Director Cory Balrog says it’s “cool” to tell stories in a “more diverse emotional palette”.
If you’ve seen the trailer for the newest God of War, then you’re probably wondering what exactly inspired SIE Santa Monica Studio to pursue a father-son dynamic for Kratos. As it turns out, speaking to VentureBeat, director Cory Balrog was inspired by scripts for LucasArts’ cancelled live-action Star Wars show while working for the company. The tone of the show would influence God of War, which faced “a lot of pushback initially” since it featured Kratos being something more than a rage-fueled warrior.
Regarding the Star Wars show, Balrog said, “It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this f**king heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical.”
You can still expect plenty of violence but today’s market is allowing for more meaningful character development. “I saw that people were accepting bigger games that didn’t have to shout all the time. I thought this was an opportunity for us. It’s cool to get in and be able to tell stories in a much more diverse emotional palette. We were always kind of, ‘RAAARGH!'”
Pitching the idea wasn’t easy since many already had a pre-conceived notion of the ex-God of War and had a hard time imagining this fatherly connection. “But you start thinking about it a little bit. How would he deal with that? Just saying, ‘Oh, Kratos wants redemption’ is selfish. It’s old Kratos. It’s self-centered. It has no purpose. But this idea – something beyond him is motivating him to change. He’s known for a long time that he needs to change. But the change is coming from not wanting to repeat the mistakes of his past.”
God of War will be releasing for PlayStation 4 though a release date is still uncertain.