Tag Archives: Ares

A dark matter of factuality

It was something that had been nagging at me for a while. Whilst I was working on an idea for TV, an idea that was in ‘And a little more’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/04/04/and-a-little-more/) and a few articles before then (and one after), the setting was a little too vanilla, too sweet. Yes, it works when you have a pilot and you need to slowly submerge the viewer into this person. But after that you need to have something more and the dark place is at times so much more rewarding. So what happens when loss, loss that would drive any person insane is part of all this? No matter how we slice it, lets say a child is lost to drunk driving, to whatever reason and that person gets off on a technicality, not something that happened now, but something that happened decades ago. So when some events come back, so does the avenging rage. But not like the timeline. But a timeline that is distorted, as memories come back together. So how would that go? That is what I am contemplating. The vengeance is that he takes the life of a family member every decade. A hunt going on for decades and the family is scared beyond believe because this had been going on and they have no idea who to blame. When you know that EVERY decade on the dot a family member dies extremely brutally, how would YOU react? That is the stuff I am trying to add to the idea. You see the dark appeals to all, the need for vengeance appeals to all. In our lives as we add water to the wine, as we add compromise to our values for fairness, the dark gets a free turn on all of us and that side is appealing to all. Yet the power is not to hide it in some lame ‘conspiracy’ setting. We have seen so many of those, but what happens when the deaths also allow for something more? Lets not forget that this is the story of the grandson of Hades. And that is before we get to the part where his father is Ares. Yet that implies that he has another grandfather. All settings that seem to be clear in season one, so what gives?

A stage where decades of corpses set a line in place, a line that I am trying to give volume, but I cannot yet tell in what direction, because I do not know what the direction is yet. That is part of the thrill of creating stories. You need to keep everything in mind, just like an RPG. And this story needs to have angles, sharp sides, soft sides and surprises. It is setting a ying and yang, but shaped like Hesiod and Plato. The dialogue goes better if there is some polarisation, some opposition to either view whilst the bulk of both views are accepted. That is the stage I need to create, and if I succeed the story becomes a lot better and that is what every storyteller tries to do, create the most enticing story. And that setting works when one side is dark, really dark whilst both sides accepts the darkness and shines their own light on that darkness. You see, shadow die in the absence of light or darkness. Both are needed, a shadow cannot exist in absence of either, the first truth all storytellers learn, most often in the midst of their first story and they rewrite it.

I am no different, although I started when I saw the story became too sweet, too vanilla.

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That red wire

In consideration of the previous story I was contemplating a few things. You see a bright person in the 80’s came to the conclusion that any TV series needs a red wire. It was all good in the 70’s, but the stories were almost made to formula. Intro-hero-setback-optional setback 2-clues-conclusion. And many series had a similar construct. So this bright person set a red wire throughout the story which would find conclusion around the finale of the season. It was a bright idea and it has been around for decades. It has various names, but it remained a red wire. So as I am contemplating the journey for Nikolaos the red wire comes to mind. At which point I also recalled season 6 of Dr. Who (that series with the pretty redhead and a time traveller). In one episode (Demon’s run) by Steven Moffat we get introduced to a line. “Demons run when a good man goes to war” In this I considered that line, but something else as well. You see organised crime has one thing in common with corrupt politicians. It is unfathomable loss. When you hold the corrupt politician to account by killing his or her children and grand children, they will suddenly be about the innocent people. They never cared when they were filling their pockets, but they forgot about that. So if the power of Nikolaos is not merely his ancestry, what if he had to align Tartarus? What if his job is to find the champions to do his bidding, how powerful would the person be that was robbed again and again? What happens when his vengeance, the everlasting executing of the children and grandchildren that robbed him again and again in an arena whilst the transgressors watch to see their children being slaughtered and unable to do anything about it? What level of loyalty will Nikolaos get from the person he enabled to get even with the demons who robbed and haunted him? And the red wire is not merely that, it was to create the location, to create the prisons from which the people watch their children die, the seats where the lesser demons are entertained and the list goes on. What if the arch-demon is not created from evil, but from good?

What could the lesson of frustration do when it gets pushed beyond limits? You see, this is not some raving, some of this comes from Marcus Aurelius, who gives us “The art of tempering your fury with an infuriating existential truth”, it is not about the fury we get from some, but from those who place themselves ABOVE the law. Like the corrupt, and that sets a larger piece in motion. “he considered what makes life worth living and instructed himself: “Tone your wants and tastes low down enough, and make much of negatives, and of mere daylight and the skies.” He spared himself the additional self-inflicted suffering of outrage at how his body failed him”, but this goes beyond the setting of body and soul, it comes from the setting that those who intentionally harm ones body and soul, ones sanity will push for larger dangers, the danger that the man does not break, but gives up and gives in to an unfathomable level of insanity killing their children again and again, a never ending rage. If we consider that evil never had that, it is fuelled by mere greed, those who they go after will have been good (to some degree) it could fuel a much larger rage than anyone has ever considered. I believe it is one of the settings why we anger over treason, treason against the values we embraced for a life time. And the path to impose an enduring unfathomable loss is reached. 

You see Machiavelli gives us “Nothing makes a republic so stable and strong as organising it in such a way that the agitation of the hatreds which excite it has a means of expressing itself provided for by the laws”, stability stops or lessens treason, but the greed driven will always find a path that tells them that it is acceptable what they do, as such in that setting the transgressions against a good man are intolerable and seen beyond what any fury would give us. It is the one lesson that ends the sanity of the corrupt person, the corrupt politician is hit even harder as he was seen representing the state and as such the fury intensifies. So in that setting we see any good man become infuriating beyond what any demon could fathom making any good man the most dangerous of arch-demons. And let’s be clear, if there is a hell and it is ruled by an angel, would that angel in its foundation not fear the arch demon? If Tartarus is set on a different premise, would such an arch demon not an asset? 

To get there we cannot have a simple 2 or 3 episode finale, it needs to be fuelled by a red wire throughout the season. Its lesson reverberating throughout the season as the Olympians teach Nikolaos why mankind was so dangerous. We see it now with political ploys, interest groups trivialising pollution, media siding with the advertiser and we can call many more examples, but the people are the ones in the middle, so when they get angry that nation stops. We have seen it in many places. Yet consider a fictive example in the US, what do you think happens when 250,000,000 people have had enough? Do you think this is impossible when the US collapses? Do you think the Wall Street executive that hesitates to run for his (or her) life has any chance to get out alive? In a nation where its army can turn on that nation becomes the most volatile of nations, and when a person is perceived as the good man, when he calls for war, do you think that will end nicely? Unfathomable loss can be seen in many ways, but it is never seen from the point of the corrupt. Consider what they hold dear and consider what they fear. Treason is the most explosive of powder kegs and when we see that, we see the beginning of a red wire, when that is set in motion we merely need to check the list of all the elements required to make the story complete. So as I see an arena with an audience and in the honor box we see the parents of the children getting slaughtered again and again, all screaming for mercy, for their innocent children all whilst the audience cheers, another life cut down and the rage of the good man who was transgressed upon ready to kill again and again and again. To get to that stage we need to set the elements and that is still some achievement, but Marcus Aurelius is there to temper the idea and that is also the best ammunition to use. You see, Marcus Aurelius gives us “by gently encouraging them to think the same way” yet that too becomes a weapon, especially when the good man has nothing left, robbed by the corrupt and that becomes fuel to the fire. Because the good man will never accept corruption as a vice and therefor corruption fuels as corruption does and in this both mercy and innocence are the first victims in this internal war. Corruption and treason have a much larger role to play and that becomes part of the red wire. 

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Mr. S. King resigned

Intro
Yup, that is the setting. My mind casually created new IP, this IP is (me thinks) a TV series, as I have not dreamt it all it is still in the open, but it is a weird one. It is seemingly a thriller/horror making this the domain of Steven King and I have no idea what I am doing here. Yet the idea to some extent was with me before, yet in that instance there were differences and the story was going in a very different direction. But here we are in St. Helier a man is sitting on a bollard watching the boats. He does this often although he does not know why. He feels that it gives him rest, a feeling of completion, but the reason eludes him. It was about an hour alter when a boat docks and the people run from the boat screaming. He looks at the boat but he sees nothing. People, staff from the boat, all in a panic. His curiosity gets the better of him and he approaches the boat. He watches as the people run screaming and then the silence surrounds the boat. He looks at the boat, but he sees nothing, there is no fire, there is no crazy person, it is dead quiet. Then he sees it, it is inside the boat, first one, than half a dozen then dozens scorpions all crawling over the boat and the dead people in the cabin. He had no idea how dangerous they were, but the people on the boat indicated that these were dangerous. He looks at the boat, the removes the plank and cut the lines. Scorpions cannot swim, or at least that is how the story goes. He pushes the bot way just as the police arrives alarmed. They ask him what he think he was doing. He points at the aft deck and the police now sees them too. The policeman in charge grabs with microphone from his collar and talks into the mouthpiece. He is asking for assistance. 

Part X
The man is walking on the northern shores, he is walking wet trying to clear his mind, the last two days had been rather weird. It was when he came to Le Pinacle when he heard some kind of song, but he could not see anyone. He saw the ruins, it was where the music was seemingly coming from. He had been there several times when he was really young, but not in years. He walked towards parts of the ruins when he noticed the brazier. He did not remember a brazier, and walked over to check it. There were flames coming from it, the coals were weirdly cool, but the flames were hot. He looked and wondered what was going on, the music was slightly louder but there did not seem to be anyone playing. He looked for a radio, perhaps someone hd left the radio. He didn’t seem to see it, but there he noticed a stone trapdoor, or what might be one, the stoned were different and as he picked up the stone square, the square gave way, came up like it was on a joint. He looked down and saw the steps in the wall, stones coming out from the wall like small plateaus forming a ladder. He was curious, he had never noticed the stones before. He climbed down and down and down. It took a long time and they must have been 20-30 meters below sea level when the stones came to a floor, slightly wet sand was greeting him. He saw another brazier and another. It was a not so long corridor going into a room. The room was not big and it held a statue. The weirdest thing happened. The statue moved.

Pluto/Hades

The stone man looked at him. “Hello grandson. I am Hades” The man had no idea what to think. He was quite perplexed. The statue continued “In this temple of Pluto I can talk to you. The ship is part of a test, your first test but not the only one. Solve the test to open up memories and knowledge. Solve the riddle to find out what happened and what can be done to stop it. It is up to you to decide. Your first gift awaits you when you are ready, for you are the grandson of Hades and Zeus, son or Ares and Macaria. Let the testing begin.

Part Z
The man looked at the bot, he saw the focal point and realised that this was a curse. A curse by people who did not know what they had unleashed. He took control of the boat and set course due south. The boat was able to move decently fast so it took less than 3 hours to get to St. Malo There he saw the people taunting the boat, not realising what they had unleashed. In the time it took the boat to get there the catapult was done, he grabbed the statue hidden behind the cupboard and the scorpions who hd left him alone at first now came at him. He jumped over the railing and the scorpions followed slowly. He was at the catapult and put the statue in it. He thought that the people were screaming now, they screamed mercy, but the truth is that any curse needs time to complete and as he fired the statue, the scorpions vanished. Yet at the dicks of St. Malo things were different. People started to scream and run. As the statue broke into a thousand pieces he saw what seemed to be shades. They dissipated from the statue, but he could still see them. It would take days for the curse to wear off and many would die in the process. He looked at the carnage unfolding and he set course for St. Helier. It took another three hours to arrive and the police was already waiting for him. The police was shouting at him but he was not really listening. He docked the boat threw the keys at the captain and stated that the ship was clean. He made no other gestures and let them worry about the mess he had created with the hoses. The captain looked at the mess and then at him. “Scorpions cannot swim” and walked away. The police did not stop him, the captain had made a gesture t the policeman in charge. The news of St. Malo would reach them soon enough. He walked away and cautiously walked back to the shrine in the ruins. The statue of Pluto came back to life. “Why this way?” The man looked at his grandfather. A curse by people for people seems weird to dump it on Poseidon. “Great Uncle Poseidon please” the statue responded. “My apologies grandfather. Was this the right solution?” There is no right or wrong he heard. You made choices and choices have over time consequences. Time will tell what you set in motion, but yes, your great uncle would be upset to see a curse like that on the floor of his domain. There will be another test soon, but for now rejoice and start your journey. Reach out your right hand and receive your first present. He reached out and there was a small column of smoke and a bident formed in his hand. The Bident was light, but felt like steel. He opened his hand and the bident disappeared. The statue of his grandfather looked at him. You need to learn so much more, but we have time. I am immortal, you for now are not. The statue felt silent. He walked back and climbed the stair stones. When he emerged he heard voices. They were a little in the distance and he walked away from the sounds. He was about to look round when the darkness set in, the brazier was gone and where the trapdoor was was only rubble now. He quietly walked away, he had a lot to consider. 

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After a fact to begin a fact

Yes, nice and cryptic. Not intentionally, but that is how I roll. But before I get into that, I promised to give something tomorrow, but as it is about 0:01, tomorrow is now. So here goes. As I was (trying to) being clever, I considered that any off looking equipment will get caught soon. It shouldn’t but that is no guarantee. So I needed the valve to disappear. Now, one thing I learned that security staff tends to be lazy. Perhaps technically unobserving is a better term, they are not stupid, so something that looks off will get noticed quickly, unless it looks the same. So I can be as clever as I can, but the valve might get noticed. So as I was considering options I remembered the colour picker app. An Android app that uses the camera to scan a colour and translate it to an RGB tint. So there was a solution, but there is no way we can have all these colours in stock, so I created an adjusted primer spray paint. Primer is white, so I added the design of a dial at the bottom (see below).

Now we can pick the colour, adjust the 10 scale Red-Yellow-Blue-Black dials and insert the pigment, a few good shakes (5-15 seconds) and the colour is ready. Now we apply the paint and the device and its band will look as painted as the pipes are and now, the chance of overlooking is massively larger. So that part was solved and I created a new piece of IP in the process. So spray-paint makers might find this approach an interesting twist. Instead of 187.4 colours, you have one article and let the user fix what they need. No hassle, no ‘not in stock’ issues. All in a days work.

Anyway, what set all this off is that I was day dreaming (at 22:00). And suddenly I had an idea towards the Exhaurire Vitam concept, how it all started. How Anubis and Hades meet each other. All because of a young girl (9) who gets abducted by molesters and her Dachshund (which I affectionately name Kransky) ends up in nowhere land, right in front of the one person that the molesters would never have wanted involved and the carnage is one they will remember for all days. These is a lot more, but let’s not quench your thirst too much at present. 

So as Anubis owes Hades and he repays by offering a gift that is useless to him, but he knows that it will benefit Hades, so he repays in this way and opens a door that will shiver and shake New Orleans in ways you might have read earlier. A setting I never thought of, I never contemplated it. It merely came to me, that and the rest of the settings are weird, close to a dozen pieces of new IP, no idea where it is coming from and when it does not impact my IP (5G, TV, selected IP) I will make it Public domain, perhaps I can actually restart some economies making me more electable then whatever is in political office at present. Yet, feel free to ask Meng Po for an opinion and a cup of soup, it’s free. 

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Standing by my point of view

I have looked at games for almost 30 years, and so far in the mode of gaming I have been in, I tend to stand by my position. It has nothing to do with stubborn, or with some kind of elevated sense of correctness. Time has proven me right again and again. Even now as SuckerPunch is regarded as the gospel of gaming  (these things happen), I tend to see how things fair and so far I agree with the many voices, but this too made me realise that there is another path. To see this, we need to go back to 2014, a new Infamous was launched. Now, I still stand by my original view, is was above average, but it had failed to be great, even as all the elements were there. Two massive elements influenced it. The game was almost tediously linear and after the final fight you do not get to use the concrete powers to the degree I had expected. These two parts make the game good, but not great and that was a shame. Yet that is not the issue, I reinstalled it today to play it again for a few hours, even as I had completed it 100%, and in almost record time well over a third of the game had been done. This is not due to memory, I had forgotten most of it, it was due to linearity, but that was not the surprise, I know I had updated the game on day 2 or 3 and now another update was there. Over 6 years the game had seemingly seen 7 updates (It installed 1.0.7), the final update and the only one I had to install was less than 4 GB, for a PS4 game that is decent, and here we see the first issue, Ubisoft sets games to dozens of GB’s per game per update and this game from the early days does a mere fraction of this. I personally see this as proper testing was done at Sucker Punch, and Ghost of Tsushima shows this again (and again and again). A good developer will always win and innovation in gaming (a thing Sucker Punch has shown a few times) will always beat iteratively thinking Ubisoft. 

Even as I still stand by the view I had, the game was still as enjoyable as the first time I finished it. That is the power of a decent game and this game if not hindered by the two flaws might have remained on the legendary games list. Still, this does not stop Sucker Punch from creating a decent game, an innovative game and this is the issue, no matter how I see this game, I recognised it as innovative gaming, when I revisit this old game, I see just how powerful innovative thinking is in gaming. And whilst we consider just how correct I am, Google Search is filled with all the game magazines that are trying to use Sucker Punch as much as possible, Forbes even states ‘‘Ghost Of Tsushima’ Is The Game Of The Generation’ and it is hard to disagree. They also give the additional text “I am more glad than I expected to be to have a game like Ghost of Tsushima. Rather than giving us innovation, Sucker Punch has given us care and craft with the things we already know. It is a comforting thing to have, here in a moment when my country is still grappling with its failure to contain coronavirus and when the future seems less predictable than it ever has before.” In this I am not sure if I completely agree, I personally see this game as innovative, as such I partially disagree with ‘Rather than giving us innovation’, yet when we look at the separate elements, Forbes might have a case, it is the ‘Sucker Punch has given us care’ that is true, but proper testing tends to get us there (often enough), no matter how we see it, we see that compared to a player like Ubisoft it is a mere dwarf, a dwarf that creates titans, so whilst the news is full of all the things going wrong at Ubisoft, I have stated (for some time), that they have bigger issues, and perhaps these events we see hit the news now is a consequence of stress and taking it out internally. And even as we see the news on all kinds of statements and promises, we see that Ubisoft has a rather large problem, one that Sucker Punch never had, or fixed well over a decade ago, properly testing games. That is the heart of the matter and they do know how to do that. No matter how I see Black Flag, it was near perfect and so was Origins. So as such, I cannot fathom why they cannot hold the rudder right, Sucker Punch shows how it can be done and they have done so for a very long time. 

These two players need to be shown for the mere reason that one player relies on hypes and marketing, all whilst the other does not and gives us great games. So whilst I am getting a little weary of messages like ‘Ubisoft teases us with…’, I would rather see that they cleaned their company from top to bottom, because no matter what we see on certain people, the failings there go to the very top. It angers me, not because of whatever, the fact that they had good games and they wasted 2-3 franchises is a real drag, all whilst the products show that there is graphical talent and the music as applied is close to legend. As a gamer, does that not upset you? And even as I remain cautious on Far Cry 6, does it not sound like something we played before? Now, this is speculative so do not treat this like gospel, but what the internet gives us is apparently nothing more that Far Cry 4/5 in a Far Cry 3 setting. I hope that I am completely wrong, but Ubisoft does not have the greatest track record when it comes to innovation, all whilst my idea on WatchDogs 4 is a setting that is completely innovative and I wonder if all that innovation would fit into a new console (I just do not know) but is that not the foundation of gaming, to be on the edge what is possible and see if it can be done? MGSIV in the beginning of the PS3 and the Last of Us at the very end show me to be correct, In that same view Black Flag in the beginning of the PS4 is in that same foundation, so why are these franchises developed too short for their own good? 

Even now, games like Breakpoint might ‘sell’ high end graphics, but it lacked joy, joy that a GameCube game (Metroid Prime) had in abundance. Even now 8.5 years later, I can still find joy in Skyrim (originally released 11.11.11), apart from AC Origins, what Ubisoft game released since 2017 has that (I am personally not considering Rainbow Six as that is not my kind of game). When you see how short that list is and how many games Ubisoft released, we see the flaw of iterative game releases. And this is not merely Ubisoft, how many think fondly back to the Mass Effect Andromeda, after the release? All issues that proper testing could have avoided and it took less than one day to come up with Mass Effect based IP that surpassed Andromeda, it is that flawed and we need to get angry, because a life of good gaming depends on it, for all of us. 

Even as we need not worry on Sony and Nintendo, a Microsoft pushing boundaries would keep Sony innovative, that too is a given, when there is no competitor the remaining players tend to relax, history has shown that part a few times, so I prefer that Microsoft wakes up fast, but reality is not in my favour, as such here is every chance that after the PS5, the PS6 might not be as advanced as we hope (unless Nintendo really changes the game). 

If we look at the past, many have heard of Melinoe and the nightmares she brings, but who remembers Makaria? When we consider Makaria and according to the scrolls of Nikolaos of Damascus her meeting Ares, what was the result? When we see all these greek god based games, we tend to see the big three and the direct dependants, but what of some of the others? With the exception of series like Xena (PS1 game) all based on Lucy Lawless and her formed fanbase of life under greek god reign, nowadays we see covers of ancient greek books, but we forgot to pick them up and read them. Yet the foundation of RPG and sandbox games is larger than that and I see a lack of grasping the unexpected by many developers. 

And this is not some console war, a game war can be fought on many fronts, as such the setting of google Stadia versus Apple Arcade is not over, not by a long shot and these systems have limitations, it matters, because the days of the CBM64, a system with 38Kb of RAM, a 64Kb system showed an entire generation how cool gaming could be, 10-17 million units sold and 99% bought it for the games, no matter what excuse, like ‘I want to learn to program’ they gave (I was one of them). Innovation comes with limitation, and that is where true treasures are found. I feel certain that browsing through the Amiga 500 list, I will find at least half a dozen that will make it and become successes on a system like the Google Stadia, in this, even Ubisoft has a few titles, neglected titles that would be a good match to the iPad, a system at times forgotten for the games it can play and if it does it there, it will be wanted on the Google Stadia and the Apple version. Even later than that, anyone who remembers the Microprose titles would instantly try them on these systems in a new jacket, games born from limitations and they could be upgraded to fit a whole new generation (and please the previous generation as well). 

I stand by my point of view and as I see Ubisoft buckle and Sucker Punch become one of the most revered software groups, I see the options of games and how they can be on several systems between now and 2023. Time has proven me correct a few times now, I wonder when some developers wake up, as I see it, they have little time left.

 

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In awe of Ares

The independent is throwing its readers a curveball with ‘The survey comes after it was revealed that a new political party with access to up to £50m in funding has been secretly under development for more than a year‘, it is change, change of a kind that makes us wonder if politicians are getting there ‘inspiration’ form somewhere else. This is not about that, this is absolutely not about politics. This is about the curveball.

Santa Monica Studio, they awed us two years ago at the E3, where we were treated to a teaser, one that made our jaws drop and we were nowhere near ready to see the real deal. That happened 48 hours ago, 48 hours since we woke up, in optionally the most overwhelming way. If you missed it all, you missed a lot. For those not entirely aware, let me explain, let’s take you back to 2013, when the people on the PS3 were treated to ‘the Last of Us‘. It was a game that surpassed whatever came before, the end of a console treated to the diamond of diamonds. Now take that feeling, multiply that by 3 and that is what you will feel with the normal God of War 4 edition on a normal PS4, I haven’t even seen it on a Pro with 4K yet. The beginning is simple yet still overwhelming, the graphics are beyond awesome and the music and sound effects give it an entirely new dimension.

So here we are he who took the powers of Ares, god of war. Now we are in the setting of Norse mythology. The initial intro to the game, the movement, the draughr, Balder and a few others are just overwhelming. When we dig deeper into the game we get to certain points that this is still very much a God of War game, yet there is also evolution. even as button mashing got you most of the way previously, this time around you need to be a little clever, button mashing gets you killed again and again (and again). It has the chests and it has health parts, slightly different, but still in spirit basically the same. Some chests now come with puzzles and a few are a little trying. It is all a step forward. The graphics throughout the game remain overwhelming and are beyond awesome. The tactics are a little more essential, yet it remains a God of War game. Christopher Judge, the (in)famous Teal’c from Stargate takes the axe from the predecessors and gives Kratos soul in a way that is amazing, the deepness of voice and the entire embodiment of Kratos slayer of gods comes to life with Christopher Judge, a stellar performance.

There will always be issues with any videogame, so has this game its little snippets of frustration, but the overall impact of the game is what I would regard it a 97% game, Metacritic gave it a 95% rating, what means that it should be regarded as a must for any PS4 owner. Even as you play the game, you feel a little lost at times, wondering where to go next. It is not a bad feeling, you get a clear view of your surrounding and it is close to breathtaking. The people at Santa Monica really outdid themselves, and not just them. In equal measure Bear McCreary, famous for his soundtrack work on Battlestar Gallactica truly shines. His music adds to the game in several ways. I wonder if anyone would be able to play the game on a TV with a sound bar, the music is that amazing. I am actually listening to it on YouTube whilst writing this. I hope that it will be a download option soon enough (or a soundtrack for sale). So in nearly all matters the game shines. So why am I using ‘nearly’? Well in the beginning as you have the options to better your character with outfits and upgrades, you are a little in the dark and in the beginning of the game optionally accidently wasting resources on the wrong parts and it is a merely a small loss, yet it makes for a great replay. This is perhaps the only small flaw in all this and it is so small a flaw that not heeding my words in this is just fine. Yet as you play the game you are almost overwhelmed by what you see and when you think that you’ve seen it all, you get introduced to Alfheim. If you consider that Midgard is the forest in midwinter, then Alfheim is the forest in spring and everything is in full bloom, a second whiff over being overwhelmed and I haven’t even seen the subsequent parts yet. Whilst I have been upgrading my skills and my weapon, the monsters have been becoming a lot stronger too, so the opposition is not getting easier and you the player are forced to thinking a little more tactics and no mash buttons, it is essential to making it through. It is almost like Santa Monica Studio saw the setting of Dark Souls and borrowed an idea or two, which is not a bad thing at all. In this, I found that the avoidance by Kratos is not completely flawless and it makes for a more challenging fight, all defence and no offence being pointless in the end. It makes a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things and God of War is more than the jackpot. If the next Last of Us is anything to go by, we are witness to a new level of gameplay, one that the Xbox cannot match, because Ubisoft will not be able to match it. That is not an attack on Ubisoft, it truly is not! They have shown with AC Origin to up their game by a fair bit. Microsoft was just not ready (read: awake enough) to up the game for gamers other than their ‘most powerful consolestatement. Now with the God of War first released, and the Last of Us 2 teasers making us desire more and that is whilst we know that there is every chance that Death Stranding will surpass them both, a Kojima special that does not ill to the other two titles, but we know that Sony is about to up the game for gamers a fair bit and that is merely the top of the 2018 iceberg.We have no idea what we will see in 7 weeks at the E3 2018.

That whilst Windows central ‘treats’ us to: “Ever since the Xbox One launched in 2013, Microsoft has revealed clothing items and other merchandise which were either E3 exclusives, competition rewards, or simply gifts for employees. Luckily, it seems like that’s about to change because a merchandise store is coming soon“, perhaps with a lack of exclusive games that is all they can offer?

Even as Bethesda has been giving us heaps of amazing options, the bulk of the gamer’s desires are set to Elder Scrolls 6 and an optional Fallout 5, and/or Fallout 4b. Bethesda is like Monica Studios and for the longest time they have delivered, even today Skyrim is still played, 6.5 year later, that is the trademark of the truly great and satisfying game and God of War 4 is a welcome addition. It is behind GTA5 the highest Metacritic rating ever and the people of Santa Monica Studio have all the rights, the reason and the ability to feel pride, be proud and enjoy the reverence they will receive for the rest of the year. In this they are sharing the warmth of reverence this year (optionally) with the makers of Spiderman for PS4, another exclusive title, which is now sold out on amazon. So the pre-orders of a game released in September 2018 are already sold out, so in that part Santa Monica Studios is just one player driving the Sony gaming force forward and the competitors have nothing even close to matching that.

Even as I am drawn to return to play God of War, I know that Santa Monica is likely to have a few interesting twists on their bow of confusion. So it will be essential to meet up with Morrighan, Crone of War. She can enlighten me to the opponents that Kratos may face. The Celts were always masters of the skull cleaver and I need to be alert and ready to whatever Santa Monica Studio will throw at me next. The life of a gamer, always trying to remain in synch with the game and with life to get the best results, only the truly great game makers allow us to do that.

When we consider the path that this game series has taken, the path seems obvious, but it is not, the upgrade and evolution of your weapon have options so it can enhance your strength or give power to the weaker side of you that in itself is also brilliant. If you are a range fighter of up close and personal, both have options to give you a much better chance of survival and in the end, you cannot really afford all the upgrades all the time, so choices must be made which makes the game even more challenging and rewarding when you get to the next point. That in itself is also a new victory for the series. The map reveals even more new sides, but I will steer away from that so you can experience that for yourself, making the impact even better.

In the end the God of War treated us to something special two years ago and now we are overwhelmed with what they have actually achieved, no small feat for any development studio, laurels well earned. Even if you are not into the hack and slash games, this game brings a new game, that overwhelms nearly all your senses that alone will be worth buying it for.

That is the curveball, the delivery of something special and again Santa Monica Studio surpassed our expectations, an art that politicians have been lacking for decades, perhaps they should actively listen to Kratos, Ares and Morrighan, nothing less will do at present.

There is one part that politicians can take away from all this. It is not the expected that makes you shine, it is the ability to exceed our expectations that truly matter, isn’t it funny that the one article that they looked down on for three decades (video games) have been able to deliver just that? I see it as the combination of art and imagination and God of War got it right on all counts.

 

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