God of War Developer Secrets: How the Battle with the Wanderer was created (Topic)

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God of War Developer Secrets: How the Battle with the Wanderer was created


PlayStation 4-exclusive action thriller God of War has rightfully earned the title of the most highly rated game of the first half of 2018. But, as you know, behind the creation of any great game is a colossal work and thousands of interesting stories. For example, the designer of the combat system in God of War, Denny Yeh, described how an incredibly spectacular fight with the Wanderer was created. We will present the most interesting moments of a large article that was published on the official website of the game.

We recommend that you refrain from reading all players who, for a number of reasons, have not started the passage of God of War, since the article will detail the battle with the very first boss of the game.

God of War

Each part of Kratos' adventures began with stunning boss battles. Think of Hydra, the Colossus of Rhodes or Poseidon, epic boss fights have always been a hallmark of the God of War series. The new part was supposed to stay within the canons, but the task for Santa Monica Studio became much more complicated. Indeed, unlike the past giants, who were hardly obsessed with the screen, Balder was a cut shorter than Kratos and at the same time the battle with him should have impressed the players.

What did the developers do? We went the opposite way, and instead of maximizing the distance of the camera during the battle, we brought it as close as possible. From this perspective, it turned out that the player feels the effect of the blow better than the creators of the game God of War used to create a spectacular duel between two gods.

God of War

When the developers had a prototype of the battle with the Wanderer, they struggled the most with solving the following issues:

  • How long must a battle go on before a player gets bored or tired?
  • How far can you go with the destruction of surrounding objects? How many of them should there be on the battlefield and how tightly should they be placed together?
  • How big should an arena be that would be a great fit for all your ideas?

Over time, testing the prototype of the battle, the developers found out that it turns out to be more fun to fight with small opponents than with 100-meter titans. For example, sending Balder on a long flight with a punch of his fist brings much more satisfaction than just beating the giant hand of a colossus for a few minutes.

When the overall concept was completed, the developers began to create a "skeleton" of the battle, which was then refined many times. However, from the first build to the final version, the battle did not change much and the concept of "hitting Kratos so that he flew over the roof of the house" was successfully implemented in the game.

The battle was divided into 3 phases

The first phase took place in the backyard of Kratos' house and was created as a little tutorial for the player. At this stage, Balder practically did not attack and acted as a mobile dummy for practicing strikes. To make the battle more spectacular, the developers pre-installed destructible trees and stone boulders around the perimeter.

Balder's somewhat passive behavior in the first phase was also explained from the plot side: Balder refrains from his own attacks and waits for Kratos' blows, since he hopes that he will help him feel pain again. This is a case where the gameplay and storyline go well together.

God of War

One of the main challenges for the developers was the goal of creating the game in one take, when there are no cuts. Because of this, difficulties arose when it was required to make sure that two characters find themselves in the right place during the battle. To do this, various techniques were used that demonstrate the power of the gods in the game God of War, as well as allow you to quickly move characters to the desired position.

It is because of this that Balder throws Kratos so high. This technique masks how far the characters are from each other and allows the gods to be alone on the roof of the house. In addition, other transition animations have been used to hide how Kratos is "pulled" towards Balder. There are more subtle reasons for the constant movement of characters - to give players a new, suitable for destruction game arena.

God of War

It's time for the second phase of the battle between Balder and Kratos in God of War. It begins with Kratos entering Spartan Rage mode. Specially for the player to learn a new mechanic, “rage” lasts longer than usual.

The transition to the third phase, when Balder throws a huge stone at Kratos, was supposed to be even more ambitious. According to the initial plan, Kratos was supposed to break the giant mountain by hand, but the developers abandoned this idea, as they were trying to show a tired Spartan, a kind of "Retired Kratos".

Another idea that was sent to the trash can is related to the situation when Kratos falls to the bottom of the crevice. Originally, Balder was supposed to throw rocks at Kratos and cause avalanches, forcing the player to jump between ledges. However, the idea did not survive to the final version due to its complexity and scale.

God of War

In the final third phase, Balder begins to act aggressively and uses his entire set of attacks. At the same time, since the boss was the first in the game God of War, the developers did not want to provide gamers with a challenge. The idea was to create the illusion of being aggressive, not to make Balder a really dangerous opponent.

All of Balder's attacks have been designed to teach the player different moves:

  • Ground shock is an unblockable wave that should be dodged by moving to the side
  • Swift strikes - you can dodge, block or parry
  • Sky Strike is an unblockable dodge attack
  • Zigzag strike - breaks the block. The player must either parry or dodge

In addition to attacks, Balder in God of War was supposed to have a large arsenal of defensive techniques. To prevent Kratos from unleashing countless blows on the enemy, Balder knew how to slip out of the player's hands, counterattack or throw him back ten meters. Also, Balder was supposed to have one extremely spectacular ability: sometimes he could get the ax thrown by the player from his body and use it against Kratos. However, the idea did not reach implementation due to its complexity and the reluctance of the developers to limit players in the ability to throw an ax.

This concludes the story of creating a fight between Balder and Kratos. One can only envy those people who have not yet felt on their own skin did not test their strength in the battle with Balder. And for those who have finished playing God of War, there is positive news: the continuation of the game is most likely already in active development.

The Topic of Article: God of War Developer Secrets: How the Battle with the Wanderer was created.
Author: Jake Pinkman