Spoilers for 2018’s God of War ahead!
There is little doubt that Santa Monica produced a masterpiece when 2018’s God of War arrived on the PlayStation 4. One of the many awesome things about Kratos’ new adventure was Kratos himself.
Stripped of his until then blind rage and anger, he discovers responsibility and more importantly, fatherhood, with young Atreus by his side.
One of God of War‘s iconic moments revolves around that, as Kratos returns home to retrieve the Blades of Chaos, the very weapon that brought down the Greek pantheon of gods.
Yet, this moment could have been lost forever due to technical and design challenges. Speaking to Gamespot, director Cory Barlog discussed how the new game meant that implementing the classic weapons became a challenge.
The payoff that we actually got [the Blades of Chaos] right, that was always in question. We didn’t do the blades until probably the last year [of development]. We worked on the [Leviathan] axe for so long that there was a possibility that the blades were going to have to get cut because they were just taking so long to get online that everybody said, ‘Look, it took three and a half to four years to do the axe, you’re never going to be able to do the blades in time.’
Barlog added that the team ” had a good year of animated chain moves that were just like, ‘That doesn’t feel right, that doesn’t work.’ And with this new camera angle where you have the camera behind [Kratos] it’s very different … You don’t get the same visual as when you have a side view of Kratos shooting the chain blades out.
Seeing it from an isometric view, seeing it from a side view, you get a better view of the line of action. We really had to figure out how to take the old moves and make them work much better in this camera angle.”
Losing the Blades of Chaos would have robbed God of War of not just a cool reference, but also a crucial narrative touchstone. Kratos facing up to his past and embrace the changes only served to make his journey even more compelling in the latest game.
“So much of the game was built on this revelation, this realization from Kratos that the blades were something he was going to have to return to. They were something he wanted to get rid of, but would have to go back to them, he’d have to put them on, and he’d do that for his son. That was part of his growth.”
The director further added that “like Kratos, God of War recalls the past while acknowledging the need to improve. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result. Kratos is no longer a predictable brute.
God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series. With this reboot, it confidently walks a new path that will hopefully lead to more exciting adventures to come.”
And who could argue with the new Kratos, considering God of War continues to amaze and remains as the best game of the franchise, and easily of the PS4 generation. Join in the celebrations as the studio celebrates a year of God of War!