If you don't know who Kratos is, then I'm not going to waste words on someone who probably only arrived here due to a poor choice of search phrase and should have added 'bishop' or 'meat grinder' to their query. If on the strange off-chance that you're here to read about God of War: Ghost or Sparta and you don't know what it's all about, you can catch up here, here and here.
Right, all clear? Good. Let's get on with the review.
is set between GoW
, just after Kratos ascends to assume Ares' former place on Mount Olympus and before he has fully become a god. Kratos is disturbed by dreams of his former life, his childhood growing up in Sparta, his brother Deimos and his mother.
One such dream seems to show his mother alive in the temple of Poseidon in Atlantis, begging for his help. Against the advice of his perpetually unwanted adviser, Athena, Kratos sets off for Atlantis to see what's up for him self.
Usually in GoW
games the first stage is an introduction to how awesome Kratos and his world are, the Hydra battle from the first game set the precedent and the Colossus scenes from GoWII
seemed like the boss battle at the end of a game, not the beginning of one.
However, here the battles around the arrival at Atlantis and the appearance of the monster Scylla and her subsequent demise seem, well, underwhelming, rote, ordinary. Maybe I was spoilt by GoWIII
earlier this year, but this introduction seemed flat and without much inspiration.
Once at the temple, Kratos finds his mother, kept alive almost at the point of death, with a mission for him. Kratos' brother Deimos is alive in Death's Domain and needs his help. It seems that Kratos was led to believe Deimos was dead, just because he was kidnapped by a large mysterious figure on horse when he was a child.
Kratos' mother sets him straight on this, but still keeps some secrets from him, and tells him he must rescue Deimos. However, first he will need to visit the temple of Ares in Sparta where there is a secret that will help Kratos find his brother. And so begins another adventure with the ancient world's most angry and put-upon warrior.
If you've played any of the other games, you'll be waiting for the inevitable "then he was stripped of his powers" sequence that levels the playing field before you begin your quest, it happened in GoWII
You'll be disappointed if you were looking forward to this, it seems that when Kratos ascended to Mount Olympus at the end of the first game, he voluntarily reset his health and magic capabilities and gave up all of his artefacts except for Poseidon's Trident.
It seems that the, "before he has fully become a god" bit I mentioned above has come into play. Of course! This will be why Kratos had to fight Scylla and travel to Atlantis on a ship, but it isn't properly explained during the game, just in the final cut scene.