Since God of War 4 is maybe about to be announced, I figured I should finish what I started to write when “Bloggers Wanted” was “Improvement”.
Last time I blogged about a terrifying location in Dead Space 2, this time around I'd like to tell you about my discontent with a certain game about deicide and how to improve it in further installations.
I was rather disappointed with the third entry in the God of War series. For me it didn't live up to its predecessors, especially GoW2. Someone on Destructoid put it perfectly in a comment I read: God of War 3 is soulless. And I fully agree. It was fun, I guess, but it had problems. Much more problems than were mentioned in reviews all over the planet. Here are some gripes I had with it while and after playing.
Why the hell doesn't Kratos use the Icarus wings when he plummets down Mount Olympus, why are the weapons so boringly designed (save for the Nemean Cestus), why have they fucked with the controls (only a bit), the design of the CGI cutscenes is pretentious and uninteresting, why are the special attacks bound to certain weapons, why is there less enemy variety than in GoW2, why is Athena a ghost and not a single one of the others gods (Hello? Ares haunting Kratos would be totally funny), what are her intentions in helping Kratos, what's with the titan Kratos randomly stabs in the eye, the Hermes boss fight is unspectacular and boring, his boots are useless rubbish, Helios' head is stupidly integrated with only two lame areas or so (and chests, wow), the bow is just fucking bowring (*ba dum tsss*), where is the third of the Gorgon sisters, Stheno, where is Artemis who sports a gigantic blade and would make a fine and strong female opponent for Kratos, Pandora and hope are just wrong and made me puke (figuratively), why is the ending so unfulfilling and most importantly of all, what the actual fuck is Zeus doing while Kratos is killing all of his brethren?!
I know, the last sentence is a bit clusterfucky, but hey, just like the game. It is full of this shit and I hate it for that. Also, it still has fun and impressive moments. So, in the end it was an okay experience for me with a lot of bitter aftertaste.
So, let's talk sequel.
Since story and gameplay are intersecting in some ways I just try to write it down as we go. First things first, I think the best way to wrap up the GoW story is a second trilogy – featuring three new pantheons – with in my opinion only one possible resolution that comes full circle (that will be explained later on).
Since the fourth one is actually semi-announced I am super excited in which direction it'll go.
God of War 4
Kratos wakes up from some kind of coma or stasis 15 years after the events of God of War 3. His appearance shows that with some Clooney-ish gray streaks etc, also he sports a big-ass fucking scar on his chest where he stabbed himself with the Blade of Olympus. For the time he was out cold he had a guardian watching over him, let's go with the Egyptian god Anubis for now. Kratos obviously is pretty confused that he's still alive and a godlike creature is watching him, nah, just kidding, of course he immediately intends to unleash a can of whoop-ass on the jackal... who stops him right in his tracks. Of course, our favourite rage demi-god has lost all his powers again, but this time it does actually make sense again. The damage he sustained from the Blade was too high and, well, he was near death.
Anubis brings him up to date what happened with the world after the major players of the Greek gods were killed. I imagine something like this: The Norse gods together with some traitors and defectors of other pantheons – even the Greek pantheon, Artemis HAS to return – used the imbalance of power created by Kratos and established their rule in the Aegean Sea/ENTIRE world. Since Kratos released hope to mankind at the end of the third game this turned out an unexpectedly difficult endeavor, so the Gods build some sort of totalitarian regime, i.e. Nazi gods, torturing dissenters, slave labor, all that stuff. Kratos doesn't like that stuff.
Driven by his inherent hate for the arrogance of all gods and kickstarted by Anubis, who opposed the regime from the beginning, he departs for Egypt to... To do what actually? To start building a rebellion of course!
First thing he needs are weapons. Fortunately Anubis has taken the liberty to let *insert legendary blacksmith with loose mythological background here* dismantle and re-forge the Blade of Olympus in secret which results in *drumroll* the Blades of Olympus, the last iteration of “The Blades” Kratos will ever carry.
Now, that's one thing working in Kratos' favor, another thing being that every other god except Anubis thinks that he's dead. Kratos wouldn't stand a chance if someone of the gods discovered him in his current state. That's the reason why he can't barge into Egypt like the pompous brat he was at the beginning of GoW3. Kratos has to tread more like undercover until he has regained some of his powers. Also, this time he needs allies. This time his opponents are not just a handful of cocky gods, it's an army lead by the powerful warrior gods of Asgard. Now, don't say Kratos isn't a people person. He was actually a general in the Spartan army, you don't get that job just through sheer battle power alone. Also, don’t forget that he managed to score wife and kid. It's more like he isn't a people “pleaser”. Except for women. Which already leads me to the sex minigame for this game: Kratos and Cleopatra. That's one way to gain followers, go Kratos.
After gaining some powers and followers Kratos starts taking on the Egyptian gods and their supporters. Their characters and designs would lend themselves pretty well to a God of War game with their animal-human forms, their titan-esk powers and history (room for subplots). Also, enemy types would be very interesting, as well - short glance at you, Age of Mythology, Egyptian mythology and mysticism.
Another thing that would fit very well in the world of GoW are the possible locations. There we have super huge pyramids and their construction sites. The pyramids are full of traps and dangerous foes. Beleaguered and oppressed gigantic cities, the Sphinx (which could actually be a big ass enemy, as well), desert oases, temples and of course the Death realm (no brainer really).
Also, I would mix the gods up a bit in a way that Kratos does not get to kill all Egyptian gods. Some could've escaped or completely been somewhere else to reappear later and I like the idea of killing off Thor rather early. He could be on an ambassador trip and be one of the last enemies in the game and it should take all the effort of Kratos and his soldiers to defeat him and gain his powers.
Of course, there are casualties among Kratos’ folks but in the end he has a loyal fellowship which is the beginning of Kratos’ new army. Only they lack in power...
…and power they shall gain in God of War 5
I know, this borders on fan fiction, although it is just a rough overview of some ideas I had. Well, whatever.
So, what do you say? Is this something you would want to play? Does this fit the God of War series? Let me hear about it. If you like this I will wrap up the other two parts in the next days.