After a six year departure, God of War 2 director Cory Barlog has returned to the studio from which Kratos was born, i.e. Sony Santa Monica.
So what was he up to during the last half decade plus, you ask? He helped out here and there with the God of War franchise, having written the story for God of War 3 and the script for the PSP spin-off, Ghost of Sparta. He also directed the cinematics for Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot and worked on Mad Max with Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche. Amazingly, these were the least awesome things Barlog did.
His Mad Max connection allowed him to work closer with the series creator, who also made such fantastic films as Babe 2: Pig in the City and Happy Feet. "I took a good few years to hone my understanding of writing and drama with George Miller," Barlog said on the PlayStation Blog. "In the years I worked with him I think I learned more about story and character development than I could with ten advanced degrees. Plus, I got to sit in the driver's seat of Max's new interceptor - that was a very big nerdvana moment!"
He also got to hang out with George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch, for some reason, where he got to brainstorm story ideas with the head writers from CSI, 24, The Shield and the creator of Life on Mars.
"All the rooms at the ranch are themed after George's favorite filmmakers" Barlog noted. "I stayed in the Kurosawa suite, decorated with items from his past as well as some of his original drawings and watercolors. It was awesome. I tried to swipe a few for myself - turns out Skywalker Ranch security was also awesome."
For reasons unknown, he also found himself working on a yacht in Monte Carlo with a "crazy German music producer" and "the heir to some British toilet paper fortune." He also had dinner with alien conspiracy theorist, Erich von Däniken. "He told me, everything I believe is wrong," said Barlog. "I told him, I believe he is right."
Somewhere along the line Barlog had a child, whom he named Helo after the Battlestar Galactica character. And you only wish your name was as badass as "Helo Barlog."
So what is Barlog doing at Sony Santa Monica? Who knows. "Sadly, I cannot tell you," he said. "But I can say that it is freaking huge, and it will live up to the standards that I helped establish here at SMS."
"We're putting together a team as I type this - an Ocean's 11 kind of thing," he added. "We are searching the world high and low for the best of the BEST to come and be on the ground floor of this endeavor. So, hey, if you are a freaking rock star unafraid to roll your sleeves up and take risks, reading this thinking that your current digs are feeling... well... a bit small, a bit dull and in need of some excitement - you need to contact me at Sony Santa Monica."
"Your continued support is the reason I get to make these crazy big games," Barlog concluded. "I thank you, from the bottom of my black heart, for all the time you play. I will keep working hard to create them if you promise to continue playing them. If you don't, God will kill a puppy. This puppy."