Round Table Discussion – Way Too Many Gods of War?
As we approach the date for the much anticipated upcoming release of God of War (2018), the staff at Way Too Many Games had a long debate about their preferences regarding the franchise. A heated dispute ensued as a result acknowledging, analyzing, and criticizing the game in comparison to the look and feel of the series in previous entries. Nobody was aware that this conversation was going to be published so this is a very candid look at the personalities of some of our writers. Feel free to skim the dialogue, jump down into the comments below and agree, disagree, or really give a piece of your mind to anyone on our staff as you read our very opinionated analysis of this beloved franchise.
Apr 10th, 2018 (2 days before the embargo date)
Jordan: There is a review for GoW already… 8.5/10. I thought that embargo wasn’t up until the 12th?
(sidenote: The entire site containing the review has since gone offline)
Kyle: 8.5? What a disaster!
Todd: I think it is the 12th, yes. Some guy wanted to be the first out. Lol… I just have no interest in reading a review from a 30 hour game that a guy absolutely did not play it all
Steve: ….damn, you make me not wanna read. But HYPE tho!
Todd: And a game that I am very hyped for. An 8.5 is good to me. But that title implies he is going to talk about all the things he misses from the old titles.
Jordan: Well hasn’t press had copies for a while now? Hence the embargo up in 2 days?
Todd: Press has copies, yes. But they have an embargo to follow. Any review out now is probably from a guy that got his retail copy early.
Jordan: @Todd I’ll read it and sum up for you.
Todd: Unless it is universal, I have no interest in early negativity on this game at all. I just want to play it and enjoy it. Hell, I will even be avoiding here. Lol!
Jordan: 8.5 isn’t negative though, haha.
Todd: No but his title was. Makes me think it is actually a good game but his devotion to the early titles couldn’t allow him to fully enjoy it.
Jordan: Well Kratos can’t even jump! That’s not a powerful god!
Todd: Too much comparison.
Jordan: I think the problem with comparing the games is that it’s legit. Once Barlog said that it’s still a continuation, everything in the last games still happened, he still has Spartan rage and hints that the blades of chaos still haunt him. It’s hard to look at it as a reboot, tbh. But honestly no way the game will get under an 8, anywhere.
Todd: I don’t see it as a reboot at all
Steve: I personally like to look at games on their own merit rather than comparison. I mean this is where when people are pissed off about Uncharted 4 as a UC game I can still appreciate that it’s an overall GOOD game
Todd: I see this as a true GoW4. Now, if GoW3 came out and did the change, I would agree. GoW3 was the final chapter of Greece. GoW4 is the first chapter of Midgard.
I agree with Steve, but I do see your point, Jordan. I just never had those conflictions with this game. It was never hard for me to understand that this is not a reboot
This is an epic sequel. GoW 1-3 were book one in the saga. GoW4+ is book 2 in the same saga. Rather than diplomatic gods, you have ones that are very much like Kratos himself. A more grounded and harsh world, a more grounded and harsh gameplay.
Steve: A reboot to me would be disregarding everything that happened in the series and starting the story over in Norse mythology as opposed to Greek, which I was actually on board for when it was announced. I mean, I really need an explanation of what the hell he’s been up to since he pretty much ended the world.
Jordan: Comparing games within their own series I think is fine. If you’re going to radically change the formula a long running series is known for then of course there is going to be comparisons to the old formula. I think if they went full reboot then you’d have to only base it on its new reboot status, because it is a reboot of the series formula.
I mean, if 343i changed Halo into a 3rd person shooter for their new trilogy… pretty sure people would worry and compare it to the past. That being said, as a reviewer you should be basing it off what the game does right but as a fan, it’s hard not to compare, haha.
Steve: I’d still want to look at the game individually. People get WAY too caught up in nostalgia. Hence the hate it’s getting now and the thing hasn’t even dropped yet.
“OMG, you changed A THING! It’s the worst game ever!”
Jordan: It’s not just a thing. They restructured the entire game, haha!
It’s more than just changing the combat a little or using a different weapon than blades of chaos.
Steve: You know what? Scratch that. I’d have compared Andromeda because how can you go from doing so many things right, and then dive headfirst into “Wrongville”? I don’t think I could help it in that case. But I just want to be as objective as possible with a title’s individuality. The dude who did that review’s been writing gaming pieces since ’94, btw so he’s definitely not just some guy who happened to get a leaked copy.
Todd: Difference of opinion. I think enough time has passed and enough has changed that a game play shift is ok with me. There is enough difference for me to buy into the change of presentation. Halo did a RTS and I have no problem still feeling like it is the Halo world. I don’t forget the other Halos happened. I will go to my grave that GoW4 in the old style would have been a mistake. I love what the old games did but it would have been another Ascension. Just not needed.
Steve: I’m with you there. It was time for a change. Isometric perspectives and locked camera angles are a relic only still relevant for remasters and indies.
Todd: Zelda reinvented itself. Granted, that is a damn reboot every title
Metroid did the same.
Jordan: Todd, Halo Wars wasn’t a main entry, though.
Todd: I am just giving reason why I can separate the original titles.
Jordan: And see I don’t agree that it would have been another Ascensions. What was wrong with Ascensions was not the combat.
Todd: Those games still exist. In fact, bravo to them for taking on the challenge of not making this a new franchise or to make it a reboot. I want to know what happened now between 3 and 4!
Jordan: If anything, the solid gameplay and combat is what saved it a little
Todd: I agree. What was wrong with Ascension was that, it wasn’t needed. Gameplay in GoW is proven and sound. But like Steve said, isometrics really aren’t AAA sellers.
Jordan: @Todd @Steve Don’t get me wrong, I’m still eager to play it and I want to try to block out the old games when I play it but, it’s gonna be hard, haha. I’m glad I don’t have to review it, tbh.
Leonardo: Are we *really* discussing as if a 8.5 was a bad score?
Todd: No. We are discussing if the game should be compared to what it doesn’t do, rather than what it does do.
Jordan: Nah, we are discussing whether comparing it to the other games is a correct way to review the game. Don’t try and water down the argument, haha!
Todd: You used different words but in the end, it is compared to what it doesn’t do that the other titles did. Like jump? Who cares about Jump. Lol.
Todd: Why, Kyle?
Jordan: Jumping opens up so many combat and platforming options.
Todd: Why does jump matter but you love games that don’t have it?
Todd: It is a “fauxcus” point for someone that wants to nitpick. GoW never felt like GoW to me because, I was leaping around.
Jordan: Because, those games never had jump so there is nothing to compare to..
Todd: It felt like GoW because, I was murdering and skull f***ing gods
They keep the skull f***ing in and I am good.
Kyle: I say jumping is important to most hack and slash action games.
Todd: Not a hack-n-slash game anymore. At least not in that classic sense
Kyle: Opens up tons of combo possibilities. A bit of platforming doesn’t hurt either
Jordan: What made GoW was the gameplay and combat and they are changing all of that and just keeping Kratos.
Leonardo: What you are saying is that they are pulling a Nuts & Bolts?
Jordan: Not quite on that level of sh*t though, Leo haha. But in theory, yes I guess
Todd: I applaud this. It is a daunting task. You want another 7 hour isometric hack-n-slash? I don’t.
Steve: I think it’s a bold step in a new direction to revitalize what very well COULD’VE been considered a dying franchise after Ascension. It felt necessary
Todd: @Steve agree 100%. Worst thing a game can do is go so long it runs stale.
Jordan: I know I’ll enjoy it, but it’s gonna be hard for me not to compare. It’s only natural when you completely change the gameplay of a beloved franchise.
Todd: And GoW has had six very identical titles. Not just very identical… same beginning, middles and end
Steve: The game’s current mechanics were built off of marketing research and they took pieces of what they knew has already succeeded this gen. Giving the gamers what they want. How can that be a bad thing?
Jordan: I think changing to Norse is all they needed… for me anyway
Steve: @Jordan Hawes ….and recycle the aging aesthetic?
Todd: Their worry is all the focus groups make all of Sony’s games look and play the same. Valid worry.
Jordan: Change the theme, change the weapon, keep the amazing combat. That’s all they needed to do for me. Aging?
Todd: I hear ya, @Jordan Hawes. But for me, older Kratos, rough in the mud gods, completely new realms. If there is a time to change it up, now is the time.
Leonardo: The whole focus group excuse is very vague.
Jordan: I don’t want every game to be cinematic 3rd person games.
Leonardo: It’s the whole reason we got a ton of military shooters and why every AAA game looks “samey”.
Steve: Yea but, we pretty much only see those isometric kind of camera angles and combat in indies now.
Todd: If the choice is GoW being a dead franchise or reinvigorating it, I am all for the latter. I am all for isometric hack-n-slashes but, you are right. It is not a AAA seller anymore.
Jordan: Exactly why I want to keep it. It’s not that cut and dry Todd, haha.
Steve: And, look what happens to every game that tries to copy that formula. It worked for GoW and GoW ONLY!
Todd: It was a PS2 genre.
Jordan: @Steve Exactly, GoW made that sh*t what it is and for them to throw it away to follow the new trend of cinematic 3rd person games, it’s disappointing to me.
Leonardo: Honestly, you gotta use a mentality of a work of art when developing a game, and not consumer product marketing practices, or else the chances of making your game generic as hell are immense. Case and point, that Days Gone game reeks of focus group research for me @Todd. You can add a new camera but keep the insane action intact. Just look at Bayonetta and how everybody and their mother love that game.
Todd: @Leo Faria I don’t understand how a dev isn’t shown the door if, after 5 minutes of mentioning the word Zombie, they haven’t convinced me how it isn’t just another zombie game.
Steve: Well you want the franchise to succeed? Sometimes it does take a bit of marketing research. Do you want AAA GoW or do you want GoW to become an indie franchise? Because, with the cost of development nowadays, indies are the only ones who can afford to take the risk. If they decide to force themselves into the same direction, it could dead the studio altogether.
Jordan: GoW was never an indie game…? The quality alone set it apart.
Steve: I personally feel the switch to 3rd person gives a more visceral perspective of the combat. I want to see that stuff up close. I want blood splatter on my eyes as he rips a head off. I could do without the kid though. I’m not a fan of the more “emotional” Kratos.
Leonardo: Depending on the emotion, I’m up for it. If said emotion is Kratos being even more pissed off. My first GoW was GoW 3 for PS4. I didn’t understand absolute crap about the story but it started with Kratos pretty much growling against Poseidon or some sh*t like that like a rabid bear and I was like “alright”!
Todd: @Leo Faria It is great. It was just 6 games of the same exact thing
Steve: Yea I really love his testoteronic, murderous, psychopath personality. Even hearing his voice calm and toned down is…almost unsettling.
Todd: I don’t know. That makes it even more tense for me. Like when it happens, you know you pushed him too far.
Steve: Raw anger and carelessness of his consequences. I liked GoW 3 because, despite him accomplishing his goal, he dropped the world into darkness. It was great to see his revenge ended on such a sobering note.
He murdered innocent bystanders just to complete puzzles. I mean how can you not love this guy? LOL! @Jordan Hawes Which is why I thought a REBOOT into Norse would’ve been better for me. I’m still on board for the perspective change, though.
Jordan: No Ascensions, no GoW4 with old Kratos. He should have died and this should be a full reboot with a new character and then the changes wouldn’t have been a big deal. @Steve Same here. It certainly would make the change of direction a better pill to swallow.
Todd: And, taking that heartless butchering warrior and now trying to tone him back… damn daring. You aren’t saying that isn’t Kratos anymore. You are saying Kratos doesn’t want to be that anymore.
Steve: I WANT Kratos to be that.
Jordan: No, I’m saying Kratos should have died when he killed himself at the end of 3, haha.
Todd: He lost a family already. So you want no more GoW games?
Steve: Reboot, give him a different story, a different reason to be pissed and set him off to murder his way to the top.
Todd: Damn… heartless, bruh. I love this path. Give me a guy that has to live with the atrocities he did, not blame someone else.
Jordan: I want more GoW, but if you’re gonna reboot the game, reboot the game. Don’t do a half step where you’re kinda pretending it’s a reboot but too scared to get rid of your main character.
Steve: It could’ve been like Assassin’s Creed. Do 3 more in Norse, jump into the butts of the Egyptian gods in the next series.
Todd: Old Man Logan, John Wick. You loved these!
Egyptian is too close to Greek. The high society gods that don’t get their own hands dirty.
Jordan: Exactly like GoW… kinda, besides the car and dog thing. @Todd how many times have we had this convo? Haha!
Todd: Because you won’t listen
Leonardo: Honestly, getting a God of War game for the story is like going to McDonald’s for a salad.
Jordan: I want to preserve my thoughts of bad ass Kratos. I don’t want to remember him as an old daddy when he dies.
Jordan: Logging off now.
Jordan: This is essentially what he is becoming with his kid.
Todd: The kid is essential. Shows weakness in Kratos that is necessary, IMHO.
Jordan: Well this is where we always disagree, haha. I couldn’t give a sh*t about sappy, emotionally deep Kratos. That just isn’t who I ever wanted him to ever be. He showed a little bit in 3 with Pandora and that was enough. But, then he was still also murdering God’s pissed the f**k off so it was a fine balance.
Steve: No! No weakness. No family ties, no sanity and “I gotta be something for the sake of my son”. He’s the unchained and unbridled rage maniac that we wanna be every time someone cuts us off in traffic.
Jordan: @Steve You get it
Leonardo: He’s the GOD…Of WAR. Why give a GOD of WAR a weakness? Aren’t gods supposed to be the embodiment of perfection? If that’s even the same Kratos, that is.
Jordan: I’m interested to see how they handle the balance though. Because if they focus to much on his weakness and kid and not how he is trying to suppress his rage then I think they went the wrong direction with the character.
Steve: Hell, I was hoping the kid dies at some point and we get good ol, homicidal psychopath Kratos back. After shedding tears of course, TLoU style.
Jordan: That ain’t happening. They confirmed the kid is with you till the end.
Leonardo: I like when they make a character with very little plot detail or personality like Kratos or Doomguy, because WE can determine how that character acts, the character becoming the extension of our depraved personality in the game. If you give a character a full-fledged personality, you kinda HAVE to act that way or else it makes little sense, like GTA 4‘s Niko. Good guy plot-wise; nonsensical maniac because, we want to.
Jordan: So we all agree that @Todd is wrong? Love you Todd 🙂
Steve: LOL! Not completely. I still think the gameplay change is necessary and I do like the new perspective. The story and kid on the other haaand…
Todd: @Leo Faria Because you need weakness. Compare Superman to Batman. You need something to overcome
Leonardo: So you want to give Kratos a mother named Martha?
Jordan: Like I said, I’m sure I’ll still really enjoy the game. But it’s gonna be hard to separate what made the series so great. @ToddOfWar that’s why he fights gods…
Todd: I actually prefer being the only person that thinks this. Shows I am not just following majority thought because of programming. You guys want no growth, I want growth. I mean, really, that is all it comes down to
Jordan: @ToddOfWar It actually shows you fall right into their programming focus group of the new fad of turning games into 3rd person cinematic games..
Todd: You want same old Kratos doing same old thing for same no reason
Steve: Programming? LOL! I play videogames to escape the reality and responsibilities of everyday life. By all means, I could accept the story in a new IP but, not necessarily for Kratos. He already was everything I wanted him to be, already.
Todd: He was everything I wanted him to be… not anymore. Can they f**k it up? Absolutely! But, giving the character depth is the right call.
Leonardo: If anything of his new personality clashes with the homicidal lunatic he used to be and people loved him for. That’s when there is a problem.
Jordan: Yes for a reason. Because, old Kratos was fu**ing great and the combat was already fantastic. That’s why I don’t want the change. I want him to go Norse, and new weapons, and enemies, and gods, but keep Kratos and his fighting style and gameplay.
Todd: But no… game 7 of him killing 700 people because of bad dreams… sounds “cool”.
Jordan: It does actually.
Steve: Best thing they could do for me, is kill the kid. Keep the gameplay and combat on the new system. But turn that little bastard into a martyr.
Todd: You guys would want to kill the franchise just to see Kratos 1.0.
Jordan: The difference is they fu**ed up the gameplay, but kept the character we love. GoW wouldn’t have fu**ed up the gameplay
Todd: And I say 1.0 because in six fu**ing games…. there was never any evolution. Lol!
Jordan: Who says it would kill the franchise?
Steve: I don’t wanna kill the franchise… I just wanna kill the kid. In that case, you get to see calm daddy Kratos and we get our murderous psychopath back.
Jordan: And, there was evolution. We slowly got to know Kratos and his story and he even showed a little emotion with Pandora. But he still was a homicidal maniac.
Todd: Sigh. Ok. What is our rule? When one person wants to move forward,
probably time to move forward. You guys are right to want what you want.
Jordan: As are you.
Todd: As for what is BETTER, I think you guys are mixing up nostalgia and college boners with actual success and sales.
Jordan: We are just debating and talking, not trying to change your POV, Todd. No reason to get worked up.
Steve: LOL! Nostalgia and college boners?
Jordan: I don’t care about sales. I care about playing a bad ass game
Todd: Bad games don’t sell. Just games you don’t like.
Jordan: Now you have gone from talking and debating to trolling…
Todd: And you even said yourself, you don’t think it will be a bad game
Leonardo: I wanna see Kratos going full berserk, proceed to murder everything in sight, and finish the game doing a Godzilla roar at the top of a flaming pile of Norse ruins
Steve: @Leo Faria THAT….sounds…..AWESOME!! HAH!
Jordan: @Todd No, I don’t think GoW will be a bad game, at all. Doesn’t mean I have to love the new direction and just forget what made me love GoW for 6 games…
Todd: Give me incredible gameplay and no story or crappy characters, and I am meh… maybe a fun game night thing but, meh.
Jordan: But now it just looks like 5 other Sony games instead of its own
Todd: Were monster variety big in the originals?
Skeletons, skeleton archers, dog creature, ogre?
Jordan: Yeah there was a ton of variety in the OG games.
Steve: Come to think of it, the originals kinda remind me of the old 2D brawlers where each enemy type had to be taken down a certain way and they flooded the screen with different types. Never thought of it that way. Like the perspective was actually an evolution of the 2D brawler.
Jordan: Harpies, Minotaurs, Cyclops, gorgons, sirens, madusas, wraiths, the fodder leggionaries, Cerberus dogs, centaurs, etc, etc….
Todd: I used quick attack on everything unless they had armor, then QTE’d them. And then in game 2, those same things. And in game 3, same ones.
Steve: It was a bit more complex than that as my memory serves.
Todd: If you wanted… or it was quick attack everything
Steve: I uhhhh, think you’ve gone into troll mode.
Todd: I am not going to crap on GoW‘s past titles. I loved them. But lets not remember this game as having more than four basic uses “combo’s” we used over and over. Suddenly, everything about the old titles were so rich and deep. When before it was, I just want to murder gods.
Steve: When different enemies flooded the screen, different tactics were necessary. You couldn’t just spam quick attack. Just because you like where the series has gone, there’s no need to knock what got them there.
Jordan: Satyrs… then each realm had their own types of enemies like Hades leggionaries, juggernauts, beast lords, high priests, guardians… I mean, there was so much, then of course you had the mini bosses and then the awesome god fights.
Todd: Yes, then I would use magic and then go back to quick attack. But yes, when they flooded the screen it became more difficult like it should.
Jordan: I don’t know about you, Todd, but there was a pretty deep combat list. Then you could also mix in the other weapons as well.
Todd: Not knocking them. Just not wearing Kratos colored glasses when remembering them. They were excellent games.
Steve: You couldn’t get through spamming quick attacks. You HAD to use other abilities and other tactics simultaneously as several enemies required different abilities to kill.
Todd: Ok. We will see. Required is a bit of a stretch… but, ok.
Jordan: Alright, alright. Let’s not get down because of this one review that quite honestly is perplexing. Let’s wait and see what other peeps think! Or better yet, just play the game yourself and make your own opinion, haha.
Steve: Yea…REQUIRED. The hell? Go back and play them again. I feel like I’m talking to someone that never did.
Todd: Ok. I mean… I kinda am. But, ok.
Jordan: Honestly, there was a reason people loved GoW combat and it wasn’t because you spammed 4 light attacks. If that was the case, no one would have liked it. But if that’s how you played it, then I guess we can’t say you played it WRONG!
Steve: Maybe you didn’t need the other tactics in easy mode or something?
Todd: My last 5 games played were Owlboy, Lost Legacy, Virginia, A Way Out, and GoW Chains of Friendship.
Steve: Chains of what now?
Todd: Olympus! I said Olympus!
Jordan: …of friendship, haha! No wonder you were spamming 4 light attacks.
Steve: Maybe the Vita games were easier? Never played ’em.
Jordan: Nah, the PSP games were just as good.
Leonardo: The Vita games were GoW 1 and 2.
Steve: I can’t speak on it but, spamming light attacks would’ve never got you through the originals.
Leonardo: That’s where I played them, since I only bought a PS2 last year.
Todd: Never played Chains of Olympus or Ghost of Sparta.
Steve: The hell did I do? Why do I have to have an irrational obsession to enjoy the series?
Todd: Lol. I am joking.
Steve: I don’t play handhelds. Hence, no Switch.
Todd: I would quick attack, I would grapple, I would heavy attack armored creatures. I would use magic to crowd control… Oh, and deflect arrows. That is fine. I enjoyed that. More than enough game play for me
Steve: See? Trolling!
Todd: I did not quick, quick, heavy, magic, repel, quick, heavy, quick, quick. I don’t know why I am trolling. And look, confirmed they have a light attack and heavy attack. Just as much variety as the originals!
*that was trolling*
Steve: Because in the games I played, they threw all those different enemy types at you at once and you were forced to use all that shit to clear a screen…or die. Maybe they didn’t do that for PSP?
Todd: I just think that is either how you played, or you are remembering them as happening way too often.
Jordan: So you never used the combos? You just either did light or heavy or magic?
Todd: Mostly, yeah. I mean…. do I strike you as a combo kinda guy??
Steve: No, every game I played had progression. They introduced new enemies, you learn to take them down and later they throw several different ones at you. All of them were like that…at least on home consoles.
Todd: I wouldn’t go to the skill tree at all. I would jump and twirl like a helicopter. Is that an official combo name?
Jordan: I guess not, haha! But, maybe that’s why you’re not so attached to the old combat system. Do you not play Bayonetta or DMC with combos? How do you even survive?
Leonardo: Can you even play Bayonetta without combos?
Todd: Not really. The basic combos.
Jordan: Ahhhh curse you, Todd!
Todd: When it loads up and has you go through all these combo buttons… forgotten once the game starts.
Steve: I have a hard time telling whether he’s trolling or just has horrible memory.
Leonardo: No wonder you’re looking forward to this simplified GoW.
Jordan: But it’s usually as easy as alternating button presses. Square, square, triangle square, hold triangle to launch enemy, square, square, triangle to pound them to the ground etc. I mean it’s not that complex.
Steve: Yea, it all becomes muscle memory after a while.
Todd: What I like about this new GoW is fleshing out a dead character,
adding story to a character I really enjoy and has the capability of having a rich development.
Jordan: You couldn’t care less about the combat.
Leonardo: Plus it just looks flashy!
Jordan: Oh so sexy when you pull off those 100+ hit combos.
Leonardo: Doing combos in Bayonetta, half of the fun lies on seeing the amount of insane bullsh*t showing up onscreen. DmC: getting an S rank due to your creativity and timing… so good.
Todd: I don’t care about that stuff. Quick attack gets you 100 hit combos too… just sayin. I platinumed GoW2. Only had to do the Trials in GoW1 to plat
….. so good.
Jordan: Not saying it’s not possible, just saying that’s like, the most boring way to experience their combat system, haha! No wonder you don’t care about the gameplay change.
Leonardo: How the hell didn’t you get bored?
Steve: I didn’t know that was even possible. It’s gotta take a lot longer to kill enemies like that.
Todd: I played it wrong. All this time I thought I enjoyed the game.
Leonardo: I’d get bored in a matter of minutes if I played like Todd.
Jordan: You didn’t play it wrong, I guess, but it’s strange to hear you never used combos.
Steve: I don’t believe him at all, tbh.
Jordan: It’s hard to tell with Todd, at times. But, it’s also hard to believe that a guy who platinumed GoW2 and plays Bayonetta and DMC has never used a combo before, haha!
Did you really read that whole thing? Are you still with us? If so, drop a comment. Criticize our scrutiny and I can guarantee we’ll read every single one and take them into consideration. I’m very interested in what the community has to say, how you feel about the franchise, and which one of us you want to choke even if it is me. Even though we have our disagreements, I promise you that the WTMG staff loves each other and our readers. And, regardless of what’s been said, we’re all very excited for the release of God of War on 4/20… of all days. *wink, wink*