'God of War' Triumphs Because It Confronts Its Own Bloody Legacy


#21

Now that’s a game that is due a Bioshock Infinite moment.


#22

I’ve never quite got this pushback against The Last Of Us. I haven’t gone back to The Last Of Us recently and likely won’t with what has gone down at Naughty Dog but I quite loved it when it came out. It’s the height of games as linear traditional Narrative genre as it stands and while games can do other things I’ve never really found that to be an inherent flaw. At least no more so than the way so many story driven games could be as well served as a Comic or book. There are critiques to be had of the way violence is treated in games like The Last Of U no doubt but The Last Of US at least uses it smartly a good chunk of the time (It has it’s share of missteps as well mind) and is still one of the stronger works of zombie fiction I’ve seen. And the DLC was fantastic as well


#23

This thread makes me want to do an “In Defense of Bioshock Infinite” write-up because I think that game did some things incredibly well when it came to visual storytelling and pacing. I think people forget about what the game excelled at because of it’s hamfisted approach to social commentary followed by shitting the bed narrative-wise two thirds of the way in. There was a reason why people raved about it when it came out.

Or maybe I will replay it and come to terms with how bad it screwed stuff up.


#24

Hot New Innovative Fun Methods of Death and Destruction The Player Can Have A Blast With also there’s a child


#25

BOTW has the terrible “man in a dress” gag moment that doesn’t get criticized enough, and a generally bad story, but I don’t see the late-term backlash happening because it genuinely did blow the door wide open when it comes to open-world design.

Whereas Bioshock Infinite was trying to jury-rig the existing design of the 'Shock games into the format of a serious linear shooter, and it just didn’t work.


#26

I’m honestly not sure that game actually excelled at anything in particular. I watched the infamous Trashcake playthrough of it, and the combat turns into a real slog in the late game, on top of all the narrative nonsense happening.

I mean, I guess it’s the best implementation of scrambling a dude’s brains with an egg beater in modern FPS’es? Yeah.


#27

Elizabeth was pretty groundbreaking in terms of A.I., and the game used her really well. You could follow her around as she randomly checked out part of the level giving you a ton of dynamic world-building with killer art direction (which sadly just amounted to “cartoonishly overt jim-crow racism = bad, revolution = bad, status-quo=good”).

As far as the combat goes I guess that’s just a matter of taste? I really liked it. I struggled with the late game too, but found it to be a lot easier once you learn to use the sky-rails effectively.


#28

Is there a forum badge for accidentally derailing a thread by mentioning Bioshock Infinite, I’ll take several


#29

On the note of the new God of War, I’d recommend being really careful mentioning the game on Twitter. There’s the usual reactionary gamer crowd feverishly searching for critical posts about the game to put on blast.


#30

I have never played more than like an hour of the GoW games, but man am I looking forward to this one. Maybe it’s a lack of other interesting games out right now haha, or maybe its because I have no baggage with the series personally and am going into this fresh, but I’m excited.


#31

Hopefully this game will set a new standard for storytelling in games and finally The Last of Us will retroactively develop the mediocre reputation that it’s shallow gameplay always deserved.


#32

I loved God of War 1 and 2 back in the day, but I am not the same person as I was then. Since this new one was announced I have had zero interest in it. This was a great review, Patrick, but it just confirms that there is nothing in this game for me. I really don’t care about whether Kratos can be/should be/is redeemed, nothing about a father/son relationship here interests me (especially when the fantasy here still has the player controlling Kratos), and the continuation of women not being well represented just seals the deal of disinterest.


#33

I feel like “shallow” is a dismissive way to describe the way TLoU conveys meaning through play. I can definitely see an argument to be made about how well the action serves the game’s themes, but I don’t see how “depth” is relevant to that game’s thesis.


#34

This isn’t really the point of this thread but, it’s also racist in how the Gerudo are presented as exotic sex objects, sexist in the same, homophobic in the Bolson garbage and bordering on pedophilic with the 120 year old women who looks like she’s 6. That game has a shit ton of issues and very few redeeming factors in regards to representation and regardless of what merits it has as a game continuing to hold it up on a pedestal of any sort says a hell of a lot about where people’s priorities are to me and none of them kind and I would say it is very due for a harsh blow back

Also to call that moment a gag seems a tad dismissive but I know what you mean by and I’m pointing it out just more as a heads up

And hell it even got outdone in the sexy fish man department by The Shape Of Water


#35

Just to say, the first thing I thought when I saw the gameplay was “hey, that looks a lot like Hellblade.” I know they’ll have both been in production at the same time so it’s not really the most fair of criticisms, but the whole ‘slow-paced, over the shoulder melee combat with Nordic mythology’ is quite a coincidence.

Oh yeah, and both protagonists have their loved one fridged.


#36

here’s my opinion about god of war and dad games in general: there are lots of interesting stories to be told about fatherhood and parenting in general, but “how many murders should i do be doing in front of my tween” is not one of them and i’m honestly sick of seeing it get praised as groundbreakingly original over and over and over again


#37

Yeah, there’s also that.

I dunno - do they actually address his anger issues in the game?


#38

Yeah, I’m a bit uneasy about the huge amounts of praise it’s getting too. I don’t have the perspective of fatherhood to empathize with the story, but as far as I can tell a lot of the praise seems to be “you’re a dad in this game, wow!”

My concern is we’re entering an era of AAA storytelling where instead of “wife and child killed, time to kill” we’ll get “wife killed, time to kill, with my son” and critics are going to eat it up for a couple of years.


#39

The dadification of genre media definitely speaks to both creators and audiences who want the same fantasies repackaged to reflect their own life situations and since critical spaces are similarly lacking in a whole lot of diversity, it speaks to them in the same way too.

I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing, at least on the creative side. While many of these creative leads wouldn’t have had the same opportunities if they hadn’t been white cishet men, I don’t begrudge their desire to create something personal that speaks to them. It’s just unfortunate that a) what speaks to them is me and my kid killing peeps, and b) the lack of diversity on both sides of the critical divide means that it’s going to be fatigue rather than critique that ends the dad murder game trend.


#40

I think you hit the nail on the head. I’d agree that it’s a good thing for creators to create stories that speak to them personally, and as video games age as a medium gets older, a lot of the established creators will be creating from new perspectives. I just wish the AAA game space had a wider range of perspectives. That or the critical space would spend more time exploring games outside the AAA space that already explore such a broad range of perspectives.