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The Case for a God of War Remake

I recently finished God of War (2018) and very much enjoyed it. I know this isn’t going to be news to most people, but it’s really rather good.


And while I could easily write a couple of thousand words on what worked (and a quite a bit less on what didn’t), there’s one thing that I felt stood out more than anything: the original God of War needs a Final Fantasy 7-style remake.

Sony is in their “pointlessly releasing old content” phase, and I would like to make a case for why something more substantial makes perfect sense.

Kratos was never an especially deep character. He was John Wick, a vehicle for non-stop action, of semi-targeted rage. That’s if John Wick killed almost everybody he met, regardless of if he needed to. That was part of the edgy charm of the PS2 classics.

But it’s not 2005 anymore. Kratos has developed into a three-dimensional character. His story deserves to be fully told.

Now, I have to very quickly say that that story can’t be changed. Not in terms of character development. His attempt at redemption doesn’t work if you pretend God of War 1 was anything other than what it was. This character was not a good guy in his younger years, and the modern trend of making characters misunderstood instead of evil must be avoided at all costs. At worst he found pleasure in the hurt of those around him, but even at his best he was indifferent to their suffering. As expected for the god he is, much is beneath his interest.

But, equally, it can’t just be a visual upgrade. Even if the original gameplay is kept, the adventure must take on a different course.

Remaking God of War

The new God of War is an excellent reimagining of the original games. It should be the poster child for bringing old content into the modern world. Because not very much of it has actually changed, and yet everything feels like it has.

Yes, the camera is over the shoulder, and the gameplay has been modernised. But from the epic kills to the giant doors that you lift over your head, it is still undeniably God of War. You can see where things line up.

And yet things don’t entirely line up.

Yes, he showed a twinge of emotion in the third game. But the gap between them needs to be closed, and I’m not sure you can do that with the original trilogy the way that it is. With an eye for where the arc ultimately goes, and divorced from the feel of the mid-2000s, Kratos’s journey can become one of the great journeys in gaming. I don’t say that lightly.

I don’t often call for remakes. Visuals are overrated, and gameplay hasn’t evolved that much since the 2000s. People who can’t stomach leaving behind their quality of life features shouldn’t be pandered to.

But when it serves the narrative and escalate the entire franchise to new levels, like I genuinely believe it would with God of War, then it’s something that should absolutely be considered.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott