Santa Monica Studio Head Shannon Studstill recaps the new God of War trailer shown at PGW as we inch closer to the game's early 2018 release date.
“That’s a Soul Eater. If that kills us, that’s it… no Valhalla…” – Atreus
When we unveiled a bold, daunting, new direction for God of War at E3 2016, Cory wrote here “Change is an essential part of life. In creative development change is often the explosive spark that transforms good enough into truly memorable.” As we sit here in the studio on the cusp of our content lock for the game, I can tell you our team’s souls are downright driven to nail those memorable moments with as much determination as Kratos and Atreus are on their incredible journey. There are no Soul Eaters lurking in these halls, though today you may think otherwise with our studio Halloween decorations. This team is making it happen once again through perseverance, passion, and determination.
What you witnessed in God of War’s new Paris Games Week trailer is a smidgeon – a sliver – of the unflinching, intense, brutal, and often empowering new combat in God of War. Every time I pick up the controller to play, I feel like I have Kratos’ Leviathan Axe in my hand (I avoid using it as a projectile though), and can hear Atreus’ arrows whizzing by (not to mention his witty motivational banter). The impact of every attack you connect feels like it has a titanic ton of energized force behind it, and the strategic decisions you’ll be forced to make mid-combat are your keys to survival.
Intensity, strategy, and an emotional combat connection between father and son is what Cory and all the creative leads want people to feel when seeing this Draugr encounter in the Huldra Mine. When Kratos launches his Axe at a Heavy Draugr to vault him back a step, Atreus comes in with an acrobatic flying double kick, sending him like a ping pong ball right back into the brick wall that is Kratos’ bare fists. That combat moment in the middle of mayhem is a perfect example of how Kratos and Atreus can take down their enemies together.
With Atreus at your side you have the strongest support next to Kratos’ primary weapon and bare fists you’ve ever experienced in a God of War game. The team worked diligently to ensure Atreus’ actions vary from long range arrow stuns, to enemy strangleholds, to acrobatic tag-team maneuvers that will help Kratos take down any enemy, any size, and any amount.
I’m still barely scratching the surface here on our new combat system that we’ve been laboring on tirelessly, and can’t wait to show you more as we head into early 2018.