God of War 4

Time Played: No clue, because the PS4 won't show you how long you've played a game. (At least I can't find it anywhere. If you know how to find that info PLEASE let me know!) I do know that I played this game for about a solid week before school started in January (we're talking nearly breakfast to dinner here, people) and then played when I could once school started until I finished the game early-mid March. (I also play very completionist, so it generally takes me a little longer.) If I had to take a stab, I would say around at least 60 hours. ( The howlongtobeat website says it should take around 51 hours to finish God of War completionist.)

Aesthetics/Graphics: Ho-ly COW. Blew my mind. Stunning detail. Gorgeous art. An incredibly varied and complex world to explore.

Gameplay: Fantastic. It took me a hot minute to adjust to a new game's style and psychology, as I mostly play The Last of Us or the Assassin's Creed games. There was a pretty big learning curve, but once I started to get the hang of it, it was fantastic! In the beginning, I avoided a lot of the customization of gear, abilities, runic attacks, and enchantments because I was so overwhelmed trying to learn about them all at once. However, as the game progressed it became obvious I needed to start adapting, and as I learned piece by piece it became easier until it was almost second nature working with all the customizations. Even by the end, though, I felt I could still get better at utilising all the different weapon abilities and combos.

Story: Amazingly well-researched and well-crafted. As a gamer brand new to the God of War franchise, I was a little lost in the very beginning but was able to figure things out pretty quickly. Also, so many stories nested within the main storyline.

Language, Romance, Gore: A pretty large amount of language including a bunch of the f-word and even the c-word on occasion. No romance. Definitely gore.

Thoughts: I loved being engrossed by this game. The challenge level was always appropriate (it felt too tough at times, but those times generally saw the most growth in my skills in the game). The graphics were stunning and I loved getting to explore all over the world. They did a great job making a world that felt absolutely MASSIVE without it even having to actually be that huge. The new abilities you unlock along the way mean you can go back to the same places time and again and find something new every single time.

Was it worth the money?: Well, I either paid $268.91 for it or $0.00 for it. (It came as part of a PS4 bundle deal on Amazon.) I know right now it is selling for about $30 on Amazon. I think I would have gladly paid 40 for this game. Well worth it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A fantastic accidental obsession.