The team at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio have released a video today shedding some new light on their provocative E3 gameplay reveal of God of War.
Gameplay Engineering Lead Jeet Shroff and Combat Designer Mihir Sheth both provide commentary on the E3 video, and go into detail on some of the new God of War game’s mechanics.
As well as detailing a couple of the game’s new Norse-inspired enemies – such as the “base common grunt enemy type” the Draugr, and the hulking boss-type troll – the two designers talk about the changes made to the series formula. “As you can see there are no camera cuts at all,” Shroff points out. “We never want the player to look away.” Indeed the camera is one of the first most noticeable changes to the game, opting for an over-the-shoulder view which lends the combat a more personal feel. “We want our combat to feel a lot more visceral and up close and intense,” said Sheth, who has been tasked with completely revamping a combat system that has been with the series since its inception.
One of the areas that both designers were keen to discuss was how the camera affects the narrative, and the story that they are keen to tell. Shroff explains the camera will act as author to more visual storytelling: he details how the camera is “without words, communicating a whole ton about the story of life that existed in these spaces.” The narrative itself will obviously be a more human affair: Sheth points out that “this is a game about a father and a son,” and that they are “exploring and humanising Kratos in a way that you haven’t seen before.” He also set up the game’s premise by saying that Kratos will be “older, struggling with his past, and has left the era of Greece.”
Perhaps the most intriguing facet of this new approach is the impact it has on gameplay. Shroff mentions at one point that “the son will level up.” This is the subtle bombshell, as it wasn’t made clear before that Kratos and the boy will accompany one another throughout the game’s adventure. We will keep our eyes on Santa Monica Studio in the coming weeks for more updates.
God of War has not yet been given a release date, and will be released exclusively for PS4.