During his GDC 2019 presentation, God of War director Cory Barlog revealed that the game’s script was “rebooted” after a year of development because he “screwed up” and things became a little convoluted.
“The first year, there are several points that I ignored that I was telling other people ‘we need to do this’ and then I totally screwed up, so I ended up having to reboot the reboot of the script, so we wrote the script for a year and it was the wrong script,” said Barlog. “I wasn’t paying attention, I wasn’t making this about the main characters and the story started to meander a little bit.”
Barlog said that he wanted a simple story with complex characters that gave Kratos a fresh start rather than continuing the cycle of building upon the previous games. He also revealed that he wanted to avoid pitching the game as a “reboot,” and instead, wanted to continue the series’ timeline while “reinventing the feel.”
“I was calling it a reboot, but I knew that I didn’t want to continue to call it a reboot because a lot of people would have these misconceptions and all this baggage that comes along with what a reboot is,” Barlog explained. “We’re gonna continue the timeline and reinvent the feel. We did so much work developing the character of Kratos, why would we throw all that out? We’re sort of treating the first seven games like chapter one of this character’s life.”
The developer likened God of War‘s mythologies to “galaxies spread throughout a complete universe” in that they “exist together concurrently, and they are simply separated by geography.”
When pitching the game to Sony’s Worldwide Studios boss, Shuhei Yoshida, Barlog emphasized on the father and son relationship, and the characters’ growth. The game’s combat was designed to be close and personal.
Barlog’s vision bore fruit. God of War was unanimously praised by critics and users upon its release, and continues to take home prestigious awards.
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