God of War’s Combat Was Changed to Reflect Studio’s Growth Over Time

“What we play is different. God of War is a reflection of what we play.”


God of War

Reviews for SIE Santa Monica’s God of War are live and the response has been fairly stellar thus far. It currently has a Metascore of 94 based on 76 reviews (you can check out our review here) with significant praise for the atmosphere and new combat system.

Why did the combat system change though? According to game director Cory Balrog in conversation with GameSpot, it was because, “We have made seven games with that combat system.”

This isn’t change for the sake of change. Instead, Balrog wanted the developers at SIE Santa Monica to create an exciting take on the combat. As a whole, the combat system is meant to reflect how the studio has matured over the years with God of War being a reflection of that.

“I was looking around at how incredibly talented our systems and combat team was, and I was like, ‘I need them to take on the challenge that we had on God of War 1.’ That challenge of nobody really knows what that system was when I first got there in 2003. Combat was, I don’t want to say a mess, but it was more like they hadn’t found their sea legs with combat.

“Looking at the new God of War, we need a chance to show what we’ve learned over the last decade. So I didn’t want to change it for the sake of changing it, I wanted it to reflect how all of us [at the studio] have grown up. What we play is different. God of War is a reflection of what we play.”

To further illustrate how those changes can influence new entries in an established franchise, Balrog used Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 as an example. He said that the 2017 title “shows that creators with a very strong vision and a really good team can make these bold decisions and have the audience follow them, even if they are resistant at the beginning.” Though there will always be a “natural resistance” from one’s audience, which Balrog anticipates for the new God of War, he believes that it’s not much different from how people get worked up over a new James Bond actor.

God of War will be releasing for PS4 on April 20th.


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