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God of War PS4 - gameplay, trailer and release date rumours

Seth Barton
14 Jun 2016
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Kratos is back and he's got a beard - here's everything else we know

If press conferences could win console wars then Sony just killed off Xbox One with an orchestra and a meaty axe blow to the head. Headlining its E3 2016 keynote was a new God War game that has pretty much come out of nowhere, yet looks as though a huge amount of work has already been completed.

Gameplay

Kratos is back and now he's a father (or at least a father figure) and a single parent by the looks of it. As the titular God of War he's raising a boy with tough love, teaching him to hunt and fight. 'Do not be sorry, be better' he admonishes the boy, blimey and I thought I was a tough parent. Kratos has grown a sizeable fatherly beard, not that he needed the additional gravitas.

The game has moved on from God of War 3's fixed camera perspective, becoming a fully-fledged, third-person action game with a fully controllable camera. It all looks stunning. A wintery forest, ruined temples and some great creatures drawn straight from the Harryhausen design book but with incredible intricate details.

Combat is brutal and in your face, quite literally with the camera sticking far closer to Kratos than in any previous game and most third-person brawlers. His axe looks to have a number of elemental attacks, as it takes on a frost-like appearance when used here.

Vicious comboed strikes and a timed single button finisher take out the first enemy, with the second killed with a single toss of the axe, pinning the body against the wall. That leaves Kratos barehanded, but he still pummels the third enemy to a pulp before retrieving his axe by simply raising his hand - much like Marvel's Thor.

A later encounter shows a larger enemy, which has some huge attacks, which smash the frozen river below your feet into pieces. It's the usual stuff, though, with you attacks weakening the creature before a series of timed button presses must be entered to finish him off (the button prompts weren't shown in the demo, but you could see the slight pauses in the action where they would be). There's plenty of rolling dodges as well, in order to stay alive.

Based on this taster at least God of War is sticking very close to its roots. We just have to hope that there's enough variation in the game and enough nuances to its combat, combos and weapons to compete with modern fighting masterpieces such as Bayonetta.

Release date

Despite showing such a slick slice of gameplay Sony made no comment on the release date for the game, merely stating the obvious, that is was 'in development for PS4'. This is one game we certainly won't be seeing this year then, but a launch sometime in 2017 looks likely.

Trailer

Currently there's only the trailer posted above. After the fighting, there's a short section where the boy shoots and kills a stag with Kratos's help. Then a dragon flies overhead in what looks to be a departure from the usual classical myths that the game has been based upon to date.

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