While the "God Of War" series had the bones of a compelling story, it hasn't always delivered due, in large part, to its lead anti-hero. Kratos hasn't been much more than an angry, muscle-bound spartan always looking for revenge on someone. However, thanks to the work at Sony Santa Monica, the newest entry delivers both a grounded, compelling narrative and a complex, but still somewhat angry, Kratos.

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

'We are gods boy!'

As mentioned, the biggest part of making this work was making Kratos a much deeper, morally complex character.

Previous entries in the series hadn't done much more with Kratos other than give him more power and change the target of his revenge. This time around, though, Kratos is a much older, wearier character because of everything he had gone through during his time in Greece. That is compounded with a fish out of water element, not just with the shift to Norse mythology, but with Kratos having to be a father to his son, Atreus.

That said, there are several points where the angry Spartan does re-emerge, but never without reason. Whether it be a threat to his son or to their very personal journey, it is impossible for Kratos to keep his rage buried. This also puts him at odds, throughout the story, with Atreus whom Kratos doesn't have the best relationship with.

He doesn't know how to be a father, and his reluctance to share his past with Atreus just makes things more difficult. However, his reluctance feels like it comes more from shame as opposed to fear. Kratos is able to look back on his life and is ashamed of what he was, which would explain his hesitancy in telling Atreus about his true nature.

It's a Long Road Ahead

The other half of this equation is the story and supporting cast, around the father and son pair, which certainly delivers. The journey of Kratos and Atreus is born out of love, not revenge, for the recently deceased spouse and mother to the pair. She asks for the two to burn her and spread her ashes from the highest peak in the nine realms, forcing the two to leave the safety of their home and venture further into the world of Norse gods, legends, and monsters.

It also puts the pair in the position of having to learn what it means to be father and son for the first real time.

The cast of characters they encounter play further into the story, from a stranger clearly born of Asgard, dwarf brothers at odds, a mysterious witch, and the head of the smartest man alive. While it is an eclectic collection, no one ever feels like a caricature. Everyone acts and speaks the way someone would naturally in their positions throughout the story, including Kratos and Atreus. This helps to give the story, and the world, a more believable and grounded feel compared to previous games.

Everything above is a testament to Cory Balrog and the team at Sony Santa Monica who saw a chance to breath new life into one of Playstation's tentpole franchises. They took a two-dimensional character with a blank slate and crafted a wonderful story about family, self-acceptance, and the trust that takes.