Sony's God of War is already being heralded as a much-needed reboot to the long-running franchise, and now the studio's creative director is thanking George Miller for making it better.
Early reviews suggest that God of War could be one of PS4's best games to date, and just like Miller did with Mad Max: Fury Road, it put some more gas back in the tank. Taking on Greek and Norse gods with blades and axes may sound a million miles away from the apocalyptic roads of the Mad Max quadrilogy, but Miller's work had a heavy influence on God of War's latest entry.
For those who don't know, Cory Barlog was supposed to work with Miller on a Mad Max game that never came to be. Fortunately, some of the work carried over into God of War, and speaking to GameSpot, Barlog reveals what it was like working with the legend that is Miller:
"It's just unfortunate the way that sometimes games go that they ended up going in a different direction, and George and I ended up not working on that one with them. But the learnings I got from that definitely made [the new God of War] possible, I think, to do this.
"I think if I had attempted this game--I'm not even certain if I would have attempted it--had I not worked with George. That is the impact he has. I feel like prior to working with him, it would be like reading a book without your glasses and you have terrible vision, so you see the words, but they're blurry. Working with him, and starting to understand why drama occurs, why conflict feeds into the development of all the characters--that kind of put glasses on me to help me understand like, "Wow, I really don't understand drama."
It is interesting to note that Barlog says he didn't really understand drama until working with Miller. Although the director is responsible for the likes of The Witches of Eastwick and the Babe movies, there is no denying that his work on the four Mad Max movies are where he has made his name.
Briefly leaving Sony in 2008, Barlog and Miller planned to cash in on the box office success of the Mad Max series before another movie hit theaters. While the Barlog-Miller project fell through, so did a proposed Mad Max game from original Fallout developers Interplay. The reins were eventually handed over to Avalanche Studios, who released a Mad Max game in 2015 alongside Warner Bros.' live-action movie.
God of War is nothing like racing through an apocalyptic wasteland, but as the glowing reviews state, the latest journey for Kratos is very much a personal affair with some great characterization and storytelling. Since 1979, Miller has created great personalities like Mel Gibson's Max Rockatansky, Tom Hardy's newer version Max, Aunty Entity, and Imperator Furiosa. The idea of relationships developing (quite literally) while on the road is something that can clearly be seen in God of War.
No one knows how it would've panned out if the Mad Max game had been an official tie-in to the movie, but Avalanche's title didn't exactly set gaming charts alight. Sadly, the Mad Max movie series now is back in limbo since Fury Road, with an uncertain future for the proposed sequel. However, at least Barlog has taken something positives from his brief time with Miller, so who knows where it could lead. If he ever fancies hopping ship from Sony once again, maybe Miller could transform those Fury Road 2 plans into a God of War-esque game.
- God of War (2018 Video Game) release date: Apr 20, 2018