The ruthless brawler Kratos is back in a new God of War game. Just announced officially, the game’s work-in-progress title is simply God of War. This time, the franchise has re-imagined Kratos (or at least skipped forward into the future) as a resident of what we know as the snowy Northern European/Scandinavian countries. Several differences are aimed for this in new entry to the series. It will be the first to feature Kratos interacting with the Norse gods of the Poetic Edda. Also, Kratos has a son.
In this gameplay demo (directly adjacent to the theater where Days Gone was shown) Kratos calls to his young son, referring to him only as “Boy.” The “Boy” is seen playing with toys in the dirt outside their cabin. Kratos calls him in, and then tells the child it’s now time for him to have his mother’s hunting knife. He tells him it’s time for him to learn to officially hunt, and with that they head off in search of a deer to track and kill. The father and son head out in the forest and immediately run off in search of game. Predictably, Kratos pushes his son along with excessive masculinity, urging the boy to be confident to a fault. Upon finding their deer, the boy fires off an arrow too hastily and the buck runs off in fear. Kratos chastises the boy for giving the deer the sense its life was in danger. The boy apologizes earnestly and Kratos responds, “Don’t be sorry. Be better.” Fitting behavior for him, for sure.
Much like Horizon: Zero Dawn, the action is a third-person over-the-shoulder view with “Boy” close at hand tracking the prey. Needless to say, this frigid wilderness is far from unpopulated, and shortly thereafter they encounter a pair of demonic monsters. Using an incisive series of rapid-fire attacks (and stabs), Kratos makes short work of the slightly generic baddies. The devs running the demo indicate that the action displayed is all run without camera cuts. That is: the in-game camera following the action auto-magically adjusts without changing angles. The devs from Santa Monica Studios insist this was a major priority for them in this new title.
Shortly after, father and son encounter an even bigger threat. A horned, tree-stump wielding beast most likely a fully formed Ogre. In true-to-form God of War fashion, the battle is epic and impressive, playing less like a boss battle and more like a precision-choreographed movie brawl. Its fluid and inspires dread given the adversary is near 4-times the size of the monstrous Kratos. After that, the duo find the deer they stalked and with one perfect shot, “Boy” brings it down. Kratos then calmly convinces his son to use his mother’s knife to end the boy’s life. As the buck breathes its last breath they look out against the mountainscape. The camera backs out for a wide shot and slowly pans out showing a luminous majestic world. In the distance a dragon takes flight and slowly heads toward the camera.