God of War

How is this game as a starting point in comparison to Uncharted 4?

I’m planning on playing the latest God of War because I have lately fallen in love with the PlayStation exclusive titles that I paid little attention to over the PS4 generation, and have suddenly grown interested in Norse mythology.

Someday, I would love to play the full God of War series, perhaps if I picked up a PS3, but in the meantime, I don’t really have much interest in any God of War games except the most recent one. I don’t love Greek mythology and the older GoW games just don’t really appeal to me. I have been said that I can go into this new game totally blind, or with just a YouTube recap of the original games.

The thing is, the same could be said about Uncharted 4. Uncharted 4’s story is perfectly standalone. All the characters are introduced properly, and on paper, there is hardly anything you will feel you missed out on. When previous adventures are briefly described, it’s obvious what you missed, yet you don’t feel like you are losing out on anything from the current experience. At least, on the surface.

That being said, I would argue that most of the value of Uncharted 4 comes from having played the previous games.

The Uncharted games tell wonderful stories, yet arguably their best narrative element is the character development. While Uncharted 4 is a cute story about long-lost brothers and a pirate quest, the true beauty of the game appears in seeing beloved characters who had been followed by players for years, now older. A moment that I remember distinctly is when exploring with Sam, Nate drops down from a ledge with a grunt, and makes a comment about how these falls hurt more than they used to, before Sam chuckles in agreement. This moment is super subtle, yet they line the entire path of the game’s story, and playing Uncharted 4 without playing the original trilogy would certainly not have that same impact.

I have heard a number of responses to the question of how God of War stacks up as a standalone game rather than a continuation of a long-running series, varying from the game being a perfect fresh start, to making little sense without previous titles. Most commonly, I have been told that the game is a good fresh start, yet not one without ties to previous God of War stories.

To get to the point:

Are God of War’s callbacks standalone within the context of the game as a whole (the broader narrative doesn’t rely on them, and they are limited to their own moments)?

OR

Are God of War’s callbacks to the earlier games engrained in the overall experience of the game, akin to Uncharted 4, in that the game can be enjoyed on a surface level, but most if not all of the depth and meaning is dependent on these previous stories and developments?

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, avoid as many spoilers as possible. I’d like to know as little about God of War (2018) as possible, including gameplay and narrative elements, before jumping in. I basically want to go into it blind.

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