God of War Devs Say They Aimed for “Mythical Realism”

Santa Monica Studio has been releasing several podcasts for its upcoming God of War. The most recent episode had Lead Environment Artist Nate Stephens and Lead Environment Concept Artist Luke Berliner divulging certain details regarding the upcoming PS4 exclusive.

In the latest podcast on God of War‘s official site, Stephens revealed that there was initially a small team working on the game at the beginning of its development. An idea was pitched to essentially drop the massive and epic setpieces with colossi statues and titans, instead focusing on being “really minimalist and really realistic.”

The development team discovered a new style, which they referred to as “mythical realism.” The concept revolves around historical detail/mythology and is heavily inspired by fantasy movies from the eighties. If we had to guess, the team is probably inspired by the late Ray Harryhausen and his legendary stop-motion work on movies like The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and The Argonauts, judging by early gameplay footage.

Every setpiece is more intimate in the new God of War, with the color correction set to give the game a more cinematic look. In God of War, Kratos learns that there are nine realms connected by the world tree Yggdrasil and that there is a way to move between them.

The team incorporated director Cory Barlog;’s research on the realms, taking some liberties while still attempting to be as authentic as possible. At first, the team found it difficult to find the right look for each realm, as they wanted to make each as distinct as possible. Throughout the course of almost four years, “hundreds if not thousands” of drawings were produced. Alfheim and Helheim took a few months each to complete.

The new God of War features a camera that spins around 360 degrees and runs right up to elements of the environment, instead of the fixed camera in previous games. The textures are now impressively eight times larger than they were before. Berliner adds that there will be many details that might not be easily noticeable but will be subtly contextualized in the environment.

As for Kratos himself, he’s more three-dimensional this time, but there are still pieces of the “vengeance guy” lurking within. He still has certain “Kratos Rules,” such as not stepping away from fights and being an efficient Spartan warrior, but more elements will be added to the new God of War.

The new God of War has more humor, feelings, and emotions. It will also feature a lot of environmental hazards, be they puzzles or during combat. For example, one level will have players use their logic to help Kratos navigate his way through explosive world tree roots.

The game will not be as linear as previous games, as players will have choices to take paths which stray from the main route. However, there will be subtle visual markers to assist players. Certain locations like Caldera Lake and Alfheim will even allow players to explore on a boat to discover hidden dungeons and beaches.

God of War is already in a state of development where Stephens goes through the game and identifies which elements of the environment will need to be further refined. The team was surprised that this game is larger in length and square footage than the usual games they make, which often runs around 10 to 15 hours.

God of War is developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It is slated to be released on April 20th, 2018.

(Via DualShockers)