The new God of War game is raising a few eyebrows with its, well, everything.
There's a new camera, new weapon, new gods, new climate, new monsters, a new kid, and even a new beard. Most long-time fans seem excited about the fresh evolution in the series, but some have voiced concerns about what the role Kratos' son will play in this new PS4 God of War. (Quick note: no, we don't know the son's name yet, sorry!)
I had a chance to sit in on an extended version of the Sony press conference gameplay demo with creative director Corey Barlog, and he set out to allay those fears about Kratos' son.
"He is exceptionally competent," said Corey Barlog
Barlog demonstrated that the kid is assigned to one button on the PS4 controller, and he'll help out with his bow at your command; you point, he'll shoot. But, he'll also act on his own with a robust AI.
Kratos is not going to just be a babysitter. This was probably the number one fear I've been seeing around the net. Many people have been concerned that this would be 'God of War: The Escort Quest,' but that doesn't seem to be the case in the new PS4 title. The son is no slouch in a fight and is designed to be a part of Kratos' combat kit.
For example, Barlog detailed a scenario where the son will recognize a tactical option when there are loads of mobs and one or two larger foes; without the player's direction, he might distract the mobs and draw them away, allowing Kratos the chance to tackle the larger foes.
Additionally, Barlog mentioned, the son will act as a second pair of eyes on the battlefield. He'll shout out when additional foes pop out and he'll warn you when an enemy is sneaking up behind you.
When talking about combat upgrades: "The son needed to be meaningfully integrated."
There will be a whole new upgrade system in place that allows both Kratos and his son to develop and gain new abilities as the new God of War progresses.
The son's combat abilities are meant to be synergistic with Kratos — he is meant to be an extension of Kratos, figuratively and literally in combat. Each upgrade allows some way for one to enhance the abilities of the other. For example, giving the son a new type of arrow that helps spread enemies out might afford Kratos a new combat opportunity to single out a specific foe.
We still don't know exactly what all the upgrades are going to be, but Barlog mentioned that a key theme in the game will be Kratos passing his knowledge along to his son. Who knows, maybe that means we'll see some old God of War abilities revisited?
But, more importantly, how is Kratos going to be a good dad in the new God of War?