“How does he teach his son to not make the mistakes he made?”
The upcoming God of War seems to be a departure from the previous games in the series in a lot of ways, but arguably the biggest change for many is Kratos’ changed temperament. Kratos in the older games was fueled by nothing but rage and violence- in the new title, while he is clearly still capable of brutality, he seems to be mellower, more contemplative, more considered in all his actions.
This was, naturally, a deliberate decision by Sony Santa Monica and Cory Barlog’s team. Speaking to Glixel, Barlog noted how, within the context of the series and its story, Kratos has always been a monster- but one with a flicker of humanity within him, which is something that is amplified by his son Atreus in the new game.
“You have this complete damaged shell and inside of that is this tiny, tiny piece of humanity,” Barlog said. “Atreus’ job is to pull that back up.
“Kratos was this monster. He was the unbridled. That’s all he was. Now how does he control that, how does he teach his son to not make the mistakes he made?”
So there are a few things here I have to say- humanizing Kratos by giving him a family is definitely consistent with his characterization, because the only times we have seen Kratos not be a rage machine previously has been when he has been engaged with his family, or figures he considers family (so his wife, his daughter, his mother, Pandora).
On the other hand, previous games have without exception fallen flat in their attempts to humanize Kratos- so it will definitely be interesting to see how Barlog plans to pull it off properly with his new game. By all accounts, he seems to have pulled it off well already—but let’s withhold judgement until the final game is out on April 20, exclusively on PS4.