There's a lot that's going to be different when the next God of War title hits the PlayStation 4, including the entire mythology surrounding the storyline. Seeing Kratos as a father figure will be a huge shift, but that's not the only change coming this beloved franchise. Kratos himself will see a huge overhaul with his upgrade path.
In a recent interview, Cory Barlog, the game director for the next step in Kratos' story, discusses the various changes that veterans of the franchise will see in the new game. Their vision, he says, was to "leave behind" the usual upgrade path seen in previous titles in order to create a new immersive connection between the player and the god himself.
In an effort to develop Kratos more organically, Sony's Santa Monica Studios decided to scrap the original mechanic and adapt the upgrade system to be more meaningful in the narrative. In an effort to make it "more fun", the new means to upgrade will center around the dwarven pair Brokk and Syndri and they will be responsible for not only how Kratos progresses, but that of his child as well. The duo was responsible for the creation of Thor's hammer according to Norse mythos, so surely they can handle the mechanics of the god and his son, Atreus.
With the new focus on upgrade relation to the narrative itself, it does make sense that such meaningful characters are attached to that combat growth. Barlog and the team have mentioned in the past that the recognizable axe seen in recent trailers is incredibly important to the story, making the responsibility of warrior growth in the hands of Brokk and Syndri a logical decision mechanically.
The progression between the protagonist and his son in relation to the hands behind Thor's hammer will happen at a natural pace, according to Barlog, “Through the interactions between them you are able to fully understand and actually help change the arc for each of these characters.”
With all of the changes coming to the next installment, it seems like the team is being very careful to keep what players loved about Kratos and nurturing it, rather than just trying new ideas with no direction. The next God of War seems to be a definite step in a powerfully positive direction for Kratos and his place in world of gaming.
God of War is currently set for a release in early 2018 for PlayStation 4.
(via PlayStation Magazine UK)