This is a good article. Click here for more information.

God of War (2018 video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

God of War
Cover art featuring Kratos and his son Atreus
Developer(s)Santa Monica Studio[a]
Publisher(s)Sony Interactive Entertainment
Director(s)Cory Barlog
  • Brian Westergaard
  • Elizabeth Dahm Wang
  • Sean Llewellyn
  • Chad Cox
  • Eric Fong
Designer(s)Derek Daniels
Programmer(s)Florian Strauss
  • Matt Sophos
  • Richard Zangrande Gaubert
  • Cory Barlog
Composer(s)Bear McCreary
SeriesGod of War
  • PlayStation 4
  • Microsoft Windows
  • PlayStation 4
    April 20, 2018
  • Microsoft Windows
    January 14, 2022
Genre(s)Action-adventure, hack and slash

God of War[b] is an action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). It was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) with a Microsoft Windows version set to release on January 14, 2022. The game is the eighth installment in the God of War series, the eighth chronologically, and the sequel to 2010's God of War III. Unlike previous games, which were loosely based on Greek mythology, this installment is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, with the majority of it set in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. For the first time in the series, there are two protagonists: Kratos, the former Greek God of War who remains the only playable character, and his young son, Atreus. Following the death of Kratos' second wife, and Atreus' mother, they journey to fulfill her request that her ashes be spread at the highest peak of the nine realms. Kratos keeps his troubled past a secret from Atreus, who is unaware of his divine nature. Along their journey, they come into conflict with monsters and gods of the Norse world.

Described by creative director Cory Barlog as a reimagining of the franchise, a major gameplay change is that Kratos makes prominent use of a magical battle axe instead of his signature double-chained blades. God of War also uses an over-the-shoulder free camera, with the game in one shot, as opposed to the fixed cinematic camera of the previous entries. The game also includes role-playing video game elements, and Kratos' son Atreus provides assistance in combat. The majority of the original game's development team worked on God of War and designed it to be accessible and grounded. A separate short text-based game, A Call from the Wilds, was released in February 2018 and follows Atreus on his first adventure.

God of War received universal acclaim for its story, world design, art direction, music, graphics, combat system, and characters, in particular the dynamic between Kratos and Atreus. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors. It received a number of perfect review scores, tying it with the original God of War (2005) as the highest-rated game in the series, as well as one of the highest-rated PlayStation 4 games on the review aggregator Metacritic. Among other awards and nominations, God of War was awarded Game of the Year by numerous media outlets and award shows. The game performed well commercially, selling over five million copies within a month of its release and over 19.5 million by August 2021, making it the best-selling PlayStation 4 game as well as the best-selling game in the series. A novelization was released in August 2018, followed by a prequel comic series published from November 2018 to February 2019. A sequel titled God of War Ragnarök is scheduled for release in 2022 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.


God of War is a third-person action-adventure video game. It features an over-the-shoulder free camera, a departure from the previous installments, which featured a fixed cinematic camera (with the exception of 2007's two-dimensional side-scroller Betrayal).[6] Cinematographically, the game is presented in a continuous shot, with no camera cuts or loading screens.[7] Although the previous main installment, Ascension (2013), introduced multiplayer to the series, this installment is single-player-only.[4] Regarding the level structure, director Cory Barlog said "it's open, but it is not an open world."[8] Due to its openness, a fast travel feature is unlocked later in the game.[9] Swimming, an ability in previous games, was cut;[10] players instead use a boat to traverse bodies of water.[9] Unlike previous games, which allowed players to jump freely at anytime, jumping can now only be done at designated areas, such as at a rock face or ledge. Throughout the game, players battle Norse mythological foes, like dark elves, wulvers, and draugrs,[11] as well as Gullveig and the revenants, beings warped by seiðr magic, among many others.[12] Valkyries appear as optional boss battles. Among the many side quests, players can free the imprisoned dragons Fáfnir, Otr, and Reginndwarves who were turned into dragons—in addition to battling one called Hræzlyr, a story-based boss battle.[9][13]

A GIF that shows the character Kratos throwing his weapon, the Leviathan Axe, at an enemy, magically freezing it in place. Important character information is shown in both bottom corners.
A GIF showing Kratos throwing the Leviathan Axe to magically freeze an enemy draugr in place, allowing Kratos to easily attack it. The in-game HUD can be seen in the bottom left and right corners. The left shows information for Kratos, such as his health and what runic attacks are equipped. The right shows similar information for Atreus.

The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat and puzzle game elements. The gameplay is vastly different from previous games, as it was completely rebuilt.[8] A major change is that Kratos no longer uses his signature double-chained blades, the Blades of Chaos, as his default weapon. Instead, he uses a magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe,[14] which is infused with ice elemental magic. The axe can be thrown at enemies and magically summoned back to his hand, similar to Thor's hammer Mjölnir. Larger enemies have precision targets, and throwing the axe at those targets stuns the enemy. The weapon can also be thrown at environmental objects to trigger a damaging explosion. It can freeze objects and some enemies in place for puzzle solving until the axe is summoned back to Kratos' hand. The axe has standard light and heavy attacks. Over time, it can be upgraded with runes to allow for magical runic attacks, with one slot being for a light magical attack and the other for a heavy one. This provides players with a variety of options to cater to their own play style.[15] Another new weapon that Kratos utilizes is the Guardian Shield. When not in use, it folds up and appears like a vambrace on his left forearm. When summoned, the shield can be used offensively or defensively, similar to the Golden Fleece in previous games.[16] Kratos also utilizes hand-to-hand combat, a feature originally introduced in Ascension.[6] The Blades of Chaos, infused with fire elemental magic, are acquired later in the game via a plot device and perform in a similar manner as in previous installments—they are a pair of blades attached to chains that can be swung around in various maneuvers. The weapon can also be upgraded with magical runic attacks.[17]

As in the earlier games, there is a "Rage" ability, this one called Spartan Rage. Like the previous versions, the Rage ability has a meter that gradually fills during combat. With this ability, Kratos uses powerful bare-handed attacks, as opposed to weapons, to greatly damage enemies. The game also features role-playing video game (RPG) elements.[6][18] There are crafting resources for the player to find that allow them to create new or upgrade existing armor with better perks.[19] Players also accumulate a currency called Hacksilver, a key component in crafting and purchasing new items. Experience points (XP) are used for learning new combat skills.[18] Throughout the game world, players find chests containing random items, such as enchantments for improving armor and weapons, as well as the Hacksilver currency. There are also two special items, Iðunn's Apples and Horns of Blood Mead, which increase the maximum length of the health and rage meters, respectively. These meters are replenished by green and red orbs dropped by downed foes and found throughout the game world.[20] Quick time events have changed from previous games.[8] Enemies display two meters above their heads, one for health (the color of which indicates the enemy's difficulty) and the other for stun. Filling the stun meter helps to defeat more difficult enemies. When the stun meter is full, a grab prompt will appear. Depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes.[21]

Although the game is played entirely as Kratos,[22] there are times when the player may choose to passively control his son, Atreus. One button is dedicated to Atreus, and its use depends on the context. For example, if the player needs assistance, they can look at an enemy, press the button, and Atreus will use his Talon Bow to shoot arrows at the enemy.[23] The arrows have little effect on an enemy's health but do increase the stun meter.[21] Over the course of the game, Atreus helps in combat, traversal, exploration, and puzzle-solving. When facing a large number of enemies, he distracts the weaker ones as Kratos fights the stronger ones.[19] If too many enemies gang up on Atreus, he is briefly stunned, but he cannot be knocked out or killed. Atreus also acquires new skills, armor, and runic attacks, as well as special light and shock arrows for his Talon Bow. Atreus' runic attacks summon different spectral animals with different abilities. For example, one summons a pack of wolves that attacks enemies, while another summons the squirrel Ratatoskr who will dig up orbs for the health and rage meters.[20]



While the first seven games were loosely based on Greek mythology, this episode is loosely inspired by Norse mythology, taking place several decades after God of War III (2010).[24] Six of the nine realms of Norse mythology can be explored. Predating the Vikings,[23][25] most of the game takes place in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard, which is inhabited by humans and other creatures. It is the same realm in which the Greek world exists. As more dangerous creatures began appearing, many humans fled. Other realms visited as part of the story include Alfheim, the mystical home of the light and dark elves; Helheim, the icy land of the dead; and Jötunheim, the mountainous land of the giants. Optional explorable realms include Niflheim, a realm of poisonous fog with a maze-like structure of rewards; and the fire realm Muspelheim, featuring the six Trials of Muspelheim. Completing each trial grants rewards and advances Kratos and Atreus closer to the top of a large volcano. Access to the other three realms—Asgard, home of the Æsir gods; Vanaheim, home of the Vanir gods; and Svartalfheim, home of the dwarves—has been blocked by Odin, the ruler of Asgard and the Æsir gods.[26] At the center of the realms is the mythical tree Yggdrasil, which connects each realm. Although each realm is a different world, they exist simultaneously in the same space. Travel to and from realms can be done by using the Bifröst from a root of Yggdrasil contained within a temple at the center of the Lake of the Nine. The temple was created by Týr, a peaceful God of War who traveled to other lands and learned about their mythologies; it was told that Odin had him killed as he believed Týr was secretly aiding the giants and would try to overthrow him.[24]


The game's protagonists are Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) and his young son Atreus (Sunny Suljic). Kratos is a warrior originally from Sparta who became the Greek God of War and is a son of Zeus. After ending up in ancient Scandinavia following his war against Olympus, he met his second and now deceased wife, Laufey (addressed as Faye), who died from an unknown cause. She bore their son, Atreus, who does not know about Kratos' past or his divine nature but can hear other beings' thoughts. The main antagonist is the Æsir god Baldur (Jeremy Davies), the half-brother of Thor, whose sons Modi and Magni (Nolan North and Troy Baker, respectively) assist him. Baldur's parents are Odin, the Allfather and King of the Æsir, and the Vanir goddess Freya (Danielle Bisutti), the former Queen of the Valkyries. Freya tried leaving Odin, as she did not truly love him. He in turn stripped her of her Valkyrie wings, banished her to Midgard, and cast a spell on her that prevented her from causing harm to others and from leaving the realm. She then hid her identity under an alias, the Witch of the Woods. To protect her son from a prophecy that foretold his death, Freya cast a spell of immortality on Baldur, which also prevented him from feeling pain or pleasure. The effects of the spell caused Baldur to greatly resent his mother. The only thing capable of harming him was mistletoe, a fact which Freya kept secret.[27]

Other characters include Mímir (Alastair Duncan), who claims to be the smartest man alive, and the Huldra BrothersBrok (Robert Craighead) and Sindri (Adam J. Harrington)—dwarves who appear at various points in the world and assist Kratos and Atreus by forging new gear. Weapons forged by the Huldra brothers, including Thor's hammer Mjölnir, were used by the Æsir gods. They also forged Kratos' Leviathan Axe, which originally belonged to Faye, who also gifted Kratos her Guardian Shield.[14] The spirit of the Greek goddess Athena (Carole Ruggier)[c] makes a cameo appearance, and Zeus (Corey Burton)[d] appears to Kratos as an illusion in Helheim.[27]


Many years after Kratos defeated the Olympian gods,[e] he now lives with his son Atreus in ancient Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard. After cremating the body of his wife, Faye, and after a short hunting/survival lesson with Atreus, Kratos is confronted by a mysterious stranger with godlike power and invulnerability. The two battle and Kratos seemingly kills the stranger, after which Kratos and Atreus begin their journey to honor Faye's last wish: to scatter her ashes at the highest peak in the nine realms.

Reaching the Lake of the Nine, the pair encounter the friendly World Serpent, Jörmungandr, the last remaining Giant. When they find their path blocked by impenetrable black mist, the Witch of the Woods appears and instructs them to use the Bifröst to travel to Alfheim and secure its Light to extinguish the mist. Successful, they reach Midgard's peak and overhear a conversation between the mysterious stranger — revealed to be Baldur — his nephews Magni and Modi, and the imprisoned Mímir. After they leave, Kratos and Atreus confront Mímir, who reveals that the highest peak is in Jötunheim, but the Giants have blocked travel there to keep out Odin and Thor. Knowing of another passage, Mímir instructs Kratos to behead him and have his head revived by the Witch of the Woods, whom he reveals to be Freya upon resurrection. Kratos' longstanding hatred of gods causes him to immediately distrust her, but both Freya and Mímir warn him that he must tell Atreus about his true nature.

In search of components to open Jötunheim's portal, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir are attacked by Magni and Modi. After Kratos kills Magni, Modi flees but later ambushes the trio. Kratos fends him off, but Atreus collapses, suddenly ill, due to the contradiction of a god believing himself to be mortal. Freya offers to help Atreus and instructs Kratos to retrieve the heart of a specific troll in Helheim; however, his frost-based Leviathan Axe is useless in the icy realm. Kratos returns home to unearth his old weapons, the fiery Blades of Chaos, and is haunted by Athena's spirit. After retrieving the heart, he has a haunting vision of Zeus, and Mímir pieces together Kratos' bloody past. Freya revives Atreus and Kratos tells him that they are gods. Atreus becomes increasingly arrogant and, against Kratos' orders, murders a weakened Modi, who was beaten by his father Thor for leaving his brother Magni to die. At Midgard's peak, Kratos and Atreus are ambushed by Baldur, resulting in Jötunheim's portal being destroyed and the group falling into Helheim.

Atreus makes amends with Kratos, and they learn of Freya and Baldur's familial relationship as well as the immortality spell that she cast on him. Returning to Midgard, Mímir realizes there is another way to reach Jötunheim, but he needs his missing eye. After obtaining it from Jörmungandr's belly —who had inadvertently eaten it along with a statue of Thor — they are attacked by Baldur again, but Freya intervenes. During the fight, Baldur is pierced by Atreus's mistletoe arrow, breaking Freya's spell. Baldur is finally defeated; despite being given an opportunity to retreat, he attempts to strangle Freya and forces Kratos to kill him. A grieving Freya swears revenge and taunts Kratos about hiding his true nature. Kratos finally tells Atreus about his own past and how he killed his fellow Greek gods, including his father, Zeus. Atreus laments this cycle of violence, and Kratos tells him that they should learn from their experiences and not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. A silent Freya leaves with Baldur's corpse, and Mímir hopefully suggests that she will eventually move on and realize that Kratos did the right thing.

In Jötunheim, they find a temple with a mural depicting their adventures, showing that the Giants had vaguely foretold the future. In addition, they discover that Faye was a Giant who decided to stay behind in Midgard, meaning that Atreus is half Giant, one-quarter god, and one-quarter mortal. Their fight with Baldur is shown, revealing that he was after Faye the whole time but was unaware that she was deceased. It is also revealed that Atreus was named Loki by his mother. Kratos and Atreus then fulfill their promise and spread her ashes at the peak, overlooking a valley of Giant corpses. Afterward, Kratos reveals to Atreus that his given name was that of a compassionate Spartan comrade. Returning to Midgard, Mímir warns them that the three-year-long Fimbulwinter has begun, meaning Ragnarök is soon to follow – which was not supposed to occur for another one hundred years.

In the game's secret ending, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir return home and slumber. Atreus has a vision that Thor will arrive at the end of Fimbulwinter to confront them.


Photograph of the God of War developers at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards
The Santa Monica Studio team behind God of War at the 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards

Development on the next God of War began in 2014. This was confirmed by Santa Monica Studio's creative director Cory Barlog at the first annual PlayStation Experience on December 6 that year, where Barlog said the game was in very early development, and that it would not be a prequel, but possibly a reboot.[28] In April 2016, concept art was leaked that showed images of Kratos in the world of Norse mythology, a concept originally considered by series creator David Jaffe after Kratos eliminated the Greek gods.[29] The game's official announcement came at the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with a gameplay demo that confirmed the setting. The demo showed a fully bearded Kratos teaching his son how to hunt. The pair also battled a troll. The end of the demo showed the title God of War and confirmed it was in development for the PlayStation 4.[1][6] The E3 announcement also confirmed that Barlog had returned to the series as game director for the new installment. Since the original 2005 game, Barlog has been a major contributor in the development of the series, previously most notably as the director of God of War II (2007); this new installment was his fifth God of War game.[23]

Barlog said the game was titled God of War with no numeral or subtitle because, although it was a continuation of the series, "we ... [reimagined] everything."[24][22] Head of Santa Monica Studio, Shannon Studstill, and Barlog said that Sony Interactive Entertainment had to be convinced to do another God of War game as many people at Sony wanted the series to "sleep and rest" due to the lackluster response to the previous game, Ascension.[30] In explaining why Barlog was brought back, Studstill said he knew the series very well, "and bringing in someone that understands that history is the respect the franchise deserves."[10] Barlog responded, "You gotta know the rules to break the rules."[10] Series creator David Jaffe was also considered but was unavailable.[31]

In explaining the transition from Greek mythology to Norse mythology, Barlog said: "It's kind of this BC–AD change over kind of thing. We're moving and starting from zero and kind of moving forward on that."[24][22] Before settling on Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology was also considered. Barlog said that half of the team was for it, but because Egypt has "a lot more about civilization – it's less isolated, less barren", he decided on the Norse setting to keep the game focused on Kratos. Barlog explained further: "Having too much around distracts from that central theme of a stranger in a strange land."[25] To explain why Kratos was now in the Norse world, Barlog said that different cultures' belief systems coexisted, but they were "separated by geography", suggesting that Kratos traveled from Greece to Norway (Scandinavia) after the conclusion of God of War III.[32] Clarifying the conclusion of that game, Barlog said Kratos did not destroy what was believed to be the entire world, but only the portion ruled over by the Greek pantheon.[9] Barlog said the new game predates the Vikings as it takes place in the time when their gods walked the Earth.[23][25] It was also confirmed that this would not be Kratos' last game.[4] Barlog said future games could see the series tackling Egyptian or Mayan mythology,[30] and although this game focuses on Norse mythology, it alludes to the fact there are other mythologies co-existing in the world.[33] Barlog also said he liked the idea of having different directors for each game as had happened with the first seven. He said that although he might not direct another God of War, he would still be at Santa Monica to work on future games.[9]

Most of the development team that worked on the original God of War worked on the new installment.[24] They claimed they matched the new gameplay with the same level of accessibility as the previous installments.[8] It was confirmed that the game would not feature any morality system or branching story; all players have the same story experience. The developers also confirmed that some of the more controversial mini-games found in previous entries (such as the sex mini-game) would not return.[24] The enemy count was increased to up to 100 enemies on-screen, although this limit is never approached; God of War III and Ascension had up to 50.[24] Some gameplay characteristics such as jumping, swimming, and instant-death platforming challenges found in the previous installments were cut because of the camera being closer to Kratos.[10] Although the previous installment, Ascension, introduced multiplayer to the series, the team decided to drop it and focus on the single-player experience.[5] In changing the gameplay, Studstill said, "I felt like, in order to reinvent, we really needed to turn a lot of things around."[34] With regard to the camera change, Barlog said they wanted a more intimate and player-controlled experience.[8]

The entire game was done in a single shot with no camera cuts; there are no loading screens and no fade-to-black between gameplay and cutscenes.[19] Barlog said about forty percent of the team did not originally agree with this decision due to the increased work and production to implement the feature, especially since this was the first time that a one-shot technique was being used for a three-dimensional AAA game. This meant Barlog had no examples to show if this would work or was a good idea. (The only other game to fully utilize this technique was the indie game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, which also began development in 2014 and was released eight months before God of War.[35]) After the game was finished and the team got to play through it, Barlog said they finally understood his vision and said it was a feature they should use from now on.[36] Barlog had originally pitched the idea for a one-shot camera while he was at Crystal Dynamics working on 2013's Tomb Raider, but he was turned down. Sony, however, was much more supportive of Barlog's creative ideas.[37] Furthermore, Barlog and lead level designer Rob Davis were also influenced by the Resident Evil series, particularly Resident Evil 4's "combination of poised camera exploration and scavenging" and Resident Evil 7's "strong vision" from a team making "bold decisions, and actually hav[ing] the audience follow them." Barlog noted how there was initial disagreement over the camera distance. He wanted it close whereas the combat team wanted it further away, like the Assassin's Creed and Batman: Arkham games; he eventually convinced the team to go with a close camera.[38]

Explaining Kratos' axe, lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, who had worked on the series since the original game, said the axe was chosen because they wanted a more grounded direction for the game. Initially, they were unsure how to make it unique. After they came up with the concept of throwing the axe and having it return to Kratos, "things started to fall into place."[39] McDonald said that combat with the axe was a little slower than with the Blades of Chaos, "but it's just as fluid and just as brutal as it's ever been."[39] Barlog took inspiration from Dark Souls (2011), which influenced the game's combat system, particularly its gameplay loop and strategic decision-making,[40] as well as the game's approach to storytelling.[41] In addition, designers Anthony DiMento and Luis Sanchez revealed how God of War's level design and exploration were influenced by Bloodborne (2015). They wanted to "just have the world breathe a little bit" and expand upon player discovery by including "micro-loops where you're unlocking paths, unlocking shortcuts" that gave purpose.[42] DiMento said that a team dedicated to focusing on the game's exploration was formed. One challenge was creating quests in a world that did not have non-playable characters outside of the core narrative. DiMento said, "I set out to create a quest giver that was light-weight, but also flexible enough to be used in multiple locations, while providing a varied suite of quest activities." This resulted in the "wayward spirits" (ghosts with ties to the world) found throughout the game. Having the spirits tell their stories "made [the world] feel more alive". The developers ended up with a four-tiered system for side quests: the top tier quests were from the characters Brok and Sindri, the next level from wayward spirits, then treasure maps and artifacts, and the bottom tier were milestones, such as destroying all of Odin's ravens. Brok and Sindri's quests were made into dungeons while the others were used for exploration. The developers also had to find the reasons that would motivate Kratos to undertake these quests. For Brok and Sindri, it was to obtain more powerful gear, but for the wayward spirits, it was because of Atreus' naiveté and kind-hearted nature, as well as opportunities for Kratos to teach him a lesson.[13]

Unlike the previous games, Santa Monica did not make a demo specifically for public release. Barlog explained that doing so would have delayed the game by a couple of months.[43] He also confirmed the game was built for the standard PlayStation 4[43] but would "benefit from the power" of the PlayStation 4 Pro; an updated version of the PlayStation 4 that can render games in 4K and was released a few months after God of War was announced.[44] Players with a Pro have the option to favor resolution or favor performance when playing the game. Favoring resolution runs the game in 4K with checkerboard rendering at a target frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), while the performance option runs the game at 1080p and targets 60fps.[45] In late December 2016, Barlog confirmed the game was playable from start to finish,[46] and later said its story would take 25–35 hours to complete. This is significantly more than the previous four main installments, which each took an average of 10 hours to complete.[47]

A new trailer was shown at E3 2017, featuring new gameplay, cinematics, and characters. In it, Kratos was shown using a shield that he could use offensively and defensively. At one point, Kratos finds a Greek vase with himself on it, wielding his infamous double-chained blades. During the trailer, an unnamed woman warned Kratos about the Norse gods, as they knew what he did to the Greek gods, while a pair of wolves were also shown. The trailer ended with Kratos and Atreus encountering the World Serpent. Atreus was able to translate what it said, which was that it wanted to help the pair. It was confirmed that the game would release in early 2018.[16] Until the game's launch, Santa Monica included a section on the God of War website titled "The Lost Pages", detailing some of the lore of God of War's Nordic world.[14] In January 2018, the game's release date was confirmed for April 20, 2018. A trailer was also released that showed that the character Mímir from the mythology would have a role in the game.[48] God of War went gold on March 22.[49]


A photograph of actor Christopher Judge; he did the voice and cinematic motion capture for Kratos in the game.
Christopher Judge does the voice and cinematic motion capture for Kratos in the game, replacing longstanding voice actor T.C. Carson, who had voiced Kratos since the original 2005 game, and also did the motion capture for him in 2013's Ascension.

During early development, there was talk of having a different protagonist for the game. Some of the team said that Kratos was "annoying" and felt Kratos' story had run its course. Barlog said it took a lot of convincing to keep Kratos.[50] Referencing the Nintendo character Mario and the Mario games, Barlog said that like Mario, "Kratos is intrinsically tied" to the God of War series.[23] In regard to the new changes, Barlog said that:

I knew I didn't want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over with a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.[51]

Barlog explained that Kratos had to change his cycle of violence and learn to control his rage. He said Kratos had made many bad decisions, which led to the destruction of Olympus. He wanted to know what would happen if Kratos made a good decision. The birth of Barlog's own son influenced the idea of Kratos' character change.[51] The canceled live-action Star Wars television series was also an influence.[52] The bond between Kratos and his son is at the heart of the game. Barlog said, "This game is about Kratos teaching his son how to be a god, and his son teaching Kratos how to be human again."[19] Referencing the Marvel Comics character Hulk, Barlog said that in regards to Kratos, "We've already told the story of The Hulk. We want to tell the story of [Bruce] Banner now."[19] One of their goals was to make Kratos "a more nuanced and interesting character."[53] In changing the narrative focus, Studstill said, "I think we inherently knew the franchise needed to evolve in that emotional beat and be something meatier for the older generation of gamers."[53]

Christopher Judge, best known as Teal'c from Stargate SG-1, replaced Terrence C. Carson as the voice of Kratos; Carson had voiced Kratos since the original God of War. Commenting on the change, Carson said, "Sony went in a new direction."[54] Carson later explained that he understood the reason for the actor change and that Judge's casting made sense for what Sony was wanting to do. He also said that losing acting jobs is part of the business, but he did feel a lack of respect as he was not contacted by anyone at Sony to be informed of the change.[55]

In explaining the actor change, Barlog said that the way the previous games were made, they were able to have someone else do the motion capture instead of the voice actor. Although Carson had done the motion capture for Kratos in Ascension, Barlog said the actor change was made because of the type of camera work they wanted to do. For the new camera work, they needed someone who was closer to Kratos' size to do the motion capture along with a child. Carson was unsuitable for this because he was much shorter than Kratos, who is over 6-feet tall: "Offsetting [Carson's height] for the size of a child, it turned out it was going to be almost impossible to try and actually shoot them and go in and redo the animations."[56] Judge was chosen because he was 6-foot-3 and had the body of a professional football player. He was also chosen because of the chemistry with his then-10-year-old co-star, Sunny Suljic, whose opinion was also sought in making the decision; out of all the auditions, he liked Judge the most. The two bonded well, and Judge described his time with Suljic as time he had missed with his own children. In stepping into the role of Kratos, Judge took it as an opportunity to add something new to the character. He researched the character and Carson's performance but decided not to imitate it. Since Santa Monica was going in a new direction, he decided to start fresh. Judge was thrown off when he first read the script, saying it "was a real script," and not just "a way to get into battles," which is why he decided to take the role.[56] He said, "it was really this great story of this relationship and this crazy mythology."[56] While Judge did all of Kratos' motion capture for the cinematic scenes, stuntman Eric Jacobus did Kratos' combat motion capture; Jacobus was found by God of War's animators on YouTube. Instead of going directly to Santa Monica to audition, he recorded an audition tape and sent that in and was hired immediately.[57] Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard also performed some of the motion capture for Kratos; Gaspard's body was digitally scanned as the model for Kratos' new look in the game.[58]

During E3 2016, GameSpot mistakenly reported that Kratos' son's name was Charlie, which Barlog laughingly denied.[59] In January 2017, after a fan downloaded the God of War overture and saw the track's details that said, "An introduction to Kratos and Atreus", Barlog confirmed on Twitter that Atreus was in fact the son's name.[60] Barlog said Atreus was unaware that Kratos was a demigod and did not know about his past.[4] They did not reveal details of Atreus' mother before the release because she was a critical part of the story.[24] Barlog said that during gameplay, Atreus would be "like magic, an additional combat resource, and [the player is] training him and teaching him."[23] The developers said Atreus would not be a burden during gameplay.[14] The team experimented with several different approaches for Atreus to ensure he was an empowering presence. Barlog said he did not want the game to be an escort mission where the artificial intelligence caused a problem for the player. Their goal was for Atreus to enhance Kratos' capabilities without becoming a liability. This resulted in the developers having Atreus act freely unless the player uses a button to issue specific commands to him.[21] Atreus was also designed to call out enemy locations during combat. Since the camera is closer to Kratos, some enemies might be difficult for the player to see. Jason McDonald said it took a lot of iterations with the enemies and Atreus to make it all work together.[39]

Early in development, it was suggested that Atreus be cut, or his role significantly reduced because of the many developmental challenges and their costs. Barlog stated the game could have worked without Atreus, but it would have been completely different, likening it to the 2013 film All Is Lost. Barlog said that with just Kratos, it would have been "one character who talks to himself occasionally, but generally, it will be very silent and everyone will talk in old Norse, so that you won't understand anything anybody's saying."[61] After hearing Barlog's case, Sony gave him the freedom to incorporate Atreus. Lead level designer Rob Davis also noted that Atreus allowed for "significant gameplay and storytelling opportunities that might not otherwise [have been] possible."[61] After God of War was revealed at E3 2016, it drew comparisons to Naughty Dog's The Last of Us (2013), a game that also featured a father-child type story and gameplay. Barlog felt it was "fantastic" to be compared to that game and found it odd that some people considered the similarities a negative thing. Although he did not directly state they were influenced by The Last of Us in developing God of War, he did say, "I think we're all inspired by each other."[62] He did, however, use The Last of Us as an example to show the development team how an in-game companion could work without the game becoming an escort mission.[50]


God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Bear McCreary
ReleasedApril 20, 2018 (2018-04-20)
GenreContemporary classical music
LabelSony Classical Records

God of War (PlayStation Soundtrack) was released on April 20, 2018, by Sony Classical Records. It was composed by Bear McCreary, who is best known for his work on television shows like Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.[63] McCreary was called into Santa Monica Studio in November 2014 to meet with music producers Peter Scaturro and Keith Leary to discuss "a secret project"; McCreary had previously collaborated with Scaturro and Leary on 2011's SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs. Ideas of folk music, mythology, Nordic ethnic instruments, vocal writing, and classical thematic development were discussed; McCreary correctly guessed that the discussions were about a new God of War. McCreary met with Barlog early on to discuss his narrative vision for the game. After meeting with him, McCreary felt the franchise was in good hands because God of War II, which Barlog also directed, was his favorite installment.[64]

During the initial discussions, McCreary realized he needed to compose completely new music for the game and not reuse any previous music from the series.[65] He said that although he loved those games, he "would not describe them as emotionally dynamic."[66] Based on his memory of the earlier games' music, however, he was inspired by their sounds, such as "deep choirs, pounding drums, and shrieking brass", and reinvented them for the Nordic setting.[65] To ensure the music represented the setting, McCreary spent months researching and listening to Viking folk music,[66] which resulted in him using "exotic instrumentation and languages from various Northern European folk traditions."[65] He also wanted the score to be huge and varied, "full of peaks and valleys, tiny incantations and gigantic set pieces."[66] The main Kratos theme in particular features low orchestral instruments, an Icelandic choir, deep male vocals, powerful female vocals (in particular Faroese singer Eivør Pálsdóttir), folk percussion, and Nordic stringed instruments, like the nyckelharpa and hurdy gurdy.[64] The track "Witch of the Woods" uses a renaissance and baroque instrument called a viola da gamba, which is an ancestor of the modern cello. The Stranger's theme, found in the track "Deliverance", uses a Hardanger fiddle.[67]

The first theme composed for the game was "Memories of Mother". McCreary said the theme itself was not originally for Atreus' mother Faye but was for Kratos himself. His initial sketches were different variations of this melancholy tune. After the game had gone into full production, McCreary and the development team realized it was "too sad and lyrical to represent Kratos." McCreary stepped away from this theme and focused on writing a new one, or what he called the Kratos Theme, which he felt was more representative of the character: "masculine, relentless, and badass".[65] He spent several months working with Barlog, Scaturro, Leary, Sony music director Chuck Doud, and the rest of the development team to make this new theme. McCreary described it as "arguably one of my most structurally satisfying and catchy melodies."[64] After further scoring, McCreary realized that Faye would require a theme, and his original one was "exactly [what] I needed." This melody was woven throughout several scenes and is featured as prominently in the game as Kratos' theme.[65] The three-note Kratos theme is most obviously heard in the title track, "God of War".[67]

When it was decided that God of War would be revealed at E3 2016, Sony wanted McCreary to perform his original score with a live orchestra at the press conference. McCreary opened the show with the new main theme before the unveiling of God of War and performed the gameplay demo's music live during the presentation.[64] On January 13, 2017, a live recording from E3 2016 of God of War's overture was released for a limited time free of charge. Barlog released the overture as a thank you to fans for God of War's E3 2016 trailer reaching fifteen million views on YouTube.[68]


The game was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4.[48] In addition to the standard base game, there were three special editions: the Stone Mason Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Digital Deluxe Edition. Only available in the United States and Canada, the Stone Mason Edition came with several physical items, including: the base game in a SteelBook case, a 9-inch (230 mm) statue of Kratos and Atreus created by Gentle Giant, 2-inch (51 mm) carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a horse, and a troll, an exclusive lithograph, a cloth map, a stone mason's ring, and a keychain of Mímir's head that talks. There was a variety of downloadable content (DLC), including an exclusive shield skin, as well as an armor set and another shield skin for Kratos, a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme, a digital artbook, and God of War #0 by Dark Horse Comics.[69] The Collector's Edition came with many of the same items, minus the ring, the keychain, the carvings of the horse and troll, and the exclusive shield skin. The Digital Deluxe Edition came with all the digital content, minus the exclusive shield skin. U.S. and Canadian customers also received a Kratos and Atreus pin for pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders at select retailers received three skins for Kratos' shield. Pre-orders from GameStop or EB Games also received the "Luck of Ages XP Talisman", granting increased XP gain, increased Hacksilver gain, and increased ability to trigger perks.[70]

In addition to the special editions of the game, a Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle was available the same day as the game's release. The bundle included the standard base game, a PlayStation 4 Pro console decorated with the runes as on Kratos' axe, and a similarly themed DualShock 4 controller with the God of War logo.[71] Among the digital content in the collector's editions was God of War #0 from Dark Horse Comics. The four-part miniseries began publishing monthly with Issue #1 in November 2018. Written by Chris Roberson with art by Tony Parker, it takes place between the events of God of War III and the 2018 game.[72][73]

Game Director Cory Barlog confirmed that God of War would not have microtransactions post-launch, a feature that had become prominent with other games and criticized.[74] Barlog also confirmed there would not be any post-release DLC, like an expansion pack. He said he had pitched an idea for DLC, "but it was too ambitious". His idea was similar in scope to that of The Last of Us: Left Behind and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, large standalone expansions for The Last of Us (2013) and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016), respectively. He said it would have been too big to be DLC, warranting its own standalone release.[75]

Since launch, Santa Monica has supported the game with patch updates to address software bugs. As well, the developers have added new features along with these free updates. A Photo Mode was released as part of update patch 1.20 on May 9, 2018. It allows players to take customized in-game screenshots. Players can adjust the field of view, depth of view, filters, borders, the visibility of characters, and the ability to change the facial expressions of Kratos and Atreus.[76] A New Game Plus mode was released as part of update patch 1.30 on August 20, 2018. To access the mode, players must have completed the game at any difficulty level. The mode itself can be played at any difficulty, but enemies are at a higher level with new maneuvers. All obtained items carry over to New Game Plus, and there are new resources to further upgrade gear, which also have new rarity levels. The option to skip cutscenes was also added.[77][78][79] In November 2020, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) launched and is backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games; these games see a performance boost when playing on the PS5 thanks to the power of the newer console. To further enhance the playing experience of God of War on the PS5, Santa Monica released an enhancement update on February 2, 2021, allowing the game to be played at full 60fps with checkerboard 4K resolution.[80]

As part of Sony's larger efforts to port their first-party exclusive games to Microsoft Windows, Santa Monica Studio announced in October 2021 that God of War would be released for Windows on January 14, 2022. The port, handled by Jetpack Interactive with supervision by Santa Monica, includes additional graphic options support for Windows, including Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology and ultra-widescreen support. This in turn marks the first main entry in the series to release on a non-PlayStation platform.[81][82]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds[]

God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a text-based game playable through Facebook Messenger. To help further promote God of War, Sony partnered with Facebook, Inc. to develop the play-by-web game, which released on February 1, 2018. Completing the game unlocks downloadable concept art. The short story follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. After archery training and learning runes with his mother, Atreus ventures into the wilderness after telepathically hearing the voice of a dying deer; he finds it covered in blood and stays with it during its final moments. A couple of draugrs appear and Atreus attempts to fight them but is injured. He is saved by his father, Kratos, who was out hunting. The two then battle a revenant before returning home.[83][84][85]

Raising Kratos[]

Raising Kratos is a YouTube documentary of Santa Monica Studio's five-year process in making the game, showing the "herculean effort" that went into reviving the franchise. The documentary was announced on April 20, 2019, the one year anniversary of the game's launch, and was released the following month on May 10.[86][87]

Tie-in books[]

The Art of God of War[]

The Art of God of War
AuthorEvan Shamoon
CountryUnited States
SeriesGod of War
PublisherDark Horse Comics
Publication date
April 24, 2018
Media typeHardcover, E-book

The Art of God of War is a book collecting various pieces of artworks created for the game during its development. It was written by Evan Shamoon and published by Dark Horse on April 24, 2018.[88]

God of War – The Official Novelization[]

God of War – The Official Novelization
AuthorJames M. Barlog
CountryUnited States
SeriesGod of War
GenreAction, Adventure
PublisherTitan Books
Publication date
August 28, 2018
Media typePaperback, Audiobook

An official novelization of the game, written by Cory Barlog's father, James M. Barlog, was released on August 28, 2018, by Titan Books.[89] An audiobook version is also available, narrated by Alastair Duncan, who voiced Mímir in the game.[90]

The novel retells the events of the game, but unlike the series' previous two novels, this one closely follows the source material with a few notable exceptions. The game never revealed how or why Kratos ended up in ancient Norway, or how much time had passed since the ending of God of War III, but the novel gives some indication. Kratos chose to leave ancient Greece to hide his identity and change who he was.[91] At some point after leaving Greece, he battles some wolves and is saved by a cloaked female figure, presumably Faye.[92] Later, during their journey, Kratos, Atreus, and Mímir see a mural with the wolves Sköll and Hati. This causes Kratos to have a flashback to that battle and makes him wonder if they dragged him to this new land and if so, why?[93] There was also some retconning. At the end of God of War III, Kratos had the Blades of Exile, but this novel says he had the Blades of Chaos after killing Zeus. It is also mentioned that he tried several times to get rid of the blades, but by fate they kept returning to him. (For example, he threw them off a cliff, but they washed up on shore near him.) Sometime after ending up in Norway, he decided to hide them under his house and never use them again. This moment was said to have occurred 50 years before the start of the current story. When Kratos does recover the Blades of Chaos, he hears Pandora's speech about hope from God of War III.[94]

In the game, Kratos sees one last image on the mural in Jötunheim. It seemingly shows Atreus holding Kratos' dead body, but in the novel, this mural is partially broken and does not show the corpse that Atreus is holding.[95] Brok and Sindri also reveal why they made the Leviathan Axe for Faye. She had come to them as the last Guardian of Jötnar and needed a weapon to protect her people. The Huldra Brothers crafted the Leviathan Axe for her to be Mjölnir's equal. Mímir also mentioned that Faye, or rather Laufey the Just, thwarted many of the Æsir's plans, including freeing slaves, and Thor could never find her.[96] Kratos' Guardian Shield is never mentioned, and Modi does not ambush them, resulting in Atreus falling ill. Atreus falls ill shortly after the first encounter when Kratos kills Magni.[97]

God of War: B is For Boy[]

God of War: B is For Boy
AuthorAndrea Robinson
IllustratorRomina Tempest
CountryUnited States
SeriesGod of War
PublisherInsight Editions
Publication date
September 1, 2020
Media typeHardcover

God of War: B is For Boy is an "ABC storybook for adults" in which the story of the game is retold in an abridged format with illustrations. It was written by Andrea Robinson, with the illustrations being provided by Romina Tempest. It released on September 1, 2020 by Insight Editions.[98]

God of War: Lore and Legends[]

God of War: Lore and Legends
AuthorRick Barba
CountryUnited States
SeriesGod of War
PublisherDark Horse Comics
Publication date
September 9, 2020
Media typeHardcover, E-book

God of War: Lore and Legends is a tome that recreates Atreus' journal from the game. The book features new expanded lore that was written in collaboration with the writing team for the game. It was written by Rick Barba and published by Dark Horse on September 9, 2020.[99]


God of War received "universal acclaim" according to review aggregator Metacritic,[100] tying it with the original God of War for the highest score in the franchise.[113] It has the fourth-highest score of all-time for a PlayStation 4 game, and the highest score for an original, non-remastered PlayStation 4 exclusive.[114] It was the highest rated PlayStation 4 game of 2018 until the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in October, which pushed God of War to second.[115] It is also tied with the Xbox One version of Celeste for the second-highest score of 2018, regardless of platform.[116] God of War received particular praise for: its art direction, graphics, combat system, music, story, use of Norse mythology, characters, and cinematic feeling. Many reviewers felt it had successfully revitalized the series without losing the core identity of its predecessors.[117]

The story was well praised. Nick Plessas of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) said the story's most memorable moments were the interactions between Kratos and Atreus. He also noted, "there is often some comic relief to be found when Kratos' curtness and Atreus' charming naivety collide."[102] He felt the presence of Atreus showed a side to Kratos not seen before, and that Kratos had evolved emotionally: "The rage and pain of his past is in constant conflict with his desire to spare his son from it, which comes across in even the most subtle actions and words, demonstrating the effort he is putting in." Plessas said Atreus' character was similarly complex. He commented it is easy for child characters "to succumb to a number of annoying child archetypes," but Atreus is more like a young man who is doing his best in an adult world.[102] Game Informer's Joe Juba similarly praised the story, particularly the relationship between Kratos and Atreus: "The interactions of Kratos and Atreus range from adversarial to compassionate, and these exchanges have ample room to breathe and draw players in." Juba said that Kratos conveys more character than in any previous game.[103] Peter Brown of GameSpot felt that although Kratos and Atreus were enjoyable, it was Mímir who stole the show. He also said that regardless of which character the player meets, the cast of God of War is "strong, convincing, and oddly enchanting."[105] Writing for Game Revolution, Jason Faulkner praised Santa Monica for creating a sequel that new players would be able to understand without having played any of the previous games, while at the same time providing story references to those past games that returning fans would appreciate. Speaking of the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, Faulkner wrote that, "Watching the two grow throughout their journey is incredibly rewarding," equating it to that of Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us or Lee and Clementine from Telltale Games' The Walking Dead.[104]

In terms of the game's combat system, Plessas said that unlike previous games, which often relied on the player to use many combos in a sequential fashion, this game is "more about individual moves strung together in response to the assortment of enemies being fought." Although that difference may be small, he said that the independent attacks of the axe "feature benefits and drawbacks players will need to understand and master to be as effective as possible." Furthermore, although the axe is "conceptually simple", it is "mechanically fascinating". It "succeeds as both a versatile means of dismembering foes and as a key element in puzzle solving." He felt the axe and all of its features was "distinctly rewarding to use" and that it had more versatility than all of the weapons in many other games.[102] Juba said the Leviathan Axe is "a well-balanced and entertaining tool of destruction." He liked how it "emphasizes a more calculated style of combat; instead of zoomed-out, combo-driven encounters, Leviathan makes you a tactician." He also enjoyed how the combat system gradually unfolded through the course of the game; although seemingly restrictive at first, he noted players will be rapidly alternating between weapons and skills.[103] While some reviewers greatly enjoyed the ability to call the Leviathan Axe back to Kratos' hand,[103][108] Chris Carter of Destructoid felt it got old after a while.[101] Atreus' implementation was praised. Plessas said Atreus is "surprisingly useful" and that he "lands in the perfect spot on the spectrum between independence and reliance."[102] Faulkner noted that, "The interplay between Kratos ax, fists, and shield, and Atreus' bow makes for an impressive fighting system."[104] Despite its different approach to combat, compared to the previous games, GamesRadar+'s Leon Hurley felt the game was "every bit as brutally unflinching as previous games."[106]

Writing for Polygon, Chris Plante praised the camerawork as a technical marvel, noting the seamless nature of the game shifting from cinematic back to the gameplay.[109] Juba said the decision to shift the camera closer to Kratos "[proved] immensely rewarding during big moments by giving [the player] an intimate view."[103] Faulkner, however, claimed "it can be difficult to control the camera and keep a bead on the enemies you're fighting."[104] In his review for IGN, Jonathon Dornbush felt the intimacy of the camera makes all the emotions "more real and impactful."[108] Speaking of the game's visuals, Faulkner said the game looks amazing, "and with 4K and HDR this game goes a step beyond what even games like Horizon Zero Dawn showed us was possible on this platform."[104] Brown noted that "God of War is a technical and artistic showcase. It is without a doubt one of the best-looking console games ever released."[105] Dan Ryckert of Giant Bomb claimed that games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn "made great cases for a PS4 Pro and a 4K television, but God of War's visuals are a bigger selling point than anything I've seen on Sony's platform to date."[107]

Despite the game's grandeur, Plessas felt that the boss fights "do not hit quite the same frequency as they did in the past few games." However, the few boss fights in the game "do the series proud".[102] As to the vast world of God of War, Faulkner said that, "The great thing about the exploration in God of War is that you can participate in it as little or as much as you want." He said an excellent design decision is that during main plot points, the game keeps the player on task, while in between, the player can explore, allowing God of War "to have the best of both worlds".[104] Plessas noted that although the puzzles require thought, they were not "hair-pullingly" difficult as some were in previous games.[102] Juba also found that the puzzles were not too challenging, saying they were fun.[103]

Plessas felt that the RPG elements present in the game make this installment "unique" compared to previous entries. He said the game allows players to "specialize Kratos to meet the specific task at hand, or develop a build that best suits a preferred playstyle." Although this did not make the game easier, he felt it did make it more manageable.[102] Juba noted that although this type of upgrading "may be less exciting" compared to previous games where Kratos just learns new moves, it still "provides a powerful incentive to explore."[103] Ryckert was disappointed by this type of customization. He felt the presentation was "half-baked" and that some materials were confusing as there was little explanation given for their use. He did, however, say it was "cool" to see new armor on Kratos.[107]

In terms of flaws, Plessas said that "God of War is so good that its most egregious failing is not letting fans play more of it", as New Game Plus was not an option at the time of the review.[102] Juba said that "God of War's momentum rarely falters, and when it does, the inconvenience is brief." One example he gave was the map, saying that although players have freedom to explore, it can be difficult to track Kratos' position. He also felt the fast-travel system was "weirdly cumbersome" and that it opens up too late in the game.[103] Although he enjoyed these features, Faulkner noted some players may dislike that God of War has a lack of player agency, and players have to explore the majority of the game on foot or by boat since the fast-travel feature is unlocked late in the game.[104] Brown felt that if anything in God of War was a letdown, it was the final fight against Baldur: "He's great from a narrative standpoint, unraveling in a manner that changes your perspective, but it's the fight itself that leaves you wanting. There are plenty of big boss battles and tests of skill throughout the course of the game, yet this fight doesn't reach the same heights, and feels like it was played a little safe."[105] Hurley said his only criticism was that, "You can occasionally find yourself unsure if you're doing something wrong, or don't have the right equipment yet."[106]


During its release week in the United Kingdom, God of War became the fastest-selling entry in the franchise, selling 35% more physical copies than God of War III.[118] The game remained at the top of the all format sales chart for six consecutive weeks through April and May, setting a record for a PlayStation 4 exclusive having the most consecutive weeks at number one.[119] It sold 46,091 copies in its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number two on the sales chart.[120] The game sold over 3.1 million copies worldwide within three days of its release, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive at the time.[121] The game was the fastest-selling game of the month of its release and contributed to the PlayStation 4 being the best-selling console of that month.[122] In total, the game sold over five million copies in its first month, with 2.1 million in digital sales.[123][124] By May 2019, the game had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game in the series.[125][126] By August 2021, total sales of the game had exceeded over 19.5 million copies.[81]


God of War won Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, including British Academy Games Awards,[127] The Blade,[128] CNET,[129] Destructoid,[130] D.I.C.E. Awards,[131] Empire,[132] Entertainment Weekly,[133] G1,[134] The Game Awards,[135] Game Developers Choice Awards,[136] Game Informer,[137] Game Revolution,[138] GamesRadar+,[139] IGN,[140] Nerdist,[141] New York Game Awards,[142] Polygon,[143] Push Square,[144] Slant Magazine,[145] Time magazine,[146] Variety,[147] and[148] The game was named among the best games of the 2010s by Areajugones,[149] BuzzFeed,[150] GameSpew,[151] GamesRadar+,[152] Gaming Age,[153] GamingBolt,[154] The Hollywood Reporter,[155] IGN,[156] Metacritic,[157] Slant Magazine,[158] Stuff,[159] and VG247.[160]

The game was nominated for Game of the Show, Best PlayStation 4 Game, and Best Action Game at IGN's Best of E3 2016 Awards.[161] It won the award for Game of the Year, Best PlayStation 4 Game, Best Action-Adventure Game, Best Art Direction, and Best Story at IGN's Best of 2018 Awards.[140][162][163][164] It was a runner-up for Best Graphics,[163] and was nominated for Best Music.[165]

Year Award Category Result Ref.
2016 Game Critics Awards 2016 Special Commendation for Graphics Won [166]
Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game Nominated [167]
The Game Awards 2016 Most Anticipated Game Nominated [168]
2017 Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game Nominated [169]
The Game Awards 2017 Most Anticipated Game Nominated [170]
2018 The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards Best Action and Adventure Game Won [171][172]
Best Audio Design Nominated
9th Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Score - Video Game Nominated [173][174]
2018 Golden Joystick Awards Best Storytelling Won [175][176][177]
Best Video Design Won
Best Audio Design Won
PlayStation Game of the Year Won
Ultimate Game of the Year Nominated
The Game Awards 2018 Game of the Year Won [178][179]
Best Game Direction Won
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Art Direction Nominated
Best Score/Music Nominated
Best Audio Design Nominated
Best Performance (Christopher Judge) Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Won
Gamers' Choice Awards Fan Favorite Game Nominated [180][181]
Fan Favorite Action Game Nominated
Fan Favorite Single Player Gaming Experience Nominated
Fan Favorite Character of the Year Nominated
Fan Favorite Male Voice Actor (Christopher Judge) Won
Fan Favorite Male Voice Actor (Jeremy Davies) Nominated
Fan Favorite Female Voice Actor (Danielle Bisutti) Nominated
2019 46th Annie Awards Character Animation in a Video Game Nominated [182]
17th Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project Nominated [183]
22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Game of the Year Won [184][131]
Adventure Game of the Year Won
Outstanding Achievement in Animation Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Won
Outstanding Achievement in Character (Atreus) Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Character (Kratos) Won
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Won
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design Won
Outstanding Achievement in Story Won
Outstanding Technical Achievement Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Won
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction Won
Writers Guild of America Awards 2018 Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing Won [185][186]
SXSW Gaming Awards Video Game of the Year Won [187][188]
Excellence in SFX Nominated
Excellence in Animation Nominated
Excellence in Gameplay Nominated
Excellence in Technical Achievement Nominated
Excellence in Narrative Nominated
Excellence in Visual Achievement Won
Excellence in Design Won
19th Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year Won [189][136]
Best Audio Nominated
Best Design Nominated
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Technology Nominated
Best Visual Art Nominated
15th British Academy Games Awards Best Game Won [190][127]
Artistic Achievement Nominated
Audio Achievement Won
Game Design Nominated
Music Won
Narrative Won
Performer (Christopher Judge) Nominated
Performer (Danielle Bisutti) Nominated
Performer (Jeremy Davies) Won
Performer (Sunny Suljic) Nominated
2019 Webby Awards Best Music/Sound Design Won [191]
ASCAP Composers' Choice Awards 2018 Video Game Score of the Year Nominated [192]
2019 Nebula Awards Game Writing Nominated [193]


A sequel, God of War Ragnarök, is currently in development. It was originally announced to release in 2021 on the PlayStation 5.[194] However, in June 2021, the game was delayed to 2022 and it was also confimed that it would release on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.[195]


  1. ^ Microsoft Windows version ported by Jetpack Interactive.
  2. ^ Colloquially referred to as God of War 4 (or stylized as God of War IV)[1][2][3] and God of War PS4[4][5]
  3. ^ Carole Ruggier had previously voiced Athena in the original God of War (2005) and God of War II (2007), but was replaced by Erin Torpey in subsequent games.
  4. ^ Corey Burton reprised the role, having previously voiced Zeus in God of War II (2007), God of War III (2010), and God of War: Ascension (2013).
  5. ^ As depicted in God of War III (2010)


  1. ^ a b Skipper, Ben (June 13, 2016). "God of War 4 kicks off Sony E3 2016 press conference". International Business Times. IBT Media. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Loveridge, Sam; Mahboubian-Jones, Justin (March 24, 2017). "God of War 4 PS4 trailers, release date, price, gameplay and everything we know so far". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Wagner, Jayce (June 13, 2017). "In The New 'God of War 4' Trailer, Kratos Is Old, Grizzled, And As Brutal As Ever". Digital Trends. Designtechnica Corp. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Paget, Mat (June 21, 2016). "God of War PS4 Doesn't Include Multiplayer, Won't Be Kratos's Last Game". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Seeto, Damian (June 18, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War PS4 Won't Have A Multiplayer Mode". Attack of the Fanboy. Modern Media Group. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Newhouse, Alex; Crossley, Rob (June 13, 2016). "God of War Revealed for PS4 at E3 2016". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  7. ^ Bratt, Chris (June 21, 2017). "God of War director explains why entire game has no camera cuts". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e Paget, Mat (June 14, 2016). "New God of War Set After Third Game, Won't Be Open World". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e Barlog, Cory; Hanson, Ben (February 2, 2018). Answering God Of War's Lingering Questions (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d Juba 2018, p. 38
  11. ^ Kulasingham, Gajan (September 27, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Rise Of The Draugr". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Kulasingham, Gajan (September 29, 2017). "God Of War – The Lost Pages Of Norse Myth: Manifestation Of The Revenant". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  13. ^ a b DiMento, Anthony (December 5, 2018). "How Santa Monica Studio Nailed Exploration in God of War". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d Henges, Elizabeth (December 13, 2017). "Latest God of War Podcast Episode Details the Origin of the Leviathan Axe". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Juba 2018, pp. 40–41
  16. ^ a b Pereira, Chris; Fillari, Alessandro (June 12, 2017). "E3 2017: New God Of War Trailer Released, Release Date Set For Early 2018". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  17. ^ Little, Riley (April 21, 2018). "How Kratos Gets The Blades of Chaos Back in God of War 4". Screen Rant. Valnet, Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Juba 2018, p. 41
  19. ^ a b c d e Sliva, Marty (June 14, 2016). "E3 2016: God of War Made Me Care About The Series For The First Time". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Juba 2018, pp. 42–43
  21. ^ a b c Juba 2018, p. 42
  22. ^ a b c Lillah, Sarmad (June 13, 2016). "First Details on God of War PS4 Game; Same Storyline But New Gameplay". Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Hussain, Tamoor (June 15, 2016). "God of War PS4 Director on the Challenge of Making People Take Kratos Seriously". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h De Meo, Francesco (June 24, 2016). "God Of War Original Team Is Working On New Game, 100 Enemies On Screen Confirmed And More". WCCF Tech. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c Bratt, Chris (June 15, 2016). "God of War team considered setting the new game in Egypt". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Faulkner, Jason (April 19, 2018). "God of War How to Unlock Realms". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "God of War (2018)". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  28. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (December 6, 2014). "New God of War in Development at Sony Santa Monica". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 17, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  29. ^ McWhertor, Michael; Good, Owen (April 5, 2016). "Rumored God of War concept art shows Kratos tackling Norse mythology". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Juba 2018, p. 45
  31. ^ Hanson, Ben; Juba, Joe (January 5, 2018). Exclusive God Of War Studio Visit Impressions (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  32. ^ Paget, Mat (June 20, 2016). "New God of War: Why Kratos Is in Norse Mythology Now". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  33. ^ Barlog, Cory; Studstill, Shannon (January 9, 2018). Norse and Beyond: Expanding God of War's Mythology (YouTube). Game Informer, GameStop. Archived from the original on April 18, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  34. ^ Juba 2018, p. 36
  35. ^ Tyrer, Ben (July 13, 2017). "How Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is creating a realistic portrayal of psychosis". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Archived from the original on January 5, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  36. ^ Kuchera, Ben (April 23, 2018). "God of War's camera was a huge risk that paid off". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on December 27, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  37. ^ Oxford, Nadia (March 22, 2018). "God of War Director Originally Pitched One-Shot Camera Idea for Tomb Raider". US Gamer. Archived from the original on December 27, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  38. ^ Makuch, Eddie (April 26, 2018). "God of War PS4 Director Explains Why They Changed The Combat And More". GameSpot. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  39. ^ a b c Sarkar, Samit (January 15, 2018). "Here's how God of War is different with Kratos ax". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  40. ^ "God of War's New Combat System Explained". YouTube. PlayStation. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original on April 18, 2018.
  41. ^ Davison, John (June 20, 2017). ""It Has to Be Personal" Says 'God of War' Creative Director Cory Barlog". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  42. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (March 29, 2018). "'God of War' Level Design Inspired by 'Bloodborne'". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  43. ^ a b Treese, Tyler (October 13, 2016). "God of War Designed for Standard PS4, Won't Have a Demo". PlayStation LifeStyle. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  44. ^ Cory Barlog [@corybarlog] (October 15, 2016). "oh we will benefit from the power of the Pro, for sure. You just dont need a pro to get the experience we intend" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 13, 2018 – via Twitter.
  45. ^ Sarkar, Samit (April 12, 2018). "God of War's 4K resolution mode isn't the best way to play". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  46. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 22, 2016). "New God of War PS4 Game Reaches "Very Exciting Milestone"". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  47. ^ Newhouse, Alex (December 8, 2017). "God Of War PS4 Will Take 25–35 Hours To Complete". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  48. ^ a b Juba, Joe (January 23, 2018). "God Of War Releases On April 20". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  49. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (March 22, 2018). "God Of War PS4 Has Gone Gold". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  50. ^ a b Evans-Thirlwell, Edwin (June 26, 2019). "Cory Barlog discusses almost cutting Kratos from God of War 2018". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  51. ^ a b Barlog, Cory (June 13, 2016). "First Look: Santa Monica Studio's New God of War on PS4". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  52. ^ Minotti, Mike (June 20, 2016). "God of War director Cory Barlog says that Sony's violent series is growing up with the industry". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  53. ^ a b Juba 2018, p. 44
  54. ^ Paget, Mat (June 15, 2016). "New God of War Does Not Feature Original Kratos Voice Actor". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  55. ^ DJ Vlad (December 31, 2020). TC Carson on Voicing 'Kratos" in 'God of War' 1-3, Why He Got Replaced (Part 6). VladTV. YouTube. Event occurs at 3:15–5:16. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  56. ^ a b c Shanley, Patrick (September 29, 2017). "'God of War' Hinges on the Bond of Its 2 New Actors". The Hollywood Reporter. Lynne Segall. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  57. ^ Jacobus, Eric (March 28, 2018). God of War – How to Fight Like Kratos, PS4 (YouTube). PlayStation, Sony Interactive Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  58. ^ Shad Gaspard [@Shadbeast] (April 27, 2018). "I did know