Sony’s upcoming God of War exclusive for the PlayStation 4 is making some dramatic changes, including cutting the cinematic camera cuts and sudden QTEs classic to the franchise. Every God of War fan can likely remember a cinematic sequence featuring Kratos slaughtering a foe, camera jumping to capture exceptionally violent angles, with QTEs maintaining the player’s attention action to action. The new God of War is taking a different approach, one no less filmic and hopefully more artful.
God of War Director Cory Barlog confirmed with Giant Bomb’s Dan Ryckert the removal of camera cuts and QTEs, though it was noted that certain sequences did require button mashing if you consider those QTEs. It’s not that these were details that were kept hidden, however. Barlog has been quite outspoken about the camera changes in the new God of War game. It’s just a particularly interesting topic when compared to classic God of War gameplay.
What God of War aspires to now is quite ambitious. As revealed last year the entirety of God of War is intended to seem a “one-shot,” a term for a film sequence where the camera never cuts. That doesn’t mean that God of War‘s camera will never leave Kratos’ shoulder, however. It will still float and roam and, if the trailers have been any indication, maybe even begin following other characters like Kratos’ son.
In many ways God of War appears to be taking inspiration from another Sony developer: Naughty Dog. Uncharted gameplay goes well out of its way to maintain a one-shot, with the camera following Nathan at cinematic angles rather than in a single static position. Uncharted, however, also features CG cinematic cutscenes with traditional cuts. God of War likely wants to double down on maintaining that floating third-person perspective throughout, flowing into cutscenes and then flowing right back behind Kratos’ shoulder.
QTEs being dropped is likely due both to God of War‘s obsession with a cinematic camera, those button prompts in your face are very distracting, and also just a sign of the times. Classic God of War made no excuses regarding its in-your-face gameplay mechanics. It fit very well with its need to separate a player’s in-game actions from reality. Modern God of War though, that seems a much more mature and empathetic experience. This is a much different Kratos than fans remember, in more ways than one.
God of War is planned for release in early 2018 exclusively for the PlayStation 4.