Kratos is back and beardlier than ever in the new God of War

God of War is back — and it was the opener for Sony’s E3 press conference tonight, setting the pace for the roster of titles to come. Opening the scene with a father and son on the start of a hunting trip, a significantly older Kratos teaches the boy how to track animals. At one point when he scares off a deer with an overeager shot, Kratos angrily snatches the bow from the kid. “Do not be sorry, be better,” he urges the child with significant disappointment in his voice.

Soon after the game erupts into a fight against actual enemies, with Kratos punching and smashing them in typical God of War frenetic fashion. As they face the boss,  a giant troll that takes up the entire screen, the two team up to put him down. In the last part of the encounter, they show the Spartan Rage mechanic returning, where Kratos gains super strength and literally tears the troll apart.

After vanquishing their foe, they continue to track down and ultimately kill the elk Kratos’s son had injured earlier. Kratos turns to the boy and the camera pivots out, showing a snow-covered Nordic world not too dissimilar to the gorgeous vistas Skyrim offered players years ago:  “Now,” he says, “you are ready for a new beginning.”

This is a significant line, indicating both perhaps Kratos’s end as a protagonist with the boy his successor as well as the series itself moving to frostier fjords rather than the Greek mythology it spent titles prior enmeshed in.