The game wouldn’t have been the same without it.
Sony Santa Monica‘s God of War (2018) was one of the most critically-acclaimed games of 2018, and perhaps even in the current gaming generation. It managed to transform the previously one-dimensional Kratos into a complex man struggling to overcome the failures of his past while trying to be a father to his son, Atreus.
In a recent interview with GameSpot on their new show Audio Logs, God of War director Cory Barlog revealed that the arguably most iconic moment from the PS4 exclusive almost never made it into the game. How? Before we continue with the details, keep in mind that heavy spoilers for God Of War lie ahead.
That particular bombshell moment involved Kratos unearthing his old Blades of Chaos weapon, which he wielded in the first three games in his vengeance against the gods of the Greek pantheon. That scene was emotionally powerful because it represents Kratos finally facing up to his tragic past after keeping it buried all these years.
According to Barlog, the Blades of Chaos scene (and the ability to wield the weapon in-game) was almost not included in God Of War, due to “technical and design challenges”. This stemmed from the new game’s drastic switch from the older isometric and side-on third-person camera to a more dynamic and cinematic over-the-shoulders viewpoint.
“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.’
So we 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.”
Barlog added that the Blades of Chaos was ultimately added into the game because it was so integral to showcasing Kratos’ growth and maturity, despite how difficult it was.
“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.”
To celebrate the game’s one-year anniversary, Sony Santa Monica and PlayStation have released a new God Of War PS4 dynamic theme, new God Of War PS4 avatars, exclusive God Of War merchandise, and even a discount for God Of War on the PlayStation Store.
In the meantime, check out GameSpot’s full interview with Cory Barlog below.