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YMMV / God of War

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Kratos is NOT a nice person, that's undeniable. But people seem to be split as to whether he's a tragic Sociopathic Hero or an outright heartless emotional monster. There's a good amount of support for each (with another argument to be made that he drifts between the two from game to game).
    • Regarding Zeus:
      • In the first game, he might have been trying to connect with his estranged son Kratos through the Grave Digger disguise.
      • Interpretation of Zeus often depends on how one interprets Kratos. Some view Zeus as betraying Kratos, breaking his own rules, and deserves everything Kratos did to him. Others view Zeus as completely justified in attempting to stop a mad god and more heroic than Kratos.
      • Does Zeus really want to stop the destruction that Kratos causes, or is he just terrified that he'll be killed and is putting on a tough face? What was Zeus doing while Kratos was killing his entire family and destroying the world by proxy? Even if he saw nothing else over the course of the series, Zeus definitely watched Poseidon get murdered and did nothing to stop it. The King of the Gods only comes out to fight when Kratos either shows up on his doorstep or threatens the source of his power - situations where nonaction would lead to his own death.
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  • Awesome Bosses: Okay, some of the boss fights are pretty god-damned awesome so take your pick. Just one example: The dragon in God of War (2018). It's the biggest thing you actually get to fight in the game, and between the amazing but gory animation of the steadily increasing damage Kratos does to it, the fast-paced fight, and the way it ends, with the dragon crashing down, Kratos standing unmoving between its jaws, it makes for a brilliant mid-game boss.
  • Badass Decay: In the third game, the Titans are demoted to Fake Ultimate Deities. Although the gods are seemingly terrified of them in the second game, they are completely stomped during their invasion of Olympus. None of them display any power beyond their huge size, despite previous depictions hinting they are capable of unleashing devastating magic attacks. This even applies to the greater titans like Kronos and Gaia: the battle against the former has Kratos just moving around his body and chopping parts of it one by one; while the latter would have gotten killed many times if it weren't for Kratos's help. By the time Kratos managed to escape from the underworld, the gods' only casualty had been Poseidon (whom Kratos himself killed), while all the titans who assaulted Olympus had been killed except for two: (Perses and Gaia).
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Kratos himself is this, especially later on in the original series. Some consider him a compelling Tragic Hero undergoing a Protagonist Journey to Villain, seeing him as a deconstructionist take on the mythological hero by showing how arrogant and selfish they would be by modern standards. Others consider him too unsympathetic and even a bit too idiotic to root for, seeing him as a toxic case of Testosterone Poisoning.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Satyrs are practically impossible to stagger, meaning you spend more time dodging their attacks than countering. If you grab them, it initiates a button-mashing grapple for the satyr's staff, which would be well and good except there's usually two of them per fight, and they show blatant disregard for the rules of Mook Chivalry.
    • There are several of these in the PSP version - or perhaps they just get introduced into gameplay more quickly. The worst ones are guys who are Dual Wielding: you can't block their attacks, they have five-second-long combos, and they always come in packs. So: Dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge, land one hit, Lather Rinse Repeat. (Actually, if you're quick, you can stagger them out of their attack patterns, but if you miss that first dodge, it's them juggling you.)
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  • Designated Hero: While Kratos' Rage Against the Heavens is perfectly reasonable considering what the Gods are like, half the time he's willing enough to doom scores of at-least-relatively innocent civilians if they're in his way or even if they're just there breathing his air provided he needs to kill one to make progress (just ask the Princess Poseidon enslaved in the third game). Not to mention that when he kills the gods, it literally kills the order of something in world around him, likely causing mass devastation and miserably short lives for everyone else. Of course this might have been intentional from the creator(s), considering the Ancient Greek idea of a "Hero" was more about machismo and physical might instead of any real moral fiber.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The original series runs into this as it progresses, as while Kratos is clearly portrayed as a selfish, violent sociopath with minimal regard for anyone else's lives (stating at one point he "cares little" for issues of gods and men alike), a deconstruction of the Spartan hero, the entire point of the original series is to kill the gods and monsters in violently awesome ways.
  • Even Better Sequel: The PS4 game would receive critical praise and ratings of well over 90% before its official release.
  • Goddamned Bats: Harpies. Fairly easy to kill on their own, but they tend to show up while you're fighting tougher enemies or bosses, and often disrupt your combos or distract you enough to get clobbered. They also like to knock you off narrow beams.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Due to the way the game is designed, some Game-Breaker bugs exist that allow you to have - among other things - infinitely regenerating magic and maxed out weapons early in the game. Also, holdover features remain from when the game was in "test" phase, including invisible ledges, which can lead Sequence Breaking. There are a whole bunch of gamers dedicated to finding and refining them in order to perform better speed runs.
  • Memetic Loser: Many like to poke fun at Kratos for his Psychopathic Manchild tendencies, his extreme craving for vengeance, his refusal to take responsibility for his own actions, and the many times he gets played for a fool despite being one of the most powerful characters in the series.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Circle Button appears over X's head".explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: The game makes it clear that you're put in control of a character who starts as a Sociopathic Hero only to evolve right into what is wide open to being called a class-A douchebag. For quite a percentage of players, Kratos will eventually cross the MEH; the only question is when. For many players when Kratos decides to destroy Olympus regardless of the consequences on the world is the point where he goes from Nominal Hero to Villain Protagonist.
  • Polished Port: The PS3 ports of the first two games, as well as the ports of the PSP titles, qualify for bringing many framerate and visual improvements to the gameplay while keeping all of the playability.
  • Rated M for Money: Everything bleeds. A lot. Also, the nudity is mostly irrelevant and mostly seemed as a ploy to boost the rating. However, give Greek mythology a read sometime and you might be surprised at how accurate (or even tamer) God of War can be.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The new God of War title appears to have an Older and Wiser Kratos who, while somewhat cold and distant, seems to be much more complex and engaging, and actually shows consistent concern for a another human being (that being his young son). This has been received positively by a lot of people who thought he'd long since become a melodramatic, self-pitying twat in the third game.
  • Rooting for the Empire: You could be forgiven for hoping the gods killed Kratos off before he completely destroyed the balance of nature. Quite frankly nearly all Kratos’s enemies, post Ares, have pretty legitimate grievances with him and few of his targets end up being bigger bastards than Kratos himself could be. Zeus’ fears of insurrection turn out pretty spot on, Hera is doing her best to pick up the slack of the other gods Kratos killed and Hades is justifiably-enough pissed off Kratos has repaid his kindness from the first game by killing off his family members left and right.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: Kratos' villainous behavior can sometimes really make it hard to really care if he wins or loses. It sometimes becomes hard to say why you should care whether Kratos kills that god/saves himself/kills that other god and all the rest too. It's not as though Kratos being in charge would be an improvement given how he acts. As it turns out, the game does manage to make them all lose, leaving the victimized humans as the ones left. Shame Kratos messed up the sun, sea, seasons, and sky before he died. And even then, OR DID HE? The only consolation is that he decided to release Hope into the world, hope to give humanity a reason to continue on. The ending slightly implies that the world can start getting back on its feet.
    • The prequels and interquels, most especially Ascension and Ghost of Sparta, attempt to rectify this by humanizing Kratos more. YMMV on how well that works since in the latter his actions are still worse than the game's supposed Big Bad.
    • Come the PS4 game, and it seems the devs were taking notes in regards to Kratos being hard to root for. Here, he still isn't exactly nice, but he's clearly trying to rein in his infamous rage and be a good father to his son Atreus. And when it comes to other characters, he's very, very aloof, but he doesn't go out of his way to be a dick, either - save for some in-script lines that go against the continuous plot of his going as far as to give an attacking deity (whom he would not trust) multiple chances to leave him alone. Even his finishing moves are (mostly) less brutal and vicious.
  • Values Dissonance: Even before going off the deep end in the sequels, Kratos is very morally reprehensible if not just highly guilty by our standards. But to Ancient Greeks, he would've been hailed as a mighty warrior, to Spartans a legendary hero. The first game in the series could very well have been an actual Greek mythical tale, and nobody of that time would have batted an eye. In ancient Greek mythology, "hero" means only that you accomplish mighty deeds. Being a paragon of virtue is optional.