Over the last 16 years, God of War has become one of PlayStation's biggest franchises, but the series might not have been as successful had it gone in a different direction. Original God of War game director David Jaffe revealed in a recent installment of his "Gabbin + Games" YouTube series that he had initially planned for the game to be a first-person adventure! Inevitably, the team settled on the third-person perspective that has been a staple of the series since 2005, but the game was almost a significantly different experience from the one fans got to enjoy on PlayStation 2.
"For a long time, for about four… ehh, three months, I was seriously considering going first-person. And the game I was looking at was a Dreamcast game (I think I'm pronouncing it right, it's called Maken X). It was not the world's best game but it was one of the few games where I saw melee combat done well in a first-person perspective, and I thought that would be a really cool way to differentiate ourselves... but I think ultimately, it just became difficult to get the kind of emotion and combat and sort of just character building that I was hoping to do. So, I can't fathom that idea surviving long enough to even pitch it to Tim Moss, the lead programmer. I think when it came to Tim, it was a third-person game," said Jaffe.
Of course, God of War went on to become a critical and commercial smash for PlayStation, leading to multiple sequels, including next year's highly anticipated God of War: Ragnarok. It's entirely possible that the game might have still been a success with a first-person perspective, but there's simply no way of knowing if that would have been the case.
The video game industry is filled with stories like this one, and it's always interesting to hear about what might have been. Jaffe mentions the difficulty of character building in first-person, and that's very true. A big part of Kratos' appeal comes from his personality, and it's difficult to say if that would have been conveyed as well in first-person as it is in third-person. That certainly could have been a difficult challenge!
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