It’s been a long time since I played a game quite so obviously and unashamedly console as God of War. It’s like a laundry list of all of the hottest console trends and design patterns both past and present: third-person, over-the-shoulder camera, open world, brawler combat, squeezing through narrow passageways that conceal loading screens, quicktime events that try and preserve the illusion that this is supposed to be an interactive medium while you’re watching a lengthy cutscene, the comedy ledges that somebody (who?) has gone around marking with white paint to indicate that they’re climbable — I could go on for quite some time here before I got to the end of it. I’d like to say that God of War surprised me in some way by defying its own nature and providing some unexpectedly outside-the-box gameplay features to liven up mechanics that have already been done to death by all of the other trend-chasers, but it really doesn’t. It’s as safe and conventional as they come, doing almost nothing that I haven’t already seen a hundred times in other games.