The original God of War saga on the PS2, PS3, and handhelds was revered for its over-the-top action sequences, gore, and other scenes, if you get our drift. While the story was praised, it wasn’t the focus. The focus was always on what Kratos would do to the gods and other mythical beings he would meet on his path to destruction. But things had seriously changed when the PS4 game came out and continued his story in a “soft reboot” kind of way. Gone was a vengeance-filled man, and in his place was a father who wanted nothing more than to protect his son and honor his late wife.
The change in perspective was more than just that, though. The gameplay, the way the worlds were done, and the story of the PS4 title changed how everyone looked at the series. But the voice of Christopher Judge as Kratos helped seal the deal. He replaced the original actor from the earlier titles, but it felt like he had been Kratos the whole time. Now two games in, it’s evident that Judge has an excellent grasp of the character and what he is all about. But according to the dev team at Santa Monica Studio, there’s more to it than that.
God of War Ragnarok director Eric Williams said that Christopher Judge knows Kratos better than anyone, even better than the team of writers making the dialogue for Kratos!
“He knew Kratos inside out.”
That’s a simple claim, but how does one back that up? With examples, and not the ones you might be thinking about:
“There’s this one thing and you probably don’t perceive it but Kratos never uses contractions. Ever,” Williams explained. “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’… Chris would catch it, like ‘Oh, you guys missed one!’.”
Williams also mentioned that when they’re going over the lines, Judge would make suggestions based on what he feels Kratos would say. Sometimes he would suggest just a grunt versus a line of dialogue, and the writers would be ok with it!
This shows that you know how things work when you’re good at your job. Sometimes voice actors don’t get the credit they deserve for their ability to “understand” the character they’re voicing. But here’s a great example of a man understanding his game character and wanting to ensure that the character’s personality is shown correctly.