Far removed from his earlier years as a rage-fuelled force of nature intent on bringing a corrupted pantheon to its knees, Kratos has established a newfound life of peace by the events of 2018’s installment in the series. Sony Santa Monica’s critically acclaimed soft reboot depicts a mentally scarred and weary God of War who wants nothing more than to suppress his true nature. People very rarely get what they desire, however, and the Ghost of Sparta soon finds himself reluctantly drawn into an epic feud between Midgard’s overseers initiated by Odin’s impulsive son, Baldur.
What follows is a spectacle-laden story underlined by themes of acceptance, fatherhood and grief, as Kratos, all too aware of the damage wrought by so-called higher beings, attempts to instil in his son Atreus a sense of compassion and respect for mortals that his own father lacked. More so than any of its predecessors, then, this particular franchise entry boasts far greater emotional depth in its cutscenes and overarching narrative, subtleties of which are all too easy to miss from a third-person perspective.
Thanks to some tinkering by modder and YouTuber Speclizer, however, they’ve managed to introduce a first-person option for the game’s numerous dialogue-heavy cinematic sequences. Atreus spreading his mother’s ashes atop Jötunheim’s highest peak is just one of many examples used by Speclizer in the preview, which cuts between several characters, including the severed head of Mimir as he shares some choice words with Odin’s offspring.
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There are, of course, several instances of clipping and visual oddities in the footage, as Santa Monica never intended for God of War to be played in such a way, but it’s nonetheless interesting to see a greater emphasis on facial expressions. A strong case for sparing use of first-person in future releases, then, and who knows? Fans might get exactly that with next year’s God of War: Ragnarök. See here for everything we’ve learned about the sequel so far.