I’ll never forget sitting in the audience at E3 2016. The air was electric, as we all sat impatiently waiting to see Sony’s E3 Press Conference, Suddenly, the lights dimmed a bit and then we heard the drums beat to a familiar rhythm. Then, the music came up, the curtains pulled back, and the first trailer for God of War 2018 began. This first look at Old Man Kratos and his son Atreus set the stage for what would become the best game of the console generation.
Director Cory Barlog and the entire Sony Santa Monica Studios team did something truly special with 2018’s God of War that merit it being Game of the Generation.
On a story aspect, the history (er…mythology) of God of War is a 13 year investment that paid off in ways we never would have imagined. From 2005 to 2010, we got to know this younger Kratos consumed by rage and let his bloodlust guide his every action. When he disappeared at the end of God of War III, it was unclear what would happen to him now that he’d systematically annihilated both the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology and Greece itself.
Yet, when we saw Kratos just roughly 6-7 years later, we got to meet a more subdued Kratos. One that had finally found peace and control over his anger and had someone to live for in his son Atreus. What we experienced in God of War 2018 was an incredible journey of a father and son. It saw two people grow and connect within a dangerous, unforgiving, mysterious world within Norse mythology. Together, they fought Ogres, Dragons, Valkyries, Gods, Valkyries, and more Valkyries.
The combat was also something special. In the game, you used and obtained a variety of weapons both new and old. We started out with the now-iconic Leviathan Axe and eventually found ourselves binding the chains of the Blades of Chaos back on our arms, in what was a really emotional moment. You could also easily use Atreus to fight enemies from afar and even unleash special attacks. The movesets and advantages of each weapon, mixed with some of the most mind-blowing boss fights I’ve ever played in a game, made for a truly special experience.
Two more highlights of the game were the exploration and the world-building done within this seemingly endless realm. Once Mimir becomes part of your group, you are opened up to this rich world of mythology. As you row across Midgard, Mimir tells stories that provide backstory to many characters we have met and some we haven’t yet. Plus, when you needed to go handle something ashore, he’d stop and hold his place for when you got back in the boat. It was all just clever storytelling.
Also, realm jumping was just awesome. There were so many really cool places to explore, each with their own architecture, species, and history. Plus, there were also quite a few places we couldn’t yet go to, which made us even more eager for the next game. As if, we couldn’t be any more eager after the unforeseen reveal at the end of the game.
This console generation saw tons of brilliant games deliver unforgettable moments. So many, in fact, that it was really to compile a list to have you vote on. When we started compiling games for you all to vote for as the game of the generation, the one consistent game we each had on our lists was 2018’s God of War. Now, thanks to your votes we can happily crown it as Game of the Generation.