In a game that has more guest appearances than a modern-day episode of The Simpsons, Kratos in Fortnite might be dismissed as just another harmless cameo.
But if you look a little closer, past the multi-colored Llamas and cartoony visuals, the Ghost of Sparta’s surprise appearance ultimately accomplishes one thing: it makes Sony’s axe-wielding hard man look like a total laughing stock.
The question is, of course, does that really matter? Well, I think it does.
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Dance of War
Fortnite is famous for its dance emotes which will come as a surprise to absolutely no one. Practically every child across the globe has tried to replicate at least one Fortnite dance in their lifetime, be it the floss or a complex K-Pop routine with varying levels of success.
And because Fortnite’s dances are ripped straight from popular pop culture and makes Epic Games a crazy amount of money, the game has inevitably found its way into the hearts of sport stars, celebrities and, of course, businesses alike. The end result is what you see below.
Kratos’ appearance in Fortnite, then, was always going to result in one nightmarish, inescapable reality: the God of War would be forced to dance around like a total fool for everyone’s amusement – over and over again. You can almost hear Hades chuckling with glee.
As the weekend unfolded, I watched in horror as Kratos – the man who rips Draugrs in half and pulverizes towering ogres into a bloody pulp – quickly became the center of the internet’s ridicule.
Just look at how they butchered my boy:
why don’t you say so, Kratos?#Fortnite pic.twitter.com/e5gjHmyrm2December 4, 2020
And here's the man who bested Zeus, Typhon, Hercules and Baldur as your regular K-Pop stan.
I finally understand kpop stans. From now on, every twitter post I make will be accompanied with a dancing Kratos clip. 😍#GodofWar pic.twitter.com/Dvq8ThlS7yDecember 4, 2020
Compare that to what Kratos is best know for – hacking and slashing his enemies to pieces – and the contrast is rather stark to say the least...
For the love of Zeus
So should gaming’s most formidable anti-hero be subjected to this sort of treatment? To put it simply, no. This is a character who was painstakingly brought to life in 2018’s God of War, one whose pained gravitas is integral to how players perceive Kratos, and his complicated relationship with Atreus. Now, though, he’s flaunting what his mother Callisto gave him in an attempt to bring all the boys to the yard.
Some may see Kratos moving and shaking in Fortnite as nothing more than silly, harmless fun, but this video game cameo just seems short-sighted by Sony, and it's hard to look past it being nothing more than a means to cash in on the God of War brand.
Kratos has obviously made guest appearances in other games in the past, but his representation has always been far more fantastical. Seeing a chibi version of Kratos playing golf doesn't stick in my craw like seeing 2018's God of War busting a move in Fortnite. You could also argue the God of War series didn't quite have the same prestige back then as it does now.
This is for everyone saying Kratos shouldn’t be in Fortnite because its a kids game pic.twitter.com/uqHshU5OuiDecember 2, 2020
While it obviously won't impact sales of God of War: Ragnarok on PS5, fans now have to live with the mental image of Kratos flossing forever more. And it's not like having the Chains of Olympus-wielding hero in the game will bring new players to the God of War franchise, either. Fortnite's fan base isn't exactly renowned for being mature... so most are unlikely to be old enough to play the sequel to 2018's masterclass anyway.
My big fat Greek sell out
Sony has handled its IP admirably over the last few decades, and there's plenty of other characters in the studio's locker who would have been better suited to the Fortnite treatment. But to see one of its star players reduced to this is, quite frankly, just sad.
With rumors that Master Chief might be next in line to appear in Fortnite, how many other beloved video game characters will end up dancing for Epic Games' coin? And who's to say it should stop there? Let's get Mario in Mortal Kombat and Marcus Fenix in The Sims. Nothing is sacred in the world of video games, it seems.