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!
"We've actually moved away from Greece and Kratos has kind of wandered," creative director Cory Barlog said during a roundtable interview attended by Eurogamer at E3. "We are parsing it as the time in which the vikings spoke of their gods walking the earth. So it's not in the era where the vikings are around, we're predating them by a considerable amount of time."
No longer will we be fighting Olympian gods, then, but it's probably a safe bet to presume that Kratos will find something to kill within the world of Norse mythology. That's sort of his thing. That's what he does.
However this wasn't always the obvious next step in his journey. Santa Monica Studio knew it wanted to tackle a new mythology, but there was some debate on which gods would make the most sense for this game.
"Egyptian mythology was the other one and half the team was way into that," said Barlog. "All of them had great reasons. I think, for me, as I looked at both of those, Egyptian mythology is about the pharaohs as embodiments of the gods on earth and there's a lot more about civilisation - it's less isolated, less barren. I think at this time, we really wanted to focus on Kratos. Having too much around distracts from that central theme of a stranger in a strange land."
We're yet to see how God of War will represent the likes of Odin or Thor, as the game's reveal focused primarily on the relationship between Kratos and his child. But spectacular boss fights will still be a focus for the series, I was told.
"I think spectacle is part of our DNA," said Barlog. "I made a very deliberate choice not to put that in this demo, because I feel like we know very well how to do that. We needed to stand out a little bit and show people why we changed this game. But there's still the David vs. Goliath. The troll fight is a small version of what we really have to show."
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