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God Of War Needs To Tackle Chinese Mythology Next

God Of War Needs To Tackle Chinese Mythology Next
Sony Santa Monica | Ubisoft

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

24th Feb 2022 14:59

We know it's a tenuous link between two fantasy franchises, but winter is coming. A cold wind is blowing in, as God of War Ragnarok is set to continue Kratos and Atreus' trudge through the snow and round off the series' Norse chapter in style. Gamers have been warned there won't be a third game in this realm, meaning it’s anyone's guess how/if God of War will continue.

When the curtain fell on God of War III in 2010, it seemed ridiculous we'd see Kratos again. Ignoring the various prequels and revamps, the Ghost of Sparta had largely shuffled off to die quietly. Then came 2018's soft reboot, which not only took Kratos into a new mythology, but a whole new era of himself.

In a brilliant irony of history repeating itself, most have accepted that Ragnarok won't be the end of the story. We're hoping for a continuation that's equally as brilliant as what Cory Barlog did with Kratos' Norse jaunt, and if this is the case, we'll need new mythology to explore. 

Could God Of War Head To China Next?

Adult Atreus God of War
Artstation Rodrigo Idalino

Remembering that Ragnarok isn't even out yet, it's too early for those at the top to start officially talking about where we head next. Still, this hasn't stopped gamers from throwing around their own fanciful ideas for a new chapter. Having already ticked off Greek and Norse mythology, a trip to China would be something different.

It's unclear whether Kratos will scrape through this one alive, with various theories suggesting he could finally kick the bucket, or maybe, ascend to take over from Tyr as the Norse God of War. There's also Atreus' complicated legacy as Loki that will become a major talking point of Ragnarok.

Whatever happens, most players suggest Atreus should step up for some sort of continuation. As you can see from Rodrigo Idalino's Artstation fan project, it's a strong look. We'd once have scoffed at the idea of Kratos not being at the centre of the series, but given Arteus' growing popularity, it's one we're warming to.

Accepting Atreus as the new lead of the franchise, another reset similar to 2018 makes perfect sense. There are sure to be champions of Egyptian mythology, but remembering that Assassin's Creed already did this with Origins, we'd recommend Sony Santa Monica tries to distance itself from the comparisons already been made between the two hack-and-slash epics. 

It's An Untapped Period Of History

Sony Santa Monica | Sucker Punch Productions

There are some games set in China out there in the market, but when it comes to mythology, only a handful have tackled the expansive lore there is. Japanese mythology would be another popular choice, however, remember that (yet again) someone got there first in the form of Ghost of Tsushima

For starters, there's already a Chinese God of War in the form of Guan Yu. Not actually a mythical god like the original trilogy's Ares or Ragnarok's Tyr, Guan Yu was a brilliant military tactician that served under the warlord Liu Bei and was alive during the Han Dynasty. It would be a nice twist on the source material, while there are literally hundreds of other mythological stories to pad around this. 

Elsewhere, the overarching deity known as Yudi is the Jade Emperor that rules overall. Picture the scene where Atreus goes against the Jade Emperor for a multi-game arc like Kratos vs Zeus and Kratos vs Odin. The twelve animals of the Zodiac could also be an aspect to explore, with various gods being able to transform into animals and Atreus ticking them off as boss battles being a unique idea. 

In terms of other boss battles, there are the likes of Pangu responsible for separating yin and yang, Yanwang ruling the underworld, and Hǎishén the sea god. Like any mythology, there's more than enough backstory to fill a whole franchise of games. As so many ideas default back to Egyptian or Greek mythology, SSM can make its mark on Chinese mythology. 

Is Anyone Else Doing This?

While players should be waving their hard-earned cash in Sony Santa Monica's face already, it's true that others are already tackling something similar under their own steam. Joyfun Co. Limited's Faith of Danschant: Hereafter is already being dubbed God of War meets Crouching Tiger - which sounds like the jumping-off point for an Atreus game in Chinese mythology. 

Elsewhere, Game Science is working on Black Myth: Wukong - based on the 16th Century book, Journey to the West. It's clear developers are getting savvy to the untapped potential of this genre, and we're excited to see where it goes next. Given SSM's impressive history in crafting an ever-growing God of War universe, just imagine what it could do with Chinese mythology. 

Unfortunately, the God of War team has backed itself into something of a corner with the shock revelation we won't be getting a Norse trilogy. Wild theories have suggested a time travel twist where Kratos and Atreus go back to Ancient Greece to best the God of Olympus all over again, however, a new mythology sounds like a better sell.

God of War Ragnarok looks on track to be one of 2022's biggest games, and possibly give Elden Ring a run for its money. In some awful reality that Ragnarok doesn't live up to immense hype, this really could be time to close the book on God of War. With no one buying that, let's look ahead at where we can go next and whether Atreus could draw back his bow or pick up a double-edged Jian sword.