During a post-conference interview, God of War's developer reveals the game is set after the third entry in the franchise, and does not contain an open world.
It's no secret at this point that Sony's E3 2016 press conference contained a lot of big announcements, among them the reveal of a new God of War game. As many fans will attest, the hearty helping of gameplay footage that set up Sony's entire showcase for the night had lots surprising elements, such as a new behind-the-back camera perspective, a more deliberate and measured pace, as well as an older Kratos showing patience and empathy for the first time in the series.
Although God of War's demo reel for E3 2016 gave fans plenty of juicy details to digest, it also raised plenty of questions, some of which have been answered by Sony Santa Monica creative director Cory Barlog during a post-conference interview with YouTube Live at E3. Barlog confirmed the next chapter in the epic tale takes place many years after the series' third installment, revealed that players control Kratos throughout the entirety of the game, and stated the franchise's familiar gameplay style has been altered completely, saying:
"The main thing we're doing is we're reimagining the gameplay, kind of tearing it down, rebuilding it from scratch, and continuing the storyline. We're carrying the mythology we've created with God of War and bringing it into Norse mythology."
While the alteration of the God of War franchise's core gameplay could raise some fans' eyebrows, it's important to note that developers aren't going completely off the rails. When asked about the openness of the game's world, for instance, Barlog explained, "It's open, but it's not an open world." The Sony Santa Monica creative director then went on to further elaborate on the reasons why developers made the switch from the fixed angles of the previous titles in the series to the third-person perspective, stating:
"We wanted a much more intimate experience, a much more up close, and a much more player-controlled experience, so the camera really is a mechanic that we're leaning into heavily for everything in the game. I think you can expect the same pick-up-and-play accessibility that we've had in all previous games, but the new perspective gives you an entirely new take on the game."
During the discussion, Barlog also covered God of War's quick-time events, detailing that the new game wouldn't be like the older titles, but didn't provide any concrete examples. The only explanation he gave to describe the feature was that the team wanted fans to "get up close to the action."
With E3 2016 in full swing, there ought to be loads more details being divulged to the public when it comes to God of War. For instance, just recently, the game's lead level designer Rob Davis revealed that the title's demo was not run on a PS4 Neo, but on a "regular" PlayStation 4 at 30 frames-per-second, as many speculated its smooth visuals were due to the power of Sony's forthcoming upgraded hardware.
In any event, change and evolution is inevitable when it comes to game development, so there may be some fans who are not too keen on God of War's modifications to the series' core gameplay. With that potentially being the case, one should look to some of the amendments made to Capcom's survival-horror series with Resident Evil 4, which went on to revitalize the series completely.
God of War is currently without a release window, but it's expected to be a PlayStation 4 exclusive.