A year after kicking off Sony's incredible E3 2016 conference, God of War returned in 2017 with a new trailer and a release date announcement. The SIE Santa Monica Studio-developed title is now scheduled to launch in early 2018.

The trailer struck a moody tone with series anti-hero Kratos travelling across the sea with his son in a rickety canoe, but didn't shy away from the kind of violent expolosions we've come to expect from the man who previously slayed the gods of Olympus.

Kratos is shown battling huge orc-like creatures, smaller enemies and, at the close of the trailer, facing down a massive Hydra that emerges from the water.

We also see Kratos' softer side as he teaches his son how to craft tools as well as climbing a mountain with the boy clinging to his back.

The soft reboot-like God of War marks the first appearance of the angriest son of Sparta since God of War: Ascension in 2013 - a prequel to the original trilogy which ended with God of War 3 on PS3 in 2010.

While the series has so far focused solely on Greek mythology, the new title places Kratos in a world of Norse lore and its own unique gods, monsters and colder, wintry aesthetic. It also makes major changes to the traditional God of War combat, transitioning to an over-the-shoulder view with Kratos now wielding a mystical axe.

The PS4 title is also expected to offer a much more personal and tender look at Kratos and the bond he shares with his young son. The narrative picks up years after Kratos' diety-murdering escapades in God of War 3, with the once unstoppable force now "mastering his own rage" and hoping to forget his violent past and raise his son in the Norse wilderness.

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