No, God of War's Atreus Won't Be Another Annoying Tag Along

Sometimes when gamers hear that a game features more than one key character, a collective groan [...]


Sometimes when gamers hear that a game features more than one key character, a collective groan can be heard following that particular revelation. Tag along characters can often get in the way, detract focus, and become just a general nuisance more often that not. Because of this, the Santa Monica Studio recently sat down to clarify that no, Atreus won't be "one of those" characters and he will be a meaningful addition to the new God of War experience, not a distraction.

New year, new me - or at least: new mythology, new me. And new son. The latest God of War game is definitely breaking free of its roots, in a good way, and now we get to learn a little more about how exactly Atreus will play and how much time players will actually be committed to in-depth involvement with Kratos' child.

Sitting down with Game Informer, creative director Cory Barlog assured fans that players aren't stuck on babysitting duty. It's not an escort mission, it's meaningful narrative:

"From the beginning, I wanted to make sure we weren't making an escort-mission game – one where you're constantly feeling like the A.I. messed you up," Barlog stated.

"You have all the standard stuff you have to deal with – getting in the way, not stealing too much limelight from the hero, making sure they're not doing things you don't want them to do," added lead gameplay engineer Jeet Shroff. "Any kind of typical A.I. development deals with that. There are secondary parts of that: feeling like you constantly have to take care of them, being able to escort them, and all that kind of stuff. We knew we had to deal with that right out of the gate. So focusing a lot on making sure Atreus had a significant supporting role was a big part of establishing that pillar, not so much as a secondary or tertiary thing, but as a key component throughout the entire development."

Despite there being an additional character, Kratos is still the main focus in-game. Atreus as a companion won't steal the spotlight and fans looking forward to seeing the new and improved god slayer won't have to worry about divvying up their game time:

"Atreus has grown and evolved so much throughout the development of this project," Shroff says. "It's primarily because, to be honest, a lot of what we thought would work never ended up working. What we thought was how a companion character – in this type of environment, with this type of hero – could work made a lot of sense on paper. In development, as the hero evolved and the systems around Kratos started to get fleshed out, Atreus was always being adapted to adjust for that."

Another note added about Atreus is that players can mold him to be the son they want. There will be key moments throughout the game when gamers can guide his choices, his interactions, his skills, to become more attuned to Kratos. Though some actions are auto generated, many of them are at the player's will.

To read more about what the team had to say about the non-annoying companion, check out the full interview right here.