God Of War Changing Up Its Combat, All Revolving Around Kratos’ Axe

If you’ve played God of War games in the past, then you’re pretty aware of how the gameplay [...]

God of War Axe

If you've played God of War games in the past, then you're pretty aware of how the gameplay works, as you chain together combos and grab moves and rip enemies apart, big or small. However, the newest game in the series provides an interesting change to that system, as the combat will be much more grounded – but just as visceral.

Game Informer recent spoke with team members behind the forthcoming series rebirth about its new combat system, one that revolves around Kratos' powerful new axe – and some changes to the usual bone-tearing action. Lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald explained that this change forced the team to make a more "grounded" approach to the combat. Initially, the team was trying to figure out ways to get the combat to work around the axe. But it eventually came into place, thanks to one particular mechanic – throwing.

By making the axe more of a projectile weapon – but also useful for up-close strikes – the team was able to open up the game even more. Some even consider it in the same league as Thor's Mjolnir, as Kratos can summon his axe to return to him after he throws it.

As a result, according to McDonald, combat is "a little bit slower than (in) previous God of War games, but it's just as fluid and just as brutal as it's ever been."

For those of you wondering why the combat needed a change, it's mainly based around the third-person camera set-up, requiring scenarios to be much closer than originally expected – a far cry from where previous God of War games went. "It took a lot of iterations on the tech of the enemies, and just the control of the character, to really get this into a place where we're like, okay, even though the camera's close and you can't see everything around you, the game somehow still works," said McDonald.

Atreus, Kratos' son, also plays a part with his bow and arrow, along with distracting foes. And, on top of that, Kratos can hold his own while pinning someone down with his axe. Now that's kick-ass. Or, rather, kick-axe?

God of War will release sometime this year for PlayStation 4. A March 22nd date has been hinted at, but hasn't been finalized yet.