Narrative *and* gameplay reasons.
God of War protagonist Kratos’s Blades of Chaos are almost as iconic as he is- the weapons are incredibly versatile and flexible, lending themselves to a full range of fluid motions and attacks, and the backstory surrounding them is great as well. So it’s been a bit disappointing not seeing them in the upcoming God of War on the PS4. Is there just a chance that they will be in, but are being kept hidden to surprise players?
According to director Cory Barlog, narratively it makes no sense for the Blades to return in this game. “We were experimenting with lots of different weapons, lots of different things…I think we wanted to create an identity, because to me the blades represent a very dark time in [Kratos’] life. They are not just a weapon to him. They are his scarlet letter,” Barlog said. “They are the marking that somebody tricked him, that he made a bad deal, that he made a mistake. Powerful, but I think also powerfully charged in its emotion. So I think of part of him wanting to move forward is being able to [leave the blades behind].”
But it’s not just story reasons- freeing Kratos from the blades also leads to cool new gameplay possibilities. “It gives us the freedom to experiment with what we really want to do,” Barlog enthused. “I think the magic moment with the axe, honestly, was when a programmer and a combat designer was like, ‘I have this cool idea.’ Right away the magic of throwing the axe, having it stick anywhere in the world, and then recalling it, and then kind of playing around with that, and realizing you can hit people with it, you can throw it behind them, move in front of them, recall it and hit him in the back.”
I personally agree- and while I miss the Blades, and hope they are in as the final unlock, or something of that sort, it doesn’t hurt games to move away from the trappings of the older games in their series every once and a while- just see how well that turned out for Resident Evil 7 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
God of War is due out on the PS4 in early 2018.