God of War Tips and Tricks: 10 Things You Must Know Before Playing the Fantastic PS4 Game
God of War is a fantastic game, boasting a vast world that plays host to a surprisingly nuanced, intimate story. In our God of War review, we gave it five stars, calling it a case study for the maturing games industry, and praising its heart, craft, and visual flair. The Norse world in the game is joyous to explore. Much of the pleasures come from uncovering its secrets on your terms. If you’re struggling to get to grips with God of War’s gameplay, however, here are ten essential tips to get you started on your adventure.
Tip #1: Explore Everywhere
God of War is closer in its world design to a game like Dark Souls than Skyrim. You can’t just go romping around an open-world but instead need to negotiate its many winding, puzzle-box areas. The path towards an objective will generally be straightforward. Still, we’d encourage you to take your time and delve into the game’s many nooks and crannies – this is where you’ll find puzzles that lead to chests full of useful materials.
Tip #2: Use Ledges to Your Advantage
Early on, fights against more than a couple of enemies can become overwhelming. Be aware of your environment and see if there are any ledges you can use to your advantage. Pushing an enemy from a great height will generally kill them instantly, saving you the effort of having to split or sever them in half.
Tip #3: Axe throws are Your Friend
Your Leviathan Axe can get flung during both light or massive attacks. This move is essential to survival in the opening hours of God of War, letting you do substantial damage before closing the space to finish the kill. A massive throw will also freeze certain enemies in place, which can be useful for crowd control while you wale on some poor Draugr (an undead creature from Norse mythology) with your fists. Upgrades for Leviathan Axe throws are among the more valuable benefits to get early in the game, and they’re worth the XP investment.
Tip #4: Arrows Are Also Your Friends
Atreus has an unlimited supply of arrows, although they take a few moments to regenerate. Get into the habit of pressing Square to fire at enemies at the same time as hitting them with your Leviathan Axe or fists or using arrows to distract them as you take on other opponents. One of the arrows’ most useful traits is their ability to add Stun damage, leaving an enemy vulnerable before you’ve even laid a finger on them.
Tip #5: Get Comfortable Dodging and Parrying
Kratos is adept at beating monsters to a pulp in God of War, but timing your dodges and parries get based on the rhythm of combat. This approach is nowhere near as unforgiving as that of Dark Souls. You’ll still want to get comfortable knowing when to weave in and out of enemies’ range. Also, the preciseness of timed blocks helps fight against attacks. It would be best if you learned the maneuvers early on in the game because mini-bosses can be near impossible later on without a mastery of when to dodge and parry.
Tip #6: Don’t Stray Too Far for Solutions to Puzzles
One of God of War’s favorite puzzles involves unlocking chests by hunting down runes on bells or pots. If you don’t spot the glowing blue runes within a couple of minutes, you’ll probably widen your search further and further and further still. If you’ve wandered off into a different area in search of a glowing rune, you’ve gone too far.
Tip #7: Be Tactical about Runic Attacks
First, remember that XP can upgrade runic attacks. It’s easy to forget that benefit because they’re tucked away into a different section of the menu than your skills. Secondly, consider switching these powerful moves for different situations. Some actions are better for crowd control, for example, whereas others may direct attacks on a single opponent. Also, consider whether the fighting move closes the distance between you and an enemy.
Tip #8: Pick Enchantments to Fit Enemy Types
Early in the game, you’ll likely only have a couple of enhancement slots in your armor, but they can quickly build up when you start upgrading. Remember to check your enhancements every so often and remember those that offer protection against specific elemental attacks or from certain types of enemies. If you’re fighting a lot of elves, for example, it may help reduce damage from elves.
Tip #9: Don’t Feel Bad about Returning to Difficult Enemies Later On
God of War teases you with plenty of areas that you can’t access until later in the game, Metroidvania style. The game is also likely to drop difficult enemies into its world, which will kill you with a single hit unless you’re at a certain level. You’re more than welcome to try and take them on at any time, but don’t feel defeated if you can’t beat them. Bide your time, get further in the game, and you can always return when you’re more powerful to show them who’s boss.
Tip #10: Stop and Listen
One of the best things about God of War is the dialogue between Kratos, Atreus, and many other characters. This patter can easily get missed or cut short if you rush from one location to another instead of hanging around blacksmiths and in your boat. Take your time and listen to the stories—they genuinely build the world of the game.