God Of War Director Discusses The Narrative Benefits Of Boats
The upcoming God of War game from Santa Monica Studio is one of the most highly-anticipated titles of 2018, and for good reason; everything we have seen thus far points to an incredible journey featuring one of our favorite protagonists from the olden days of the PlayStation 2, and the developer team seems more than up to the task of delivering the experience. With that said, as we draw closer to the as-yet undisclosed release date, more details are coming to light regarding the development of the title, in particular the way the narrative of the story was shaped around what is made available to Kratos and Atreus in terms of means of travel. In a recent interview with Gameinformer, God of War director Cory Barlog reveals the unlikely object that serves as a catalyst for the narrative experience we are expecting out of the game: boats.
To preface the words from the God of War director, it should be noted that we are not, in fact, centered in Greek Mythology anymore. Kratos can’t simply hop onto a Pegasus and fly off into the sunset going from location to location, nor can he count on help from Godly entities during his travels. Plus, since we can’t simply have Kratos and his son swim everywhere, we instead have boats. Lots of boats. “As we started looking at, first, the crazy amount of investment for full 3D swimming to be awesome, and, second, to have a character follow you in in full 3D swimming, the programmers kept giving me that look,” said Barlog.
I started investigating this idea of a big Viking longboat, and then realized you could really continue the narrative throughout. You can slow traversal down and you can change the pacing and interaction style and point of view. All while having these moments that you probably couldn’t get in any other situations.”
Despite the team’s desire to go the swimming route, the ‘two birds one stone’ thought process behind the use of boats is certainly a sound one. Swimming parts in games have oftentimes been the weakest parts of otherwise enjoyable experiences, too, so cutting swimming out straight up makes sense. “It turned out really well, but to be quite frank, it was not popular for a long time on the team,” Barlog says.
I think most those people wanted the swimming – as I wanted the swimming – but I think I just accepted earlier than they did. But it’s a bigger win to do this. It really took a core group of people digging in and finding that core feel that really made it, ‘Oh, okay, I get it’.”
Kratos and his son will be long-boating their way into our hearts at some point in 2018, exclusively for the PlayStation 4. The current placeholder date up on the PlayStation Store lists the release date as late December 2018, though we may only need to wait a month or two more, if the date leaked last December is any indication.
So, thoughts on the latest behind-the-scenes info from the God of War director? Would you have enjoyed swimming as Kratos? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, stay tuned to Don’t Feed the Gamers for all the latest gaming and entertainment news! Don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for our 24/7 news feed!
Ryan "Cinna" Carrier3026 Posts
Ryan is the Lead Editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.