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Here's how to play God of War early (in official text adventure form)

A close-up illustration of Atreus from God of War.

Still more than a month to go until God of War (opens in new tab) comes out on PS4, but you can play through a different kind of adventure with Kratos and his son Atreus right now: the text kind. Using Facebook Messenger (opens in new tab), Sony has set up a full-on text adventure called God of War: A Call from the Wilds; it lets players control young Atreus on his first adventure beyond the safety of home, where he discovers some surprising things about himself, his father, and their place in the wide world of Norse-y things.

The story seems to take place shortly before the beginning of God of War. Atreus' mother is still alive and schooling the boy in archery and runes, while Kratos goes off hunting all day. Don't be intimidated if you've never done a text adventure or if you, like me, have tried to play Zork a half-dozen times but always get stuck. A Call from the Wilds gives you clear direction on where to go next to advance the story (there are side bits to explore too), and you can easily get through the whole thing in less than half an hour. Depending on what path you take through the game, you'll be awarded with high-res art depicting scenes from the story.

Or if you don't feel like playing it, you could just watch this narrated walkthrough of the A Call from the Wilds exhibit at last year's PlayStation Experience. It's mostly the same story, minus the adventure game stuff like Atreus wandering the cardinal directions and taking everything that isn't nailed down. 

God of War signals some big changes for the series - make sure you get in the right (bald, tattooed) headspace by reading about why Kratos lost his signature blades (opens in new tab) and how God of War could even encounter Egyptian or Mayan mythology (opens in new tab) in future games. 

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.