We are mere hours away from the next entry in the God of War franchise – a coming home of sorts for the tragic and brutal tale of Kratos. With his young son at his side, he must finally learn to harness the rage within that has caused him such grief over the years, lest the fruit of his loins grow up to be just as ruthless and cold-blooded as he.
Over the years, we’ve grown accustomed, even desensitized to Kratos’ malice: his single-minded mission of revenge fuelling his every action. It’s a defining trait of his character, whether he’s ripping the limbs off pleading Gods, or showing the audacity to raise hands at lovable old Shovel Knight. His motives may be reasonable on face value (tricked into murdering your family and becoming eternally covered in their ashes would make anyone cranky), but it doesn’t excuse the fact that Kratos is, ultimately, one of the biggest Jerky McJerkfaces in gaming.
What follows is a list of some of his most egregious moments of douchebaggery, and needless to say, violence and spoilers are abundant. A lot of spoiled days too, to be frank.
We start with one of his lesser evils, one that in hindsight almost deserves a mulligan. The Athenian soldier put to his gruesome death was a means to an end, but the end he met was still pretty mean. Occurring in the first God of War game (back when Kratos was filled with boyish charm and optimism), this poor fellow just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, trapped in a cage in Poseidon’s corridor. He begs to be freed so that they may return to Athens, but without a moment’s hesitation, Kratos decides that he would look a lot better if he was burnt to a crisp.
In fairness, Kratos needs the sacrifice to be completed in order to progress, but he isn’t the slightest bit apologetic, shoving the cage towards its final fiery destination while the soldier cries out for mercy. To make matters worse, the actor who plays this soldier is none other than Rob Paulsen, aka the voice of your freakin’ childhood. How do you feel as you watch Yakko Warner go up in flames? Knowing that you cost the lives of not one, but two Ninja Turtles? You killed Gusto Gummi, you bastard – show some regret!!