I’ve never really understood the fascination behind the God of War series of games – especially amongst its most ardent fans. I’ve always found it to focus too much on graphics, and far too little on gameplay; a simplified sort of Devil May Cry. That, according to God of War creator David Jaffe is entirely intentional.
In a piece detailing God of War’s creation, Edge has details straight from its creator’s mouth about the game being intentionally shallow, with the spectacle of it all making up for the gameplay.
“To me, the combat, the spatial challenges, the exploration: they were all pieces of the adventure, and all of these came together to push the player along. The actual game loop in GOW is very simple,” he said.
“If this had been the kind of game that didn’t have much money, it would have been an absolute failure, because if it wasn’t for new things to do around every corner, you might feel the core mechanics are actually quite shallow. They’re intentionally shallow, because we didn’t want them to overpower the experience.
“If we’d been DMC, your headspace would have been filled with a lot of fighting mechanics that would have pulled you out of the journey. Our combat’s not deep, but thanks to great animators, it is fluid.”
Interestingly, Jaffe has said that if he were to remake the thing today, he’d make it more adventurous and less combat-centric – much more like The Legend of Zelda – which incidentally is exactly what Darksiders does; bridges the gap between god of War and Zelda.
“Today I would make it more like Zelda, ironically: I’d immerse you in being the hero rather than watching him. By making that game, I’ve realised there’s more to be mined from gameplay that way, rather than just taking people for a ride,” he said.
That’s not to say that he’s not happy with what he’d achieved. God of War is now one of Sony’s key franchises.
“I’m real proud of it, and I may never be involved again in a game as good, but there’s a lot more to do, both in terms of reaching a bigger audience and just affecting an audience more; affecting them so they carry it through their lives as a fond memory.”
After God of War, Jaffe left the series in the hands of Cory Barlog – who went on to make God of War II and half of God of War II, before leaving Sony and directing the cinematics for the recent Tomb Raider reboot.
Last Updated: May 27, 2013