It has been some time since the last God of War game came out. As a result, it is not impossible that some God of War fans are unfamiliar with the fact that there is a new God of War game coming out, which will be called nothing but God of War. With that said, while the new God of War game promises a similar experience to that of its predecessors, it is interesting to note that the new Kratos will not be the same as the old Kratos.
How Does the New Kratos Compare with the Old Kratos?
Simply put, there was a fair amount of dislike for the old Kratos because of his personality. It is not uncommon for the protagonists of action games to amass horrific kill counts by real world standards, but that tends to be a product of the gameplay rather than a product of the narrative. In other words, action games are often designed so that action protagonists remain likable people in spite of their horrific kill counts, whether because they are going after acceptable targets or because their kill counts are ignored by the narrative.
In contrast, it is no exaggeration to say that Kratos started out as an anti-hero and got worse. It is not just the fact that he was a bloodthirsty killer, it was the fact that he was a bloodthirsty killer who could not accept any of the blame for the fallout of his choices, which resulted in a very unpleasant spiral for him as well as everyone around him. Moreover, Kratos didn’t just kill people when it was convenient for him, he killed people even when there was no point whatsoever, as shown by the example of him retrieving a man from a monster’s stomach for the purpose of retrieving a key and then tossing the man back into the monster’s stomach anyways.
The curious part about the new God of War game is the strong indication that Kratos has undergone a significant change, having been prompted by the events of God of War III. Now, he is a single father raising a boy named Atreus, which seems to have encouraged him to be a better person. What we have seen suggests that Kratos is still struggling with the anger that so consumed him on numerous occasions in the previous games, but also that he is doing his best to keep it in check when interacting with Atreus. Furthermore, it is clear that Kratos does care about Atreus’s well-being as well as Atreus’s growth as a person, which is a refreshing change from what came before.
Overall, it is too soon to say that this reinvention will be some kind of redemption for Kratos. Simply put, we don’t have the complete picture of what this new Kratos is like, which is in addition to the fact that Kratos was pretty terrible. However, what we have seen is certainly encouraging, though to be fair, some of that might be nothing more than the contrast with what came before.