The Last of Us’ style of storytelling and interactivity have had a huge impact on the industry. In particular, it has defined much of Sony’s own first party exclusives this generation, with most of their games following similar philosophies that Naughty Dog employed in their seminal 2013 title. One such game was God of War, which reimagined the series radically, and employed a focus on narrative and storytelling that was very reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s work.
Recently, at a GDC panel dedicated to speaking about the 2018 title’s creation and development, director Cory Barlog spoke about the topic, discussing the influence The Last of Us has had not just on God of War, but on the industry as a whole, and on the meaning of storytelling in video games.
“I think a little bit,” said Barlog, when asked about how much of an impact The Last of Us’ character-driven storytelling had on God of War. “There was a little part of me that said when I play that game, it was this sort of… awakening moment for this industry.”
Barlog was quick to note that though The Last of Us wasn’t exactly the first game to do what it did, it was the first to do so in front of a massive audience, and as such, was able to have much more of an impact. “Now prior to the game, a lot of great games had been doing very dark and very intense subject matter. So it’s not as if they were the first, and I don’t think they claim it either, but they were the first ones to have a broad audience for this, to show me, to show everybody else in the industry, that people wanted this kind of content. That people actually were interested in something that challenged them emotionally. And I thought, ‘OK, this is the opportunity.'”
From God of War’s one-shot camera to its dedicated focus to a small but excellently developed cast of characters, to its rich mythological setting, there’s no doubting that Barlog and Sony Santa Monica succeeded in making their vision for the game a reality. It is available now, exclusively on the PS4. As per recent job listings, the sequel might already be in development.