When God of War was rumored to be getting rebooted, I was puzzled like many other gamers to what that actually meant for the franchise. How could God of War continue when we had a definitive ending withing God of War 3?
However, like everyone else, I was blown away with the direction Sony Santa Monica took the franchise. They actually made an amazing title, that put Kratos in a new position, new area, and gave him new combat style. The mash of all of it felt so right and if any one thing got changed, it could have gone downhill; this surely goes for the inclusion of Atreus.
A new conversation between Gamasutra and director Corey Balrog has been detailed and it is filled with some very interesting behind the scenes processes of what they had to do to nail the reboot. The big factor for Balrog is Kratos’ companion and son Atreus. A lot of developers wanted Balrog to scale Atreus back, make him be a cutscene only type of character, but that’s not what Balrog intended for Atreus.
“They wanted him to hit marks in the world and just talk, to get it done quicker, so we could ship this thing. At one point, I was even told to consider cutting him out of the game, and I laughed and said, ‘okay.’ But they replied, no, ‘very seriously consider this, we don’t have the production bandwidth for this.’ And I had to entertain what the game would be like without him. I had a very, very passive-aggressive pitch for that one, that, clearly, didn’t go over very well. Subtlety isn’t my thing. It’s like saying, ‘can we make Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but without Sundance? I managed to convince them that he was necessary.”
Kratos and Atreus have become an iconic duo similar to Joel and Ellie, Nathan Drake and Sully, and Booker and Elizabeth. Companion’s help in combat, while also help push the overall plot along in interesting and unique ways. Atreus managed to fill these iconic shoes and make God of War 2018 a better title for it.
“We couldn’t just make another ‘angry Kratos’ game,” says Barlog. “We wanted a character who could reject Kratos’s orders, who could prod and provide a foil for Kratos to actually talk and communicate, not just during cinematics, but through gameplay as well.”
The post goes on to detail more about the game’s inside development process. If you are interested, I would highly suggest heading to this link, and reading the full details. It is super interesting and it gives you a new perspective on the behind scenes work the developers have to go through to bring you these excellent gaming titles, like God of War.
God of War is now available exclusively on the PS4.