God of War (2018) delivered Sony one of its biggest hits in years, and it’s not hard to see why. The PS4 game dealt with timeless themes: fatherhood, death, and overbearing parents. And it came out at the perfect time. By 2018, fans who played the original God of War in 2005 were the right age to be dealing with these sorts of issues in their own lives.
That doesn’t mean the reboot’s changes were all good, though.
With a sequel inevitable, God of War 2’s developers should strive to bring back some classic elements while staying true to the franchise’s new sensibilities.
Speculation over God of War 2 was sparked by Kim Newman, a narrative animator at Santa Monica Studio, who tweeted about mocap work she was doing. Since she’s an animator at the company that developed God of War, that started a lot of tongues wagging.
While the Norse reboot was a roaring success, Sony Santa Monica should seriously consider bringing back two classic gameplay elements.
Fans of earlier God of War titles missed the faster pace of combat, and many complained that the mechanics were too unforgiving. That may have added realism, but it made the game less fun to play.
The fixed cinematic camera shots marked a dramatic shift from previous entries and created some gameplay challenges. The camera was very close to the character, which – again – made the game feel more realistic, but it made any battle with more than one enemy a nightmare.
Gameplay quibbles aside, the one thing Sony shouldn’t change is the refreshing emphasis on character development.
In previous entries, Kratos felt like a joke about steroid abuse that didn’t have a punchline. Now he’s a real person with struggles and difficulties, making him much easier to care about.
I’m not asking the developers to tinker with the elements that made God of War a generational gaming experience. I just want to be able to see what’s stabbing me in the butt.