Kratos has come a long way in this new God of War. Cory Barlog evolved both the character and the game in a lot of meaningful ways, but there’s one change that I have yet to adapt to. You see, every time I open a gate or a door, I mash the circle button.
No, it’s not required. Kratos will lift that gate up just fine. Those stone doors will part without problem. But a long history of playing God of War games where mashing circle (or another button) is required to open just about every door and gate means that even though Kratos has evolved, I have not.
I blame it partially on the similar animations to the original games. When grabbing that lower part of a heavy metal gate or wedging his fingers in between the cracks of a stone door, he appears to struggle for some moments before hurling those apertures open. I’m conditioned to assist with struggle. I’m not sure if it’s in earnest of getting the ingress opened more quickly, or a simple desire not to fail in breaching whatever port Kratos is struggling with, but I always mash circle.
I’m in the post-game now, and the compulsion has begun to fade, but to be fair, there aren’t all that many doors left. Once Kratos throws a gate open, barring some sort of puzzle design that facilitates its closing again, it will remain sundered. I don’t have many chances left to break this drive.
It’s the one thing I couldn’t let go of, and a testament to just how much this God of War feels like past games. If it felt completely different, why would I feel the urge to open doors and gates in the same way I have been since 2005? Maybe when I start a game on “Give me God of War” difficulty, I will be over this need, but I doubt it. More than a jump button, more than a fixed camera, more than any of the changes and evolutions that Cory Barlog and the team at Sony Santa Monica expertly crafted, mashing circle is more deeply ingrained as a part of my own God of War history than I thought.
The prompt may not be present. There may be no actual need to do it. But–as it was in Kratos’s Greek era adventures–gates and doors will always be met with a thumb workout as I wildly mash circle to help the Ghost of Sparta get them open.