2018’s God Of War was a pivotal turning point in the future direction of the franchise. What Cory Barlog and his team achieved with the launch of the 2018 multi-Game Of The Year award-winning title was nothing short of astounding, from incredible writing to masterful world and narrative design, redefined combat, the brilliant, yet complicated one-shot camera system, two the core cast. Kratos, a wearied Spartan soldier who has defied each and every one of the Greek gods in order to exact his vengeance, and his son, Atreus, born after that period of brutality, and the child of a god and a giant. The ability to balance the strengths and weaknesses of both characters was not only a challenge for the writing team, but also for those responsible for portraying the key roles. Christopher Judge, more than anyone, was under the most pressure, being a new face to the role of Kratos amidst a time when significant change was already sweeping through the franchise. Of course, as we all know, he drew on many years of cinema and screen experience to present a flawed but fantastic Kratos that inspired us all. He’s back at it again with God Of War Ragnarok, and with the game now out, Game Director Eric Williams has spoken out about Judge, and his incredible importance to the new duology and the growth of the character of Kratos.
Speaking with GQ, Williams was asked about Judge’s performance in Ragnarok, and how his relationship with the incredible actor grew, considering Williams’ promotion to Game Director and assuming many of Cory Barlog’s former responsibilities – to this, he said,
He knew Kratos inside out. That’s the blessing of Chris. Even when we would mess up. There’s this one thing and you probably don’t perceive it but Kratos never uses contractions. Ever. He won’t say don’t he’ll say do not, because it’s very stern. If he says, “I don’t want to do that”, that’s hard even for Kratos to make it sound cool. Chris would catch it, like “Oh, you guys missed one!” He was so into the character. Then there’ll be other times like, “Okay, I could say this. Or I could just do the grunt.” And the writers are on set! So their words are just getting strikethroughed – and they’re cool with it.
Judge’s efforts were already celebrated, but this added level of insight further adds to the legacy of the man in the role. Whatever the next chapter of the franchise is, should there be one, and providing that Judge remains interested in the role of Kratos, you have to feel like the role of Kratos will be again portrayed to the highest of standards. It makes so much sense why the team waited for him to recover from an operation before continuing their work
God Of War Ragnarok is available now on both PS4 and PS5.