Combat is still fast and bloody, the focus has just shifted slightly
This is not Dark Souls: Odin Edition. Kratos can still slice, dice, hack and wreck with the best of them. His personal reach might no longer match that of his old Blades of Chaos days (though there’s good reason for his switch to an axe), but in the demo I saw today he was clearly as fast, ferocious, fearsome and flowing as he was back in Greece. His attacks have more direct, heavy impact nowadays, but his crowd-control efficiency remains supreme. Fear not. When you want to spill blood, it will be spilled. And when you need to deal with threats from further afield, hey, you’ve got a son with a bow.
There’s a definite Zelda element, philosophically at least
Kratos’ origins will not be forgotten
He describes the new God of War as being in the spirit of a classic, fantasy adventure game. Specifically, he describes the joy of spotting a crack in a wall, dropping a bomb to blow it open, and discovering the magic of a brand new area, hidden in plain sight the whole time.
That’s how God of War is approaching exploration. It certainly isn’t an open-world game by any means, but it does contain many hidden sights off the beaten track. Find the means to discover them, and you’ll be treated to all kinds of new delights, none of them vital to your journey, but all of them enriching it in some way, be that by additional narrative context, or simply revealing a cool new part of the world.
Referencing this, Barlog tells me that in God of War’s narrative, all mythology exists simultaneously, distinct from, but respectful of, all the rest. Don’t expect the original God of War trilogy to be entirely forgotten. There will certainly be a character or two in the new game who knows of Kratos’ origins.
QTEs are over. Control is now yours
Barlog admits, as QTEs are discussed, that he was tired of God of War’s trademark, cinematic combat trick by the end of the second game. Thus, they’re not coming in anything like the same capacity, in the new one. That’s not to say that there won’t be huge, stand-out takedown moments. It’s just that from now on, they’ll be under the player’s control, triggered by the same actions and agency as everything else in the game. There’s a grab button. There’s a ‘hit with axe’ button. Players know how to use such things, so Barlog is going to trust them to know how to combine them at the right time for the right, destructive purpose. Much as God of War’s exploration won’t hint or dictate with collectible checklists or leading waypoints, its violence is going to let the player carve their own path.
Edit: More stuff:
1) Neverending Story being an influence confirms my speculation that the kid was named after the hero alter-ego in that movie.
2) Confirms skill-tree.
3) Confirms that there are separate skill-trees for father and son.
4) Apparantly kid is vulnerable if you choose to use his actions with circle button.
Cool to hear that there actually was more God of War material somewhere at E3.
The presentation focused on character relationships; gone are the days of the angry Kratos who spurned aid and used random strangers as door-jams. Kratos’ bond with his son expresses itself mechanically as well as narratively. During certain combat sequences, players will actually take control of the son. In one instance, leaping off Kratos’ back and switching in order to shoot some arrows to harass enemies. As players progress, they will be able to teach the boy new abilities much like they would Kratos. The whole thing sounds like a smart way to express the father-son, master-student relationship through the game’s combat.
Kratos’s son will also interact with men and women he and his father come across in their travels. He’s a liaison for his father, who doesn’t know the language. Barlog compared the scenario to that of his own home life with his bilingual son, who has taken to teaching him Swedish.
Beyond the central relationship of Krato and his son, the game will allow players to befriend allies who will also be able to help out. One of those allies is the dwarf Sindri, who crafted the legendary hammer Mjolnir. He’s a weapons merchant, sure, but if you interact with him it’ll eventually lead to a reconciliation with his estranged brother Brokkr.
God of War will still have plenty of brutal combat and bloody executions, but the Kratos Barlog described sounded far less like the unlikable brute of past games. When asked if that was a deliberate response to those who criticize Kratos as being a one dimensional character, Barlog disagreed that the changes were quite so dramatically motivated but acknowledged the change. “Who I was and how I view the world is different now,” Barlog said. “We had initially embraced the concept that Kratos was an anti-hero. You didn’t want to root for him. But how interesting would it be to take a person who had fallen and figure out how they will pick themselves back up?”
A variation of the quick time event will still appear in the game. For big, elaborate boss battles, Barlog said, players can expect the “Track and Field” design, referring to the classic NES game in which players quickly spammed buttons to create a feeling of physical exertion. In dramatic sequences, God of War might ask the player to spam “X” or twirl the control sticks to mimic the action happening on screen. But at no point will the game require the player to tap a button at a precise moment.
“[QTE’s] are cool,” said Barlog, “but we’re finding a better way.”
Like last year. I get you new exclusive interesting infos from this French gaming site interview:
- This GOW has been in development for at least 5 years (just after the release of GOW: Ascension, I presume)
- Cory Barlog considers that all past 7 GOW games only constitute one big chapter of Kratos' life, and this is his chapter 2 (this means maybe more sequels will come to expand this chapter 2).
- Cory isn't implicit about this and cries it loud, but I will still put in spoiler tag: Kratos didn't die at the end of GOW3, and in this interview he said: "Kratos realized that he is cursed and can't even die, and he is condemned to wander for the eternity, and if he doesn't want to get insane, he needs to change". In some of last year's interviews, he said that no one would die in this game, neither Kratos nor his son and a sequel is still planned with him. So quit the idea of him (at least) dying. This doesn't surprise me at all tbh.
- The journalist asked him, that in previous episodes, you recuperate weapons directly from bosses and if this is the case here in this GOW. Cory replied that getting items,weapons and progressing in this game is unique, but there are some cool elements from the past games they kept and that they will be used in an adequate way. He also insinuated that getting weapons from bosses is kept too.
- This GOW will keep the trend of the epic bombastic intros of he previous games. In fact for such epic intros, they got inspirations from Indiana Jones and James Bond
Eeven Le Monde journal talked about this game: http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article...0_4408996.html
and asked Cory about the games they inspired him for this game and the list was: Assassin’s Creed, les Batman [Arkham], Tomb Raider, The Last of Us... but the game will have its own identity since the first GOW started and wasn't similar to any other game at that time.
Kratos didn’t quite display that level of nuance in the original God of War games. Is some of this characterization of him being retroactively applied?
If you have the linear action of previous God of War games on one end of a spectrum, and open-world on the other, where does this new God of War fall?
I still think he lacks nuance in certain areas. He’s a struggling character. Pixar once sent out these rules for storytelling, and one of them talks about the hero failing over and over again. But you love him for it, because he gets back up every time he fails. That is the engagement with the character. This character doesn’t change overnight. He’s not going to sit there and have very deep, meaningful, emotional conversations with his son. He struggles this whole game to figure out his place in the world and how to relate to his kid. Because it’s important to him to change tomorrow, because he’s been blaming yesterday his whole life.
I would say that action/adventure is squarely where we are suited. We’re definitely not open-world, but we’re kind of this interesting "super-wide linear" in the sense that the world has a greater sense of scale. We’re really encouraging the player to say “Hey, what’s that over there? I’d like to go check it out.” We’re not forcing them. We don’t force you to go find something, but when you do, you are rewarded. You are rewarded with things like “Wow, there’s an entire level over here!” And I think that sense of discovery is so important. Linearity can drive you through this fantastic story – you’re always going to be driven forward by the development and arc of the characters – but at any given point in this game, you can pull the lever on the bus and stop to look around, and then get back on the bus and keep going. Seamlessly integrating that, making it feel like it’s not a chore and you’re rewarded for it, that’s the big trick of this game. That’s the big play, to make it feel like you’re not just going down a hallway. To always feel like there’s a “why.”