God of War had an epic showing at E3 2016, with an even better presence at this year’s E3 2017. That said, we at EGM, along with fans everywhere, are still left to question much of what could be in store. To keep our minds from exploding, we decided to organize these questions in one place to help keep track of the game leading up to release.
What we know we know
Will God of War have a fixed camera? The fixed camera was a thing of yesteryear, used in games before the dual analog stick offered more viable means of visibility. The God of War series held on to the antiquated design much longer than most and even benefited from its ability to show of dazzling views while also giving an effective perspective for fighting. Nothing lasts forever though, and the upcoming God of War finally shirks this primitive format for a tighter, over-the-shoulder point of view. Not only this, but the sequel is also doing away with camera cuts, so the connection between Kratos and the player is never severed.
What mythology will be the framework for God of War? The God of War games’ lore is deeply embedded in Greek mythology, but after slaughtering all the gods of Olympus, and even taking a look back through a prequel, the demigod was running out of deities to kill. To this end, God of War on PS4 will instead be set in the realms of Norse mythology, where the beasts and deities that Kratos must now face are that of Nordic lore.
Many of these can be found in concept art recently released by PlayStation, depicting many of the settings and creatures that players will encounter during their expedition. The release of the images was accompanied by a mentions of Höðr, the son of the god Odin and goddess Frigg. The references to the character, given the complex mythology behind him, could allude to details behind God of War‘s narrative.
There are also potential references to Norse mythology’s All-Father Odin, who was brought up in one episode of the developer’s The Lost Pages of Norse Myth podcast. New trailers from the game’s Lost Pages lore initiative additionally showcase a variety of the game’s creatures like Draugrs, Revenants, and Fire Trolls.
Will God of War feature any Vikings? The original God of War trilogy featured the Greek Spartans fairly heavily. In fact, Kratos started out as one. Fans could reasonably assume from this that the next God of War‘s redirection toward Norse mythology would feature the respective warriors that were part of the culture, but this apparently isn’t the case. Game director Cory Barlog has revealed on Twitter that the game takes place before the time of Vikings, and therefore none will show up in the experience.
Who is the boy accompanying Kratos in the God of War trailer? For the first time Kratos will have a family member with a presence in a game beyond a motivational death scene. As seen in the reveal trailer, Kratos’s son is young and doesn’t appear to excel at combat nearly to the level of his father, although he definitely plays his part and will be central theme of the game. After a long wait, we now finally know the boy’s name to be Atreus.
Will QTEs make a return in God of War? While the God of War series didn’t invent quick-time events, it most certainly streamlined them. In spite of this, the newest installment of God of War will be setting aside these intermittent reflex tests. That is not to say hack-and-slashing is all the game will be about, but new mechanics apparently won’t necessitate the same button-mashing reactions like the old games.
Will God of War have multiple routes to one objective? It was recently announced that the new God of War will have “alternate paths,” but the significance of this could vary to a great degree. On one hand, it could manifest as minor avenue deviations for the sake of innocuous secrets, but on the other, it could mean completely different paths that offer a variety of gameplay opportunities. It is currently unclear how these alternate paths will show up in game, but knowing the quality that comes from this studio, one could assume it’ll lean more toward the latter. Alternate paths likely won’t translate to level design more open than something along the lines of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. There will still likely be much to explore, but still with extensively a linear progression. Developers have discussed that the feature takes influences from The Legend of Zelda series, where dropping a bomb in front of a crack in the wall can open a brand new path, giving fans a vague idea of the direction they’re taking. Based on Barlog’s established affinity for linear experiences, we can at least be fairly certain that the adventure won’t be open-world.
Will Kratos see the return of his dual blades in God of War? In the spirit of tossing aside trademark features of the series, another God of War staple being left out in the sequel in Kratos’ iconic dual blades. In fairness, there is a reason for their absence, as the Spartan lost them at the end of God of War III, but his use of a new magical ax is still a notable shift. Based on comments by from developers, it sounds as though Kratos had the option to retrieve the blades, but made the conscious decision to leave them behind in an attempt to rid himself of his dark past. The swords do make a small cameo in the game, depicted on some pottery that can be seen in the new gameplay trailer, but fans shouldn’t expect them to show up in any greater capacity than that.
How will Kratos’ son affect core gameplay? As of E3 2017, fans finally got a clear look at just what the boy is capable of in terms of gameplay. We saw at last year’s E3 that Kratos’ son seemed to feature an electrified bow and arrow, but the extent of his usefulness was unclear. This year, we learned he can discharge the attack at seemingly any enemy in combat, electrifying them, and even amplifying Kratos’ subsequent attack. The boy can also be seen jumping on an enemy’s back, stunning them so Kratos can land a powerful strike. In a less combative sense, Atreus’ role will also force players to balance their decision making over the course of the adventure, according to Barlog.
Is God of War a PlayStation exclusive, like the others? As the God of War series is developed by Santa Monica Studios who is owned by Sony, the next game will continue the trend of being exclusive to PlayStation platforms. This includes PS4 Pro, and while the game doesn’t require the new hardware to run, it will benefit from it. Unfortunately, no system older than the PS4 makes the cut.
Will God of War have PS4 Pro support? Yes, but fans have yet to learn just how good the game will look running on the updated hardware. The recent E3 2017 demo of the game was not running on the PS4 Pro, meaning the game can look even better than those videos did, amazingly enough.
Who is Kratos’ voice actor? The voice of Kratos is key to nailing the savagery of the character in the God of War series. The reveal trailer had Kratos barking orders to his son-which sounded on point- and it was recently revealed that the actor behind these gruff vocals will be familiar to any Stargate SG-1 fans: Christopher Judge, who was apparently chosen, in part, due to his height.
Does God of War directly follow God of War III? While the upcoming God of War does operate in the same timeline as God of War III, the game will not specify exactly how much time has passed. “It’s an indeterminate amount of time between the end of God of War III and the beginning of the game,” marketing producer Aaron Kaufman said recently.
What are some of the major enemies players will face in God of War? After taking out a number of wood zombie-looking things, the truly captivating fight in the God of War reveal trailer was the troll on the frozen lake. It was an impressive fight with what looked like several stages, so it would be a surprise if that was the only fight with a Troll in the game. Even more epic is a tease found at the end of the trailer that shows a dragon flying around in the distance. While this may “technically” belong in the Think We Know category, there is simply no way the developers would’ve teased that beast if we weren’t going to duke it out at some point. The game’s recent E3 2017 gave us even more to work with, including talking wolves, preposterously large giants (the one in the trailer was dead, but there will most likely be a live one waiting to throw down), knights, cave-dwelling monsters, and—most impressively— Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, who may not turn out to be an enemy after all.
When is God of War releasing? We still don’t know an exact date, but publisher Sony announced the general release window for the game during E3 2017 as early 2018. Hopefully, this use of the word “early” actually means early—as in February, rather than May. Recent Amazon leaks date the game’s launch as June 30th, but this would seemingly put it well outside what could be considered early 2018, so it is more than likely a placeholder.
What would God of War be like without Kratos’ son? This question may sound overly theoretically, but game director Cory Barlog recently discussed the early development of the game when the developers toyed with the idea of having Kratos carry the game on his own. What he described was a far cry from what we’re getting, and while it had the potential to be interesting, it ultimately sounds like we ended up with the best possibility.
What we think we know
Will God of War be the first of a new trilogy that continues the narrative? There are likely several more games in the Nordic setting if recent developer comments are to be understood. According to these developers, “a new saga is beginning for sure” with the upcoming God of War. While there is a chance this could suggest a variety of new settings for the character, it seems more likely he will stay in Norse mythology for at least another trilogy. Either way, we know this isn’t Kratos’ last game, and whatever is down the road, game director Cory Barlog already has it mapped out.
Will God of War earn an M rating? The God of War series is a hallmark of video game violence and gore; just the way the fans like it. Recent developer comments have given us confidence that the new game will stay true to the brutality of the series with a Tweet claiming that the game will take place in a “very violent time”, although recently gameplay of the game seemed slightly less bloody than what we’re used to.
Will God of War feature the series’ staggeringly huge boss fights? The troll in the original God of War trailer was a nice touch, but the new reveals of a dead giant and World Serpent in the recent E3 2017 trailer has upped the ante for the potential size of boss fights. Part of what made the staggering size of old boss fights feasible was the fixed camera, and without it, it’ll be interesting to see how the boss fights step it up. That said, this concern is mitigated when one remembers that the studio has never failed to step it up when it comes to boss fights.
What other weapons and abilities will be in God of War? Apart from all other potential narrative and design directions for the game, what does the core gameplay have in store? This game series is known for mass selections of weapons and magical abilities, given purpose by a colorful variety of enemies to use them on, and both trailers suggest the game is staying true to this tenant. Currently, we know of his ax that can be thrown and summoned back, plus a deployable shield with which Kratos can knock enemies around. The ax boasts a variety of ice-based attacks, and there are likely more of these spells where this came from. While we know a handful of details about Kratos’ arsenal, it isn’t quite enough to get this question into the Know We Know” section.
How long is God of War? “Long” is a relative term, but when the developers tell us God of War for PS4 will be “as long and action-packed as humanly possible,” we should be inclined to believe them. Previous God of War games would take more than a couple sit-downs to complete on average difficulty, which is a healthy play session for modern games. We may not know this new game’s length exactly, but “long” is presumably a good word to describe it.
Will God of War feature the old games’ Rage ability? Previous God of War titles have featured a Rage ability that has allowed Kratos to kick the killing into overdrive. Judging by the gameplay we’ve seen, Kratos can employ a similar ability when combating enemies of the Norse mythos. It looks to be less flashy than the outbursts of his past, but it will presumably have a comparable effect.
Will there be single-player DLC for God of War? Single-player expansions aren’t exactly commonplace for the God of War series. The developer sounds about as unsure as fans regarding whether or not the game will support single-player DLC down the line, but Sony’s recent affinity for the practice in narrative-driven game’s like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Last of Us make a good case for the pattern continuing.
Will God of War fans see a Collector’s Edition of the game? Recent leaks would suggest there is a Collector’s Edition planned to launch alongside the game. Reportedly going for approximately $200, the edition is listed to include a cloth game world map, the digital soundtrack, a DLC pack with three in-game shields, and more.
While unconfirmed, a separate Amazon leak—since taken offline—might have also revealed the contents for a potential God of War Digital Deluxe Edition. If real, the $70 special edition will include:
- God of War Digital Soundtrack
- God of War Digital Art Book
- God of War PS4 Dynamic Theme
- Exile’s Guardian Shield Skin
- God of War Digital Comic – Issue 0
- Death’s Vow Armor set for Kratos
- Death’s Vow Armor set for Atreus
What we still want to know
Does God of War have competitive multiplayer? A conflict of theories has moved this question from “Know We Know”, all the way down here. Multiplayer was a first-time experiment in God of War: Ascension. Team-based, competitive hack-and-slashers are far from a common format, and there is an express desire from the community for it to continue in the next God of War. At first, all hope seemed lost when the developer claimed that the game would not feature any form of multiplayer. Since then, a job listing posted by the developer sought out a senior multiplayer programmer for the team, which could potentially mean some sort of multiplayer feature is in the works. At this point, we just don’t know what to think.
Who exactly is Kratos’ son? Out of context, this may sound like a meaningless question, but the God of War series has a tendency to infuse its narrative with accurate lore of the mythology. What this implies is that—depending on a variety of factors—his son could be some Nordic mythical legend. The most notable legend and potential candidate is the popular Norse god of thunder, Thor, considering the boy can shoot electric arrows, but we know boy’s name to be Atreus, so this mucks that up a bit. In the more recent E3 2017 trailer, the boy mentions that Kratos thinks him cursed, which could allude to the duo’s purpose for the journey. His son also displays the ability to communicate with the World Serpent at the end of the trailer, a skill that certainly pertains to the son’s importance, and the developer has confirmed he knows many other languages as well.
Who and where is the mother of Kratos’ son? If Kratos has a son, there must have been a mother at some point, but who is she? A woman appears several times in the most recent trailer, taking about the boy to Kratos. We believe she could be the woman Kratos shacked up with, but the ominous, past-tense connotation of previous conversations about the mother still leave us uncertain. Even if that is her in the E3 2017 trailer, we’re still not much closer to learning her relevance.
Are there other non-campaign modes in God of War? So there may or may not be multiplayer in the game, but that doesn’t mean that a start-to-finish single-player narrative is all the upcoming God of War has to offer. Various challenge modes were enjoyable in previous God of War titles, and there seems no reason they couldn’t make the transition.
Will God of War‘s Greek and Norse sagas cross over at any point? One of the most interesting things about the upcoming God of War‘s Norse-centric mythology is the knowledge that is must operate in the same universe as the Greek mythology players faced off against in previous games. This raises several interesting philosophical questions, but in regards to the game series, how will these theologies clash in the universe if at all? For now, we know at least one potter that is aware of Kratos’ past deeds.
What will the puzzle solving be like in God of War? As far as action games go, the God of War series has featured some of the most cleverly designed puzzles of the last two console generations. It has provided enjoyable juxtaposition through many installments, and it would be remiss of them not to give gameplay system appropriate focus. Nothing in the E3 2017 gameplay trailer fell into the particular category of puzzle-solving, outside of some basic platforming, so we’ll will have to see what tricks are up its sleeve.