God of War (2018)

God of War (2018)

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Updated May 17, 2018 at 03:25PM EDT by Adam.

Added May 17, 2018 at 01:56PM EDT by Adam.

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God of War (2018) (colloquially known as God of War 4) is the 2018 sequel in the God of War video game franchise. Developed by Santa Monica Studios and directed by Cory Barlog, the game marks a dramatic tonal shift in the franchise, as main character Kratos is depicted as a much more rational and serious character than in previous games. He has a son, Atreus, whom he takes on a quest to bury Atreus' mother's ashes on the highest peak in "all the realms," and he mentors Atreus throughout the game. The game takes place some time after the events of previous games and incorporates Norse mythology instead of Greek mythology, which had been a staple of previous games. The game was a massive critical success and proved popular online with fans, and many parodies were created in tribute to the game.


God of War was first confirmed to be in development by director Cory Barlog in 2014.[1] He stated the game would not be a prequel to previous games but perhaps may be a reboot. In April of 2016, Polygon received leaked concept art that placed Kratos in Norse mythology. This was confirmed at E3 2016, where a demo was released in which players played as Kratos showing Atreus how to hunt (shown below, left). Here, Barlog was confirmed to be the director of the game. At E3 2017, the first trailer for the game was released (shown below, right). The game was later confirmed to be released on April 20th, 2018. It is exclusively released for the Playstation 4.


The game features several notable changes from previous God of War entries. Perhaps the most notable is that for most of the game, Kratos uses a weapon called the Leviathan Axe rather than the Blades of Chaos that had been a staple of all previous games. Furthermore, the game is open-world rather than linear, allowing the player to travel to different realms and islands where they can complete story missions or sidequests which give the player upgrade materials. From a technical standpoint, the game plays out in one continuous shot. There are no cuts and loading screens only appear when Kratos dies in battle. The camera stays close behind Kratos from a third-person perspective, and utilizes a colored-arrow system to alert the player to enemies and attacks. The player also can control Atreus by utilizing the square button to have him shoot arrows and perform context-based actions when not in battle.

Photo Mode

In early May of 2018, Santa Monica Studios patched in a "photo mode" in the game, which allows players to pause the gameplay and alter Kratos and Atreus' expressions. The addition was lauded by players and critics who enjoyed playing with the feature, particularly to make Kratos appear more fun-loving than he does in the game. Examples of the mechanic and praise were covered by The Verge,[2] Twitter Moments,[3] and Polygon[4] (examples shown below).


The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, scoring a 95/100 on Metacritic, making it the highest-rated original, non-remastered game in Playstation 4 history. It was praised for its stunning visuals, combat mechanics, and revamp of Kratos to be a more mature character.

Online, hype for the game appeared on many social media platforms. Director Cory Barlog uploaded a video of himself getting emotional while reading the very positive feedback to the series (shown below, left). IGN's review of the game on YouTube gained over 2.1 million views (shown below, right).

On Reddit, a thread about the game's art-style, particularly it's commitment to a single shot, gained 16,000 points. Another thread showing a Kratos cosplayer selling the game gained over 51,000 points (shown below).


Online Presence

Online, the game has developed a strong fanbase. The /r/godofwar subreddit,[5] while encompassing all the games, featured mostly content relating to the 2018 version of the game after its release, and has over 42,000 followers. The game also has over 8,000 likes[6] on Facebook. Videos of the game have also proven popular online. Game Grumps did seven episodes of a Let's Play for the game, the first episode gaining over 580,000 views (shown below, left). Super Best Friends Play are in the midst of a Let's Play for the game as of May 17th, 2018 (first episode shown below, right).

Kratos-Atreus Parodies

Kratos-Atreus Parodies / Kratos Shouting 'Boy' refers to jokes made about the relationship between Kratos and his son, Atreus, in the 2018 installment of the God of War franchise. After the game's release, users joked about the frequency with which Kratos refers to Atreus as "boy" during the game and parodied Kratos' humorless demeanor. After God of War's release on April 20th, 2018, users noticed the frequency with which Kratos referred to Atreus as "boy" and posted jokes and video compilations of Kratos saying "boy." For example, on April 23rd, 2018, YouTuber TuYasRecords posted a compilation of Kratos saying "Boy," gaining over 620,000 views (shown below).

"Boy" edits remained popular in the days following the release of the game. Users inserted the God of War characters into preexisting meme templates such as boi and King Harkinian's Mah Boi. Of the former, Twitter user @buxbiarts posted a parody that gained over 7,100 retweets and 19,000 likes (shown below, left). Of the latter, KnowYourMeme user demojediknight posted a parody that gained 180 likes.


Other parodies of the game focused on the relationship between Kratos and Atreus by portraying Kratos as humorless and stern. For example, Twitter user @seanyboydraws posted a comic featuring Kratos not understanding the Updog joke, gaining 3,200 retweets and 9,000 likes (shown below, left). Jacksepticeye created a popular photoshop of the game's cover changing the title to "Dad of Boy," gaining 3,700 retweets and 34,000 likes (shown below, right).


On May 8th, 2018, Polygon published a popular video of Kratos voice actor Christopher Judge reading dad jokes in Kratos' voice, gaining over 1.8 million views (shown below).

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External References

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