God Of War
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God of War is an action-adventure game franchise created by David Jaffe at Sony's Santa Monica Studio. It began in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console and has become a flagship series for PlayStation, consisting of nine installments across multiple platforms. Based on ancient mythologies, the story follows Kratos, a Spartan warrior and later the Greek God of War, who was tricked into killing his family by his former master, the original Greek God of War Ares. This sets off a series of events that leads to wars with the different mythological pantheons. The Greek-based games see Kratos follow a path of vengeance due to the machinations of the Olympian gods, while the Norse-based games, which introduce his son Atreus as a secondary protagonist, show an older Kratos on a path of redemption and inadvertently coming into conflict with the Norse gods.
Santa Monica has developed all main entries, while Ready at Dawn and Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles (SOE-LA) developed the three side games. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has published all games except the mobile phone installment, which was published by Sony Pictures Digital. The first seven games make up the Greek era of the franchise. God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), and God of War III (2010) comprise its main trilogy; the first two were released on the PS2 with the third on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). A prequel, Ascension (2013), was also released for the PS3. Other games include Chains of Olympus (2008) and Ghost of Sparta (2010) for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Betrayal (2007) for mobile phones that supported the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME). The Norse era began with the 2018 game God of War and released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and later Windows in January 2022. It was accompanied by a short prequel, A Call from the Wilds (2018), a text-based game through Facebook Messenger. A sequel, Ragnarök, was released in November 2022 on the PS4 and PlayStation 5 (PS5) and concluded the Norse era.
Games in the series have been praised as some of the best action games of all time. The series has received numerous awards, including several Game of the Year recognitions for the 2005 and 2018 installments. Some games have also been remastered for newer PlayStation platforms. As of November 2020, the franchise has sold over 51 million games worldwide. Strong sales and support of the series led to the franchise's expansion into other media, such as three comic book series and three novels. A film adaptation of the original installment had been in development but was ultimately canceled; however, a television series adaptation of the Norse era is in development for Amazon Prime Video. Merchandise includes artwork, clothing, toys, and prop replicas, as well as the games' soundtracks, including a heavy metal album, Blood & Metal (2010), featuring original music by various bands who were inspired by the series.
God of War was first released in North America on March 22, 2005, for the PlayStation 2. After ten years in the service of the Olympian gods, Spartan soldier Kratos is tasked by Athena to find Pandora's box, the key to defeating Ares, the God of War, who is running amok through Athens. A series of flashbacks reveals that Kratos was once the servant of Ares, who saved Kratos and his army from annihilation in battle, but tricked him into killing his family, which forced his metamorphosis into the "Ghost of Sparta". Kratos eventually finds Pandora's Box, and after finally killing Ares, he ascends to Mount Olympus to become the new God of War.
God of War II was first released in North America on March 13, 2007, for the PlayStation 2. Angered at his fellow gods, Kratos runs amok across the city of Rhodes. Zeus intervenes and betrays Kratos, who is saved by the Titan Gaia. She tells him he must now find the Sisters of Fate, who can change his fate and prevent his death at the hands of Zeus. Kratos is ultimately successful and as he is about to kill the god, Athena sacrifices herself to save Zeus and preserve Olympus, and tells Kratos that he is Zeus' son and that he betrayed Kratos out of fear. Kratos then joins forces with Gaia and the Titans to attack Olympus.
God of War: Chains of Olympus was first released in North America on March 4, 2008, for the PlayStation Portable. Its narrative takes place sometime between Ascension and God of War during Kratos' ten years of service to the gods. Kratos halts a Persian invasion of the Greek city of Attica, and learns that the world has been plunged into darkness by the god Morpheus. Kratos investigates the abduction of the sun god Helios, and prevents the Machiavellian plan of the goddess Persephone to use the Titan Atlas to destroy the world.
God of War III was first released in North America on March 16, 2010, for the PlayStation 3. Reigniting the Great War, Kratos is soon abandoned by the Titans, who were only using him to exact their own revenge. Now seeking revenge against both the Titans and Olympian gods, he is helped by the spirit of Athena, who was elevated to a new level of understanding and instructs him to seek the Flame of Olympus in order to defeat Zeus. Kratos engages the gods and the Titans in a series of battles across the Underworld and Olympus and learns that Pandora's Box is within the Flame. He discovers that Pandora herself is the key to pacifying the Flame and allowing him to open the Box, at the expense of her life. After finally killing Zeus and with Olympus destroyed, Kratos refuses to help Athena assume the role of new patron of mankind and disappears.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta was first released in North America on November 2, 2010, for the PlayStation Portable. Set between the events of God of War and Betrayal, the God of War Kratos is still haunted by visions of his mortal past and embarks on a quest to discover his origins by finding his mother, Callisto. He learns that his brother Deimos was taken by the gods and imprisoned by the God of Death, Thanatos, and decides to find and save his sibling. Although successful, Thanatos engages the brothers in combat, and kills Deimos. Kratos then kills Thanatos and returns to Olympus, further enraged at the gods.
God of War: Ascension was first released in North America on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3. It is the only game in the series to feature multiplayer, which is online-only for both competitive and cooperative play. Predating Chains of Olympus, the game is set roughly six months after Kratos was tricked into killing his wife and daughter, and sees him imprisoned by the three Furies for breaking his blood oath to Ares. With the help of the oath keeper and Ares' estranged son Orkos, Kratos learns that the God of War and the Furies plan to overthrow Mount Olympus and that Ares chose Kratos as his servant to help him for that very purpose. The Spartan escapes his imprisonment and eventually kills the Furies, as well as Orkos, who begs for release. Although free of Ares' bond, Kratos begins to suffer the nightmares that plague him for years.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a short text-based game, released through Facebook Messenger on February 1, 2018. The game serves as a prequel story to 2018's God of War, and follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. Additionally, a smartphone companion app called Mimir's Vision released on April 17, 2018, and provides some background for the Norse setting.
The series consists of eight single-player-only games, and one that includes multiplayer. Throughout the first era, the games featured a third-person, fixed cinematic camera with the exception of Betrayal, which is the only installment to feature a 2D side-scrolling view. For 2018's God of War and Ragnarök, the camera was switched from being fixed and became an over-the-shoulder free camera. A first-person camera is featured in God of War III and Ascension during certain scripted sequences. Throughout the series, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of hack and slash combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements to achieve goals and complete the story (platforming elements were removed from the second era games due to the camera change). The 2018 installment added Kratos' son Atreus, and although the game is played entirely as Kratos, there are times when the player may choose to passively control Atreus (a button is dedicated to Atreus, and he will fire an arrow from his bow depending on where the camera is pointed). While Atreus is still an accompanying character in Ragnarök (in addition to a couple of other characters), there are some story missions where the player takes full control of Atreus; his combat is similar to Kratos' but he uses a bow.
The series offers combo-based combat, and includes a quick time event (QTE) feature, also called context sensitive attacks, which is initiated when the player has weakened a foe or to perform a defensive maneuver. It allows limited control of Kratos during the QTE cinematic sequence; success ends the battle, while failure usually results in damage to the player. As well as the QTE system, Ascension features a prompt-less free-form system, allowing players the choice of when to attack or dodge based on the enemy's actions. A grab maneuver can be used on minor foes. The Norse games changed this up; after an enemy has been weakened enough, a prompt will appear above its head, and depending on the enemy, Kratos may rip it in half or grab them and throw them into other enemies, among other possible outcomes. He will also jump on top of and ride large enemies, such as ogres, causing them to attack other enemies, similar to the cyclopes in the Greek games. 59ce067264