There's something incredibly magical about the latest God of War. Kratos's world feels like a rich tapestry woven from various strands of ancient mythologies; a complex re-imagining of stories and history that has resulted in the creation of a mysterious Nordic world. This sort of depth can only be achieved through careful research and design, and Santa Monica has (rightly) received a great deal of attention for its clever use of mythology to write the game's lore.
I have no idea what the best Hitchcock is. I suspect it's probably Shadow of a Doubt. It was his favourite, so you'd think he would know, and it's got that glorious, time-freezing moment when Uncle Charlie turns to address you, mid-speech, eyes meeting across the ages and you feel somehow caught, somehow complicit - you feel the way, I gather, that Hitchcock felt his entire life.
God of War returns with a fresh vision for the series, powered by brand new technology from one of the best developers in the business. Santa Monica Studio has always been known for pushing the technological envelope and this new game is no exception. However, more than that, it's clear that the studio has been granted the budget and time to fully realise its ambitious vision - key ingredients in delivering a quality product. From the smallest of incidental environment details to the most towering of beasts, God of War elevates real-time visuals to new heights while pushing the PlayStation hardware to its limits.
A studio with a remarkable heritage for technical excellence, Sony Santa Monica is closing in on completion of its latest God of War and this past week, we've finally had the opportunity to see more of the game in action via PlayStation 4 Pro's pristine 4K video output. Right away, it's clear that what's on display here is extremely promising. God of War should comfortably stand alongside the likes of Uncharted 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn when it comes to the quality of its technology.
Kratos is still angry. If you're concerned about how much has changed in Sony Santa Monica's reboot of the God of War series, it's worth knowing this; in two hours playing the game, what's remarkable is how much has stayed the same. There's the same pent up rage, unleashed in pliable combat as enemies are juggled in the air and then pulled furiously apart, the same cinematic showdowns that dazzle with their panache. The same spectacle, and the same sense that the host hardware is being pushed to its very limit. It's a God of War game alright, in that it's hard to think of any better showcase for what's possible with Sony's console.
God of War (AKA Dad of War) is being described as a soft reboot for the series, as Kratos enters the world of Norse mythology for the first time alongside his son. The changes aren't just limited to the game's setting, however.
This year's E3 was a river of dads, and I am unhappy about it. (I did wonder briefly about the appropriate collective noun for dads: a Wickes, a Touchline, or, for us kids of divorce, an Absence? Just kidding, Dad - and I hope Spain is treating you well).
In many people's eyes, Nintendo won 2005 in terms of the really, actually "new" games. But even so, Sony America's God of War was the highest-ranked original game in your Top 50, and number two overall. We couldn't find much to put ahead of it either, and there was a lot of internal debate about its position. In an early draft of our Top 50, God of War was actually behind a couple of games it wound up in front of when all the votes were counted, prompting Kieron - who experienced it in full when he was trying to put Spartan: Total Warrior in context - to bombard us with invective most of which centred on our diminished manhood.
You might have guessed by now that we liked God Of War. A lot. For want of better superlatives, it's simply a great game. A classic game that's near enough the best PS2 action adventure of all time, and is therefore something you should buy as our review goes to some length to point out.
At a press briefing in the US last week, Sony Computer Entertainment America unveiled one of its upcoming first-party titles, God of War, which is undergoing development at the platform holder's Santa Monica studio (following roughly two years' work at its Southern Californian studio under the direction of David Jaffe - he of Twisted Metal fame - who also led the presentation).