I watched the Raising Kratos documentary, it was a blast. I knew I was getting into something special since they released the trailer. God of War has been one of the most successful reboot attempts in gaming history. That massive transformation required tremendous passion. But, overall, it also means that the risk taken is on the same spectrum of magnitude. I’ve always imagined that being in the shoes of a team in charge of making something this risky must be nerve-wracking. While watching the documentary, I was not disappointed to find out everything I imagined was not only right but was way more stressful and riskier. After almost two hours of run-time, I believe that Raising Kratos is a testament to the passion required to make a masterpiece.
Since I believe you should watch the documentary, I won’t go into details that much. But, I will grant you with an overview of the many life lessons and industry insight Raising Kratos provides.
The craziest ideas become the most inventive solutions
Brainstorming was a fundamental part of how God of War came to be the masterpiece we know, love, and praise. It was a total reconstruction of not only a character but a franchise in its entirety. When you take a look at the whole process in Raising Kratos, you realize that the craziest ideas often ended up being the most inventive solutions. It portrayed how, even when something seems utterly senseless at some point, it still has the potential to be considered a solution.
The team at Santa Monica and Cory Barlog himself saw these possible mythologies as settings for God of War and tons of questions arisen on how this was going to work out. Almost making the idea sound impossible. But, the team took another approach, instead of focusing on why it wouldn’t work, they zoomed out and view the whole concept as a possibility and what was needed to make it not only work but be compelling as a whole. Santa Monica embraced their craziness and branded it as their signature way of thinking outside the box.
Change is good sometimes
During Raising Kratos, we got a closer look at how Santa Monica evolved during the development of God of War. The Studio literally evolved from both, headcount and soul, to even a physical transformation by getting a new space for the studio. Change is something that everyone feels resilient to accept. It is tough to take in change in life with open arms. Most of the times, you take it in, because you have to, because your next step depends on it. Santa Monica was no exception to this. Just like God of War, Santa Monica had to cut off its comfort to leave room for something innovative.
The documentary depicts how the whole development team took change as an opportunity. Not without hesitation and not without roadblocks. It was a rocky road that affected every person from upper management to everyone working in the title. Raising Kratos is a good view on how over time, change, albeit uncomfortable, leave open roads for fresh and creative outlooks. God of War wouldn’t have been the game most of us love if it wasn’t for the amount of change that everyone in that team underwent.
All you need is love, love is all you need
Dedication and passion are in abundance in Raising Kratos. Aside from those, you will find tons of hardworking people that love what they do. The number of emotional moments in the almost two-hour running feature is not scarce. From designers to programmers, everyone on the team loved Kratos and the franchise. In fact, they were recruited to fit that description in first place. This feeling of attachment to what they were working on led to an immense amount of care and detail. Gameplay decisions and art direction were based on the love this team had and their desire of building the best possible rendition of the world Kratos inhabits.
Many of these intricate gameplay mechanics and detailed environments came from candid discussions about what the franchise deserved and how the bar could go higher. It was an inspiring scene to see developers so avidly and passionately pushing ideas forward to give gamers a deserving title.
Many voices speak louder than one
The making of God of War was not only Cory Barlog, Yumi Yang, or Shannon Studstill. All of them served an upper management leadership position for the project. Still, Raising Kratos brings us closer to the many voices and ideas that create a masterpiece like God of War. Every scene in the documentary validates that real power lies in the unification of ideas towards a goal.
Santa Monica Studios showed itself more like a unified collective than as a corporate entity. This ultimately led to not only an enjoyable documentary piece but also to the realization that everyone is vital in the gaming industry. From gamers to top lead technical and management leadership.
Sacrifices are needed to achieve perfection
This was by far the best content in the documentary. The interviewers asked many of the staff in personal interviews what they have sacrificed to make this project happen. Tears rolled in many of these, and indeed the same applied for the viewership. Raising Kratos is at its peak when it was able to deliver those emotions to all the grateful fans in the industry.
It seems like a fundamental rule that applies to everyone and everything. To achieve something great, concessions have to be made, and sacrifices are required. Raising Kratos and the development and leaders at Santa Monica were not shy to show us all that lesson. They opened up and share their version of sacrifice. This sacrifice goes unnoticed for many others in the industry. It was great to have all that effort condensed as something palpable. Furthermore, relatable for all the other developers in the industry and gamers alike.
God of War – Raising Kratos is truly a testament to the passion and sacrifice required to make the industry we love a better one. It was a fantastic gift from Santa Monica Studios to us gamers and to the industry as a whole.