2018’s God of War marked a serious departure for the franchise, and not simply because Kratos noticed himself journeying from Greek to Norse mythology. Santa Monica Studio’s acclaimed journey essentially modified many elements of the expertise of taking part in God of War, from its cinematic, unbroken digicam to Kratos’ Leviathan axe to the ever-present Atreus and a lot extra.
While God of War Ragnarok actually appears to be constructing on what got here earlier than, its new director Eric Williams is trying to evolve the basics of that memorable expertise, whereas additionally offering new selection and intrigue for gamers.
IGN spoke to Williams and Studio Creative Director (and director of GoW 2018) Cory Barlog after the Ragnarok gameplay reveal as part of the PlayStation showcase, and Williams defined some of his philosophy in approaching directing this sequel.
“God of War 2 and Ghost of Sparta are in all probability the 2 favourite video games that I labored on,” Williams mentioned. “There was a way to each these video games, taking the bottom and then saying, ‘You know what, let’s go deep on fan service. Let’s go huge on selection, however no more simply to have extra. More that was appropriately structured.
“For me being first time [in the director’s chair], I’m going to take the historical past classes of the previous, and I’m going to make use of these to attempt to try this. So in Ragnarok, what we try to do particularly with Kratos, we’re attempting to provide much more expressiveness to the participant.”
Every Character in God of War: Ragnarok
And, no, by “expressiveness,” Williams doesn’t suggest giving Kratos extra goofy photograph mode faces (although I personally would not be against them). Instead, he was referring to some of the alternatives round Kratos’ gear, which gamers had a a lot higher management over within the 2018 entry versus earlier video games. He additionally teased that Atreus, who usually served as an support in fight who had a restricted quantity of follow-up and combo strikes he may pull off whereas gamers managed Kratos.
“The approach [he and Kratos] hyperlink up, he is grown up just a little bit, so he is obtained much more follow-ups and setups for Kratos,” he continued, although he famous the staff is equally ensuring the suite of enemies gamers face can match as much as these new strikes.
“Creatures then clearly have to have instruments to go towards that, in any other case you are going to destroy them. So creatures have new issues that you will have to suppose, ‘Oh, I’d want to interrupt them down with Atreus first, or do that with Kratos,” Williams famous.
“There’s going to be just a little bit extra dialog with the enemies with all the brand new instruments. But as a result of you possibly can have totally different instruments, then you’ve gotten totally different conversations, so you possibly can sort of push them a technique or that approach,” he continued [conversation of course not meaning literal discussions but combat strategies], noting that in the way in which armor had depth within the first of these Norse-based video games, different components ought to equally permit for participant selection.
Williams additionally defined that this thought, of evolving and deepening what gamers skilled earlier than, can be being utilized to Ragnarok’s precise world, which can let gamers go to all Nine Realms whereas God of War 2018 omitted some. And regardless that Fimbulwinter has begun, gamers should not anticipate to solely encounter snowy realms.
“Going to all of the Nine Realms, that was huge for me making the outdated new once more. Any realm you have been to earlier than, as a result of Fimbulwinter has struck, they’re modified not directly. It doesn’t suggest that each realm is effected by snow, by the way in which. I believe that is a misnomer…Fimbulwinter is an occasion that modifications the realms in numerous methods. Midgard is the cataclysmic epicenter, so it obtained permafrost, virtually if you’ll.”
But all of the additions the staff is making are very methodically intentioned – whereas the gameplay teases trace at a higher selection than even 2018’s God of War provided, Williams needs to ensure all of these new additions imply one thing to the expertise, utilizing an instance from fight that signifies how these additions have wider results.
“Variety for selection’s sake will not be a factor in any respect [for us]. It’s there to serve what we’re attempting to do,” Williams mentioned. “Kratos grappling up the ledge with a sequence and then colliding with the enemy and going off [in the new gameplay footage], you could not do issues like that [in 2018]. Most of the gameplay final time passed off on a airplane. Now there’s some verticality to it, however it wasn’t [a thought like], ‘Oh, let’s have him flinging up partitions simply because.’ [That’s included] as a result of there’s gameplay oriented round it, virtually king of the hill-type encounters. So it modifications how a participant expresses themselves on the battlefield.
“Enemies additionally, can take benefit of that. So in case you’re not paying consideration, they are going to take benefit as properly. So it helps once more with that dialog that goes by means of fight.”
Though the gameplay trailer solely offers us a tease of what’s to return, it begins to determine how Santa Monica Studio is constructing on the brand new fight of 2018 and deepening it additional for gamers. For now, that gameplay should suffice as we look forward to God of War Ragnarok’s release on PS4 and PS5 in 2022.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior Features Editor, PlayStation Lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! He’s the proud canine father of a BOY named Loki. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.