Kratos Revels in Cruelty, and God of War 3 Assumes You Do Too

Here the game pulls a weird bait-and-switch. As the woman screams in terror and begs for your help, you actually give it. You fight off the monsters that are after her and guide her toward the entrance to the palace, albeit incredibly roughly. When you get there, though, it becomes apparent that the game and Kratos never had any intention of saving the woman, or of even helping her. Kratos chains her to a big wooden wheel and uses her to prop it up, which holds open a door for him. After passing through it, we’re treated to the sickening sound of the woman collapsing under the wheel’s weight and it presumably crushing and killing her. Awesome that a game made me do that.

What else? Well, after defeating Hercules by pinning him to the ground and literally pounding his face into pulp, he falls down into a pool of water. You can drop into the pool and hit R1 to get a closer look at Hercules destroyed skull. It serves absolutely no purpose to the game, but if you feel like getting an up-close look at digital gore because That’s The Kind of Person You Must Be Since You’re Playing This Awful Game™, you can. Lucky you.

God of War 3 is a game that absolutely revels in its gore, violence, mayhem and, most of all, lack of mercy. The series is known for its over-the-top violence, but it seems like in God of War 3 there’s not even any style in it — it’s just the expectation that you want to perform acts of cruelty. And we’re not talking about enemies like minotaurs and cyclops, or people who have wronged Kratos, or moments in which he’s fighting for his life, because the game always lets Kratos go beyond the necessity of performing violence in order to revel in it after he’s already won. It asks you to commit what’s essentially murder to proceed pretty much constantly. What’s more, it assumes that you’re totally into it, that you’ll want to stop and admire the way you smashed Hercules’ face in after he was already bested, or admire the fact that you cut Hermes’ legs off to get at his boots right after he crawled, sniveling, away from you in fear.

Kratos is supposed to be a tragic character enraged by being made a pawn by the gods and for having accidentally killed the people he loved, but he’s not a tragic character — at least, not by the end. He does far more damage to everyone around him than could ever be justified by his revenge rampage. He’s an awful person, and God of War 3 assumes we just can’t wait for a chance to be let off the social chains that prevent us from being awful people, too. It’s telling that the developers tried to humanize him by suddenly making him care about the young girl Pandora for absolutely no reason toward the end of the game, and it completely rings hollow because Kratos hasn’t given a single s–t about anyone, friend or foe, at any point up to meeting her. And what results is a game that’s not only merely decent by the standards of its play and mechanics, but objectively awful in its depictions. Why would I ever want to play a game as this guy?

It’s one thing to play as a bad guy or an anti-hero for the good of storytelling or even to offer some interesting and different takes on gaming experiences. Kratos, on the other hand, is simply played as a bad ass who hurts people, because the game suggests that that’s what bad asses do, and you want to be a bad ass, so you love it. But playing Kratos doesn’t make me feel like a bad ass. It just makes me feel bad.


Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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45 Comments on Kratos Revels in Cruelty, and God of War 3 Assumes You Do Too

beema

On January 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Yep, this is exactly why I’ve had no interest in playing this game. I played God of War 2 and even that went a bit too far for my tastes a couple of times, but when seeing the promos leading up to 3 being mostly about how much more brutal and gory it was, I signed off. I fundamentally do not understand people who get pleasure out of stuff like this. Makes me ill to think about it. There have been several times in games where I stop and go “Man, I really do not want to do this, but it’s giving me no choice.” But unfortunately that is rarely ever done for any other reason than because you can. It takes a rare game to do it for dramatic and moral consequence, like Spec Ops the Line, so I’ve heard. But just empty wonton violence against things for no purpose is fully degenerate.

Foney

On January 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I don’t mind killing all the gods. That’s the aim, after all. I DID find it somewhat annoying that you have no choice but to kill two defenceless women. In fact, you more or less have to kill defenceless men and women in every game. I wish they would have just made it completely optional to do this, especially since for whatever reason he’s so desperate to protect Pandora.

Still, great game.

TheWhiteLight

On January 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Yeah, I had similar feelings when I played God of War III, and I was disappointed to see very little discussion about it. That game was a failure on so many levels. The gameplay was tired and lacked innovation (the much-touted Titan environments were barely in the game at all). The writing and story was terrible, even for God of War (the bit at the end about Kratos embodying “HOPE” was so ing trite and hollow). The violence went from being audacious and kind of fun, to just being kind of gross and sometimes really tasteless. The part you mentioned with Poseidon’s mistress is particularly awful. The fact that you get the “I didn’t do it…But I wish I did!” trophy right afterward makes it even worse.

Kratos was always kind of awful, but in God of War III, he was just vile.

Swcloud99

On January 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I have a couple of things to say since the author of this piece seems to have completely missed very important points the game was making. Don’t get me wrong, this is not some great piece of art, but it had consistency at the very least which I feel this author ignored.
First, Kratos has lost his way and there is 2 games worth of him getting f****ed over by everyone. In the first game he gets his revenge for the murder of his wife to find himself feeling completely hollow. That drives him to become a merciless God of War has he is trying to fill a void. Then his own father murders him has he becomes a threat. The gods are shown to have been creatures devoid of any morals who look down upon mortals. Kratos, in his revenge, sets out murder all of them.
I don’t know about you but I felt great bashing their faces in. It was great. It was violent and it was gritty. They were hedonistic bas**rds with no morals who ruled the world with an iron grip and looked down upon humanity. They deserve to be put down for all the evil they unleash upon the world. Or so we are made to feel.
In the end Kratos is not rewarded for it. Has he kills gods, he creates unbalance in the world but in his rage he ignores it. By the end of the game, he turns around to see that he has destroyed everything. He did not win, he did not get his wife back and he sure has hell doesn’t have a place to go back to. It’s all empty and so he kills himself. He is presented has a hero. Just a man who has been wronged.
If I was to read any moral to that, it’s that, though violence feels great and it empowers you, it leaves your world empty and you are thus better off dead. So if anything, it discourages violence but doesn’t ignore that we are instinctually driven to it. If anything, this is a cautionary tale and it is very much meant to be read has such.
PS. the thing about Pandora is that she looks exactly like Kratos’ daugther and that is why she is the only person he doesn’t stop to murder. It again shows you how single minded Kratos is.

Swcloud99

On January 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

* He isn’t presented has a hero
Sorry.

Kevin

On January 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Hate to say it, but God of War 3 sold 5.2 million and has a 92 on Metacritic, and a bazillion awards.

Yes, to those who are actually adults in age and mentality (whatever our thoughts elsewhere) the sadism and the fact that Kratos really has no redeeming value whatsoever is abhorrent. Yet let’s be real.

We. Are. A. Minority.

A very small minority.

People either don’t care, or love the character as an “anti-hero.”

The sad part is it is games like God of War 3 that stoke the “ban violent video game” nonsense. Sure, they’d just find something else, but it is a pretty thankless task defending this type of nonsense, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Kevin

On January 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Swfront, he is the protaganist, and you are made to emphatize with his quest, and seldom are you made to find his actions repugnant. Indeed, you get trophies for some of the most heinous.

You can do “mature” storylines without making the protaganist repugnant, and you can create sympathy for characters involved. See what Witcher 2 does, where Iorveth more often then not is far more sympathetic than Vernon, whose frequent bloodlust causes nothing but trouble to Geralt and his agenda.

Mike

On January 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Umm…Pandora reminds Kratos of his daughter and he wants to protect her because of that similarity and because he wasn’t able to protect his own…did you guys miss that? Also women back in the Greek and Roman times were clothed essentially that exact way, so I don’t know why you are getting mad at them for keeping to the time period for whatever authenticity they can muster. Besides, Aphrodite made it out alive and satisfied and she was a whore. I believe other goddesses made it out as well, so there.

Mike

On January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

SWcloud89, did you stay after the credits? Because there are bloody footsteps leading away from where Kratos stabbed himself, implying he lived…

Bin

On January 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Mike – ignore the part about the tits, it really isn’t particularly relevant to this article. The article’s about the excessive, meaningless violence. I’m sure Phil would love to see a pair of tits if he knew he wasn’t about to cause the woman attached to said tits to be horrifically mutilated.

Lance

On January 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Phil – if you watch 16Davies’s Youtube video of the Poseidon chamber (titled “God Of War III Walkthrough, Part 30, “I Didn’t Do It, But I Wish I Did” Trophy”, you can see at the end that you’re actually able to go back and look at the crushed, barely-recognisable remains of the woman under the wheel. The irony is that the following scene in Aphrodite’s bedroom keeps getting removed from Youtube, but the scene of a semi-naked woman being mangled is fair game.

Kevin

On January 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I read it as more the absurd trope that a game has to have a pair of tig ol bitties if it is a “mature” game, because, afterall, tits make everything better. and no, male gamers are not hedonistic mysognistic asshats. no sir bob.

Hey, I love CD Projekt, but they kind of do the same thing. I just realize it comes with the territory. And those who are looking forward to seeing boobs for the sake of seeing boobs in a video game are the equivalent of people who spend their days looking at pron constantly. Just because their excesses are tolerated, does not mean we should hold them up as role models in civilized community.

folklore

On January 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I myself admit to being disgusted a couple of times by the god of war series. Despite that though they are great for catharsis. As for kratos being a hero the debate rages on. I myself saw him as a anti hero that jumps off the slippery slope to complete villainy. It is also happens that most of the gods he kills were amoral and were doing far worse than kratos given the time span they ruled. Admittedly kratos killing them didn’t help the situation.

Swcloud99

On January 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

@Kevin
Yes, he is a protagonist but he is not a hero. Not even an anti-hero. By the end, he’s just has bad has all the gods he thought deserved death.
You are meant to think “wow, this is awesome in a dumb kind of way” until the moment that Kratos himself starts thinking “Oh s**t! What have I done!?”.
I would also like to point out that yes, you can do a mature storyline without making the protagonist repugnant but there is no reason you can’t do one WITH a repugnant protagonist either. They obviously weren’t going for sympathy.

gasmaskangel

On January 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

The problem with “anti hero” characters is that they tend to be written like Kratos, super grim, pointlessly sadistic (they don’t even seem to care about the violence they perpetrate) and with some generically tragic back story.

I played through the first two God of War games only once, but I’ve never completed either of them again largely because I found nothing I could latch onto about Kratos that made him seem like an actual character. He’s just a generic grimdark antihero. He’s exactly the kind of character I would have written when I was a teenager and that’s just awful.

The thing is though, you can in fact make games or movies or what have you that wallow in wretched gushing excess and still tell an at least decent story. The main characters of the Saint’s Row games are all objectively awful human beings, and so was CJ from San Andreas, and yet I love them all dearly, why? Because I can picture them sitting at home and watching Blazing Saddles. Could picture Kratos watching a movie (or a play if we’re being historically accurate and why would we ever do that in a hypothetical mental exercise)? I sure can’t. I can’t imagine Kratos ever enjoying himself.

I think I lost the thread here, but essentially what I’m saying is that playing as Kratos is like playing as a very angry alien without a sense of humor or a moral compass.

Also, I may be immature for voicing this opinion, but I like wallowing in just impossibly stupid excess, I just wish it could be a bit more egalitarian excess.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Good discussion here, everyone. Keep it coming. Loving reading your takes on Kratos.

To address a few points:
On Pandora: I really think that whole plot point was terribly dumb, and to those of you pointing toward the idea that Kratos thought Pandora looked like his daughter and that’s why he didn’t wantonly murder her, like that’s a fair explanation — c’mon. It barely makes sense, and it’s barely explained in the game. So suddenly Kratos got all sentimental? I don’t buy it.

On the gods deserving what they got: Yeah, I can see that. But Kratos goes WAAAAY over the top of even what vengeance would dictate, and while even if you were to say, “well Zeus deserves it,” and even if you factored in the culpability of anyone who stands with him (and, to be fair, they don’t have much choice when Titans are literally scaling their mountain home), they still get a whole lot more pain and suffering than they likely deserve. Some gods actively try to stay clear of Kratos; some ask him for help; some say things like, “got no beef with you, Kratos, just trying to fight off this big jerk titan right now.” And Kratos still goes out of his way to kill all of them, usually as a matter of course. So whatever hedonism may or may not have factored in on their part (and, mind you, I haven’t sought out all the various Kratos games on all the various Playstation systems, but I do have a fair idea of the story after having done some research beyond what I’ve played), Kratos still engages in needless killing whenever possible.

On the excesses of anti-heroes and certain stylistic choices: Don’t get me wrong, here, guys — I’m not against violence, gore, or even revenge-driven murderous anti-heroes as a rule, and I don’t dismiss them out of hand. It’s the way GoW3 handles the situation that bugs me. The lack of consistency in Kratos’ character, especially as it relates to the last third of the game (because he’s ALL over the place with Pandora and his inner turmoil and whatever) makes the whole thing feel like it revels in violence for all the wrong reasons.

Still, very interested to hear additional takes.

bill

On January 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I think you guy’s are judging the game too quickly based on the games gory nature. If you think about it, Kratos is not some mindless killer, murdering for fun. Ares tricked Kratos into murdering his beloved wife and kid, and then once he had his revenge on Ares, Zeus, his own father then murdered him. And Kratos was the way he was to pandora, was she was innocent, like his daughter. There may be a lot of blood and gore, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason for all of Kratos’s actions

R.J.

On January 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I don’t know, I guess I’ve always enjoyed this aspect of the GOW games. So many games show that a character is conflicted about what they have done, or a game tries to make the player feel bad for taking the low road, so I actually enjoy playing as one that has reached a point where none of this even seems to register. I certainly wouldn’t want every game I play to follow this, but I do like seeing one character that never shies away from what has to happen for his revenge.

Robyn

On January 15, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Pretty much the exact reasons I’ve always hated Kratos and the God of War games. It’s pretty unbelievable that Ares even tricked Kratos into killing his family. Kratos probably just randomly picked them up and stabbed/ripped/bludgeoned them to death because or he had to open a door with their skull, or he broke a nail or something. The guy is like that.

The Defenestrator

On January 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I have a pretty big tolerance for violence and a very thick skin, I just don’t want to be bored. That’s what the God Of War games do to me: bore me. It’s totally possible to make a game that is so drenched in testosterone and wild over-the-top macho BS that it becomes banal and predictable. I jumped off after the second game because Kratos became a punchline to me. I absolutely understand what they were going for but you can’t spend three games killing every single sentient being in your path and reveling in how empowered it makes you feel in the game and expect a weak moral at the end to make a dent in people’s perceptions. The God Of War series is an adolescent power fantasy, that’s it.

There’s plenty of intelligent and visceral depictions of the futility of revenge out there… like Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance trilogy movies or Kim Jee-Woon’s “I Saw The Devil” (something about South Korea living next door to a raving lunatic makes their movies on the subject a bit more meaningful) so I can safely leave the God Of War series to teenagers and emotionally stunted adults.

Axetwin

On January 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Kratos is a child that is unable to accept responsibility for his own actions. He kills his own wife and child, then blames Ares for their deaths. Continues the exact same path of destruction that Ares was waging, then doesnt understand why Zeus tries to stop him. Athena warns him about this, he tells her, he doesnt need her help, he never needed her help, he got to where he is on his own. THEN blames Athena for betraying him when Zeus steps in to prevent Kratos’s bid to rule the mortal world.

Kratos is not the innocent that Swcloud99 would have you believe he is. Poor baby Kratos, everyone screws him over, its not his fault Zeus tried to kill him. Its not Kratos’s fault that the world is dying around him after he releases the Titans and begins killing off all the gods.

Kratos is a child, he is a but more than that, Kratos is a tool. A massive tool.

Jan

On January 16, 2013 at 4:59 am

You can actually go back and see the princess’s mangled corpse under the wheel, it even gives you an R1 prompt to take a closer look.

anglosaxongamer

On January 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

Yeah… I watched my roommate play through 2 and 3. By the end we were both actively hoping that Kratos would die so we would never ever have to see this horrible person in any game ever again. Actually, that’s not exactly fair… we started wishing he would die more or less at the start of the third game and our opinion was just cemented the more we played.

CatmanStu

On January 16, 2013 at 7:32 am

Thank you Axetwin for saving me the effort of articulating my thoughts on Kratos.

I never played them when they first came out and only started when the HD collection was released and I stopped playing the first and never started the second as I found the game too ridiculous to get invested in.

Now if they had made Kratos a five year old and had you going through levels destroying all of your favourite toys in a fit of temper, that I could get behind.

Sprog of War. This sh*t writes itself.

Nigel

On January 16, 2013 at 8:23 am

CatmanStu – based on recent comments on the site, I’d suggest ‘Hellblazer’ would be a better name for the series.

The saddest thing is that I still really enjoy playing the games, IN SPITE of the abundant cruelty. I like the engine, I like the puzzles, I like the production and I generally just like playing in a Greek mythological environment. Plus, the scale is unbelievable – it’s a linear game, sure, but good god some of the environments are breathtaking. It’s just a shame that they decided to go down the ‘Saw’ route of doing away with most of the (already limited) philosophical undertones and moral ambiguity and instead turn it into torture porn. As Phil says, the fact that some of the trophies essentially assume that the gamer is playing purely to enjoy slaughtering things is really condescending and offensive. I play for everything EXCEPT the mindless, indiscriminate violence. I play to enact revenge, sure, but the line between ‘revenge’ and ‘murder’ isn’t even blurry this time around. You’re just forced to kill, then given trophies telling you have cool it was.

Sadly, I can only see Ascension continue to move away from what made the series great in the first place and make it even more immature and gratuitous.

Goner

On January 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

G.o.w : a game about chain combos ,visual effect ,and dexterity satisfaction.

The 1st best moments were : the fight against himself in the end, seeking for redemption( when he protect his wife and daughter against his many himself),and the final suicide, cause the nightmare wont stop, OK Greek tragedy.
-The 2nd why,why ,why.
-The 3th PS3 super graphic stuff, super gore…..super psycho, get me out of this character.

The anti hero stuff is normally about 50 percent bad ass,40 lone wolf, 10 percent empathy .example : wolverine who cant be worst than Kratos, when he go berserk ,and i don’t talk about the movies,(just try the comics “old man Logan” ).
I can myself play nearly anything,but this game never let you found something to embrace, not any society got such bas….rd.Kill a drunk old woman for just few word, come on!!.

B.t.w… it maybe was just a strange experiment to do to play Psycho …. once.

Swcloud99

On January 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

@ Axetwin
Actually, I agree with you. He is not innocent. He’s a mindless psychopath drawn so far off the edge of anger he can’t even see the s**t he’s doing any more. But isn’t that what anger does?
When you’re that pissed off and angry, if you end up giving into your urges, you’re going to do something you regret.
I also agree that it’s pretty much torture porn. But I liked that. Didn’t see anything wrong with that. It’s fiction and like I said’ there is a moral at the end. It’s not 100% vapid like say, something like Transformers or Expendables. It doesn’t restrain itself because someone might be shocked. It goes all out and looks pretty damn good while doing it.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

A really big part of all this, RE: some of the comments here on Kratos’ character (like SWCloud’s last) are that it doesn’t ring true for me in the narrative. You can say that Kratos is dealing with this incredible rage, but there are plenty of times when he just stops, talks with someone (say, Gaia) and is like, “I could help, but…eh, nah. f–k you.” It doesn’t hang together with a consistency that makes me feel like Kratos’ actions are narratively important. He’s rarely sadistic for any reason that makes sense than, “Oh, he’s sadistic.” Okay, that might work in a movie or a novel because in those media, you’re observing a character. In a game, Kratos is sadistic and so you must be as well, and that’s where the breakdown is for me.

folklore

On January 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

@Phill
The reason Kratos attacking Gaia is because gaia betrayed him earlier in god of war three. I don’t remember the exact events but Gaia pretty much pulls the same thing Kratos did. Admittedly Kratos came out on top both times. I’d myself like to think Kratos had jumped off the slippery slope after first meeting gods, and over the game he gets progressively more and more violent for the sake of being more violent over the course of the games.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm

@folklore

Technically you’re right, but Kratos WAY overreacts. Gaia helps him scale Olympus, and then at one point, both Kratos and Gaia are about to fall. Gaia refuses to help Kratos (she doesn’t technically betray him) because doing so would also cause her to fall. Kratos takes this as a personal, revenge-worthy slight. It’s, uh, dumb.

Pubic Lice

On January 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Maybe Sony did it to make a satirical statement, like American Psycho. They did a poor job if that was their intention, though. Shame, there’s a good game buried under the bull.

Swcloud99

On January 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

@Phil
You know, I just don’t know. I agree that the Pandora twist was dumb and that Kratos is a psycho but I always saw God of War has a cautionary tale. It says, this is what you would be without inhibition and here’s the danger.
Maybe it’s because I enjoyed all the violence. I don’t know.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm

@Swcloud

Fair. I remember really enjoying the first game, but I also remember it being a whole lot less extreme.

folklore

On January 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

@Phill.
Very true, thanks for the correction. I just found a video of that section of the game, and considering it’s Kratos. If he hadn’t attacked Gaia then something further along in the game probably would have given him a reason. By reason i mean he would have found something, mostly to justify his desire to wipe out the entire greek pantheon.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm

@folklore

Yeah, I mean, eventually everyone has to die (because Kratos killed them), right? I think overall, the story Sony Santa Monica wanted to tell is how there are no more mythological creatures or gods because Kratos is a jerk.

Trenchman

On January 17, 2013 at 2:47 am

Thanks for this article, even if it should have been published right after the release. I played through all GoW games but the third disappointed me on such a level I’m not even vaguely interested in Ascension.

I was interested in the God of War series for two reasons:
1. The setting
2. The combination of puzzle/platforming/fighting that reminded me of the Legacy of Kain series (which I deeply miss)

The story was always kind of lame (and the point with Kratos’ dead family is beaten to death throughout the series), but it was presented very well and worked okay for the most part. The formula got a bit stale in GoWII but because this game was better in every aspect I didn’t care.
Now the setting is what impressed me the most on the PS2 because I think I never such great landscapes, temples, caves etc. before. Especially GoWII made a real effort and created fantastic enviroments.
This was so dumped down in GoWIII I couldn’t believe my eyes. The mount olympus is (with two or three expections) the most boring thing that ever existed in the series, even the PSP game Ghost of Sparta has more to offer.

Also what could ever top the defeat of the three fates in GoWII? Nothing, and the developers knew it so the tried to make every fight against the gods as unique and gritty as possible.

Given there was some nasty violence against other human looking characters in the games before but it was more cartoony. In GoWIII the head ripping, leg breaking and face punching until the screen is red got out of hand and looks real enough to disgust me. I stopped while Kratos was working on Zeus’ face during the last fight and asked myself: “What’s the point in doing that?”. I never felt the anger Kratos felt because I think mostly he is responsible himhelf what happend to him and his family, or at least he bad consequences of his permanent revenge. You know he was in the chamber of the fates at the end of GoWII and could save his family, but he didn’t want to, he wanted to kill some gods.
The ending of GoWIII was also bull in it’s finest form, he killed of most of makind but he also gave them hope somehow. It could be funny if it wouldn’t take itself so seriously.

Jay

On January 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

God of War is really just the ultimate power trip for gamers… You go around demolishing every remotely related to Greek Mythology. You feel like an unstoppable force, and that’s fun for a lot of people.

But beyond that, God of War is really just a story about Kratos. Sure, it may be filled with cliche’s and a generally uninteresting story, but it’s still about Kratos seeking power, vengeance, and then the destruction of the Olympic Pantheon for it’s corruption and betrayal. Kratos is a , but it’s not like we (the players) intentionally go and behead people just because we think it’s fun.

It’s Kratos’ story, and that’s what he does along the way. We’re just along for the ride.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 18, 2013 at 7:11 am

@Jay

Yeah, but you could say that about any game. “It’s just (blank’s) story, and we’re along for the ride.” Should that excuse the stuff it requires us to do as we’re playing it?

And I’d argue that God of War 3 goes beyond being a power trip. It’s not just about destroying mythological creatures and gods, because it’s filled with so much cruelty. Why does a power fantasy have to involve being ultimately destructive and incredibly cruel? Why do we need to equate “power” with merciless, sadistic murder?

Michael

On February 10, 2013 at 6:57 pm

You are absolutely spot on with this review. Can’t understand Kratos’ popularity. Playing God of War 3 is the only time I’ve wished death upon the character I’m playing as.

MPSewell

On February 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm

@Michael: Agreed. I never managed to play even as far as GoW3, because the protagonist is such a repugnant pile of garbage. He’s this pathetic “super-grimdark, that’s so badass!” character that feels like it was written by a pissed little 13 year old mad that mommy and daddy won’t let him stay up past 10pm, so he has fantasies about taking hatchets to their skulls. I often imagine a room of these children writing these games.

There’s nothing defensible about Kratos or GoW. It’s poorly written tripe with an overly disgusting protagonist.

cyber

On March 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

not sure if trolling or just stupid…

it’s just a videogame, you piece of sh.it

sean

On October 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

the first and second game was awesome because Kratos had a reason for his revenge, the god of war Ares screwed him over, but now he’s just reaction on selfish desires, he blatantly ignores the gods warnings and blames them for what ‘he’ did throwing the world into turmoil all because he assumes it will rectify his mistakes.

dfggd

On May 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

got

Jonathan Crane

On July 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Yeah, dude, you’re right. But what you didn’t considered is that Kratos is a spartan. He is cruel by nature and his strategies are made just thinking in the objective. Mercy isn’t really his thing, so he doesn’t includes it in the strategy because it may interfere in his fight. Spartans are RAISED to be like this and he was a soldier of Ares too, what made this thing worse. But the game isn’t focused in the blood, violence and gore, it’s focused in the story, focused in making you understand Kratos pain. All the violence in the game were put there to give the gamer the opportunity to do this without feeling bad about it, after all, it isn’t a crime to kill a character created and programmed just for that. The game also shows how things were in grece in the old days (with a bit of fiction), and grece really was a pit of violence, gore, deliberated sex and all that. It really crossed the limit, but it is a great game. Try to see it in different ways. Bye.

Jonathan Crane

On July 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm

If you think God of War is a bloody game, go play manhunt