From what we’ve seen of it so far, Santa Monica Studio’s God of War reboot has shown enough promise to make it a possible early Game of the Year contender for 2018 when it launches exclusively for the PS4 early next year.
First introduced by the sound of an orchestra featuring famed composer Bear McCreary during Sony’s E3 2016 Press Conference, God of War‘s debut gameplay trailer remains the most viewed video to date on the PlayStation YouTube channel with a cool 17+ million views.
Set many years after the conclusion of God of War 3, the new or “soft reboot” of God of War will follow the story of Kratos as the God in hiding seeks to raise his young son Atreus in northern Europe. But according to the game’s Creative Director Cory Barlog, God of War‘s story could have been entirely different due to the sheer size and scope of the studio’s vision for the reboot.
“There was a time at the beginning of this project where it looked like it was going to be so big and so difficult that we were encouraged to really consider scoping this thing down,” explains Barlog.
“It was suggested that maybe the son was something that we shouldn’t do – and to me, he’s really the core of the game. But I did the due diligence and looked at what I would do if I didn’t have the son in there. Literally, the only thing I could think of was the most expensive art house game of all time. Y’know, All is Lost. It would be just Kratos, he never says anything, all the other characters speak in a different language and they very rarely speak. It would be 20 hours where nobody talks. It would have either sucked or have been really amazing.”
Barlog goes on to explain that as a partner, Sony did not force Santa Monica to scale back on their vision and because of that, players will get the biggest God of War title since God of War 2 and possibly the deepest narrative driven iteration of the series so far when it officially launches next year.
“Our game is so much bigger than anything we’ve ever done,” says Barlog. “God of War 2 was big – and I just kept adding stuff to the point that it had the biggest footprint you could imagine because we wanted to execute on the vision. This one is so much bigger, but I’m just as ignorant.”
Barlog worked on the first two installments for God of War and a portion of God of War III before leaving Sony for unknown reasons. The director would go on to work with George Miller on Mad Max Fury Road and later joined developer Crystal Dynamics to work on the Tomb Raider reboot in 2012 only to leave the studio a year later to return to Sony, a partner the famed director describes as “probably the best I’ve ever worked with.”
God of War is slated to release early 2018 for PS4.