When Sony teased us with a new God of War game at last year's E3, its presentation was almost perfect. The 10-minute gameplay reveal had almost everything: the return of Kratos, alive and well after the events of God of War III; a beautiful environment; thrilling combat; an epic beard; and, most important, a strong indication of character development. Not only were we getting the Destroyer of Worlds back, but we were seeing a more human side of Kratos. The only thing missing from the reveal was a release window. A year later at E3 2017, we finally have one. God of War for PlayStation 4 will be available in early 2018.
Kratos' next adventure might miss the holiday season, but at least we know it's going to have a deep, character-driven story. This year's preview showed us more of the warrior's troubled relationship with his son -- a boy he seems to have only recently taken custody of. We hear that his son thinks Kratos thinks he's weak and cursed, and we hear his father tell him that he needs to learn to be strong and dispassionate. At the same time, however, we see him protect his son, who speaks fondly of his mother and reminds Kratos that "not everybody is bad."
It's a more active role for Kratos' son than we saw in last year's trailer. The young boy seems more confident, more defiant and more of a conscience for his father. Even so, his encouragement to trust others more doesn't seem to have much of an effect on the old warrior. Kratos is as violent as ever, handily bisecting enemies, gouging eyes and otherwise completely dominating his opponents with a glowing magical ax.
The game's father/son adventure looks good, but details are still spare. We know the two are exploring new lands, ones ruled by new gods for Kratos to presumably face down. Still, 2018 is a long way off; there's plenty of time to speculate.