As we learned last year at E3 2016, God of War’s camera is placed over Kratos’ shoulder and can be controlled with the right stick, and there are no load screens, cinematics, or fades to black. It’s presented as a single, uninterrupted shot.
At this year’s E3, Game Director Cory Barlog told Eurogamer that “God of War is traditionally known for these cinematic, pull back cameras, which I think are fantastic,” but he realized it’d be interesting if we got closer to know Kratos a little more.
Barlog continued by revealing that God of War won’t feature any situations where they cut away and show what someone else is doing:
The vocabulary of film is camera cuts, it’s how they communicate. But games are different. We don’t really need to do that. We do it because it’s a language that we’re familiar with. It’s hard to not do it, I’m realizing that now, but it’s a challenge that I really wanted to take on. I’d been looking for a project that I could do this on and I felt like this was the one. There was big resistance, but I have probably one of the best teams in the business, so as much as they were pushing back, I think they all kind of wanted this crazy challenge.
So yeah, there’s never going to be a situation where we cut away and show you what someone else is doing. The trailer you watched shows snippets of the game, which unfortunately we’ve edited together, that’s really because I want to give a good cross-section. In the actual game itself, you’re never looking away. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Kratos is always on-screen, there are things that motivate us to look away, but we’re always returning and usually trying to frame Kratos so he’s anchoring everything that you’re looking at.
While you’ll be able to control the camera during certain conversations and events, Barlog said there will also be times when they take control of it:
The player won’t always have control [of the camera], although that was the aspiration at the beginning. We eventually got hit by the sobering reality that sometimes you just have to nudge the player and let them see what you want them to see, but it’s always a nudge. You always give them a little bit of a sense of freedom, so that it does feel like you’re experiencing all of this in real-time. That’s the beauty of games, it’s all happening in real-time.
[God of War 3 spoilers ahead]
Answering a couple of questions on Twitter, Barlog said Atreus is Kratos’ biological son, and Kratos didn’t die in God of War III:
Yes, Atreus is his biological son.
— Cory Barlog (@corybarlog) June 17, 2017
He didnt die in 3, but ascension was a prequel to the series
— Cory Barlog (@corybarlog) June 16, 2017
God of War releases in early 2018 for PS4.