Without a doubt, God of War was one of the best games showcased during E3 2017, and now the developer Santa Monica Studio is doing its best to share as many details about the forthcoming action-adventure game before its release next year without spoiling all of the fun. As it so happens, during a recent interview with Polygon, Santa Monica Studio’s creative director, Cory Barlog, confirmed that the PlayStation 4 exclusive will not be an open world experience, and explained why without revealing too much about the gameplay.
As Barlog has explained in past discussions, he and his team at Santa Monica Studio want the next God of War‘s gameplay and story, as well as the character of Kratos to be a meaningful and engaging evolution from previous entries, but making the next installment in the franchise an open world didn’t seem appropriate to the transformation process. The Santa Monica Studio creative director even said, “I knew right away that I did not want to make an open-world game. I did not want to make a game in which people felt like they were doing a checklist of things.”
Although God of War is not going to feature an open world, Barlog’s assertion of its absence isn’t to say that the game won’t have diverging paths from the main course of gameplay, as the title will contain secret areas for players to discover on their own. Of course, in order to keep some of the game’s secrets unspoiled, the creative director was careful not to divulge any information regarding exactly what kind of experiences await those who choose to explore uncharted territories.
“Kratos and Atreus have a goal that takes them all over the world, but always just off in the distance, there’s something that catches your eye. It’s this idea that we’re going to reward people for being curious or looking around. We’re not really ever going to put them in a position outside of that core experience, forcing them to do something.
“It’s the idea of seeing this little cave entrance off in the distance, boating over there, and actually going inside the cave, and coming out and seeing an entire level you never knew was there. It’s that feeling of being rewarded for your curiosity. It’s just huge. That’s why I play video games. It’s about existing in a world.”
We first heard about God of War‘s lack of an open world last year, with Barlog having said, “It’s open, but it’s not an open world.” However, the creative director has now given a clearer vision of what exactly he meant, with his explanation of the game’s structure seeming similar to the titles in the Dark Souls series. Interestingly enough, when this notion was presented to Barlog, he said the original Dark Souls is “obtuse, and gorgeous, and so perfect,” but God of War will take such a design scheme and execute it in its own way. With this being the case, one can only hope the forthcoming sequel is equal parts challenging, brutal, and chock full of hidden sections worthy of discovery.
God of War is scheduled for release sometime in early 2018 for PlayStation 4.