Controversial God of War Trophy Changed
Now to be called “Bros Before Foes”
Following on from a series of complaints, an achievement entitled “Bros Before Hoes” that appears in God of War: Ascension will be changed to “Bros Before Foes”.
This achievement appears soon after the lead character Kratos stamps in the face of a female enemy before impaling her torso on a spike. Contextually, it alludes to an NPC saving Kratos from a form of imprisonment after this occurs.
The conversation started in fullest force when Adam Sessler of Rev 3 Games took a huge stance against it, citing it extensively in his review and calling the trophy a “gut-punch of misogyny”.
God of War has never had the best track record when it comes to the representation of women, largely sidelining them entirely, fridging them, making them antagonists or having them appear in the game’s famous sex scenes.
Assorted commenters from around the internet have been asking why this is even a big deal to begin with, along with tired arguments of how it’s seemingly appropriate when the main character spends the entire series graphically killing men but it only becomes an issue when women are killed.
In short, this is an issue of tone. It would be hard to argue against the killing alone, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s within a game that already includes poor representation of women and does so against the rest of the critical consideration of where games are headed toward. It happens within a wider culture that struggles to accept the importance of fighting violence against women, even with legislation that stands to further protect them struggling to be reauthorised.
It’s specifically the frat-boy nature of the achievement that brings the entire event into question. It wasn’t just a killing at that point, it was a gendered killing. At that point it was “bros before hoes”. She wasn’t an adversary you were pitted against, she was a Ho.
This is the type of content that has to be handled better in future in order to be considered at all. Changing the name is at the very least a sign of recognising this.