7 things I want from God of War 5
Updated: Jan 7
By Lucky Knight
With the 2018 release of God of War, it didn't take long for the perfect scores to come rolling in. After only a few weeks of Kratos' long-awaited return, it was obvious that this wasn't just another release. God of War 4 went on to claim Game of the Year status as well as enough awards to fill all of Olympus.
All of this was well-deserved.
But that's not to say I wasn't left wanting more from the fourth instalment. And considering the number of hints dropped in this game's story, it's only natural to believe that God of War 5 is in the works. So as we (presumably) draw closer to a release date, here are seven things I'm hoping for in Kratos' next adventure.
When God of War 3 ended in 2010, we were left with the hope that Kratos survived his fight with Zeus, but we were left without answers. Where did he go? What happened after the destruction of Olympus?
In 2018, we got some of those answers. Kratos is now older and (hopefully) wiser. He lost (another) wife and has a son. The setting is no longer Greek but Norse. And more than that, we can see what's coming next. It seems as though the Ghost of Sparta can't stay off the gods' radars and Ragnarok is coming.
So with all that being said, I get that God of War 4 is setting the stage for what is to come. But I also went through the entire experience waiting to catch a glimpse of the Norse gods. We did get to meet a few minor gods, but none of them were nearly as impressive as what we encountered in previous titles. Instead, gamers were given an entire arsenal of trolls, elves, and ogres. Interesting? Yes. But not what I wanted. I can only hope that we'll meet some more gods next time around.
2 | More Areas
Reaching the Lake of Nine, we soon realize that Kratos will be able to travel to far distant lands, such as Niflheim and Alfheim. And thanks to the mystic gateways, you'll be able to fast travel to select locations across the map. But there are other locations that are repeatedly mentioned...that we never got to explore.
By the end of this game's journey, there are five realms you can access and three that you cannot: Asgard, Vanaheim, and Svartalfheim.
I get it. It's just another hint at what's to come. But I wanted nothing more than to teleport to these places and explore. Throughout the game, I was left with the hope that they would eventually unlock...only to realize that will come in later titles. That was a bit disappointing.
Even after all the hours, I put into God of War, it still was not enough. Perhaps it is my impatience or maybe it's my intrigue, but I wasn't quite ready to see the end credits roll.
With God of War 4 came the ability to upgrade and level up. While we had some of these abilities in earlier titles, Santa Monica took it a step forward in their latest release.
Let me just say that I do not hate this aspect of the game. The devs had a new idea and tried it. And it worked pretty well. It was interesting to try out different armour sets and upgrade your weapons with different runes. Cool stuff.
But while it was interesting, it was also unnecessary in some ways. It felt like I was constantly picking up new runes and pieces of armour, but I didn't usually need them. God of War is not a hard game, especially if you're playing it on an easier setting. I played it on Hard and still had an easy time. The only real challenge comes with the Valkyries, and only then do you really need to use the extra boost from the runes. However, the armour began to feel more like a fashion accessory than a necessity. In God of War 5, I would either like to see less of the RPG elements or for them to feel a little more vital to the gameplay.
While I hate to say it, GOW4 lacked variety. I know, I know. This is blasphemy. God of War is a masterpiece and easily earned its Game of the Year title. But by the end of my first playthrough, I was left wanting more variety in the enemies. Draugr are by far the most common enemy and they all look pretty much alike, just with varying attacks. Ogres, trolls, and flying elves are also common. Even to the point that the ogres and trolls counted as bosses. None of those fights felt remotely like a boss fight, lacking the grandeur of bosses in the past. It was exhilarating the first time I encountered Daudi Kaupmadr and the first time you fight a troll and his horde of cronies. But then the game goes on to reskin these enemies throughout the entire game. And as I previously mentioned, I wanted more from the areas. There is a bit of repetition that goes on, and I can only hope that we will get more variety from God of War 5.
One of the biggest surprises we received in 4 was Kratos' newest companion, Atreus. Atreus, aka Boy, is meant to play a crucial role in both combat and story. And I will admit that Santa Monica did an excellent job at both. He doesn't glitch or get in your way like other NPCs. His story is interesting and far from being over. Atreus is a good character.
But the reason I want "less" of Atreus has more to do with his personality. At the beginning of his story, we see a tender, young boy struggling under the leadership of a rigid father. He is compassionate and kind, making friends with the Dwarf brothers and others on his journey.
And then he finds out he is a god.
All of a sudden, Kratos is dealing with a selfish, petulant child that will no longer listen. The change was so abrupt that it bordered on unrealistic. But more than that, it was simply aggravating. The whiny, arrogant side of Atreus nearly drove me insane and almost got Kratos killed. While Atreus did start to redeem himself at the end of 4, I'm hoping that he keeps his attitude in check-in 5.
While God of War is a franchise founded on blood and gore, this has ultimately been a story with a lot of heart. Kratos, from the very beginning, has been a broken man with a rocky past. He's lost his wife and daughter. Athena and Gaia. Pandora. Pretty much anyone close to him is eventually killed, usually by his own hand. And while this does make for a gripping story, I'm not ready to let go of the current cast just yet.
In God of War 4, the game opens with Kratos burning his wife's body and the entirety of the game hinges on father and son carrying her ashes to the highest mountain. So we got that game's death out of the way.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessors we can only assume that God of War 5 will also bring about the death of a key character, but I hope I'm wrong. Atreus, Mimir, Freya--they're all fantastic characters that I'm not ready to see the end of their stories just yet. So please, Santa Monica, don't take away our characters. Give us less tragedy. I think Kratos deserves a break.
As much as I would like to see points 1 through 6 fulfilled in God of War 5, this is the thing I want more than anything else: more bosses. I've hinted at this earlier, and it may have even been clear in my recent ranking of God of War's best bosses (Ranked Bosses from God of War). But it's time to put my opinion out there. The one thing that wasn't just a letdown, but a true disappointment was the lack of bosses.
An army of trolls, ogres, and elves served as many of the game's bosses, and that is pretty sad for this franchise. The first troll was a cool fight...but then they reskinned him, gave a few new abilities, and repeated this process throughout the game.
As far as the ogres and elves, Santa Monica took minor enemies and renamed them as bosses.
And yes, I can hear you screaming at your screen. What about Baldur?? He was a decent boss, but it was unimpressive. He's a skinny dude that happens to be invincible and you punch each other. A lot. Then he keeps coming back, round after round, until you fight him at the end. The impact of Baldur as a character was interesting and that was his strongest asset.
But what I want from God of War 5 is more fights like Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. As more of the Norse mythology is unfolded and more characters are introduced, I can only hope that I will get my wish.
God of War 4 is a fantastic game that I've enjoyed going back to. Watching the story a second time around has brought out more details and ultimately, I've had a lot of fun with the combat.
But I would not classify this as a perfect game, not by the God of War series' standards. As God of War 5 goes through development, I hope to see some of my wishes fulfilled and that Kratos' next journey will be bigger, grander, and everything fans expect from this incredible franchise.