You know what looks incredible? The new God of War game. It very nearly won our E3 Best of Show award, and even though it was outdone, we are so excited for this new direction that the series is taking. After seven very similar games, God of War was a bit played out- and getting to see it reinvent itself so dramatically is stimulating.
In the wake of E3, God of War director Cory Barlog (who, incidentally, also directed God of War II, which is the best game this series has produced so far) had a pretty long interview with The Know, where he discussed a lot of things about the game. But the central thing, that he kept returning to, was how this game represented a fresh start for both, the series, and for Kratos, its tortured protagonist.
That will apparently be a pretty big story point- Barlog confirmed that in this game, Kratos is looking for a second chance, and trying to get as far away from his haunted past as he can- and for the first time, he is not trying to redo the past, like he has been throughout the series, but trying to move forward instead, and seek a redo, a redemption.
This was also something that bled over into how the game was designed, and how its development was approached by Sony Santa Monica. The entire game was thought of as a full rethinking of God of War, though Barlog did insist that maintaining continuity was nonetheless a big thing here. To have the same kind of freshness in this game that the first game in the franchise had, Barlog managed to bring the people who worked on the original God of War back on board for this new installment.
As for how the game has been rethought, naturally, the big changes here are the camera, and the redone combat. However, Barlog did confirm that some of the more dramatic changes that many may have speculated on (or feared) are not going to be a part of this game- so there will be, for example, no morality system or branching story. This is still very clearly going to be a directed narrative experience, so Sony Santa Monica get to tell the story that they want to tell. One thing that Barlog was willing to share about the story was that the mother of Kratos’ son, who has been kept secret so far, is apparently going to be a major part of the story. In other cool stuff that Norse mythology buffs will like, you may get to visit the Nine Realms in this game (or at least some of them). Also, Mjolnir, Thor’s legendary hammer, was also name dropped and hinted at- maybe it’s the final weapon you pick up in the game?
Switching over to the gameplay, Barlog first of all assured that the series’ penchant for spectacle will be maintained in this new game. Apparently, there will still be giant bosses which will have a scale bigger than previous games, and giant enemies, to fight and take down, and at one point, Barlog mentioned having 15, 20, or even as many as 100 enemies on screen at once- which would definitely be something worth seeing (though we’re not sure that the PS4 can handle that!).
Kratos’ son will also figure into the gameplay- there will always be one button dedicated to him, which you can press to call upon him and have him interact with whatever it is that you have your camera aimed at. This means that he will be a part of puzzle solving, overworld interactions, and yes, combat too (which was something that the E3 demo hinted at).
In spite of all of these changes, though, Balrog assured everyone that this new game will still be quintessentially God of War– the body may be changing, but the soul will be the same. And honestly, we’re inclined to believe him. When it first came out in 2005, God of War was one of the freshest titles on the market. This new game, in attempting to wipe the slate clean, looks like it will be channeling much of its spirit. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out.