Last year’s God of War was an incredible game, but one reason it stands out so much among the sea of AAA titles is its dedication to great level design. Eschewing open world design, the game went wide linear, with finely crafted areas and a great central hub world, which made even traversing the most basic of levels in the game a joy.
So much credit for that has to go to the level designers for the game. So when you hear that one of those level designers is joining a different developer, you sit up and take notice. When you hear that said developer is rival Microsoft’s newly set up The Initiative, you take even more notice.
And that’s exactly what has happened. Chris O’Neill, who worked on God of War, has now joined The Initiative as Senior Staff Level Designer, according to his Linkedin profile. Which is excellent news, and can give us some hope that whatever the new title by The Initiative turns out to be, it will be great, and immaculately well designed.
As of right now, we don’t even know what The Initiative is working on—however, given Microsoft’s newfound commitment to building a lineup of good first party games, hopefully it is something new and refreshing that makes a compelling case for buying an Xbox. O’Neill also isn’t the first high profile hiring The Initiative have done in recent weeks- former Insomniac and Rockstar employees have also recently joined up with the studio.