It feels almost like fate: not one month after Sony unveils the PlayStation 4 they have a new God of War game hitting store shelves. Titled God of War: Ascension, this newest proper console release focuses on the early days of Kratos, before he became the eponymous "god of war." Specifically, the game focuses on our hero's attempts to break free of his bond to Ares; a bond that led to the death of Kratos' wife and daughter.
However, as we prepare for a glimpse into Kratos' past we also look forward to what might be in his future. There are few franchises we can think of that would benefit better from some increased graphical power, so we hope that God of War 4 is in our future, sooner rather than later. And just in case Sony Santa Monica is listening, here are a few things we hope the sequel includes.
1. Jaw-Dropping Visuals
This ones sounds like a no-brainer, but it has us nonetheless excited. God of War has always been a major showpiece for the PlayStation's graphical power, so we expect its PS4 iteration to be one of the most visually impressive games we've ever seen. The trailer for Killzone: Shadow Fall already showed how big a leap a franchise can make from one console to the next, but will the same be true of a highly-stylized world like that of God of War?
Fluid movement, some very high-res gore, and incredible backgrounds all top our list for God of War 4, but that's only the beginning. Sony Santa Monica has always pushed the limits of Sony's hardware in the past, so who better to show us how far the PS4 can go.
2. Singleplayer Focus
Multiplayer has been a major selling point for God of War: Ascension, but God of War has always been, first and foremost, a tremendous singleplayer experience. While it might be cool to have a co-op partner join in on the campaign, that feels counter-intuitive to the overall experience.
By that, we mean: God of War's story has always been about one man (or god) and his quest for revenge; introducing another player into the mix would undermine the game's central premise.
That said, we realize there won't be too many games in the next-gen that don't feature some sort of multiplayer element. So, if God of War 4 must feature multiplayer, we hope it's just as unique as what Ascension offers.
3. Even Bigger Boss Battles
It might be hard to top the scale of boss battles featured in God of War 3, or even Ascension, but if anyone can do it, it's Sony Santa Monica. We've seen Kratos go toe-to-toenail with some gigantic foes, but there's always going to be bigger enemies for him to fight. God of War: Ascension features an ongoing battle with a city-sized giant, but what about a planet-sized creature, or something even bigger?
Asura's Wrath played around with the concept of a planet-sized boss, but that experiment was more of an interactive movie than an actual game. For God of War 4, we want to see boss battles that are just as epic, but with carefully thought out gameplay to boot. The sky is certainly not the limit with this franchise, so why not push the envelope as far as the size and scope of a boss battle goes?
4. A New Mythology
[Spoiler Alert] If you haven't finished God of War 3 read no further!
In God of War 3, Kratos wipes out nearly every major player in Greek mythology, from Ares all the way up to Zeus himself. It was a fitting conclusion to an appropriately epic franchise, but it also left the developers with nowhere to go.
Post-God of War 3 release, a quote from Stieg Asmussen confirmed that Greek mythology is indeed finished, but that doesn't mean Kratos can't take on the gods of other cultures. Moreover, it was implied that Kratos doing battle with Norse legends might also be a possibility. We think that could work perfectly, and it wouldn't be hard to preserve the spirit of the game: just have Tyr (the Norse god of war) challenge Kratos, and send him on another blood-fueled quest for revenge. Can you imagine Kratos battling Thor or Odin? Awesome.
4 Things We Expect From God of War 4
Now that we've broken down the top 4 things we expect to see in God of War 4, we want to hear from you. What would you like to see included in Sony Santa Monica's inevitable sequel?
Is change called for after this long, or should they stick with what works? Let us know in the comments below!
God of War: Ascension releases March 12, 2013 exclusively for the PS3.
Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina