Warning: SPOILERS for God of War ahead
It may be seen as one of the best PlayStation exclusives of all time, but now the director of 2018's God of War is addressing the game's biggest criticism.
Among the new additions for 2018 were Norse mythology instead of Greek, Kratos' son Atreus as a traveling partner, and the entire game being shot in a continuous shot à la Birdman. That being said, not everything that God of War tested worked quite as well and a small crop of players were against the seeming lack of boss fights.
While gamers were used to knocking the holy hell out of Poseidon, Hercules, and Zeus, God of War was a more refined game that took fans on a sprawling adventure interspersed with a series of smaller battles. Speaking to GamingBolt, director Cory Barlog admits that despite an extended development period, there simply wasn't enough time to bring everything that Sony's Santa Monica Studios had in mind to life.
"You know, there are several bosses that I had to cut throughout the game simply because we got about 15 to 20 people on each boss, and those bosses go anywhere from a year to two each. Which I think is something a lot of people underestimate, 'there’s not enough bosses in this game!' You’re kind of being greedy, because while I’d love like 10 more bosses in there, this game would have taken like 20 years to make."
Continuing to defend his decision, Barlog explained how knowing what to keep and what to chop is a key part of developing any game. It may be frustrating to some that God of War strayed away from one of its biggest pulls from previous games, but it is part of the evolving series:
“And that’s the nature of development, as you start to look at its nuances, you realize that there’s a place where ambition overshadows resources and time, and you want to do so much, but you just have to end up choosing the things that will make the greatest impact. It is hard to know what to let go of, but you need to get to a point where you say, 'You know what? This thing is not as important as the other thing, I will fight for this other thing, and let this thing go.' That is the years of experience that will let you know what’s important to you and what you’re trying to make.”
It isn't that God of War was without big boss battles, but they felt a lot more sporadic than the particularly action-packed titles like God of War 2 and God of War 3. One gripe was that although the presence of both Odin and Thor were felt in God of War, neither of them got an epic throwdown with the Ghost of Sparta. That being said, as the end of God of War teased what could come in the next game - including a bigger role for the God of Thunder - God of War 5 could be the perfect time for the Leviathan Axe to go up against Mjolnir.
With a breath of fresh Nordic air, God of War brought life back to the long-running adventure series, and despite showcasing a much older version of Kratos, there was just the right amount of new blood. After seven games of tackling Greek deities, it is clear to see why Barlog would want to try something a little different in a game that was such a big departure from its predecessors. While he doesn't reveal which boss battles from the pages of the Norse gods didn't make the cut in God of War, there is every chance they could find a place in God of War 5's story campaign.