Sony unveiled a new God of War game, simply called God of War, during E3 last week and the developers at Sony Santa Monica Studios promised it would showcase a different Kratos than fans were used to. The game’s creative director, Cory Barlog, said that the idea for Kratos’ new direction all started with the scripts for the canceled Star Wars TV show.
Barlog told VentureBeat that the team wanted to focus on giving Kratos a second chance to change his ways and one of the best ways to do that was to explore his role as a father. Barlog said that while there was initially a lot of pushback on the idea of exploring Kratos in a more subdued role than what players were used to, after the core writing team began looking at other mediums — specifically television — they realized they could do something special with the concept.
Barlog said that when he was working at Lucasfilm, he was given access to the Ranch and was allowed to spend his time reading the scripts for the canceled Star Wars TV show. One of the biggest lessons he took away from reading those scripts as a writer was that if you spend enough time with a character, like someone does normally with a game or television show, they can go from being someone fans hate to a figure they love.
“I cared about the Emperor,” Barlog told VentureBeat. “They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this fucking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor.”
Barlog said he applied that style of writing to the newest God of War in order to create a version of Kratos that will endear both old and new fans to the character. In an interview with Polygon, Barlog said the game is first and foremost about fatherhood and that was the main theme they wanted to explore. Gameplay from the upcoming title can be seen in the video below.
The demo opens with a much older, bearded, player-controlled Kratos teaching his son how to hunt, and continues with the brutal weapon and hand-to-hand melee combat the franchise is known for. After saving his son from danger, the demo ends with a quiet father and son moment, seeming to indicate a more thoughtful and fleshed-out Kratos will be at the core of this new God of War game.