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Why God of War PS4 replaces a classic series weapon with a new killing tool for Kratos


God of War director Cory Barlog has explained why Kratos won’t be wielding his iconic Blades of Athena/Chaos in the upcoming PlayStation 4-exclusive action-adventure romp.

Speaking during a recent interview at E3 2017 this week, Barlog confirmed that the team wanted to create a new identity for Kratos’s soft reboot, stating that the classic blades represent a specific point in the anti-hero’s life, and a very dark one at that. There’s also a more gameplay-centric reason behind the decision too, as the axe opens up new tactical possibilities when in combat.

"We were experimenting with lots of different weapons, lots of different things," Barlog said. "I think we wanted to create an identity, because to me the blades represent a very dark time in [Kratos’] life. They are not just a weapon to him. They are his scarlet letter. They are the marking that somebody tricked him, that he made a bad deal, that he made a mistake. Powerful, but I think also powerfully charged in its emotion. So I think of part of him wanting to move forward is being able to [leave the blades behind]."

"It gives us the freedom to experiment with what we really want to do. I think the magic moment with the axe, honestly, was when a programmer and a combat designer was like, ‘I have this cool idea’, Barlog said. "Right away the magic of throwing the axe, having it stick anywhere in the world, and then recalling it, and then kind of playing around with that, and realizing you can hit people with it, you can throw it behind them, move in front of them, recall it and hit him in the back.

"So it’s like, *gasp* a shield guy’s standing in front of you! You lob the axe over him and he’s like, ‘Ah, I got you!’ And then you call it back and hit him in the back. It’s just phenomenal. It has so much potential for play that we just realized, alright, this has gotta be something we’re gonna do."

God of War was showcased during Sony’s E3 2017 press conference on Monday evening, where the format holder confirmed a 2018 release date for the highly anticipated title. Unlike the original games, this latest chapter in the multi-million selling franchise sees Kratos battling various nasties based on Norse mythology, and is accompanied by his young son for much of the game. While not an authentic open-world game, God of War offers larger areas to explore and includes a boat for traversal between environments. 

Developer SIE Santa Monica Studio confirmed this week that the God of War gameplay demo shown off at E3 was running on a standard PS4.

Source: GamesRadar