director Cory Barlog has revealed that Sony Santa Monica had discussed cutting Kratos from the game during the early planning stages for the 2018 PS4 game.Talking at Gamelab in Barcelona, Eurogamer reports that Barlog said “Early in discussion, people were saying we had to get rid of Kratos. It was like, ‘he’s annoying, he’s done’.”
Barlog went on to describe that members development team felt that Kratos’ anti-hero design had been played through in the original trilogy, and that the new game needed a fresh protagonist. The argument was that the mythology was important to the series, not the character of Kratos.
Barlog managed to convince the team that Kratos was a worthy protagonist by making the game’s story about a shift in his personality, brought around by his son, Atreus. While this new plot brought with it many concerns about God of War turning into a game-long escort mission, and added pressure onto animators and programmers who had to handle a second protagonist who accompanies Kratos almost constantly, Sony Santa Monica managed to push through and deliver on Barlog’s vision for the game.
That final vision has proven to be one of the best PS4 games; God of War has fast become a firm favourite for many gamers. It won many awards, including the BAFTA for Best Game, and Best Character for Kratos at the DICE Awards. Since then, Sony Santa Monica has begun looking for new staff who have knowledge of God of War. Is the sequel on the horizon?
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.