018) because the former is a direct sequel to the latter. Although the details of what happens to Kratos in the original series do make for a richer story in God of War, there are other resources like YouTube or written pieces that can catch fans of the series up in much less time. In fact, because the horrible murders that Kratos commits throughout God of War are so critical to his overall character development in the series, those who are looking to play God of War (2018) on PC will probably want to, at some point, catch up on all of the Greek gods that Kratos has killed.
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