I have been relentlessly positive about God of War ever since I got my hands on my copy over every week ago, and it’s a simple frontrunner for Game of the Year. Possibly Game of the previous couple of Years, in my book. But as I’ve spent about 35 hours with the sport , there’s one aspect of it that I do think could are handled better. i really like the story, the setting, the visuals, the combat, just about everything about it, but if I had one bone to select with Sony Santa Monica it might be…
The difficulty curve.
God of War starts with three difficulty levels, which essentially equate to easy (tell me a story), normal (balanced) and hard (give me a challenge). I play most games on normal, so that’s what I’ve finished the foremost part here, though I’ve also played hard a touch to ascertain what that was like. (No spoilers follow).
I…think the problem curve is off in both of those modes in several ways.
I’d say God of War’s difficulty level is at its best for about the primary third of a traditional playthrough. At that time , you’ve got relatively low level gear, not that a lot of skills or runes, and you quite need to fumble forward with what you’ve got access to. this will end in some fairly difficult fights, and a couple of deaths, but you are feeling like you’re making progress and slowly getting more skilled, and stronger.
But then you reach some extent where you begin feeling too strong.
For the next two-thirds of the game, Kratos and Atreus start to feel incredibly overpowered in normal difficulty. Not that it isn’t fun, but it isn’t…hard. Not even a little bit, in most activities. Once you unlock the vast majority of your skills and runes, and are able to equip high level gear, you feel like you’ve almost broken the game. At the end, at nearly max Runic, there are few enemies that don’t die when I cycle through my series of special moves, and I literally did not die in the story or any of the side missions for probably the last 20 or so hours in the game.
The only exception to this are the optional Valkyrie fights, which are the only encounters that feel like the “right” level of challenge that require you to be both skilled and have high-end gear to survive (and you will still die a number of times). Additionally, some of the final-stage combat challenges in the fire realm are brutally hard, but not necessarily because of combat, but their goofy stipulations (take no damage, kill enemies only within 6×6 rings on the ground).
But if normal difficulty felt too easy, then hard is way too hard.
Something is definitely off with the tuning of hard difficulty. Even the most basic fights in the game will kill you over and over again, turning the game from a fun hack-n-slash to a much worse version of a Souls game. Hard difficulty makes the early stages of the game brutally un-fun when you can die to a normal enemy in two or three hits, and special enemies like Revenants are almost instant death. You can blow your entire rage meter and still only get through half a single enemy’s health bar. It feels wrong.
Now, maybe the other happens and by the time you’re ready to get to the late-game in hard mode, then the problem starts feeling balanced again once you’re all kitted out with proper gear, skills and runes. But from what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t blame anyone for dialing down the problem well before they even get thereto point, given how extraordinarily difficult hard mode is, especially in early stages.
Everyone will have a special perception of what they think is just too hard or too easy, but talking with others who have played both modes, this does seem to be a somewhat common notion. But it’s weird that the sole time I felt any kind of challenge within the last 20 hours were during Valkyrie fights, and yet hard mode seems like a brick wall I don’t want to affect in the least .
I think some tuning might be done here in future patches, but the sport is getting such a lot praise, maybe Sony Santa Monica doesn’t want to mess with anything in the least . I still had a blast with God of War despite these issues, but it’s one aspect that stood bent me as something of a drag . have you ever found that to be the case in your playthrough?