The head of Microsoft's new studio, The Initiative, has taken on a wealth of new talent from a number of high profile studios, including Sony-exclusive Santa Monica Studio, Rockstar and Crystal Dynamics.
Here comes the head-stepper.
30th April 2018
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Sony has revealed that its previously announced New Game+ update for God of War will come to PlayStation 4 later this month, on August 20th.
UPDATE 30th July 2018: Santa Monica Studio has now officially confirmed the runes inside Kratos's house are indeed God of War's "final secret".
There's something incredibly magical about the latest God of War. Kratos's world feels like a rich tapestry woven from various strands of ancient mythologies; a complex re-imagining of stories and history that has resulted in the creation of a mysterious Nordic world. This sort of depth can only be achieved through careful research and design, and Santa Monica has (rightly) received a great deal of attention for its clever use of mythology to write the game's lore.
Sony has revealed, during its PlayStation E3 showcase, that God of War will be getting a New Game+ mode in a future update - as apparently requested by many fans.
Senior figures from four of the world's biggest developers - Bungie, Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica and Blizzard - have talked about their studio's take on crunch.
When the huge Earth Dragon roars in God of War there are an incredible number of sounds hitting your ear. After all, we don't have a living dragon to simply capture the sound from, so developer Sony Santa Monica had to create it itself.
God of War on PlayStation 4 gets a photo mode today via a free update.
PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War has sold a staggering 3.1m copies in its first three days on sale worldwide. It's the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive to date.
PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War remains in the UK chart top spot again this week, despite the debut of two Nintendo Labo packs.
Labo, Nintendo Switch's new papercraft accessory system, landed in third place behind God of War and Far Cry 5 for its main £60 Variety Kit, and in 20th place for its £70 robot kit.
It's hard to judge how well Labo has done in comparison to expectations. It's an expensive kit (much of which will be taken up by the cost of the physical Switch game cartridge) but the range feels like one designed to sell continuously over time (and especially over Christmas). For something intended to have a slow sales burn, then, it is off to a decent start.
God of War has done the business for Sony, debuting at top spot in the UK video game chart.
If you haven't heard already, the new God of War is rather good. It received a Recommended stamp of approval here on Eurogamer and, according to Metacritic, is now the highest-rated PlayStation 4 exclusive released to date.
UPDATE 20/4/18: God of War launches today and is now available to buy from Amazon, despite the retailer closing pre-orders for the game earlier this week.
Other upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusives like Detroit and Spider-Man remain unavailable to pre-order, with no explanation given.
Whatever the beef is with PlayStation and Amazon, it appears to relate to the pre-ordering of games only. Happily, we haven't heard any reports that pre-orders sent in before Amazon shut them down were not received as expected.
I have no idea what the best Hitchcock is. I suspect it's probably Shadow of a Doubt. It was his favourite, so you'd think he would know, and it's got that glorious, time-freezing moment when Uncle Charlie turns to address you, mid-speech, eyes meeting across the ages and you feel somehow caught, somehow complicit - you feel the way, I gather, that Hitchcock felt his entire life.
God of War returns with a fresh vision for the series, powered by brand new technology from one of the best developers in the business. Santa Monica Studio has always been known for pushing the technological envelope and this new game is no exception. However, more than that, it's clear that the studio has been granted the budget and time to fully realise its ambitious vision - key ingredients in delivering a quality product. From the smallest of incidental environment details to the most towering of beasts, God of War elevates real-time visuals to new heights while pushing the PlayStation hardware to its limits.
Remove the heart. Climb on the chest, feet slapping against sinew and skin. The ruined flesh beneath shudders but holds. The first incision. One to pierce the surface. The second to part the ribs with a brisk crack. The heart is in there, but it's well connected. Reach deep. Pull. Remove the heart. Pull.
God of War
Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studio
A studio with a remarkable heritage for technical excellence, Sony Santa Monica is closing in on completion of its latest God of War and this past week, we've finally had the opportunity to see more of the game in action via PlayStation 4 Pro's pristine 4K video output. Right away, it's clear that what's on display here is extremely promising. God of War should comfortably stand alongside the likes of Uncharted 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn when it comes to the quality of its technology.
Kratos is still angry. If you're concerned about how much has changed in Sony Santa Monica's reboot of the God of War series, it's worth knowing this; in two hours playing the game, what's remarkable is how much has stayed the same. There's the same pent up rage, unleashed in pliable combat as enemies are juggled in the air and then pulled furiously apart, the same cinematic showdowns that dazzle with their panache. The same spectacle, and the same sense that the host hardware is being pushed to its very limit. It's a God of War game alright, in that it's hard to think of any better showcase for what's possible with Sony's console.
A screenshot showing a kind of currency in God of War sparked fears the new PlayStation 4 game will have microtransactions. It wouldn't be the only single-player blockbuster with them after all - I'm looking at you Middle-oeuf: Shadow of War and Assassin's Creed: Oranges.
Sony has revealed that a new God of War themed custom PS4 Pro will be launching on April 20th, the same day that Kratos' makes his highly anticipated return on the console.
As is usually the case with Sony's custom PlayStation 4 efforts, it's probably fair to say that the bold, limited edition design won't be to everyone's taste - but your mileage may vary:
Sony is calling the design "Leviathan Grey", and it's apparently inspired by Kratos' in-game axe. A purchase will get you the custom 1TB PS4 Pro console itself, alongside a matching Dualshock 4 wireless controller, and a physical copy of the God of War Day One Edition.
The new God of War game comes out on 20th April, Sony has announced.
God of War (AKA Dad of War) is being described as a soft reboot for the series, as Kratos enters the world of Norse mythology for the first time alongside his son. The changes aren't just limited to the game's setting, however.
Watching the new God of War trailer during E3 this week, I suddenly found myself very much looking foward to God of War. From the Norse mythology to the enemy design, there's a lot to like about Sony's upcoming slasher / dad sim.
We got an eyeful of Sony Santa Moinca's ruggedly good looking new God of War game at Sony's E3 press conference tonight.
In 2014, God of War developer Sony Santa Monica suffered layoffs when a new PS4 IP it was working on was cancelled following years of work. The game was rumoured to be sci-fi-themed but largely remained a mystery.
Now, however, thanks to a gallery of concept art allegedly from the cancelled project, we have a better idea of what the game was about. The images show an idea not a million miles away from James Cameron's Avatar film(s). A gadget-laden human species explores an alien world where fantastical beast roam land and sea. There's a mysterious humanoid species too, riding bareback on hulking unicorn-like beast, brandishing spears. Clearly there's a kind of magic in the air.
The pictures belong to the leader of the concept art team who worked on the project for nearly three years. They were found on the person's personal website by nerdleaks but have since been removed from what I can see. The pictures are, however, preserved on Imgur.
John Lewis and M&S eat your hearts out. Sony's released a fancy new PlayStation 4 advert just in time for Christmas - and it's packed with video game references.
This year's E3 was a river of dads, and I am unhappy about it. (I did wonder briefly about the appropriate collective noun for dads: a Wickes, a Touchline, or, for us kids of divorce, an Absence? Just kidding, Dad - and I hope Spain is treating you well).
Sony raised eyebrows at E3 last week when it unveiled a very different look and feel for the new God of War. But there was more to the video that ran during Sony's media briefing than a straight up gameplay reveal.
E3 week is always a hectic affair. Typically speaking nobody has had enough sleep, everyone's had far too much caffeine and there's never not a huge stack of things on which to report. Small wonder, then, that it often takes for the show itself to close before we get the chance to reflect and realise just how weird E3 actually is.
The new God of War will feature an all new voice actor in the leading role of Kratos. This time out it's Stargate SG-1 actor Christopher Judge.
The God of War we saw unveiled at Sony's press conference was an unfamiliar one. Kratos is back, but he's now got himself a son and a massive beard. There's a new camera angle to consider and a story that might have something to say about fatherhood. And then there's the setting!
Sony revealed an all new God of War game. It's called (wait for it)... God of War.
Kicking off Sony's E3 2016 press conference, the publisher rolled the following footage showing series stalwart Kratos taking care of a young boy in the wilderness.
Kratos looks a bit older than we remember. Plus he's changed his facial hair from a goatee to a full beard.
God of War 4 has a Norse mythology setting and series star Kratos wears a beard, according to a huge leak of assets.
UPDATE 31/1 4PM: Sony Santa Monica boss Shannon Studstill wrote all about the move on the PlayStation Blog, in a post that passed us by.
Sony has announced another huge sale of PlayStation 3 content - and now with some Vita and PSP discounts thrown into the mix.
It's another good week to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Today you get God of War HD for free and the multiplayer portion of Uncharted 3 for free.
You may not have heard of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton - the new writers of the long-awaited God of War movie - but you've probably heard of some their films.
Sony has announced God of War Saga and inFamous Collection for release in the US.
Both collections launch in the US on 28th August for $29.99 each. They are yet to be announced for Europe. We've asked Sony for comment.
Inside God of War Saga is:
The screenwriting team behind Piranha 3DD and the latter half of the Saw series have signed up to the God of War film adaptation.
The God of War series has sold over 21 million copies, Sony has announced.
Sony has announced a new set of PlayStation games that will support Remote Play.
God of War creator David Jaffe isn't interested in returning to the franchise unless he could reinvent the template he laid down in the PlayStation 2 original.
God of War developer Sony Santa Monica is working on an "unannounced new IP".
God of War Master Collection will bundle all the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP games in Sony's action series into a single release, according to a listing on Amazon Germany.
A new job advertisement posted by Sony Santa Monica suggests a multiplayer future for the God of War series.
God of War III game director Stig Asmussen has revealed that former directors David Jaffe and Cory Barlog had different ideas about how to end the series.
Sony's God of War Trilogy will be released on 30th April, and the publisher's told Eurogamer that retail partners for the three-game bundle are being worked out now.
Sony has announced that a God of War III demo will be included in the God of War Collection this autumn.
Sony has announced God of War Collection for PlayStation 3 - a single Blu-ray disc home to 720p versions of God of War.
Due out "this holiday season" (Christmas in old money), the revamped PS2 games also benefit from unlockable Trophies.
According to the US PlayStation blog, God of War Collection will cost $39.99 over there.
It seems Sony could re-release old PS2 games on Blu-ray in the future - specifically, God of War I and II.
David Jaffe has said he is "happy" with the choice of Brett Ratner as director of the God of War film.
Sony and developer David Jaffe have been sued for allegedly copying other people's ideas in the God of War series of games.
God of War creator David Jaffe has declared that while he still enjoys playing action adventure games these days, he's right fed up of making the things.
David Jaffe has indicated that God of War may eventually become a trilogy of games.
In many people's eyes, Nintendo won 2005 in terms of the really, actually "new" games. But even so, Sony America's God of War was the highest-ranked original game in your Top 50, and number two overall. We couldn't find much to put ahead of it either, and there was a lot of internal debate about its position. In an early draft of our Top 50, God of War was actually behind a couple of games it wound up in front of when all the votes were counted, prompting Kieron - who experienced it in full when he was trying to put Spartan: Total Warrior in context - to bombard us with invective most of which centred on our diminished manhood.
Sony's David Jaffe, game director and lead designer on excellent PS2 title God of War, has revealed that his forthcoming PSP game is going to be less about what he personally wants to see and more about reaching a larger audience.
Universal Pictures has bought the rights to create a film adaptation of Sony Computer Entertainment's critically acclaimed PlayStation 2 action-adventure, God of War, according to trade Variety magazine.
David Jaffe, creator of top PS2 action adventure God of War, has confirmed that he's currently working on a new game for PSP.
You might have guessed by now that we liked God Of War. A lot. For want of better superlatives, it's simply a great game. A classic game that's near enough the best PS2 action adventure of all time, and is therefore something you should buy as our review goes to some length to point out.
Europe could be just about to let one the greatest PS2 titles ever made pass it by, and not for the first time. Yet again, some inexplicable political skulduggery has ensured that yet another outstanding Sony America-developed title will be released by Sony Europe without the required pre-awareness and sufficiently beefy marketing clout, almost guaranteeing a tragic underperformance of a truly stunning game.
But there remains hope. Having already been released in US to universal critical acclaim back in March, the groundswell of admirers behind God Of War's irresistible action-adventure charms almost guarantees that it'll be one of the few titles to break through over here from word of mouth - providing enough copies make it onto the shelves, of course.
Under the influence
At a press briefing in the US last week, Sony Computer Entertainment America unveiled one of its upcoming first-party titles, God of War, which is undergoing development at the platform holder's Santa Monica studio (following roughly two years' work at its Southern Californian studio under the direction of David Jaffe - he of Twisted Metal fame - who also led the presentation).