Everyone initially doubted that a God of War game featuring Kratos with a son would ever work. After receiving a string of glowing reviews over the past week, it seems that Kratos having a son in the new God of War game could be a good thing. According to the game's director Cory Barlog, the game almost did not feature Kratos' son, Atreus, at all.
Speaking to GameSpot, Barlog revealed that Atreus was either going to be removed from God of War or have a smaller role in the game. He said: "It would have been very different. The early phase when they told me, "Man, this might be too hard, too expensive, we're already looking at so many challenges, it's maybe too much."
Barlog explained that the new God of War would have worked even without Atreus. However, he admitted that the game would have turned out to be a very different game if that had happened. He added: "The comparison I made was, "Alright, it's gonna be All Is Lost with Robert Redford'; it's gonna be one character who talks to himself occasionally, but generally, it will be very silent and everyone will talk in old Norse, so that you won't understand anything anybody's saying."
God of War lead level designer Rob Davis also revealed that Atreus' role in the game provides a mix of unique gameplay and story opportunities. He said: "Actually like having Atreus be an expert in Norse language and mythology is awesome because you can do a whole other set of design based on what Atreus is an expert in, that Kratos is sort of not. You can do a third setup where neither of them really understand what's going on and then you get cool storytelling level design and puzzles and exploration intersecting because they're discussing the thing they have to work out together."
Interestingly, Kratos's relationship with his son mirrors Barlog's real-life experience, with him becoming a father at the beginning of the game's development and that affected the writing. "It's kind of like, put him in a situation where he has no choice but to deal with it," Barlog said. "And, in this game, he'd been trying to avoid it, even though he wants to figure this out, he'd been avoiding it for so long, the beginning of this game is all about forcing him into that situation. Honestly, for me, that's the most perfect dramatic ground to play in."
Developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, God Of War will release for the PS4 on April 20th, 2018. In our review, we gave the game a perfect rating of 5 out of 5. A new trailer was also recently released, which you can check out below.