Season 17, Episode 02

I’m currently somewhere around 30 hours into God Of War. I’ve been playing it on and off since just a week after its release in November. Earlier this week, I felt like I hit a pretty crucial story point with, what seemed like a pretty crucial boss fight.

When things like that tend to happen, and this far into a game, it feels like maybe we’re about to hit our stride and start to focus on moving the story forward to an ending. God Of War had other plans. Here I am thinking that MAYBE I’m close to an ending here but then…THEN…the world opens up again. I go on this side quest thing and there is this gigantic area for me to explore.

Let me say again, 30 hours into a game and they just…opened it up more. Not only did they do that, they threw in a mechanic to change aspects of the new area. And when changing those aspects, they threw new puzzles at me. These puzzles, when solved, ADDED ANOTHER LAYER of this new massive area.

It’s like a gaming clown car or something. This game never stops going. I’d been in areas before that were quite large to explore but here I am again, what feels like late in the game (but maybe that’s because I spend so much time exploring everything), and they just…give you more.

I don’t know why that feels like some sort of novel concept. I can’t say that all games should do this, but given this and I think Elden Ring does the same sort of thing, it’s a wonder more don’t. I get it takes time and effort to make all of that, but it was amazing to see this area open up to me and my sudden realization that I could go explore it. As though I had conditioned myself to think it was all set dressing. It’s the background of where you are playing and while it’s massive, you only have a small space to explore.

God Of War devs said nope – if you build it then let the player explore it.

Now if only Ubisoft could build a new Splinter Cell for me to explore. It’s been 3,420 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, BBC radio drama, or VR exclusive) was released.

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