A new God of War video focuses on Kratos’ partner in carnage, Atreus, and how he’ll assist his father during combat in the new game.
The father-son relationship between Kratos and Atreus is one that’ll be vital to the game’s story, but many players are probably more concerned with how Atreus will function during combat. It’s not hard to think of a game with an AI partner who constantly got in your way and seemed useless during fights, and the same pitfall befalling God of War would certainly put a damper on the mechanic that’s new to the series. Thankfully, the God of War devs were careful in designing Atreus to make sure that he didn’t become a liability on the battlefield and will instead carry his own weight alongside Kratos.
“Making sure that Atreus wasn’t a pain in your ass was a big part of this game,” lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald said.
In order to make this a reality, the God of War devs made it so that players can guide Atreus’ actions without having to constantly manage Kratos’ son. Atreus’ weapon of choice is a bow that he sometimes infuses with electric power, an indicator of his godly lineage. Players can instruct Atreus to use this bow at certain times to deal additional damage to enemies.
“The simplicity of the controls was imperative,” said creative director Cory Barlog. “We did not want to be given commands or have complex orders or anything like that.”
The video shows a fight where Kratos and Atreus face off against several mythological enemies with a button prompt available to instruct Atreus to unleash his arrows. Barlog added that Atreus will also draw aggro from enemies on his own to help take some of the pressure off of Kratos. Even if players choose not to instruct him, Atreus will still act on his own to disable enemies in various ways such as tripping them or jumping on their back and restraining them so that Kratos can get a clear shot.
Barlog added that there will be times when players may have to watch out for Atreus though if they want him to be able to freely use his abilities. Enemies will target him at times instead of Kratos and will render him unable to use his moves. Kratos may have to free Atreus occasionally, but Barlog says that Atreus will be able to get himself out of most of these situations.
The video above offers additional details on how Atreus will function in God of War when the PlayStation 4 exclusive launches on April 20.