God of War is now out for PlayStation 4, and it’s incredible. This action game is beautiful, exciting, and touching, and I go into why in my review. If you have a PlayStation 4, you should play it.

But having been through the adventure myself, here are a few things that I think can help you. Below are five tips that will keep you strong and give you an edge as you journey through Sony’s blockbuster exclusive.

PRetty.

Above: Pretty.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Explore

God of War often makes it clear where to go in order to reach your next objective, but don’t just run through every room to the most obvious exit. Search for other paths, doors, and secrets areas. It has tons of alternate paths and optional chests that reward you with useful items like gold and crafting materials that you can use to buy and upgrade new armor.

Pay attention to your surroundings. If the quest marker is telling you to go down one road but another is next to it that you haven’t explored, see what’s over there first. Being tenacious about checking corner will reward you.

And this tip applies in a macro sense. The areas you have to go through to finish the story have a lot of extra paths and items, but you can also discover whole new areas filled with optional sidequests and generous rewards. You’ll come across a moment when the game world opens up. You’ll know it because Atreus will literally mention that you should go explore. He’s right! Don’t just always rush toward the next story quest.

It's not easy when your father is a rage-filled demigod.

Above: It’s not easy when your father is a rage-filled demigod.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Use Atreus’s bow often

Atreus has a bow that you can order him to fire by pushing the Square button. It doesn’t do a lot of damage at first, but this is a useful and powerful ability. Most enemies in the game have a Stun meter along with their Health. If you fill the Stun meter, you can grab them and kill them instantly (or, for tougher enemies, deal a lot of damage).

You fill Stun meters by attacking the opponent again and again, but Atreus’s arrows deal a lot of Stun damage as well. So they can help you stagger and then insta-kill a lot of enemies.

You can also upgrade Atreus’s bow attacks to increase their damage and have him reload arrows faster. Invest in these skills enough, and his arrows can deal some decent damage, and they’re great for attacking distant and flying enemies.

Basically, spam that Square button when you’re in combat. It’ll help.

God of War's menus.

Above: God of War’s menus.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Keep upgrading your equipment

The new God of War has a lot more RPG elements than the older games. Along with spending experience to unlock new skills, you can buy and upgrade armor from shops littered around the world. Armor impacts your stats — including damage and defense — more than anything else. Getting a new piece chest piece or belt can give you a major boost.

So make sure you keep your armor up. Visit those blacksmith stores frequently to see if they have new stock or if you can afford to upgrade your current gear.

Look! Kratos isn't yelling!

Above: Look! Kratos isn’t yelling!

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Those blue magic doors restore your health

You’ll eventually come across Mystic Gateways during your travels. These become fast-travel locations later in the game, but earlier on they don’t have much of an apparent use.

But touching one does restore all of your health. This can be a huge help, as health-restoring items can sometimes be hard to come by. So, if you walk by one of those magical blue doors and you’re hurt, give it a quick touch.

Kratos being stern again!

Above: There’s Kratos being stern again!

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Listen to Atreus

Atreus does more than shoot arrows. He’s a bit of a chatter bug. Much of this dialogue helps move the story forward or develop his relationship with Kratos, but he’ll also point out objects of interest. If Atreus tells you to look at something, go find where he’s standing and look around. You’ll find something useful.


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