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[PATV] Monday, August 1, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 1, Ep. 5: No Redeeming Value

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited July 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
image[PATV] Monday, August 1, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 1, Ep. 5: No Redeeming Value

This week, we discuss the God of War trilogy's triumphs and failings in storytelling.

Read the full story here

Dog on


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    lordshelllordshell Registered User regular
    Hmm . . . you have some good points. However, despite your valid arguments, I believe that you may have missed an element of the storyline. To me, the later games were about removing mankind from beneath the heels of the gods. I might be reading more into this than actually was intended but that's what I got from it. It wasn't that Kratos was an admirable character but that he sought the freedom to choose, free from 'superior beings'. What we were supposed to admire was his tenacity to make his own decisions--and own mistakes. Greek tragedies never talked about freedom from the gods--or fate. To them, we were all merely puppets, dancing to the whims of the gods.

    Anyway, that's my two cents on it.

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    MoggMogg Registered User regular
    Sorry, but I see significantly more to the 2nd and 3rd games than you showcase here. You missed that Kratos learns Zeus manipulated his "destiny" to kill Ares and take his place, which makes him really pissed - besides the fact he never could let go of his burning anger inside of himself as to how he was made to kill his wife and child and that the gods didn't care. In effect his journey takes him on a path of vengence and freedom. The other Gods and Goddesses barred his path, or used him, and thus became casualties because of their actions.
    A person pushed beyond their limits becomes an entire different person, even sadistic, self loathing and uncaring taking it out on anyone and anything around them. This is a really good example from the entire series of God Of War.

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    SinrusSinrus Registered User regular
    There is a problem with the whole killing gods thing in that it makes Kratos unrelatable. As previously stated, GoW 1 ends with Kratos a broken man brought down by his own guilt. In the following games, he goes around killing the Pantheon in order to get revenge. Even if it is for the freedom of humanity, there is still nothing to be learned there. He becomes an unstoppable force, and in doing so, cannot be related to. Simply put, he ceases to be a character. He isn't able to stop himself when he enters his own psyche and hears words of forgiveness and hope. He is just violence.

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    SinrusSinrus Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Oops, did a double post

    Sinrus on
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    MisterSelmoMisterSelmo Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    @Mogg, @lordshell: There is a word to describe people who use blind rage and indiscriminate murder to achieve their goals in life: Evil. Kratos is pure, unadulterated evil. Even after learning the truth of his life and feeling so much pain, he becomes just as bad as those who he once hated. Worse, in fact. He makes them look like harmless little schoolgirls. Beside all of the incongruities in strength and power (how does a lower life form destroy its own creator and sustainer) you still have the looming question: why? Why kill everyone in the entire plot if it won't even bring you one shred of peace? What is the motivation? What's the reason? So, Kratos is now not only evil but also completely insane. It's like playing a game where you are Hitler.

    MisterSelmo on
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    VezRothVezRoth Registered User regular
    Old this may be, I'm going to slip in here and comment; though I never played a GoW game, (I was an xbox user so I missed out on this series) I like your explanation of how they work. And I really like the show itself. I've been dropping by every now and then to see an episode and really like the sneak peek into games and games development.

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    Trivial_PunkTrivial_Punk Registered User regular
    If video game is a primarily interactive medium, then I'd say the final moments got their point across quite handily: blind violence and anger will destroy the world. It's only through acting on forgiveness that having it inside you will mean anything.

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    Katamari23Katamari23 Registered User regular
    100% agree with all of this. Being a hardcore RPG gamer, I *should* have loved GoW, but to me it was all style and no substance. I couldn't relate to Kratos-The-Killing-Machine at all and because of that, I didn't care about anything that happened to him. The game should have been called "Kratos Smash", because that's pretty much all there is to him as a character. GoW did a lot of things well but IMO it gets more hype than it deserves. This video is totally spot on!

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    TheHentaiChristTheHentaiChrist Registered User regular
    To say that "Blind Violence will destroy the world" is the take-away lesson here is really a pretty weak-sauce excuse for a game that, really, just plain didn't follow through. Sure, I guess you could say that 'Blind violence will destroy the world'. But, is that really any less of a cheesy cop-out?

    Why not say, 'remember to have your pets spayed or neutered'? It's really about as meaningful. We all, and by we I mean human beings fit to live in and amongst society, already know that generally violence tends to be a bad thing, especially when it's without valid purpose. The game doesn't express it in a way that's particularly meaningful or that would even imply that it should be considered meaningful and it doesn't explore the subject matter. It just sort of tags it on at the end, like, 'Oh, hey before you go, here's your moral. I hope you enjoyed God of War III'

    Most importantly, if the game is trying to teach everyone a lesson about the ills wrought by violence without philosophy, why is the game all violence and no philosophy?

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    HLgamerHLgamer Registered User regular
    I do not play games for the story, I read books and watch videos for that, but story line can draw me in at the beginging of a game. Good encompassing sotyline through the frist game in any series is the basis from whatyou can expand on into additonal games and can add to the thrill of the game, but for the most part, I game to get away from reality and life saga. Gaming is a release for frustrations, a shot of meaningless accomplishment and a place to take out aggressions without putting real people in the way. It is nice when a second game in a series comes out and embraces a continuity of flow to some extent, but less important than the flashies and achievements and rewards or layers of accomplishment. Face it, game three in the series is the let's make a few last minute profits off the fan base before they move on to another game, stepped up with more flash, more violence and less purpose, great violence and littel purpose, get back to real life game, time to find a new game this series is dead and boring now. The gaming never takes away the real life stuff you have to deal with when you step away, but does help defuse stress so you killed a game god instead of that guy who took yoru parking space and now you can talk to the real person with a civil tongue and maybe actually empathise with what they were going through that brought them to steal yoru parking space. How many people hold on that tight to the story line in a game? Do you know how many times WOW stepped on thier own storyline? Why is it NPC characters of yoru race can join the enemy ranks, but you as a player can not? What happens if we don't agree withthe storyline and want to turn around and kill the person that summoned us, or turn off the road and burn this building down and go a different route? I guess if we disagree withthestory line for our character we just ignore it so we can stay within the forward moving parameters that are permitted to play without thinking the developers are idiots for not making the options I want to take available. :-)
    I don't agree withthe moral "Blind violence will destroy the world" although an unrealistic superhero idiot can destroy a fantasy world. Besides the wrold will be destroyed by quiet deception in the clothing of love and hush puppies, come and find peace sleeping in the field of poppies until you become one with the earth.

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    Trivial_PunkTrivial_Punk Registered User regular
    Excellent analysis, I would add one point, though. How would it change what the end of the third game meant if, when you switch to first-person perspective, you chose to turn the console off? No, seriously.

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    themissinglintthemissinglint Registered User new member
    edited September 2013

    themissinglint on
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    DRemielDRemiel Registered User new member
    I didn't like GoW storytelling at all. It was practically non existent. I came about half way through GoW 1 and at that point I still had no idea what was going on. Sure, I could tell what a jerk Kratos was but that's it. It's just a bunch of characterization without a background to put it in or a good story. Sure, it was fun to play and it looked great. But from the storytelling perspective it was horrible. A friend asked me what it was about and I summarized: "Kratos goes around killing stuff to get stuff to be able to kill a god. Because another god told him to do so.". And that's it, nothing more to tell. If we compare storytelling of GoW to, say, Final Fantasy 7...well...we can't really compare it because it's like comparing a plastic shiny toy car to the real thing.

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