Why I Never Finished God of War (2018)

God of War was one of my favorite game series from the PS2 era. I've beaten each one at least once, the major entries I've beaten two to three times each. I've done entire playthroughs with the Spear of Destiny. Yes, I'm one of those people. Needless to say I preordered God of War for the PS4 the same day I heard about it. I jumped in as soon as I got it. Despite that, I never finished the game and I probably never will.

God of War (2018) tells us the story of an older and more mature Kratos. This time Kratos has a son, Atreus. After the death of Faye, Kratos and Atreus burn the body and set out on a journey to complete her last wish and spread her ashes from the highest mountain. Kratos commits some murders with his new axe and that's a basic summary. I honestly never got further than The World Serpent and it doesn't take long to get there at all.

This time around there's been more emotion added to the story than ever before. In the past, Kratos knew one emotion. That was rage. He did not have the range he does now. Additionally, he has Atreus, his son. Kratos now has someone he cares about. It's not a secret Kratos didn't care about himself. He simply wanted to survive long enough to get revenge even if it meant suicidal attacks.

The relationship between Kratos and Atreus is strained at best. Kratos was always there for Atreus growing up. Despite that, they don't know anything about each other. Early moments are spent with the two trying to understand each other. Kratos asking if he knows how to hunt. Atreus making comments about how strong Kratos is. Despite knowing his father for the duration of his life, Atreus was truly meeting him for the first time. When asking why his father was not sad Kratos responded, "do not mistake my silence for lack of grief. Morn how you want, but leave me alone." That's simply who Kratos was. He was raised not to show those emotions.

On the opposite end Kratos realizes just how much like himself Atreus truly is. When Atreus kills his first person in a fit of rage Kratos sees himself in that moment. Atreus quickly goes from rage to regret and not understanding what he had done. Kratos who never had a great relationship with his father, gives the only advice he knows from his Spartan training.

"Close your heart to it." He wants Atreus to banish those emotions because those are the emotions that cause your heart to ache. Kratos left Sparta a long time ago. He got revenge a long time ago. It is no secret that once his mission was finished, he had time to sit and rest. Those emotions crept in and he felt remorse again, sadness over those he had lost. A brother, a mother, a wife, a daughter and countless friends. He didn't want that so he tried to hide it from his son.

I loved God of War in every moment that I played, yet I never finished it. The reason being is shortly after the game was released, I lost my father. I took a break from the game because I had real life issues to deal with. A funeral, insurance, property and everything that comes with the death of a parent. When it was all said and done, I attempted to pick up where I left off, but I couldn't do it.

The relationship between Kratos and Atreus had a lot of time put into it. The way they interacted was thought about a lot. Because of this, they shared a true father and son dynamic. More than that of a secondary character that would simply follow Kratos. It kind of hit home because it was a similar relationship between my father and I.

My father was not a God of War, nor a Spartan. He did however spend almost twenty years in the marines. The same things Atreus questioned about his father, I would often question when I was younger. Why are you always mad? Are you ever happy? In reality, he just pushed a lot of emotions down and remained stoic. My father had some anger issues, never to the point that he put his hands on anyone in the family. However, if you were an outsider, you had to deal with it. In the same way Atreus inherited those problems, I did too.When Kratos tried to explain to Atreus that he shouldn't let anger get the best of him, it brought back memories of my father having the same talk with me.

In the way Atreus learns a lot about his father during this journey, I learned a lot about my father when I got older. He wasn't this emotionless man I assumed he was. He actually felt a lot of emotion. He just bottled it all up. It wasn't that he didn't cry or feel joy. He just kept a stone face because he felt he always needed to be a rock. It didn't matter if he was looking after 6 younger siblings or the people in his platoon. He would never let anyone see him sweat, that's just how he was.

The moment that really got to me, was Atreus apologizing to Kratos because he messed up. Kratos simply responds "don't be sorry, be better," and they go about their day. The reason this got to me, is because I heard the phrase "be better," so many times in my life from my father. My father never punished me for anything I did. He just told me I need to be better. If I tried to pass off something as mimicing what I had saw him do "Don't be me, be better than me." The same relationship that Kratos and Atreus have.

As I tried to finish up the game, I kept being remind that no matter how different you are from your parents, you will share similar traits. Time and time again I kept seeing that with Kratos and Atreus. It's a testament to how well their relationship was built in this game. Will I ever finish the game? I hope to. I just don't think it'll be any time soon.

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Why I Never Finished God of War (2018) Why I Never Finished God of War (2018) Reviewed by Blerds Online on Monday, January 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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