Give Us Original God of War Hack-n-Slash, Not Atreus Gameplay No-One Wants

A larger-than-life approach to the Nine Realms is great, but we do miss the older hack-n-slash combat.

Give Us Original God of War Hack-n-Slash, Not Atreus Gameplay No-One Wants

SUMMARY

  • Newer God of War games build on the franchise's traditional combat mechanics.
  • Instead of more Atreus missions, more hack-n-slash combat would be appreciated.
  • Simplicity in combat might bring back the franchise to its roots.
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The God of War games have witnessed a multitude of changes over time on different console generations. Until 2018, these games thrived on hack-n-slash combat that revolved around Kratos’ iconic rage and bloodlust but departed from the Greek mythology backdrop and transitioned into Norse folklore and themes.

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However, the gameplay changed too. With the newer titles, older fans of the franchise were welcomed with a complete overhaul in game design. But, the success of it didn’t stay loyal to the game’s traditional nature of combat mechanics. For the next games, we’d like to see some changes.

The New God of War Games Have Built Their Combat System on the Foundations of Older Games, but There’s Something Missing…

Older God of War games
Older God of War games had action-packed sequences along with hack-n-slash combat.

Ever since God of War (2018) was first announced, Santa Monica Studio made it quite clear that their vision for the game will take a massive switch in style and scale. From side-scrolling, top views, and fixed camera angles in the older games, we’ve certainly come a long way. The modern games focus on the intricate details in every realm Kratos and Atreus visit, along with the plethora of fascinating characters you meet on the way.

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With these over-the-shoulder shots, players have more access to how they explore these rich environments. However, a camera that limits Kratos’ movement to a handful of enemies in front of him gives way to great combos but not necessarily as ‘aggressive’ as they seemed in earlier games. The Leviathan Axe in the newer games gives you lots to mix and match executions with, but the Blades of Chaos in earlier games took huge advantage of how the camera angles were set in certain ways.

Tearing through an enemy as they almost beg for mercy, while using parts of the body to obliterate hordes of similar enemies? That was Kratos’ warm-up when he was in a good mood. If you really wanted to, you could pile up combos within a small area with elemental attacks too. These combos were well represented, as the camera angle never blocked anything – you could very well plan your strategy and cause utter chaos with everything presented on screen. 

With the new games, there’s a bigger focus on ‘larger than life’ elements which take away the simplicity of God of War’s traditional hack-n-slash nature combat. After all, that is what put the older games in the same playground where Devil May Cry and Bayonetta were causing a ruckus. 

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Atreus Missions Are Lacklustre, at Least Gameplay-Wise

God of War Ragnarok Atreus
God of War Ragnarok’s Atreus gameplay gave players a newer perspective of the Nine Realms.

In the first game, Atreus’ relationship with Kratos gave players a heartfelt look at the struggles of parenthood, keeping secrets, and being a God. The narrative is what set it apart from older games and carried the gameplay accordingly. Throughout the game, Atreus would help Kratos in the midst of battle, solving puzzles as well as uncovering mysteries about different realms and stories they’d uncover together.

The sequel, God of War Ragnarok took things to the next level, and the player could harness the world through Atreus’ perspective on a newer scale. A lot of sections of Ragnarok let the player take control of Atreus as he braves the Nine Realms without Kratos. These missions are… interesting, to say the least.

The young archer has a personalized set of moves and skills that show us his marksman’s prowess. This gives you a completely different take on combat when compared to the in-your-face combat Kratos wields. Instead, Atreus majorly uses his bow to close gaps between finishers or fire arrows at a range. He even gets his unique collection of companions during different missions. 

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Unfortunately, it makes us wonder if all this screentime and exploration could have otherwise been used by Kratos to go back to his roots instead. As mentioned earlier, the focus on larger aspects like exploring the Nine Realms removes the simplicity of mindlessly tearing through enemies with a bunch of combos and trustworthy weapons. After all, it’s the God of War we’re talking about.

While it’s not officially confirmed whether the next entry is a DLC or a full-fledged title, a thread on Twitter did spark a conversation. Is the future of the franchise more of the same, more of Atreus, or back to its original roots?

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Written by Tanay Sharma

Articles Published: 476

Tanay wears more hats than Red Dead Redemption 2 characters. He's a musician, writer, voice-over artist and adores interactive media. His favourite games are the ones with memorable stories and characters. He's pursuing a master's degree in Behavioural Sciences. No, he won't read your mind.