Lets start off with the Visuals as that is the first impression we get of a game - whether its via a trailer or when we first start the game up. I played on a PS4 Pro in the favour resolution mode - which happens to be 2160p via Chequerboard rendering - and in HDR too. Visuals are more than just 'resolution' though and this game is stunning. There is almost a photorealistic look to the world and some environments are truly beautiful. Its one of the best looking games on console.
Moving on to Performance, as I said, I played on a Pro in 'favour resolution' which is capped to 30fps and the game does offer players to opt for 'favour performance' which caps the frame-rate at 60fps but its not a locked 60fps and the resolution is dropped to native 1080p if you prefer. As for the favour resolution mode, the game plays incredibly well and sticks to 30fps for the majority of time. The only drops I saw were when the game transitioned from cut-scene to handing control back to me. These were still few and far between though and didn't affect game-play. Even when there were a few enemies and lots of particle effects on screen, the game never slowed down. Its certainly pushing my Pro as the console was quite loud throughout.
The story is excellent too and the characters are well developed too. I won't go into detail as I don't wish to spoil it for anyone but its well written and lengthy too. In recent years, a single-player only game offering 8-10hrs isn't enough any more - not at full price when we have games that will offer 30hr campaigns as well as many, many more hours of side quests, exploration etc. The campaign could easily take 25-30hours and not because you are stuck on beating a section for hours either. Its packed with emotion and twists. This leads on to Audio and the game is superb here too all adding to the experience.
Game-play is excellent with quite a lot of depth to the combat. You have weaponry that can have light/heavy attacks as well as light/heavy thrown attacks, with light/heavy runic attacks on timers, Blocks/parries and dodges, Spartan Rage, bare fisted light/heavy attacks and even your shield can be used. Enemies have two bars - a health and stun bar. Stun them enough and you can grab them and do massive damage or even do a 'finisher' move. Not only that, Atreus also is incredibly useful in combat as you can command him to shoot arrows at specific targets or will shoot arrows and jump on enemies backs too. He does distract and help stun enemies - also has runic attacks too. All of this really helps give the combat a lot of depth - much more than just 'bashing buttons' to get a big combo score. There is a skill tree for combat only which opens up more moves etc too.
Armour can be crafted and use enchantments to boost stats in certain categories. These categories range from Strength, Vitality and Defence to Runic, Luck and Cooldown so you can build different specs to suit you. Some enchantments add more too - like a health boost on successful parries or extra protection from elemental effects for example as well.
The game itself is quite linear in a lot of ways and feels a bit 'old school' in that respect. Coming from playing games like Assassins Creed: Origins, Far Cry 5 etc, this felt quite restrictive. There are more 'open areas' - often where enemies are but these tend to have 1 path in and 1 path out. There maybe paths off of these that end in a dead end where loot may be or loop back to the main path. Its not linear in that you only follow the path through the story as there is a hub and you can explore coves and regions with a few 'side quests' you can do but each cove or region is basically a single path and any branches off either end in a dead end with loot or loop back round to the path you were on - its not like you can go from region to region without returning to the hub or fast travelling. For example, if you come to a fork in a road, one will end in a dead end with loot or collectible - either a simple pick up, breakable wall (whether you can break it with the tools you have at that time or not) or relatively simple puzzle with loot behind it but you still have to return to the fork and follow the path forward.
There are invisible walls too and Kratos can jump over and climb up some things but not others despite them being 'lower'. Like I said, coming from games like Origins were you can climb virtually anywhere, go where you want, its more restrictive. The two realms that are mentioned in the AVForums review are limited too and both really for grinding materials to craft/upgrade the best gear. These are primarily just 'combat' zones which can get a bit repetitive if you are just fighting for resources and/or trophies. These are minor complaints overall though.
The story, visuals and audio are excellent and the performance (on a PS4 and in 'favour resolution' on a Pro) is almost faultless. However as I am reviewing the 'whole' package - inc all the optional content and having got the platinum trophy too, I have to say that its not 'perfect' and therefore cannot give it 10/10 and can't give fractions either. Its easily one of the best games of the year, if not the best so far and highly recommended. Its also the best God of War game ever. If you own a PS4, this is a 'must buy'. Its right up there with the best exclusives on the system.
God Of War User Review
God of War - is it Perfect?Review of God Of War PS4 Game by BAMozzy, Apr 26, 2018.This item was purchased for £59.99 from GAME in 2018. The reviewer still owns this product.