In exactly a week, we finally get to see if the new God of War game is worth its place in the beloved franchise. However, it does seem that critics have overwhelmingly lauded the game for its new direction.
While the latest instalment does mix up a lot of elements we’ve come to love from the series, one of the biggest changes is the exclusion of his most famous weapon, the double-chained blades. Instead, bearded Kratos will now wield the Leviathan axe.
To be honest, the new axe does look fittingly awesome and, with the ability to recall the weapon (just like our favourite Norse hero, Thor), I’m sure Sony Santa Monica can be forgiven for leaving the iconic blade and chain weapon in the past. With that in mind, we made a list of some of our favourite weapons from the franchise’s past.
1. Barbarian Hammer – God of War II
From the moment you get your hands on this oversized spiked mallet, right after you pry it from the hands of the dead Barbarian King, you know it’s hammer time. You would be forgiven for thinking that this unassuming (and spiky) weapon of death might just be for squashing your foes and, while this is definitely the case, it also has the ability to summon cursed souls from the Underworld.
The hammer might be as slow as a turtle trudging through molasses, but it packs one heck of a punch and allows you to knock over a group of enemies with one blow. Hence, it’s quite handy for crowd control situations. It’s so powerful, in fact, that it quickly became many God of War II player’s go-to weapon of choice.
2. Nemean Cestus – God of War III
First acquired after beating down one of the strongest demi-gods in the Greek pantheon Hercules, the Nemean Cestus is all about raw brute strength. Hercules is said to have received the gauntlets after slaying the deadly Nemean Lion as part of his 12 Labours.
This large pair of metal gauntlets, think of them as metal boxing gloves, each resembles the head of a snarling lion. When equipped, the Nemean Cestus enhances the wielder’s strength allowing Kratos to easily overcome (or break) even the largest of foes. While these snarling gauntlets might be deadly close-up, they also afford Kratos the ability to attack from a medium distance as the lion heads are attached to chains which allow them to be slung towards Kratos’ enemies. As one would expect from lion shaped gauntlets, each hit from the Nemean Cestus is followed by a lion’s roar/growl.
3. Gauntlet of Zeus – God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Another gauntlet on the list, this time one worn by the head honcho of Olympus, Zeus, the Gauntlet of Zeus is just what the name implies. It’s a large lightning-powered magical gauntlet which Kratos could use to smash his enemies (or fry them). The gauntlet, while mostly used for getting up close and personal with your enemies, could be powered up for a devastating lightning attack.
When switching from the Blades of Chaos (we’ll get to those later) to the Gauntlet of Zeus while in mid-air, combo time would slow down and allowed the player to easily charge attacks. While the gauntlet was powerful enough to break through solid stone, iron and even immortals, there is nothing as satisfying as smashing a giant minotaur in the face with it.
4. Claws of Hades – God of War III
After defeating Hades (you know good old Zeus’ brother who prefers wearing darker tones and having the dead as companions), Kratos finally gets hold of the Claws of Hades (and no these aren’t literally his claws). Consisting of a set of spiked chains with two hooks at the end that glow menacingly purple, Hades was able to pull out the souls of his enemies from their physical bodies. As the claws absorbed more unfortunate souls, its speed and attack power increased, making it very important to keep hitting enemies as much as possible.
As you can probably guess, the claws gave Kratos the ability to summon undead souls to aid him, similar to the Barbarian hammer. Kratos was also able to use the claws to dodge incoming attacks by embedding them into the ground and pulling himself towards them. With each attack, the voices of the souls that had been absorbed by the claws could be heard.
The one size fits all saying seems to be true for most of the weapons that the Greek gods wielded as both the Gauntlets of Zeus and the Claws of Hades shrunk down to a more manageable size once Kratos got his hands on them.
5. Blade of Olympus – God of War: Ghost of Sparta, God of War II and God of War III
This mythical blade forged by the god of lighting himself, using both the heavens and the Earth during the end of the war between the gods and the Titans, is one of the most powerful weapons available to Kratos.
The weapon possessed the power to kill the gods themselves and was used by a very (very) angry Kratos to kill, among others, both Zeus and Gaia. And finally, himself (well at least that’s what we thought until God of War was announced).
The large golden weapon pulsed with power and, being a weapon forged by the mightiest god in Olympus, it could unleash a powerful blast of godly might. In the end, the Blade of Olympus was the only weapon with which Kratos could finally defeat Zeus and thereby the Pantheon of Greek gods he despised so much.
6. Blade of Artemis – God of War, God of War: Betrayal and God of War: Ascension
Another purple glowing weapon, the Blade of Artemis was used by the goddess it was named after to slay one of the mighty Titans. Unlike some of the other weapons on the list, Kratos didn’t have to kill anyone in order to acquire it but was rather given the weapon by Artemis in order to defeat Aries.
The blade could penetrate armour easily wounding the wearer. This naturally does come in handy when facing off against a heavily armoured god like Aries. Unlike most of Kratos’ other weapons, the Blade of Artemis changed its shape and colour (indicating its level) as it was upgraded by the player. It is similar to the Blades of Athena, another weapon that was “gifted” to him by a goddess.
It seems the Greek ladies just couldn’t stop giving Kratos weapons.
7. Blades of Chaos – God of War, God of War: Chains of Olympus and God of War: Ascension
The first ever chained weapons to be wielded by Kratos, the Blades of Chaos has a special place in my heart. I mean these blades are joined by chains to the wearer giving him the power to pull off some really stylish combos. Why wouldn’t these be awesome?
The blades were forged within the depths of Hades by the god of war, Aries. He had made the blades for someone that would prove themselves worthy to serve him. Imbued with fire, the blades would ignite with every attack and, thanks to the long chains they were bound to, they could be used to attack over long distances.
Basically, this was the weapon that made me and many fans of the series fall in love with the game’s combat. While the blades do look awesome, they have a tragic backstory. Although they have slain many mythical beasts and creatures, Kratos also unknowingly used them to kill his own wife, Lysandra, and his daughter, Calliope, while enraged by Aries. This, of course, royally pissed of Kratos who, would eventually kill Aries and become the god of war himself. After Aries eventually removed the blades from Kratos and after the god’s fall, the weapons were never seen again.
The Blades of Athena would later replace the Blades of Chaos after their disappearance.