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God of War takes full advantage of PS4’s technical brilliance

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Sony Santa Monica Studio has revealed how it has taken advantage of the PlayStation 4’s technical prowess to produce some breath-taking visuals in the highly anticipated God of War.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Florian Strauss, Principal Programmer for the upcoming PS4-exclusive title, described how the studio is going for a more realistic, grounded approach in terms of aesthetic for God of War—something which is only possible thanks to the power of Sony’s flagship console.

We’re aiming for a grounded, realistic style, set in an environment that feels like a real place but with fantastical elements. In order to achieve this look, we needed to make the switch to physical-based rendering.”

“We wanted to read subtle emotions on characters’ faces and used specific technology to help achieve this, such as pose-space deformation, which was previously only used in films, and very accurate lighting to make the characters look right.”

“There is much more power available on the PS4 than there was on the PS3, and the hardware does a lot more in order to hide latency, which required a different strategy for getting the best possible performance.  One surprise was that sometimes it was faster to do something brute force than through ‘clever’ optimizations, as it resulted in better pipelining and an overall better performance.”

God of War is due to ship for the PS4 in 2018, and sees Kratos joined on his adventure by his young son, Atreus. This time around, the bald anti-hero finds himself mixing it up with creatures based on Norse mythology, and will be able to team up with his pint-sized companion in battle, with dynamic combat between the duo set to spice things up. 

Be sure to watch the new God of War trailer from E3 2017 to see how the game is shaping up.