God of War Director Compares Combat Mechanics to Football Games; Discusses Connection Between Kratos and Player

God of War is one of the most anticipated titles of the year, and the combat bits we saw in the various trailers released so far look very promising. God of War Director Cory Barlog was recently featured in an interview in the latest  the Official PlayStation Magazine issue, where he metaphorically compared God of War’s combat system to FIFA. Of course not in terms of kicking a football in the back of the net, but in terms of having the same “sort of non-deterministic,” where “every game is different.”

It’s the same game every time you play but it’s extremely sort of non-deterministic. Every game is different, despite every game being the same; there’s this drama that exists in every single match, even when you’re playing the same teams. There’s a magic to videogames encapsulated in the idea that I don’t ever want to lose even if I am making something that’s trying to tell a story, and we develop these characters to allow you to feel like there’s freedom here, and that is the joy of games.

He continued to discuss how the game’s writers made sure to continuously build and strengthen the player’s relationship with Kratos and his son, Atreus.

As you move through the game you make choices about what you, or Kratos, wants for Atreus, about how you’re going to develop each of these characters. When you really extrapolate, it’s like this is about sort of putting outfits and loadouts on characters, but when you divorce it from that, and you’re in the moment, you start to realise it’s very similar to that moment in Mad Max when he’s got the can of dog food and he’s determining whether he’s going to eat all of it and get the energy, or if he’s going to give some of it to the dog, and he’s going to do that because he wants to be able to sleep, and if he has the dog and he’s well fed he can sleep and the dog will warn him if danger approaches. It’s kind of like, you know, it’s sort of, again, like parenting. This idea of making choices for yourself and making choices for your kid, how you’re going to sort of load balance.

God of War releases on April 20th exclusively for the PS4.