Kratos, the blade wielding Spartan star of the God of War games with more grudges than melanin, is back. Or at least someone like him. When Kratos' journey ended in 2010's God of War III, he had successfully slaughtered every Greek myth short of Narcissus, satisfying a thirst for revenge against the gods who wronged him. A new Kratos was revealed Monday as the ice-breaker to Sony's stacked E3 keynote. This seemingly unrelated Kratos lives in the Norse realm, surrounded by frost and ice trolls and growing the appropriate beard. In the demo, we see this Kratos teach his son, who has terrible aim, how to hunt. If his path is at all similar to his Greek brother's, this kid will be hanging with Uncle Ben real dang soon.
Setting and accessorizing aren't the only major changes to this new God of War, currently titled God of War. The first in the series designed for the PlayStation 4, the game on display seems to have changed with the times. The original God of Wars usually had a fixed camera on set pieces and Harryhausen-sized monsters, while this new one seems more flexible to roaming the frozen landscape. Even a scroll of text along the top soon after a troll brawl is reminiscent of Sony's Uncharted series, and when it materialized during the live demonstration the audience appeared to gasp from the comparison.
Sony didn't have any huge technical bombshells to reveal during their E3 keynote aside from a few VR samples. The keynote was a lot of meat and potatoes. In fact, it was just meat and potatoes, foregoing the usual processions of producers, directors and celebrity appearances to showing one game after another, scored by a live orchestra. Some were updates on previously established games, such as Horizon Zero Dawn and the agonizingly close Last Guardian, due in October. There were still a lot of surprises, such as a Spider-Man game made by Ratchet and Clank's developers Insomniac, the return of Crash Bandicoot, a zombie apocalypse biker adventure called Days Gone, an almost unrecognizable Resident Evil 7 that is full of decrepit eeriness and no trace of rocket launchers or Albert Wesker, and the first game from Hideo Kojima after his release from Konami, Death Stranding, its tense and surreal trailer suggesting it may have roots with PT/Silent Hills as both star actor Norman Reedus.
Still, nothing one satisfies an epic blood thirst quite like God of War. PlayStation owners should soon find themselves punching out Thor's perfect set of teeth and giving that jackass Loki a wedgie.