First Look: Santa Monica Studio’s New God of War on PS4

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First Look: Santa Monica Studio’s New God of War on PS4

Everything, everywhere changes.

Change is an essential part of life. In creative development change is often the explosive spark that transforms good enough into truly memorable.

Several years ago we at Santa Monica Studio began the journey of creating a new God of War. All of us recognized a special honor and responsibility to create a different and better and truly more memorable experience than before. I realized early on that we had to make changes in every aspect of the game.

First Look: Santa Monica Studio’s New God of War on PS4

I knew I didn’t want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over with a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.

For Kratos, this change means breaking the cycle of violence, distrust and deception that his family, the Greek pantheon, perpetuated for so long. That cycle drove a whole host of bad decisions – the ill-fated deal with Ares, the murder of his family and a rage fueled descent into madness and vengeance that ultimately ended with the epic destruction of Olympus.

It also means learning how to control his rage, the intensely turbulent monster that lives within him, steering him down ever-darker paths. Kratos needed to figure out how to put the monster back in the box, how to control when he does and does not let that monster out.

Kratos’ rage has provoked a ton of bad decisions in his life, so I was fascinated to see what would happen if he actually made a good one. What would that look like? How would he struggle with this very difficult and unfamiliar road? And more importantly, why would he do this?

The last question was answered in my own life with the birth of my son, a tremendously transformative event that had me thinking about all kinds of change in life. It is hard for human beings to truly change, but one thing that can really motivate us is the thought of being responsible for a life, and especially the life of our child. The weight of that responsibility drives the instinct to protect, to want to prevent the mistakes of our past being delivered upon them. There is no end to the lengths we will go, no adversity we will not overcome, to be better… for them.

Once the decision to change was made, things got really interesting for Kratos and for all of us here at SMS. The road to creating a new God of War is a seemingly endless climb up an impossibly enormous mountain, filled with countless gut-wrenching failures and joyfully sweet successes.

Change is hard, but through it all we persevere, getting back up each time we are knocked down and celebrating each breakthrough, knowing that this journey ends in the realization of a collective vision – a great change in something we all hold very dear – a chance for us all to be better.

This playable gameplay teaser is an early first glimpse at the new beginning for God of War. We are so very eager to show you more as the game continues to take shape.


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  • Not sure how I feel about the change in view but the game looks great. Looks like The Last of Us…

  • Sony, just take my money now.

  • Release date?

  • Hmm. Unfortunately feels really generic to me so far. The cinematic camera (and not having to worry about fiddling with it) was part of what made God of War special… if I wanted a standard 3rd-person view, I’d play, well, almost any other game made in the last 10 years…


      Generic is the LAST thing I’d call God of War. Can I please have your dealer’s number? I want whatever you you taking during the conference. Did we even watch the same conference? Generic… funny.

  • Where are the PS Vita games???

    • vita is dead

    • I live!

    • Vita is only dead (seemingly) to Sony… it is a brilliant system. Sony just lost focus with it… much the same way they lost it with PSP…. if it were Nintendos system they would have had 2hrs of keynotes just for VITA

    • I wish Sony would do some more 1st party support for their own hardware

    • They aren’t doing anymore exclusives for Vita. The only stuff coming to Vita now are cross-platform games and indies.

    • PSVita is NOT dead and I wish people would really stop saying such things. Just because Sony may not be actively developing for it anyone doesn’t mean its dead, its actually very much alive with all the 3rd party support and indie games. This is just my two cents and I don’t want to sound like a jerk or start a flame war, but when people say such things it really shows such disdain for the platform and just makes that person look bad. Again, that’s just my opinion.

  • jesus I want it now!!

  • So it’s pretty much the last of us but without guns and with Norse mythology

  • Just let it go already. The series has run it’s course and this is the end all proof. Horizon blew this away.

  • Wow! Congrats on your son, and congrats for getting me to care about Kratos again. And the game looks incredible, too. Great job all around :-D

  • ultimatepunchrod

    I’ve loved God of War since the first, and I understand the need to change things up. I’m in, but I’m hoping it still feels like God of War.

  • Looks incredible. Love the direction you’re taking with the franchise. Can’t wait to play it.

  • Wtf? I’m totally confused. So this is the story of Kratos the good guy father trying to protect his son? At least tell us this is GOW open world and the son dies and we can go running around going ape **** on everything!!

  • Wow. Sony pulled it. Rebooted a classic that looks just as good, if not better with a Kratos that actually gives a damn about another person. Awesome

  • Easily the highlight of a show that was slightly “ho hum.” This and Insomniac’s Spiderman have me excited.


    My favorite game of the entire show! I’d say Kojima’s game was tied back who the heck even understood it? Naked dude on the beach, seems to have had a child maybe he had (scar on his stomach). Might be a world where men can be pregnant? A beach full of black and death and 5 floating humans or just some creatures overseeing it all and disappearing. Another mind **** game but I’m ready!

  • Absolutely incredible!!! I’m intrigued to learn more about the back story and the new game mechanics. What a reveal!

  • Had to use one hand to hold my jaw closed, as to not drool all over my dualshock4.

  • Looks good, Cory. Keep it up.

  • omg I need this now! Take all my money.

  • Why does every Sony game now must have the same tone as The Last of Us? :(

    • Am I the only one who DID NOT see this being like The Last of Us? The only similarity I saw was the camera, and that wasn’t something The Last of Us started anyways.

  • ok i want santa monica add that old click buttons method before kratos finish his moves… i like that in old god of war games.. rest of the game look amazing will going to play..

  • ok i want santa monica add that old click buttons method before kratos finish his moves… i like that in old god of war games.. rest of the game look amazing…

  • This is amazing, I can’t believe how good everything about this looks!

  • Wow! Sweet as all hell Fianlly God of War has come home to PS4!! I have platinumed all, and will day 1 purchase and plat! A couple things…

    Did you guys change the voice actor this does not sound like thw Kratos ive been playing for the last 10 years. I hope not.

    I also agree with above comments, i liked the fixed camera linear approach God of War games have its a story i like to play from start to finish. With out any distractions in the middle. This demo looked more open world?

    Thank you Santa Monica your the best!

    Kratos love the beard bro!

    • I noticed the voice sounds different from the original. And I know voice actors can act in different voices, accents, tones etc….

      Who is the actor? The game is a day 1 for me but I gotta know the answer to my question lol!

    • Sounds like it is Christopher Judge (Tael’c from Stargate SG1)

    • At times, it sounded like TC Carson, at other times, it was a bit off. It may still be TC Carson, but giving a new take on the character. We don’t know exactly how much time has passed since God of War III to this game. I’d say the son is about 10-12 years old, so we’re looking at at least 15 years between the games, but it’s probably more. Kratos is aged more, so he’s gonna sound different to an extent.

  • I freaking loved the God of War games. I played all of them (not counting the mobile phone game) and freaking loved every minute of them. Although I’m not entirely sure if this game takes place after the events of God of War III or if it’s just it’s own story with little-to-no connection.

  • And…. Give us a Demo of what was just presented at E3 similar to how you demoed GOW3 years ago!


  • I’m really happy to see this change in Kratos, its a good time for a change. He apparently survived at the end of God of War 3 and its good to see his life is no longer about vengeance, hatred, rage and anger. All the previous games in the series really drove home that point but now that this new chapter is about so much more I am glad to see this reflected in the gameplay, I’m really excited for this! It’s good to see you back at the helm Cory and congrats on the birth of your child. :D

  • I can not get over how amazing this game is, it absolutely blew me away and watching it on the big screen was beyond amazing. Sony, you freaking killed it! I could give a **** about MS new hardware, it’s all about the games. :D I love you SONY AND SSM!!!

  • Completely stoked. Very interested in the re-imagining aspect. Risky. From what was shown…I’m down.

  • I didn’t get the boy’s name (Hirden?), but I suppose it will be him we’ll be playing during (most) of the game. Those experience gained in some parts of the game are based on the kid’s actions, not Kratos’. Excited to know more about it!

  • Yeah the classic God of War games are classics but this.. I’m liking this new one! It can work as a continuation of the past games with Kratos having a new life in Norway or something like that. Looking forward to this! :D

  • I LOVE the new immersive camera and how Kratos isn’t angry all the time now. He’s actually trying to be a good dad. This might be the first GoW I buy!

  • CrownedinTerror9

    Why oh why did they change his voice :-( otherwise…bad ass!!!

  • I was skeptical about a reboot, Nordic setting…. Sony Santa Monica seems to have nailed it again. Much as I love GoW this looks like a fantastic reboot to an already epic franchise. Surely SSM will knock this out the park. Keep up the great work team!! Like so many other titles I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Though being an action/adventure junkie this has to be atop that list.

    • Agreed! its freaking awesome! It will be just as epic!!
      THIS is how you reboot things…. this is the ONLY way to have done it. as i hope there are NO ties to previous games.
      bec that would not work bec of the timeline…

      i am so stooked… i just hope they make a trilogy of this new god of war too.. so i have more to play once i have ps4.


  • So I think we can all agree that kid is going to die and Kratos is going to get nettled. Super nettled.

  • This looks to be a risky but great move, I’m on board for this one

  • I will certainly give this game a try but I’m not sure that I’m okay with the gameplay change. There are so few hack n slash games as it is.

  • Very interested in where this goes! Must see more!

  • Im okay with all the changes, but I really hope its still a Hack and Slash at its core, and this teaser was just like an intro and not what the whole game will be about. Like Last of Us type thing. I have LoU for that. I need GoW for GoW gameplay. If that makes sense.

  • I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!!! Kratos is back and holy crap is this awesome!

    I can’t wait to see him beat the snot out of Thor with his own hammer!

  • a playable gameplay teaser? cant wait to get my hands on that!

  • Ok… so is this a reboot or a Sequel ??? If it’s a reboot then my hype for the game just lowered down…
    I thought this was a sequel to God of War 3 tbh. Seriously, you guys just wasted a whole new potential of the ending of God of War 3. When Kratos opened the Pandora, all the devil and terrors unleashed throughout the world, and with the God of Olympic fall. A new world and Gods arise! A Norse Mythology!
    This would be so awesome! But you guys wasted a GREAT opportunity here.

    I’m fine with Reboot but what up with rebooting everything ? from Ratchet & Clank to God of War to Final Fantasy 7 to Crash ??? We need to advance, make more sequel. Less reboot and this might sound crazy but LESS new IPs please Sony! There is a fine line between not milking the franchise, yes, but there is also a fine line between just make new IP for the sake of making something new…..

    With all that being said tho, you still won E3 2016 in my heart. So Congrat PlayStation family!

    • I can’t believe what I’ve just read…you are the very problem of the community.So you prefer them to milk a game rather than make new IPs?…I’m just glad ma hope in mankind has long ago vanished.

    • This is a sequel. Did you not read the article? This is after God of War III, after he destroyed Olympus. It’s a new beginning for Kratos and trying to make better of his life instead of being the rage filled Kratos that he was before.

      P.S. This is Norse mythology now.

  • So this is it?…this guy really is Kratos?…I got 1 thing to say…LAME!!.

    Its just a shame how Sony wanna take advantage of the name “GoW”,for the love of games,the love of what GoW built in all these years…leave the GoW name behind,this guy isn’t Kratos.

    Aside from that damn impressive display of technical prowess that demo,loved it but I was expecting to not see the name GoW at end and also was expecting this guy to not be Kratos cuz I liked him and his son and their relationship…now it just feels like a lame character.Sony let GoW go…should’ve made this game a new IP with GoW DNA but no Sony needs to milk GoW.

    Still…can’t wait to play.

    • You see one trailer and you automatically assume that this will be the Kratos we see for the entire game? He’s going after the Norse gods now. This is a time of calm for him. We will see that rage filled Kratos later.

    • I’m not complaining about the way of this Kratos,about him not being the usual rage-filled Kratos,I like his style I’m sad that this guy “IS” Kratos.They could’ve made a new character like a Kratos descendant or something like that…Kratos story ended on 3.This game would be much better without Kratos and without the name GoW slapped on it.

    • hey dude how is it lame its a whole new path for Kratos to overcome and evolve even more as a character and if they had done a new IP with GoW “dna” we wouldve gotten something like darksiders, heavenly sword or dantes inferno i mean yea there are times when a reboot is a horrible idea but think about it dude just how much more brutal could Kratos become when faced with the gods of asgard hes going to throw down

    • I agree with you welmosca that’s not Kratos , nor we will see the blades of chaos, I don’t want ta use ah axe , he even looks like he’s sickly,and damn the kid, I come ta rip and tear not baby sit, and they took out the original actor tc Carson, this game isn’t gonna be the same,please bring him back in the next one ,if not just kill off the game,yall messed up ascension toying with his emotions and that game didn’t do well at all,stop making Kratos soft,and let tc Carson bring back the raw no mercy Kratos back

  • wow,thank u santa monica….though kratos looks much older,but its good to see a different kratos….i hope im wrong but i think this will be the last time we see kratos,looks like kratos is gonna die in this game and probably his son will seek revenge in the next installment of god of war….its been an honor,i can now say my 1000 rands is yours @santa monica

    • If anyone is dying, it’s the kid. God of War is the story of Kratos. Kratos has been killed three times up to this point. He’s a demigod. He’s not dying. The original idea was for him to eventually become death itself (the grim reaper).

  • One good decision for Santa Monica to have made was if they had had Kratos wipe out christianity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Goat[sic]) on his merry way thereby saving humanity nearly two thousand years of misogyny, self-hate and stress, putting us out of it’s misery.

    Ah well, it was not to have been, but this latest offering (“still under development”) looks fine to me. I will be pre-ordering the inevitable collectors edition once it is made pre-orderable.

  • Since I’ve been a fan of the series since the early days of PS2 (as well as Greek Mythology in general for many years), I’m going to keep an open mind here. My problem with Ascension was that it just isn’t any fun unless you’re taking out the gods of Olympus. I hope that isn’t the problem here, otherwise it’s a probable deal-breaker.

  • The moment I seen that this game took a different approach and especially the graphic style and the open world look. I went outside and rubbed my ass on this womans mailbox because I was so happy! You guys have made me the happiest man on the planet foreal! Take my money now. Just take it. You guys got me bent over a barrel with my tender ass just waiting to be pounded by your thrusting manhood. Like omg.

  • Loved all the god of War games so far but this doesn’t fit for me. Now if we can kill the kid and play the game as Kratos alone, that would be ok but I don’t think they will let that little brat die because the series will focus on him after this game I imagine.

    Maybe Zeus will show up and smack some sense into Krato and let him understand that there is no way he can have redemption from everything he has done and to live with the rage and embrace it to slaughter all in his path. MUAHAHAAHHAAHHAA

    Also the facial expressions are still just awful. I don’t know if it is a limitation with programming or the lack of next-gen power in the PS4 but I hope they can fix that.

    Will I buy it? Really doubtful at this point. I will wait for reviews to come out to hear about the mechanics and how long the story actually is. Hopefully there will be NO MULTIPLAYER CRAP.

  • The ONLY thing I don’t like at the moment, is the Strafe movement. I am normally not a fan of it in many games, and prefer to move freely. However, about EVERYTHING ELSE, it looks AMAZING!! I am confident this is going to be an epic game, and that it will still have huge and epic set pieces as the others have.

  • LOVED the demo and love seeing Kratos take on the new role. Dad of War. Amazing. Don’t like the new camera angle though.

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