Kratos is a terrible character. He just is, it's ok to say, refreshing in fact to do so. I tried to pretend like he didn't for years, but I've had large problems with the character for over a decade now. He's angry, loud, always mad at something or someone, usually for not very good reasons. He is in nearly every since of the word a bully and on the whole, an utterly miserable person to have to control for countless games.
That's what makes the news out of Sony Santa Monica so exciting, theirs is a different Kratos. No longer angry just for the sake of being angry, no longer this hulking monster with no personality, indeed no humanity to him. This is a Kratos striving to be human again, striving to absolve himself of the demons of his past. In fact the games creative director mentioned a line that I think sums this up nicely. "We've already told the story of The Hulk. We want to tale the story of Banner now" Cory Barlog, told IGN.
That's such an incredibly exciting line to hear. The fact that even the series creators and designers seem to have noticed that something was just wrong with Kratos, makes me believe that real change can occur for him. Nothing makes me more hopeful then the addition of Kratos son.
The father/son dynamic is among the most powerful and tricky to understand in people. The ability for the son to represent a rebirth of sorts for Kratos, a new start for this man who has been through so much and surrounded by devastation. His son can reiginte, slowly but surely, the humanity deep within Kratos. Barlog had another excellent line about Kratos, his son, and the games narrative in general" Kratos is trying to teach his son how to be a god and his son is trying to teach Kratos how to be human again." That line practically sends chills down me when I hear it. The ability for the two to bond and grow together, not just Kratos teaching his son how to hunt, use a bow, and explore, but his son showing him the joy and hope still present in the world, the things worth living for, makes the up-coming God of War have the potential to tell one of the more poigent and moving tales of family, fatherhood, and redemption in games, which is something I never thought I would say. Mostly though, it means that for the first time since the days of God of War 2 a decade ago, I care about this series, I care about what happens to it's characters and how it's story unfolds, I care, amazingly, about Kratos