Forget the Kratos you used to know. The new long-bearded version of him has new tricks up his sleeve and that includes a fancy new weapon. You won’t see Kratos yielding his Blades of Chaos in the new God of War but a big “enchanted” axe. Gameplay designer at Santa Monica Studio, Jason McDonald has given some information to Game Informer about the God of War gameplay including the specific axe’s mechanics.
Giving Kratos an axe isn’t just a matter of design and practicality. Kratos has gotten older and with old age comes stronger but slower combat and that’s what the developers seem to be striving for. Blades of Chaos and all the other weapons the God of War protagonist yield in previous games were too iconic to be replaced with something generic. The axe idea fits Kratos just fine to its role but it had to have something unique so that it can be still provide that same feeling the old ones did. What is this axe capable of really?
As McDonald states, Krato’s axe can be thrown at any enemy but has to be picked up by him every time he does that. To achieve this mechanic while letting the players know that they don’t have to chase after a weapon all the time they used a recall technique that lets the hammer fly back to the hands of Kratos, something like Thor and his Mjolnir hammer. After Kratos has thrown his weapon to either pin or kill an enemy he can perform various fist attacks without being panicked to pick the ax up.
Another mechanic we’ll see in the new God of War is the “over the shoulder” camera view which will bring more immersion to the fights since the game is no longer a “platformer”. As in reality, you’ll see the enemies ahead of you and worry about only them not being able to see the ones behind you, which can also be dealt with by Atreus who will be using his bow from a distance and may be pointing his bow behind you so that you know you’ve got more company. McDonald says that this mechanic works just fine:
“It took us several attempts to get the technology of the enemies and the control of the character to have everything in a way that we said ‘ok, even though the camera is close and you can not see around you, the game works'”.
God of War will be released this year exclusively on PlayStation 4. There’s still no announcement about its release date but rumors say that it might be on March 22-23. Are you excited yet?