It took years, but it seems like Cory Barlog finally managed to get it out of his system.
Before returning to Sony Santa Monica for the God of War reboot, Cory Barlog, the director of that game, worked with several other developers on several other games. And any one of those games could have had what ended up being God of War’s most ambitious idea—a one take camera.
One of those games was Mad Max, the adaptation of the post-apocalypse franchise by Avalanche Studios that launched in 2015. In an interview with Game Informer, Remedy Entertainment’s Mikael Kasurinen, who worked with Cory Barlog on Mad Max, and is now working on the upcoming Control, revealed that Barlog had wanted to implement the idea for that game.
“The idea of the camera and the moment being always with you–it’s like one single cut– and that’s what he wanted for Mad Max as well. It was fun to then see that realized in God of War,” he said.
While I appreciated the sheer ambition needed to pull something like this off, in the end, I think God of War suffered for it a bit. A one-take camera disallows storytelling techniques such as flashbacks and cuts to other characters by definition, and while it worked for the more personal story this game wanted to tell, I hope that the sequel will move away from it. At the very least, it sounds as though Barlog managed to get it out of his system!