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10 Games Like God of War If You’re Looking for Something Similar

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10 Games Like God of War If You’re Looking for Something Similar

Here are a bunch of games like God of War if you’re looking for something similar

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image Source: Ninja Theory

One of 2017’s standouts, developer Ninja Theory’s Hellblade is an action-adventure title in which a young female warrior who struggles with mental illness battles to overcome her inner demons. Senua is actually Pictish (ancient Scottish), but the game’s story takes place in Hel — a realm of Norse mythology, and there are plenty of interesting references to Gods and warriors that will satiate gamers looking for a fix of Viking culture. That being said, this is a much darker fantasy tale than Kratos and Atreus’ comparatively vibrant jaunt through the nine realms of Norse Mythology.

With respect to gameplay, Hellblade is a third person hack-and-slash affair in the same vein as God of War. Combat here, though, is much more weighted, and enemy encounters occur less frequently.

If you’re looking for a game that takes place in the same mythology and plays in a relatively similar fashion, Hellblade is probably as close as you’ll get. There’s a sequel on the way, too, that looks even grander.

Heavenly Sword

Games like God of War

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image Source: Ninja Theory

Long before Hellblade, Heavenly Sword was Ninja Theory’s showpiece PS3 title, and while it might be old hat now, there are so many reasons to go back and play this 2009 gem. Fans of the earlier games in the God of War series, in particular, will appreciate the hack-and-slash style action gameplay that takes more than a little inspiration from Kratos’ original trilogy. The light chain attacks can be switched out for heavy sword attacks on the fly, and Heavenly Sword frequently has you slashing apart waves of dozen-or-more enemies in a similar fashion to God of War.

The story follows a young warrior called Nariko as she seeks to vanquish an oppressive force from her homeland, using a mystical sword to defeat its ranks.  The overall aesthetic of its locations and characters has an ethereal quality to it similar to the Norse realms of the latest God of War title. And even though it’s comparatively dated to Sony Santa Monica’s latest PS4 tech showcase, you’ll be shocked at how superb Heavenly Sword still looks today, complete with motion capture facial technology that was way ahead of its time.

While it might not quite reach the same heights as God of War, Heavenly Sword is well worth dusting off your old hardware to experience.

The Last of Us

Image Source: Naughty Dog

The Last of Us is arguably developer Naughty Dog’s high water mark, and it’s a must-play title if you’re looking for a similar experience to God of War. Sure, the thematic settings are far removed from each other, but there are several obvious parallels with respect to both narrative and gameplay mechanics.

Indeed, it isn’t too difficult to spot the similarities between Kratos and Atreus’ relationship with Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us. We wouldn’t go so far as to say Sony Santa Monica copied that highly successful formula, but there was clear inspiration drawn from Naughty Dog’s seminal action game. The whole concept of having a young companion under your care and protection certainly makes for a compelling narrative that has the capacity to invoke emotion on a level that isn’t easy to achieve with a solo protagonist.

Beyond mere storytelling, however, the principle of a companion has altered the dynamic of God of War’s game design, with Atreus acting as an overwatch with his bow and arrow. He’s much more involved than Ellie was in The Last of Us, but you still have those brilliant gameplay moments in which she rescues Joel just at the last moment when he’s been overcome by enemies.

Elsewhere, The Last of Us’ large, explorable level design, crafting, and general platforming gameplay also feels like a lineage that’s been woven into God of War’s DNA. There’s now even a remade version of the game available for PS5 and PC with graphics that hit even more impressive heights than the original.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Games like God of War

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image Source: Naughty Dog

You can’t really speak of a comparison between God of War and Naughty Dog games without mentioning the Uncharted series, and the fourth numbered entry in the series actually feels as though it shares even stronger design similarities. In the same way, the Uncharted series moved from a linear, third-person cover shooter to a more expansive action game that incorporated new mechanics such as stealth action, God of War has refocused its gameplay and added new layers to its design.

You’ve also got all the back-and-forth banter during gameplay that the Uncharted series practically invented, which is something God of War leans on heavily to move its story along. The signature Uncharted boost-me-up-on-this-ledge platforming has also made its way to God of War. And though Kratos has always had to solve basic puzzles throughout the series, the treasure maps and the manner in which the game encourages you to check Atreus’ diary entries will be familiar to anyone that has played Uncharted.

Ultimately, God of War’s reinvented game design feels closely tied to both of Naughty Dog’s flagpole franchises, and if you like the look of Kratos and Atreus’ adventure, you’ll no doubt love the cinematic action of Uncharted 4.

For Honor

Image Source: Ubisoft

If it’s the thrill of hacking enemies to pieces in furious melee combat you’re after, For Honor should fit the bill. This fantasy/medieval fighting game from Ubisoft throws Vikings, Samurai, and European knights together in epic duals that offer some terrific multiplayer gameplay. There are four classes to choose from within each faction, and thanks to a nuanced combat system, keeps the competitive gameplay exciting in the face of a short single-player campaign.

You won’t find much in the way of lore and narrative as you do in the latest God of War, but sometimes all you need is a sharp sword and some enemies to swipe at, right? Kratos would surely appreciate the carnage of For Honor.

Darksiders

Games like God of War

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image source: THQ Nordic

Vigil Games’ action-adventure title is a fantastical hack-and-slash RPG that shares plenty of crossover with the God of War franchise. For starters, its protagonist is War, the first Horseman of the Apocalypse. Unfortunately for him, he’s been blamed for starting a feud between Heaven and Hell. Caught in the middle, he’s forced to battle divine combatants on both sides to bring about order in the name of the Charred Council.

As a demigod, of sorts, War packs both a hefty punch and host of magical abilities that make combat feel empowering. Typical fights are played from a third-person perspective, and there are lots of weapons and upgrades to unlock as you work your way through the game. Boss battles in Darksiders are particularly exciting, with many of the enemies on a spectacularly enormous scale that’ll force you to think outside the box to take down.

Bayonetta

Another third-person action game, in which players control Bayonetta, a shape-shifting witch who awakens after a 500-year slumber with no memory of who she is. The narrative takes plenty of inspiration from Scandinavian mythology, with several characters named after Norse Gods. But Bayonetta’s story is much more on the quirky side than God of War. In fact, it does a wonderful job of balancing dark fantasy with everything from whimsical one-liners to downright raunchy scenes.

Using melee weapons, magic, and modern firearms, Bayonetta takes on angelic enemies in scintillating fast-paced combat. One of its most unique features is that players can not only dual-wield weapons but also use Bayonetta’s feet too! The eccentricity is typical of the game’s tone, but best of all, it makes for stacks of combo abilities that keep the game feeling fresh right until the end.

Bloodborne

Games like God of War

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image Source: FromSoftware

FromSoftware’s PS4 exclusive has been lauded as one of the console’s best, and it’s easy to see why. Bloodborne’s eerie Gothic setting is superbly designed, both with respect to its incredible detail and its well-constructed HUB design. Although seemingly light on narrative at first glance, there’s actually a detailed story to uncover pieced together with snippets of lore, if you know where to look.

Bloodborne’s combat places much less emphasis on defense than the Dark Souls games that preceded it. In tuning the design more toward dodging and attacking, Bloodborne has a faster, arcade-like feel to it that’s exciting to play, and it might appeal to you even if you aren’t typically into the attack/parry mechanism of Souls combat.

There’s no question that God of War has taken big inspiration from FromSoftware’s combat, and it’s level design too. In fact, director Cory Barlog has spoken of his appreciation of the game and its semi-open-world layout. 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Image Source: Square Enix

Crystal Dynamics’ sequel to its popular Tomb Raider reboot offers a similarly expansive semi-open world level design to God of War. The emphasis on exploration, platforming, and puzzle-solving across its snow-covered setting shares plenty of parallels. 

You’ll also find the same sort of role-playing mechanics woven into its combat, with Lara Croft able to learn new abilities via a skill tree. There are plenty of weapons to unlock and a there’s good balance between shooting, melee, and stealth combat. 

Players who enjoyed the exploration, upgrades, and action of God of War will likely also enjoy Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Lords of the Fallen

Games like God of War

Image Source: CI Games

Lords of the Fallen is an action-RPG in which players take control of a criminal protagonist called Harkyn who has been summoned from his jail cell to rid the world of an invasive legion of otherworldly creatures called the Rhogar. The narrative does feel a little derivative at times, but there’s so much fun to be had in its arcade-like combat, compelling enemy designs, and addictive loot system that you should definitely consider playing it as an alternative to God of War.

Its combat is fairly similar to God of War, with a host of awesome melee weapons to smash enemies apart, from enormous scythes to magical gauntlets. As you battle your way through impressive-looking enemies, you’ll traverse snowy peaks and crumbling castle ruins that do look pretty spectacular. There are many of the same systems you’d find in a Souls game here, but it’s a more accessible experience that might suit someone interested in a less brutally difficult experience.

Ghost of Tsushima

games like god of war if you're looking for something similar
Image Source: Sucker Punch Studios

If you’ve heard people suggest that Ghost of Tsushima is “just another open-world game,” don’t believe them. Sure, its design is certainly based on a popular blueprint, but there’s a finesse to execution that absolutely deserves special praise.

Few open-world games boast the same cinematic initiative as Ghost of Tsushima, from the minimalist HUD to the complete lack of waypoints. Fewer still have you reflect on story beats in hot springs to increase your health or compose poetry for cosmetics. It’s true that much of this turns out to be busy work by the game’s end, but there’s a magic of exploration in Ghost of Tsushima that’s truly breathtaking.

The combat is where the game really shines, though, and it’s here that Ghost of Tsushima really reminds of God of War. The swordplay is oh-so tactile, and the Akira Kurosawa-inspired showdowns never get old. It’s a third-person melee experience for the ages each and every time!

Ghost of Tsushima also boasts a brilliant co-operative multiplayer expansion called Legends. The new mode more or less came out of nowhere and added a wealth of new content to slice through, which makes the most of the game’s brilliant combat system with even tougher challenges than the single-player experience.

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