God of War has received a lot of accolades since its release back in 2018. It quickly rose up the ranks of PlayStation 4 exclusives, solidifying itself as one of the defining games of the current generation.
This is, of course, a generation that features a lot of heavy hitters, including Final Fantasy VII Remake, Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us: Part 2, and Ghost of Tsushima.
But, with the launch of the next generation of consoles coming in just a few weeks, Press Start Australia has awarded 2018’s God of War on the PlayStation 4 with the honor of being the number one best title of the current console generation.
— PressStartAustralia (@PressStartAU) October 30, 2020
Press Start created a shortlist of titles that were all vying for the number one spot, including The Last of Us: Part 2, Doom Eternal, and Spider-Man. But God of War beat them all out, taking the crown in this franchise redefining game experience.
God of War is an incredibly cinematic game, and it sought to remake the established 15 year old franchise completely. Gone were the Ancient Greek settings and one dimensional characters.
In their place, gamers found an older Kratos reflecting back on his years of barbarism and slaughter. It was amazing to watch the evolution of this character as he went from one sided killing machine to caring, stern father figure.
The game took place in a Norse setting, pitting Kratos against an entire new pantheon of legendary gods, including Baulder, who serves as the game’s main antagonist. Also adding to the world and story of the God of War franchise were Kratos’s son Atreus, the Vanir goddess Freya, and Mimir, the smartest man alive, who many just refer to as “Head.”
“God of War, in a lot of respects, had no right to be as good as it was,” Press Start said in its write-up. “After the team delivered a series prequel in Ascension, it felt as though the franchise, its setting, and its characters had run their course. Not content to flog a dead horse, Cory Barlog turned it into a horse of a different color, taking the God of War series in an unexpected direction.”
They go on to note that the emotional connection between Kratos and Atreus gave the titular character more heart and weight than he had ever had before.
“The whole game is magical and is proof that a change is as good as a holiday,” they say, “from the mammoth set pieces that drive forward the cinematic trek Kratos and Atreus take in delivering a lost love’s ashes to a mountaintop to the satisfying, weighted combat that is built around the Mjolnir-powered Leviathan axe.”
The God of War team will have another opportunity to define a console generation when the next installment, which is rumored to be called God of War: Ragnarok, releases on the PlayStation 5 in 2021.