Photograh, courtesy of Play Station website
God of War: Ragnarök: The Next Great Step in Santa Monica Studios Coveted Series
In 2005 the first God of War game was developed by Santa Monica Studios for the PlayStation 2. A new title that featured a character called Kratos, a spartan sent on a quest by Athena to kill Ares. This quest would span over multiple games and lead to new plot lines that follow Kratos taking down the Greek gods of Olympus. After taking down the Gods of Olympus the game series seemed to be over, but instead shifted over to Norse mythology and followed Kratos’s story in a new land with his son, Atreus. The most recent God of War game was released in 2018 and received high appraisal for the dynamic story, characters, and gameplay that gave the old God of War games a high revamp on what seemed like a new platform.
The expectation for Santa Monica Studios is high to make another masterpiece of a game considering the last God of War won numerous awards for design, soundtrack, and even a game of the year. With such high expectations there could be an unexpected failure that unintentionally happens in the game. I reached out to former Rainbow Six Siege e–sports player, Alex Lake to get his take on the game. He had a few key pointers on what he believed could make the game underperform. “Something that could kill the game is if the series fails to branch out. This means new mechanics, enemies, and mythologies. They did switch to Norse Mythology, but rinse and repeat kills.”–Lake. I also spoke to mechanical engineer Mason Fors about any insight he might have. “The game talks about a new revamped playing field and map, but so far from what I have seen it just looks like the same thing, but with a little bit of snow added”–Fors. Alex Lake also shows concerns for a game being unfinished and unpolished that would cause it to underperform. “This could turn out to be like CyberPunk, a broken unfinished mess that was supposed to showcase a next gen console.”–Lake. While the next gen consoles show promise for the future of video games, God of War will also be available on the old gen, but only on the Playstation Console.
While Lake’s concerns for the game’s future are something that everyone else is thinking, IGN states that there will be a change in the evolution of both the combat, and the world itself. Jonathan Dornbush writes that in an interview he had with creative directors Williams and Cory Barlog about the innovation of the game. One of the quotes that were mentioned that was heavily highlighted in the article was “Variety for variety’s sake is not a thing for us at all”–Williams. This shows that the developers are willing to go above and beyond to make the next God of War more enticing and interesting. Another interesting point of the development and direction of the game is that this saga of the story will only last two games. The developers stated that taking 15 years to make a game trilogy is to long. Instead, they would rather the story be told in two very detailed games. I tried to get ahold of someone who was currently working on the next God of War game but had no luck in doing so. God of War: Ragnarök is set to release in the year of 2022, with Santa Monica Studios as the developers and Sony Interactive Entertainment as the publishers.