A few starter pointers
You might not get bloody fingers trying to best the new God of War, but there’s definitely a learning curve, especially if you start with the hard difficulty setting.
Go ahead and do that by the way, as you can swap between easy, normal, and hard at any point (you’ll just have to restart the latest checkpoint each time you swap). Here are some other tips to help you get ahead.
- Buy Atreus’ bow upgrades first. They’re some of the cheapest available and provide massive buffs to your combat prowess, mostly due to the insane amount of stun bow shots provide. These lead directly into your R3 finishers.
- Speaking of stuns, peppering in a bunch of attacks with arrows will lead to the quickest filling of the stun meter. This meter recovers over time, so try to save up your arrow shots for when you’re close and ready to unload to maximize your chance of stunning someone before they can retreat and reset the meter.
- Executioner’s Cleave, one of the first abilities you can buy for your Leviathan Axe, is one of the most useful powers in the game. It grants you access to an instant execution ability that you can easily set up by popping someone up in the air with a launcher (press R2, then hold R2).
- It won’t get you out of every situation, especially a few hours in once the enemies start to get more aggressive, but you can spam your axe throw. Some bigger foes don’t have effective ranged attacks, so waiting until Atreus’ bow can be used and constantly chucking your axe can whittle some early baddies down.
- Don’t worry about getting every item or exploring every beaten path. You can go back to nearly every area in the game.
- With that said, levels in God of War, including those of the enemies, do not scale. So if you do skip a winding path in an early area and eventually go back to it 20 hours later, you’ll steamroll through it. How you choose to play is your prerogative, but if you’re looking for a constant challenge set the difficulty to hard and take your time.
- Healing can be hard to come by. If you’re short on health and are in a transition area with no enemies, smash all the pots/boxes you can as many will drop green health crystals. Also, using a junky relic item (tied to L1+Circle), even if it’s not up to par with the rest of your gear, can keep you topped off during quieter moments of exploration. Just wait for the cooldown to go down in a safe zone and pop it again.
- You can also save said crystals and manage your health in certain arena fights. Rage of the Gods still refills your health, so popping it after you’re in dire straits with a critical health meter and using errant health crystals to refill your health to max is a good plan.
- Get yourself a heavy rune that pops up multiple enemies. These generally have great stun ratings on them, which take several foes out of action while you deal with another, but even if they don’t stun they can give you a bit of breathing room. Try to keep juggling enemies with Atreus’ bow, even if you’re currently animation locked with Kratos. Atreus can act independently at any point, and you don’t need to save your arrows for when the animation is complete.
- When you take the fast travel portals you don’t need to run around the circle to find the door; just stand still. The door will appear when the game has loaded it.