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God of War creator says the combat is shallow

2 min read


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


  1. Admiral Chief Commander

    May 27, 2013 at 14:35

    tbh, the franchise, while cool and all, feels a bit too much like a button masher to me…


    • That Tall Twit

      May 27, 2013 at 14:36

      I feel the same. Played the first game.

      Enjoyed it for a little bit, then got over it fast.


      • Jonah Cash

        May 27, 2013 at 16:28

        Bought me a PS3 last year, bought all 3 God of War games…. Played the first one for 2,5 hours…. Took all 3 back to BT Games the next day, lost about R300…. What a crock of shit!!!! I cant play games like that, it frustrates the crap out of me!! And then having Darksiders struggling makes me angry at all gamers in the world… And very sad at the same time…. (Love Uncharted to death though, makes the PS3 worth every cent)


  2. Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    May 27, 2013 at 14:41



  3. Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

    May 27, 2013 at 14:44

    I’ve said it before, but i’ll do it again. God of War II was the best in the series. Then Ghosts of Sparta, then God of War I, then chains of Olympus, then God of War III. I haven;t played Ascenscion, but by all accounts, it comes in last


    • Eeko Eight-Seven

      May 27, 2013 at 16:04

      Have to agree with you on God of War 2. After playing that, I was left underwhelmed by God of War 3. The puzzles were so easy and predictable. One basically breezed through the game.


  4. TechniKyle

    May 27, 2013 at 14:50

    I love Greek Mythology too much to say anything positive about this game.


    • Sentient_Slug

      May 27, 2013 at 15:39

      HAHA! Yeah sorry dude, i hear you. Although i love the game it certainly does bastardize Greek mythology, got to agree.


  5. FoxOneZA - X-Therminator

    May 27, 2013 at 15:05

    DMC’s combat is much more enthralling, fluid, strategic and weighted both literally and figuratively than GoW3. GoW like GT was once the only one of it’s genre but times have changed. The same applies to the niggles I have with Uncharted vs Tomb Raider.


  6. Umar No Shana

    May 27, 2013 at 15:18

    having come from DMC, Onimusha and Lament of Innocence, this game hardly caught my attention besides the amazing graphics


  7. Rince an repeat

    May 27, 2013 at 15:25

    Darksiders, I LOVE YOU!


    • Umar No Shana

      May 27, 2013 at 15:32

      hey … watch it …. I love Darksiders too!


      • Rince an repeat

        May 27, 2013 at 15:35

        Darksiders 1 and 2 are MINE! Back off! MINE MINE MINE MINE!


        • Umar No Shana

          May 27, 2013 at 15:40

          Think things are gonna get rough from here on out……..


        • Purple_Dragon

          May 27, 2013 at 18:22

          Hope there is going to be a third one but unlikely.


  8. Sentient_Slug

    May 27, 2013 at 15:37

    I think GOW 1 through 3 were absolutely beautiful experiences. the combat is simple but enjoyable and far more effective and fluid than most other games that are similar but more complex in this regard. I think it works so well. definitely a bit of button mashing involved, but yay for that actually being the solution and not the way around the mechanics.


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