God of War looks to be a dramatic, exciting reboot of the entire series so far, structurally and in terms of gameplay, if not in terms of the story. The most dramatic change it will have will be the camera, which will now be an over the shoulder angle, having significant implications for the combat and movement in the game.
One of the cool tricks that director Cory Barlog is trying with the game’s camera is not a single cut throughout the entire game- it will be one continuous shot, from gameplay to cutscene to the gameplay again. Speaking to Eurogamer, Barlog explained the reasoning behind this decision.
“The aspiration when I got back was to tell a much more personal story,” Barlog said. “God of War is traditionally known for these cinematic, pull back cameras, which I think are fantastic. But trying to get in there and really get to know the character a little more, I realized it’d be interesting if we got closer.
“The vocabulary of film is camera cuts, it’s how they communicate. But games are different. We don’t really need to do that. We do it because it’s a language that we’re familiar with. It’s hard to not do it, I’m realizing that now, but it’s a challenge that I really wanted to take on. I’d been looking for a project that I could do this on and I felt like this was the one. There was big resistance, but I have probably one of the best teams in the business, so as much as they were pushing back, I think they all kind of wanted this crazy challenge.
“So yeah, there’s never going to be a situation where we cut away and show you what someone else is doing. The trailer you watched shows snippets of the game, which unfortunately we’ve edited together, that’s really because I want to give a good cross-section. In the actual game itself, you’re never looking away. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Kratos is always on-screen, there are things that motivate us to look away, but we’re always returning and usually trying to frame Kratos so he’s anchoring everything that you’re looking at.”
All of this makes sense- and it makes me excited to see how else the game will be different over the previous titles in the franchise, in little and big ways. We will find out when God of War launches on the PS4 exclusively next year.