At this year’s GDC, Sony Santa Monica’s Cory Barlog discussed the long journey involved in reinventing the God of War franchise.
When asked about the potential influence The Last of Us had on the direction of God of War and whether he was worried about comparisons being made, Barlog noted the immense impact Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed title had on the industry, and how that inspired his darker take on the beloved series.
“I think a little bit,” said Barlog. “There was a little part of me that said when I play that game, it was this sort of…awakening moment for this industry. Now prior to the game, a lot of great games had been doing very dark and very intense subject matter.
“So it’s not as if they were the first, and I don’t think they claim it either, but they were the first ones to have a broad audience for this, to show me, to show everybody else in the industry that people wanted this kind of content. That people actually were interested in something that challenged them emotionally. And I thought OK, this is the opportunity.”
Though this inspiration ultimately revitalised the series, comparisons to The Last of Us were always inevitable. But while Barlog acknowledges the games’ initial similarities, he also draws attention to those differences that make God of War so unique.
“I think as we were developing, we kind of realised that we were going in a very different direction … In the same way that many movies that have very high-level concepts that are similar are always going to have the same comparisons, I think each thing always stands on its own,” Barlog continued.
At a time in which consumers want the gritty, emotional storytelling Naughty Dog originally provided, perhaps it is God of War’s familiarity that saw it succeed as it did.
You can watch the full Barlog talk on Reinventing God of War just below. For more on single-player gaming, keep up with OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and join the discussion in our community Discord server.