God of War on mobile? Yes please!
Those were my sentiments when Harry asked me to take a look at God of War: Mimir's Vision. What that sly dog failed to mention was that this isn't a game at all.
Rather, what we're looking at is another one of those free companion apps that publishers release as part of the marketing push for their big-budget console games. In this case, that big budget game is the recent (and highly lauded) PS4 reboot of the God of War series.
I'm not going to review the app, as such, because there really is nothing remotely gamey about it. But I thought it might be worthwhile bringing you a few impressions to see if it's worth your time.
Norses for courses
The new God of War game sees series antihero and all-round angry dude Kratos quit wailing on the Greek pantheon in favour of some Norse god bloodshed.
As such, there's a completely new world to explore and a whole heap of outlandish lore to assimilate. God of War: Mimir's Vision seeks to help with that.
Those with a fairly modern iOS or Android device just need to point their phone or tablet at a flat surface and tap the screen, and a 3D map of Midgard will spread out before you.
This being augmented reality, you can pan and zoom around the map by physically moving your device accordingly. If you've never experience AR before it'll be quite impressive. If you have, well, not so much.
The main purpose of the app is lore dispensing. Tap on button to the right of the screen, and a bunch of hot points will be highlighted. Tap these hot points directly, and you'll be given a paragraph of text on the location, along with an image.
This text is also narrated by the titular Mimir, the disembodied head of Norse god who accompanies Kratos through the main game. His dulcet Scottish tones (just like in the game itself) make for a bracingly cheeky narrator.
Mimir also narrates a brief video, which takes the form of a stylishly artistic recreation of the origins of the giant corpse of Thamur. So that's nice.
As a stand-alone app, Mimir's Vision isn't particularly insightful, nor is its use of AR all that sharp. It could just as easily have fulfilled its purpose as a straight interactive map app without losing all that much.
You can capture and share a photo or a snippet of video of the app in action, but to be honest, I can't really see why you'd want to do that. Maybe I'm just old and out of touch.
It's worth reiterating here: there's absolutely nothing that could be constituted gameplay here.
It might be an obvious thing to say about a companion app, but God of War: Mimir's Vision really is only worth downloading if you're currently playing (and enjoying the world of) God of War itself. It has virtually nothing to offer to anyone beyond that, even if you're curious about this strange new thing called AR.