In the run up to the release of God of War Ascension the sixth game in the series Sony have put together a live action trailer and it’s probably one of the best things they’ve ever done. For anyone who is paying attention God of War Ascension is the first game in the chronology of the story then Chains of Olympus, God of War , Ghost of Sparta, God of War 2, and God of War 3.
Whilst it may be for a game series notorious for its brutally violent and gory combat its focused entirely on the reason behind Kratos’s bloody vengeance. Lysandra Kratos’s wife notices his army returning. His daughter Calliope runs through the ranks of the soldiers to her father stood atop a hill. In the glare of the sun he picks her up and smiles the smile of a father happy to see his family again, only for Calliope to crumble to ash in slow motion in his hands, covering his body in the white ash that has become part of his iconic appearance.
Kratos collapses to the floor his Spartan helmet and armour crumbling to dust. We see him go from inconsolable teary eyed grief to vengeance fuelled insanity. We are no longer in the Spartan countryside but on some wasted battleground and the enemy soldiers are closing in around Kratos, as the camera pulls back and dark clouds cover the scene.
The sounds of Holding On by Ellie Goulding make for a fittingly haunting soundtrack for the action unfolding.
There are many who will say that God Of War’s story is irrelevant and that players couldn’t care less as long they get to make a bloody mess, but without this story then Kratos would not be one of the most recognisible characters in gaming. The reason this trailer works so well is that we see that Kratos, a nigh on indestructible killing machine in the games released so far, is a mortal man, a husband and a loving father. It’s reconnecting the audience with this which is fundamental in making Kratos a sympathetic and profoundly tragic character adding some genuine pathos.
Kudos should given for the casting of Kratos and also for the portrayal of the character, when he stands up grimace firmly entrenched on his face chest heaving at the conclusion it’s one of the best live action portrayals of a game character yet seen and makes you want to be part of the story again.
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