The folks over at Sony have published a video which details some features of the much awaited upcoming God Of War instalment. Combat designer Mihir Sheth and Gameplay Engineering Lead Jeet Shroff describe both axe and close combat over the gameplay walkthrough, available below. However it’s not necessarily these new combat features that get us excited about God of War 4, it’s the efforts made by developers to mature their game into an expression of human experience where the demo really shines through.
A lot of what we get from the walkthrough is a more defined understanding of the plot of the game. We learn that Kratos has been struggling to come to terms with his past now that he has aged and has since moved away from Greece in order to fulfil a narrative set in Norse mythology. The duo paint the game as a father-son adventure and note camera differences that allow for a more intimate experience of Kratos himself. The story itself is said to be ingrained within all aspects of the play experience, with dialogue and action around Kratos indicating the narrative the whole time.
There’s tension between Kratos learning to control his rage, and allowing it to serve him well when facing off against the more intimidating enemies, allowing developers to play with the father-son relationship from a different perspective. We will see little Kratos jr level up and learn from his father, in a mechanic that will serve the game’s maturation in theme and expression.
While the video doesn’t offer us anything new to look at, it does help pinpoint some of the combat action that was being shown off. The axe looks set to become a vital part of gameplay and combat, and can be used as a melee weapon, to perform area attacks, or to be thrown and recalled. While actual features aren’t expanded beyond what we already knew, we are told that the overall effect of these new methods of storytelling, combat, and camera work will serve to create a much more visceral, intense, and intimate gameplay experience.