If you can believe it, it’s been just shy of a decade since everybody’s favorite God killer, Kratos, took down Zeus and rode off into the sunset. That wasn’t the last we saw of the Ghost of Sparta. God of War Ascension, released in 2013, told a story from Kratos’ past but did little to move his tale into the future. On the PS4, Sony Santa Monica promises to tell a new story with Kratos, so ahead of E3 2017, let’s recount everything we know about the new God of War.
At E3 2016, we got a peak at the eighth installment in the long-running franchise. The start of what we assume is a new trilogy for Kratos will simply be called God of War, not God of War IV like one might assume. This is likely to avoid alienating a new player base who might be unfamiliar with past God of War titles.
The new game takes place years after the events of God of War III, and sees an older, bearded Kratos raising his son, and presumably butting heads with the Norse Pantheon.
When Sony Santa Monica made the announcement during Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, they showed off a gameplay demo alongside it. In the demo, Kratos takes his son hunting and they tackle with a few monstrous foes in the frost covered tundra Kratos has made his home.
It’s in the demo that we see a new side of Kratos, that of a father, and one who seems determined to keep his emotions in check. Creative director Cory Balrog later revealed that Kratos’ son is named Atreus and that he learned to hunt from his mother. We still have no word on who his mother is. Balrog went on to say that Kratos learning to control his trademark rage would be an important factor in the game’s plot. Kratos son is sure to play a big role as evidenced by the game having a button dedicated to the Spartans offspring.
Combat, which in past God of War titles focused on fast-paced brutality and building up your combo counter appears to have undergone massive change. All of that glorious gore is present but the combo counter has been given the boot. Combat seems more precision based this time around and Kratos has traded in his blades of Athena for a large axe emblazoned with blue runes. You can toss the axe at any enemy or surface and call it back with the push of a button much like Nordic God, Thor’s magic hammer.
If you watched the demo you may have also noticed dramatic changes to the in-game camera. Past God of War games used a fixed camera perspective, meaning your view would change from different fixed points as you moved from one room to another in your environment. This new game will be using a behind the back third-person camera, used in more recent Sony titles like Horizon Zero Dawn. This perspective should allow for more intimate exploring of the environment.
Balrog spoke briefly about the game’s plot across multiple interviews. He hinted that the “nine realms” of Norse mythology: Alfheim, Asgard, Jotunheim, Midgard, Muspelheim, Nidavellir, Niflheim, Svartalfheim, and Vanaheim would all be explored by Kratos on his journey.
Balrog also confirmed in an interview with Levelup that the title will feature no multiplayer. A multiplayer mode was present in 2013’s God of War Ascension, but with the new title, Santa Monica wanted to focus on a deep single-player narrative.
Hopefully, we’ll get even more details, along with a release date at E3 2017. Until then, thanks for reading!