"God Of War." Can anyone think of another title more emblematic of Sony's golden age? This venerable franchise began its life on the PlayStation 2 and rode the waves of critical acclaim for half a decade. The most recent proper installment, "God of War: Ascension," received the lowest scores of any official "God of War" release. The series has laid dormant since then, clinging on to name recognition with re-releases and remastered editions. This changed at E3 2016, where Sony shocked gamers around the globe with the announcement of a new "God of War" title on the PlayStation 4. It has now been two years and we are at the doorsteps of returning to our favorite deicide-loving monster.

If the pre-release critical reception is anything to go by, Santa Monica Studios has not failed to deliver.

Gushing praise

There seems to be no question in anyone's minds. This is a true return to form for the franchise. Even more than that, many Reviews are going as far as to claim that this is the best title on the PlayStation 4. There are constant references being made to the game's satisfying combat system. A review from DualShockers describes the combat as "fast, complex, addictive, and exhilarating." At the same time, it would not be difficult to use the same phrase to describe the older "God of War" titles as well. It remains to be seen how much of it will just be the same as the previous games, and how much is going to be innovative and new.

Then again, satisfying combat in a "God of War" game is more or less to be expected.

Another interesting topic in many of the reviews concerns the new emphasis on storytelling. Looking back on the E3 announcement for "God of War," there were a lot of questions surrounding how Kratos' son, Atreus, was going to fit into the narrative. "God of War" has been mostly a story centralized around vengeance and murder in the past.

But many reviewers are still complimenting the writing as being some of the best in the series, if not some of the best in gaming.

A critical eye

Of course, one should always remember that nothing is perfect, and this game is no exception. The lowest of all the review scores on Metacritic was still a respectable 80. Regardless, there are still criticisms that should be acknowledged. The most prominent issue seemed to involve Atreus as a character. This was a problem cited by many of the reviews with lower scores, so it may be an issue of perspective. Some publications were also mentioning minor flaws, such as repetitive bosses and the homogenized, generic, AAA game design. It will be interesting to see if these are just petty nitpicks or if they will end up being insurmountable shortcomings.

We are currently one week away from the public release of "God of War," where we will truly find out whether it will live up to its legacy of peerless, award-winning quality. It has unequivocally left a strong impression on everybody that has gotten their hands on it so far, which is a good sign. If nothing else, it should definitely be a game to keep an eye out for if you already own a PlayStation 4.