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God of War is great, but flirting with open-world RPG tropes holds it back

Tom from Button Bash Gamers writes, "God of War is undeniably an excellent game. The combat is deep and meaty, the environments are stunning, and the narrative brings new depths to a previously one-dimensional character. But I suggest that Santa Monica's magnum opus could have been even better had it ditched the uninspired open-world RPG tropes that so many AAA games shoehorn in."

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MrsNesbitt33d ago ShowReplies(2)
Maple2233d ago

I'm yet to pick this up, although I know I'll like it! Good to hear a different opinion on it though other than just the 10/10 reviews.

AspiringProGenji33d ago (Edited 33d ago )

I disagree with this piece. I don’t see how God of War is flirting with Open world tropes... the game isn’t even open world. It sure its big to give you room to explore, but that’s it. There are 9 realms in the Norse world, so this design makes a lot of sense instead of just a linear game. Would be silly if you just go through one realm and never come back considering how the Ygdrasir works. I would say they delivered big time in world design for this particular mythology. Exploration is also very rewarding

Jinger32d ago

You also won't admit to Spidey having some open world tropes. GoW also has some fetch quests and meaningless stuff. Doesn't mean it's bad because of that, but realizing its flaws doesn't have to mean you can't like the game.

But with this design, my main question is how are they going to set up the sequel? Are we going to be using that same hub and the other realms will be unlocked? I can't imagine that's their long term idea, but we will see.

Cobra95132d ago

Not only that, but how narrow-minded does a writer have to be to even consider open-world gaming some sort of absolute evil. The use of the word "tropes" by itself is the sign of someone with an axe to grind against something.

AspiringProGenji32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

I do admit that Spiderman follows some tropes bt they all have purpose and their own taks, and they are still fun to do as spidey which make eveything bearable.

As for GoW how are they fetch quest exactly? Are we calling everything that isn’t main mission “fetch quest” now? In GoW the side quests were great and rewarding. Their purpose was to gain resources and further explore the norse land with sone story in it. Hardly just fetching something and calling it a day with barely any reward. Actually, Spiderman is like this with some of its side content, but like I said they have their own taks and swinging around the city as spidey is still fun

“But with this design, my main question is how are they going to set up the sequel? Are we going to be using that same hub and the other realms will be unlocked? I can't imagine that's their long term idea, but we will see.”

Kratos will probably gain the ability to travel thru reamls without using the world tree like the Gods themselves do.

rainslacker32d ago

@Jinger

Fetch quests and meaningless stuff isn't a flaw. It may just be par for the course, but it doesn't break the game in any way. Sometimes, such things can be distracting....which admittedly is one of my biggest complaints about open world games....but its what I expect from them, and they're fine. I prefer the games which also have plenty of content which adds to the story, but the other content is fine too.

As far as the next game, they'll probably have you going to some of the other realms, and maybe open up the main hub world some more. It seems about as practical a way to do it since its set up like a trilogy, and everything takes place in the same world. Wouldn't make sense to just throw him into a new area in the world for no reason.

Jinger32d ago

"As for GoW how are they fetch quest exactly? Are we calling everything that isn’t main mission “fetch quest” now?"

Well I mean when you have missions where you have to go get a whetstone for the smiths, or go collect 3 bones, Nifheim is literally just collecting Mist Echoes, Go collect a special ring for Brok etc.

Jinger32d ago

@rainslacker

I agree and I mentioned that in my first comment that acknowledging it's open world tropes or flaws doesn't mean that you're hating on it or don't like it. There is plenty of content in GoW to be satisfied with without even touching some of those fetch quests or even doing the Valkyries. I was just simply pointing out that GoW does have these things and if a player thought it took away from his enjoyment or thought it ruined the pacing with that extra padding, which you didn't have in the old GoW's, that he isn't exactly wrong in feeling that way since it does have those open world tropes (if you want to look at them as tropes).

mkis00732d ago

Jinger, evey quest can be called a fetch quest if you wanted to. Look at Witcher 3...you are just fetching Ciri.

stupidusername32d ago

@Jinger
It’s nice to se someone being a bit more analytical on N4G. Although I would rate God of War 10/10 that doesn’t mean I won’t admit it could be even better. I really don’t get how people can say that GoW doesn’t have fetch quests, that meaningless content isn’t a con or that collecting a wetstone for the smith is comparable to finding Ciri in the Witcher 3.
Every GoW or Spider-Man article on N4G is just a big fap party where they trash anybody that points out something negative.

AspiringProGenji32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

@stupidusername

You can’t just call anything that isn’t main content “fetch quest”. While looking for a wetstone is technically fetching, why is that a problem? You realize in these mystical, fantasy genre you will always be fetching some shit right? Final Fantasy games have you fetching a cristal/item for the entire game that the good guys and bad guys are fighting over

A bad example of fetch quest is FFXV where most side content is fetching something of no worth, and barely any reward in the end

Now compare that to the wetstone side quest of GoW... The smith sends you to a location to get it, and there you find lots of loot, enemies to fight, some lore here and there, and end reward that si actually worth it, plus all the things you can craft after. How is this fetching bad in any way?

Just because it is technically fetching doesn’t mean it is a bad thing.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 32d ago
RabbitFly32d ago

@Jinger

You clearly have no understanding of the common use if the term fetch quest.

All the things you mention here is optional, but still had unique story and assets associated with them. They are clearly not fetch quests

SolidGamerX32d ago

"undeniably an excellent game. The combat is deep and meaty, the environments are stunning, and the narrative brings new depths"

Really, sounds like all the other 10/10 reviews the rest is just nit pickin for the clicks. You should pick it up you're missing out.

bluefox75532d ago

It really is a 10, when you play it you'll understand. This game should be a course in game development school.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 32d ago
CarlDechance33d ago (Edited 33d ago )

How do collectibles "pad out a game's length" when they are entirely optional? When a gamer picks up a collectible there is no break in the pacing. Atreus makes a remark about it in the background and you move on. Whether or not you wish to find all the collectibles is entirely up to you.

As far as the RPG elements, well I disagree. These did not detract from the game in any way and it is hardly complicated, imo. Actually, I found that they enriched the game immensely above the previous entries. The old GoW games were great, but I would not have been nearly as excited about the series return if it was simply more of the same old same old.

Stalmaster33d ago

Thank you for the comment. Appreciate a reasoned argument on here. I agree that the collectibles are optional, and some you just find on your travels, but for me I found it slowing the game down when Atreus prompts you to find them. As you say, you can ignore it, but then you'd feel like you're missing out, when really they offer little in terms of expanding the lore.

For me, the series return was superb because of the renewed character focus. The RPG mechanics just felt like an attempt to fit in with most AAA games these days, rather than having complete confidence in God of War's unique identity.

As I said, though, it's an excellent game with very few flaws; these are just a couple of aspects that I think it would be better off without.

CarlDechance32d ago

I think collectibles only ever matter to completionists and trophy hunters. After a while it is just background noise to those who really do not care. But the RPG elements of the game served to mix up the combat with more than just a combo list like in previous games. I was excited to find items to upgrade Kratos' axe along the way and implement new attacks. Without these mechanics, I strongly believe the game would have suffered from a lack of gameplay depth that these provided. I don't think these were added because any lack of "confidence" in Kratos' identity. These are player-side mechanics. Not character-side. Meaning I, as the player, want to upgrade the weapons Kratos is wielding. Kratos, as he says many times in dialog, only does these things (such as exploring, upgrading, etc.) in order to help achieve his goal. He is already a bad-ass with or without a new axe hilt.

So, difference of opinion is all. I too think this game is exceptional. But no game is perfect and I'm sure others very well may agree with your view.

32d ago
LoveSpuds32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

The RPG elements did add to the game massively in my opinion.

The skill trees were excellent and the skills easily obtainable and the building of new armoursets whose availability gave reason for exploring and finding crafting materials added depth. The use of runes to level up Kratos was genius, letting the gamer experiment with and tailor different builds to tackle specific fights without locking the gamer into one build; being able to change your build whenever you liked was something I really appreciated.

Hardiman32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Absolutely 100% with everything you said. Everything that was presented in GOW enriched the experience for me!

For people like me with OCD finding collectibles etc is fun but not necessary.

sher123win12332d ago

hahaha if you have ocd then its necessary for you..

ninsigma33d ago

Gotta say I disagree. I don't particularly enjoy the open world formula much with exceptions like Horizon Zero Dawn and Spider-man, where even though they still follow those tropes, I just love the gameplay and world that it doesn't bother me that much. With God of war, I felt it was a great blend of being large enough to have elements of the open world genre while also not being empty and soulless and not having the narrative suffer like what happens with a lot of open world games. This allowed the devs to create a world with plenty to explore, have side missions and collectibles and such while also having a fantastically paced story arc.

chiefJohn11732d ago

You enjoy open world stop denying it. If you liked HZD and SM, you like open world. They didn't do anything plenty of others haven't.

generic-user-name32d ago

HZD and SM do enough different to make it possible to enjoy them and not enjoy the latest Far Cry, etc. Spiderman's traversal is so fun that you actually enjoy collecting 50 backpacks (it helps when each backpack fleshes out the history a bit more) and HZD is one of the most polished open world experiences you'll ever find, with crazy attention to detail and genuinely unique and interesting enemies to face against and fast-fluid combat.

chiefJohn11732d ago (Edited 32d ago )

Lol riiiight cause all open world's are the same. Htf is Far cry relevant? You like open world games nuff said. Doesn't mean you like every single one.

TheSaint32d ago

You talk like there are a load of high profile games out there that are doing original things.

ninsigma32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

That's ridiculous. Their gameplay is different and their worlds are different. Ubisoft open world (exception assassins creed) and gta etc don't do it for me. They're boring to me and would much rather play a linear game.

If a dev says their game is open world I don't get excited. In fact it's the opposite. They gotta work harder to make me interested. When I first heard of horizon zero dawn, the fact it was open world actually put me off until I saw more footage.

CarlDechance32d ago

Why is so hard for you to imagine that someone would prefer a linear world but find exceptions in open world games? WTF do you even care so much?

DedicatedDark32d ago

HZD is possibly one of the most generic open world games in existence. It is beyond generic than anything ubisoft was ever accused of doing. I really don't understand people.

chiefJohn11731d ago

I don't find it hard I'm not saying he prefers them. I'm saying there's no such thing as exceptions. He listed 2 games that have similar play styles and worlds of other games before. Im will to bet money he enjoy other one too. He likes open world he just don't wanna admit it and it's funny to me.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 31d ago
chiefJohn11731d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Lol busted, ghost of tsushima looking good huh? 😂 I could go on but I proved the point. You prefer linear but can still enjoy open world nuff said

ninsigma31d ago

"such thing as exceptions"
Dumb statement. When I don't like or am not interested in the vast majority of open world games and there's only a very small minority that I enjoy then those are called, say it with me, exceptions 😱

So you went through my comment history to try prove the opposite of what I'm saying?? So sad you have to go to such lengths to validate yourself 😔

When I say things like hearing a game is open world actually puts me off, not sure how any of your points is proven 🤔

chiefJohn11731d ago (Edited 31d ago )

The only for I own this gen are halo games. Me saying I don't like for would be bs. I've only played 1 racer this gen. See saying I don't like racers is bs, I've only bought 2-4 sp linear tps. To say I don't like linear games would be bs. No such thing as exceptions in gaming when your interest in more than you can count one 1 hand. 1 maybe 2 games is an exception 4+ isn't be an exception

I really didn't have to look thru your comments cause I already knew you're into open world just by you liking Spiderman and HZD. I just want to prove my point even more lol. You not liking GTA has nothing to do with it being open world you simply don't like the genre. Make GTA linear would you then like it? I'm betting you still wouldn't. Open world isn't a genre it's a setting. Many of your linear favs could've been open world and still be just as good. You prefer linear but don't mind open world if done right. Simple as that. Sorry to call ya out but I couldn't help it lol when I see bs opinions and statements that are contradicting no matter how small I gotta point it out

alexgibson32d ago

I agree somewhat. I regretted doing every side quest in the game as they came to me because I lost the pacing of the story a bit.

PhantomS4232d ago (Edited 32d ago )

That's why I skipped them to focus on the story and went back after. But I'm also more interested in story and narrative generally so that's just me.