I’ve always found built-in photo modes for games intimidating, much like a high-end DSLR camera. I don’t know the first thing about perspective or lighting, and fiddling with all of these various aspects of a video game screenshot just isn’t much fun. People can make amazing photos with these tools, but I, sadly, am not one of them. All I really want to do is make Kratos smile — thankfully that’s now an option.
A few weeks after the new God of War first launched on the PlayStation 4, Sony has updated the game with a much-requested photo mode. And it’s pretty powerful, letting you shift the camera and alter multiple aspects of the image to create something cool. For me, though, the most exciting feature is the ability to change Kratos’ facial expression in order to make the goofiest image possible. You can make him look squeamish, or excited, or just really, uncomfortably happy. As you can see, rowing a boat is hard work:
God of War actually isn’t the first PS4 game to offer this feature. The Uncharted spinoff The Lost Legacy similarly let you alter facial expressions, and the open-world adventure Horizon Zero Dawn went a step further by offering multiple poses for hero Aloy. The world might be taken over by murderous robots, but that doesn’t mean Aloy can’t relax in the grass for a bit, deep in thought.
God of War’s photo mode is especially fun because of the contrast. Kratos is defined almost entirely by rage; sure, he’s softened up in the reboot, but he’s still an angry dude who never smiles. But now you can make him smile, in pretty much any scenario imaginable. You can even adjust the facial expression of Atreus, Kratos’ son, though I’ve yet to find a scene where I can capture them being goofy together.
It’s an especially great tool once you’ve finished the game, and just want to wander around the world, soaking up the bits of Norse mythology you missed. It adds humor to moments you’ve experienced many, many times already. Because as fun as Kratos’ magical axe is, even he’s starting to question just how much he has to swing it around.