A Cool God Of War PS4 Feature Was Rejected From The Tomb Raider Reboot

"My reaction was like, 'Yeah, you know, I don't know if this is the best place for me anyway.'"

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God of War director Cory Barlog has discussed his time working on Crystal Dynamics' 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider, specifically one of the big ideas he had for that game and why he decided to leave the project.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Star, Barlog was asked about the new God of War's one-shot cinematic technique, which presents its entire story in one, uninterrupted shot without cuts or fades. This, he said, was something that he originally pitched for Tomb Raider, though his efforts were unsuccessful.

"I wanted to do [the one-shot camera technique] and I had pitched it to Crystal Dynamics when I was there working on Tomb Raider and everyone was like, 'That's crazy, we don't want to do that,'" he explained.

The studio's resistance to the idea contributed to his decision to leave and return to Sony Santa Monica, where he directed God of War 2, wrote multiple other God of War titles, and is now directing the newest entry in the series for PS4.

"My reaction was like, 'Yeah, you know, I don't know if this is the best place for me anyway.' I was already starting to talk to people about new roles at Sony and then I think I realized [the new God of War] is the one I can do it on."

Barlog added that he now has "a lot more creative support and faith with Sony," which he says is willing to support crazier ideas "regardless of how much of a leap off of a cliff it is." Despite this, the path to getting the one-shot in God of War wasn't easy, and it's only recently that people have understood why it was important.

"I've had a bee in my bonnet about the one-shot camera for quite a long time and you know, I got a lot of resistance," he said. "In the beginning, I had to fight the fight with everybody on the development team. And eventually, one by one, you win them over, you show them something, you explain how it's going to be. But, honestly, I think even then, they weren't convinced.

"In this last month, everybody's had a lot of free time. Bugs have to be reproduced and as most people are creating content, they are playing the game more. And I'm getting leads from various departments and animators and artists from the studio coming into my office and saying, 'Okay, I get it. Seeing the game as a whole makes sense, I see why you wanted this thing.'"

God of War's release date has been set for April 20. GameSpot recently played the game and you can hear about our impressions in this God of War gameplay preview. The series' iconic protagonist, Kratos, has also undergone some significant changes for his latest outing, and we talked to Barlog about that in an interview. You can watch him discuss Sony Santa Monica's new vision for Kratos in the video at the top of this page.

In Tomb Raider news, Square Enix recently confirmed that the next Lara Croft game will be Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The company also announced the Shadow of the Tomb Raider release date as September 14. It will come to PS4, Xbox One, and PC simultaneously, rather than being a timed exclusive to Xbox One like the previous game.

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NaturallyEvil

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Maybe I've become too cynical, but I don't think this was an artistic decision in any way. It looks to me like this sort of camera would be very limiting in an action/adventure game... but super convenient when making the game VR compatible.

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JustPlainLucas

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Edited By JustPlainLucas

This new God of War frustrates me to no end. I am trying to remain open-minded but the style of the game has completely changed well beyond what I recognize God of War to be. Sure, it's got brutal moves and whatnot, but is that enough to call it God of War? For me, God of War has always been about the gameplay; arcadey hack-n-slash. I don't see that in this. Instead of staying true to its roots, I see this franchise blending in with others, most notably Last of Us. I know people say that a lot, but the comparisons are impossible to ignore. Part of me just doesn't want to like this game on that principle alone. Not to say I didn't like Last of Us; I loved it. I just don't like it when games lose their identity to become more like other games.

However, I'll still remain open-minded. Having a pre-order bonus discount and 35 dollars in credit will make it easier to get the game and give it a shot. I have to remind myself that I wasn't too keen on the idea of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot because it shaped up to be more like Uncharted than the Tomb Raider games I used to love. The lack of meaningful tombs and puzzles REALLY hurt it in my eyes, but I still ended up enjoying it quite a bit for what it actually was. I'm sure the lack of classic God of War gameplay will hurt this God of War just as much for me, so I can only hope that the game for what it is still manages to be a great game overall.

It's just.... GOD, I do not want to lug that damn kid around all the time when I just want to kill lots of enemies!

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twztid13

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@JustPlainLucas: If Last of Us clone is worst case scenario, ill be happy. I cant get into that game because of the setting. I hate jump scares & zombies (close enlugh to zombies), so being able to know what the fuss was all about will be cool, & in a world that I can appreciate. I understand your worries, & they are well founded. The old GoW is gone for now. I like what I hope this new one turns out to be more than I will miss the arcade like gameplay from the 1st 3 (didn't play Ascension, though I bought it. I sold it with my ps3 to get a ps4 since no backwards compatibility. RIP classic GoW....for now. Next gen will have your back, surely (or at least some of these cash soaked companies should be making some darn awesome clones of it with this hole in the marketplace for this style of game).

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NTM23

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Edited By NTM23

Come to think of it, there aren't too many third-person games that do that kind of thing. Dead Space is the one I can think of off the top of my head.

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Zer0Day

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Edited By Zer0Day

Is it just me, or is this feature actually not that big a deal or really cool? Sure, it's somewhat impressive from a technological standpoint, but this isn't going to change my opinion of a game. This feature really strikes me as something that's just being talked about alot by the development team because it's unique and marketable. Not because it's actually "game-changing". It's funny that Cory mentions Tomb Raider, because I don't see how that game would have really been any worse or better due to a feature like this.

I'm glad you're proud of your idea and feel validated, Cory, and it's certainly marketable, but if this game is good, personally I couldn't give a shit about a feature like this.

"Despite this, the path to getting the one-shot in God of War wasn't easy, and it's only recently that people have understood why it was important." What? The game isn't even out yet. Who are these people? Press that write previews for your game? Of course they're going to mention this feature, it's unique and I'm sure you spotlight it and market it hard at press events. No shit. That doesn't mean it's going to be even a moderate factor in the critical or commercial success of your game. Here are the most important factors to the success of your game (and it will almost definitely be successful): (a) It has the name "God of War" (b) It's been marketed HARD by Sony (c) It has a massive budget, it's beautiful, and it'll probably be a quality "gritty, mature" single player video game, which is Sony's wheelhouse all the way.

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twztid13

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@zer0day: agreed, but the people he was referring to seemed to be coworkers & department heads, etc that he had tried to convince (at least from my initial reading. I'm not going back to check).

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Jenocide

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@zer0day: Perfectly said. I was thinking this while reading the article and trying to decide why this feature would matter to me.

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Bellum_Sacrum

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Having all these failures who wanted to be in the movie industry but ended up in video games instead can only be detrimental for the integrity of the medium as far as I'm concerned.

With Sony's western studios shifting towards dumbed-down interactive movies, Telltale games and walking simulators becoming more of a thing, it seems as if video games have become this vessel for movie industry drop-outs to use as their creative outlet. For the last decade or so, I've been growing more and more disappointed with the output of bigger western studios, what with them placing "performance capture" and "set pieces" above actual game design and settling for bare-bones, rudimentary game structure.

Personally, I thought I would never see the day when I would start veering towards the output of companies like Nintendo, but here it is, slowly creeping in.

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SavageRodent

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@Bellum_Sacrum: I understand your sentiment and I'm in the same boat as you. However, there is a place for more cinematic games in the industry. As long as there are games continually being developed for each demographic, there should be no reason to place a stigma on the games that the western game industry has been adopting for the past decade. I first saw this with the first Uncharted game and was hoping for a more explorative game, like a 3D metroidvania, but I was rather disappointed and have just seen the series as a missed opportunity.

I'm not a fan of western entertainment as a whole anymore and is why I've been primarily (almost exclusively) consuming Eastern entertainment, both games and shows/movies, but I'm not going to bash the western industry and claim people are failures for what they want or like to do. As long as people aren't trying to ruin what I enjoy, I see no issues in what the western entertainment industry does or if people liking it.

Honestly, the western industry is pretty much dead to me.

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Gamer12

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Edited By Gamer12

@Bellum_Sacrum: Hey, thanks for sharing your opinion, interesting to read/hear. However, I have to disagree with you on two things you mentioned politely.

• First and foremost these individuals are not failures, and referring to them as such while you have no clue whatsoever of the time and passion they put into their work is, no offense, incredibly narrow-minded on your behalf. They have dedicated their time to perfecting and practicing their craft, which is a hell of a lot more than others would even dare try. Some games don't meet the public expectations, but the ones that do it do so in an exemplary way. I would suggest not jumping to criticize others work, without understanding the process and difficulties that go with it, but instead, try putting yourself in their shoes and learning something on what they are doing to construct valid reasoning for your opposition better. Or an even more preferable approach would be to support their endeavors and help them shape the games in the way the fans and public would like to see it, rather than criticize it.

• Secondly, Games are not meant to be dumbed-down interactive movies, I agree, but in no way whatsoever are games developed into what you described. Instead, they are becoming more detailed and magnified by the effect the game's story, and visuals have on our experience. Unless you're a die-hard pre-21st-century 2D game fans, which is perfectly fine, I genuinely don't see in what way the improvements in cinematography and visuals for video games can be detrimental to the industry future. In any case, it has been the push the industry needed to reach a wider audience, and it has done so quite successfully.

I honestly do value your opinion, and the time you took to write it out, but I just can't help but disagree with that point of view. Best wishes and hope you eventually manage to find something that fits your taste.

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SavageRodent

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@gamer12: "they are becoming more detailed and magnified by the effect the game's story, and visuals have on our experience. Unless you're a die-hard pre-21st-century 2D game fans, which is perfectly fine, I genuinely don't see in what way the improvements in cinematography and visuals for video games can be detrimental to the industry future."

Companies make the excuse that DLCs and microtransactions are necessary because development costs are high. Guess how they got so high. In the future, we're either going to see more of a push of DLCs and mircrotransactions, or an increase in the $60 AAA game value. And you would to think with digital purchases becoming increasingly more popular that it would help in countering those increased development costs. As far as the AAA game industry goes (excluding Nintendo) I fear for the future tbh.

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Spr1ggan87

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Edited By Spr1ggan87

@savagerodent: All the whining from devs and publishers on "muh dev costs!11!" might as well be fake news. It's been known for a good while now that the actual development costs for games are lower than they have been in ages. The area that had an explosion in costs and keeps increasing is the damn marketing budgets. So now we have bs like a team making a game on 10mil and then spending 50mil on marketing. Then going and crying about the costs and why we need DLC and item shops...

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SavageRodent

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Edited By SavageRodent

@spr1ggan87: That's a good point. Marketing for AAA games is ridiculous. Though I wouldn't put my money on development costs being lower than they were a decade or 2 ago.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: I'm a little worried but companies like FromSoftware, Guerrillas Games, and Naughty Dog keep a high industry standard. In my opinion, part of the danger lies in those 6 month periods where nothing is coming out except some half baked game with over the top advertising campaigns (battlefront 2) coming off the success of a blockbuster (TLJ). Idiots with money are the biggest cancer of the gaming industry

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SavageRodent

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@btotheotothejtothef: From Software has done really well with their games this past decade and have made one of, if not the best new series to come out recently. However, From Software is a Japanese studio, not a western studio which are the studios supposedly affected by these increased development costs.

I can't say much for Guerrillas Games since I haven't played any of their games. Killzone just looks like another shooter to me and Horizon Zero Dawn just looks like another busy, open world game where your only weapon seems to be a bow with various arrows to use. The mechanical animals I thought was really cool when I first saw trailers for the game, but after seeing gameplay of it I lost interest.

And I can't get behind Naughty Dog being a great game studio. Sure the quality of their games is great, but they suffer from the same stuff as every other western game company, favoring cinematics over gameplay and having DLC and microtransactions in their games. I'm assuming nobody hounds on ND's microtransactions because they aren't lootboxes and not because they're a beloved studio.

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twztid13

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@savagerodent: no microtransactions in Naughty Dogs single player portions of their games, & that's all i play of them, FYI.

You'd surprise yourself with Horizon, I think. Worth a try when you hit a lul in Japanese releases.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: "From Software is a Japanese studio, not a western studio which are the studios supposedly affected by these increased development costs." Ah wasn't aware of that.

"Killzone just looks like another shooter to me and Horizon Zero Dawn just looks like another busy, open world game where your only weapon seems to be a bow with various arrows to use. The mechanical animals I thought was really cool when I first saw trailers for the game, but after seeing gameplay of it I lost interest."

Felt the exact same way until my friend let me borrow his copy and it blew me away. Looked too repetitive to be fun but not only is the gameplay constantly evolving, but the story actually gets really good halfway through or so. Highly recommended

"...favoring cinematics over gameplay and having DLC and microtransactions in their games."

I haven't actually noticed the mt's in their games luckily. Hopefully they are just skins but that's a shame if it's other stuff too. Naughty Dog is one of the few companies where I actually enjoy the stories in their games. Especially the Last Of Us. I think story is in their wheelhouse and the problem is that other game studios want to do the same thing not realizing you need to have a kick ass script to make a decent game story

Sorry about the essay response

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twztid13

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@btotheotothejtothef: FYI, no microtransactions in Naughty Dog's single player content, so don't let that cloud your judgement if you don't play the multiplayer (usually people who play multiplayer expect those & Don't complain, so I'm assuming you are liking the story modes on their games. None of the 5 uncharted games or last of us has microtransactions in single player whatsoever.

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SavageRodent

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@btotheotothejtothef: I don't mind the essay response. I enjoy reading people's opinions on stuff.

ND is great with their quality of games, but to me their games lack in the gameplay department by a lot, which honestly is fine. There is nothing wrong with games wanting to be more story driven there is a market for it, but I'm not part of that market. I enjoy gameplay and learning mechanics, using spatial awareness to figure out my surroundings and solve puzzles. I feel it takes away from the game if that stuff is told to, which is why I fell in love with Dark Souls, or Demon's Souls before that. MTs in ND's games are primarily cosmetic stuff in multiplayer I believe, but the fact is they are there. I would really like to see them make a game like the first Jak and Daxter again.

I play games for the gameplay and the experience of exploring the world and interacting with it, not the story. I have only played two games with what I would say is a good story, those being Last of Us and Silent Hill 2. While their stories are great, I would have to push myself to replay them, less so with SH2 since it being a survival horror game gives it more appeal to me, plus multiple endings.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: "ND is great with their quality of games, but to me their games lack in the gameplay department by a lot"

I can understand that. The games I tend to keep coming back to after all these years have very strong emphasis on gameplay. One of the only games I still play not meeting this criteria being KOTOR. I'll never buy a game just because of the story. Gameplay has to be fun.

If other studios tried to incorporate story the way FromSoftware does that would be my ideal formula. If they made games the way you seem to want them made I would have no complaints. Gameplay is hugely important.

Yeah MTs are pretty lame even if it's cosmetic.

Never played Jak and Daxter. It always looked fun. Plus it reminds me of games like Spiro, Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet and Clank which are some of my favourite ps1 and ps2 games.

Never played Silent Hill 2. Didn't Kojima make that one? If so then i'm sure the story is good.

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SavageRodent

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@btotheotothejtothef: I do enjoy how FromSoftware does story, but the lore of it is probably the meat of the story, and not really the story itself. They even managed to do everything they did right with Dark Souls in a completely new setting and different concept with Bloodborne. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they're next dark rpg will be.

The first Jak and Daxter was a "collectathon" with no hub and a decent attempt at a seamless world, and it's the only 3D platformer that I know of that has done that too. They also incorporated the power ups into the narrative of the game which was pretty cool too.

Team Silent was the team that did Silent Hill 1-4. SH2 was not only the fan favorite, but also the most different in terms of the narrative since its story is more personal compared to the other games of the series. I have yet to play through 3 and 4, so I can't say if it's my favorite yet or not. If you like survival horror games, I would recommend the series, just be prepared to have to deal with unintuitive controls.

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twztid13

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@savagerodent: i really wish From Software would do something away from horror type genre. That's my least favorite. I played through half of Demon's Souls, then beat Dark souls, skipped DS2, bought DS3 close to launch but haven't played at all yet. Just got bloodborne with PS+ but my sub is up on April 6th & I bougjt Ni No Kuni 2, so won't play it before then. I just don't like the jumps, etc, as I'm hugh strung & paranoid anyway, so I feel like normal life is a horror movie sometimes, lol (like if someone knocks on my door really hard when I'm not expecting anyone...and my friends know not to knock like the darn police...it scares the crap out of me sometimes where I'll jump. So imagine a horror game where im already noticing every sound & footstep etc, the BAM. Nope...). Nioh was amazing for me but I'd like to see what From could do in an environment outside of their comfort zone.

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SavageRodent

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@twztid13: I like horror, and there's honestly not enough of it on the market, specifically survival horror. And really From Software's games I wouldn't declare as horror games. They're most certainly dark, but they're not scary. Supposedly Last of Us is considered a survival horror, but I fail to find anything scary in it tbh. A horror game may not make the player scared, but it will make the player tense, something that FromSoft's games and LoU don't do, but Resident Evil and Silent Hill most certainly will, no matter how many times I play through them.

I don't think I'll have an issue with keeping myself busy if there's a drought in Japanese games since I play on all platforms. And if Horizon Zero Dawn's main appeal is the story, it's not worth my time. The number of games I found to have a good story is extremely small, and I don't think HZD will add to that number. I also had a falling out with open world games, until Breath of the Wild was released. I enjoyed BotW a lot and thought maybe I could give some more open worlds games I go. I tried to go back and finish The Witcher 3 and couldn't do it.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: Yeah sometimes it can just be really hard to follow the lore but it's fascinating regardless of misinterpretation. The next FromSoft game is my most anticipated game. Hoping for a spiritual successor to Bloodborne like Dark souls was to Demon's Souls. Fingers crossed.

Okay yeah sort of sounds like mario 64 but that game has hubs.

I'm not aware of Team Silent. Not the biggest survival horror guy but this would be the game I'd try I think. I'm really bad with horror movies though. I get scared really easily

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Geogyf

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@btotheotothejtothef: I believe FromSoft wanted to make a sci-fi game at some point as well (return back to their roots).

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@Geogyf: Yeah I heard that as well. Sci-fi would be awesome! I'll buy almost anything that company puts out at this point though

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twztid13

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@btotheotothejtothef: Sci Fi from From would be amazing!

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SavageRodent

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@btotheotothejtothef: Your hopes on FromSoft's next game are the same as mine. I'm really looking forward to more information on it, and I'm glad the first Dark Souls is getting a remaster because I believe it needed it. There being a Switch version is absolutely awesome too.

I've always had an interest in horror for some reason. Not so much the "killer chasing teenagers" horror, but supernatural or sci-fi horror I like. Though the survival horror genre does also have problems too, with games moving away from the "survival" part of the genre, focusing more on just the instinct of running away and hiding instead of giving the player the option of "fight or flight". The Evil Within 2 is the best recent example (minus the remaster of the Resident Evil remake and RE0) of survival horror done right imo, but it still has its faults like telling the player where to go, and it lacked in puzzle solving.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: Yeah, definitely getting dark souls remaster. Was so bummed when they remastered DS2 instead of 1. Hopefully they've put a good amount of work into it. Gives me incentive to get a switch some day.

I always just thought of horror as a game with jump scares. I like the way you describe it though, with the option to fight, run or hide. Not just run or hide. Sounds a lot more interesting that way

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SavageRodent

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@btotheotothejtothef: It's going to be a lot of fun with 6 player online and working covenants like the Gravelord covenant. I wasn't really bummed about the DS2 remaster, however I was bummed when they kept the soul memory matchmaking in. The majority of people didn't like it, and it ruined the variety of builds in PvP.

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BtotheOtotheJtotheF

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@savagerodent: Definitely! Yeah soul memory was one of the worst decisions in that game, as well as the "remixed" enemy placement that made it harder but was un-immersive.

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Edited By Xristophoros

@Bellum_Sacrum: don't like beautiful graphics with a cinematic flair? sounds like you should stick to indi games then. problem solved. oh, and kirby might also be your cup of tea :D

i just hope you find something that makes you happy and less spiteful towards other gamers and the majority of developers because you have done a fine job insulting pretty well everyone in the industry.

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Edited By LiveDreamPlay

@Bellum_Sacrum: The gaming industry being much newer than the movie industry, even scraping the surface when it comes to cinematographic quality is a big win for the medium. As long as games don't sacrifice gameplay quality in order to push forward their cinematographic creativeness, then the industry can only thrive from this.

PS: cory barlog is not a failure who wanted to be in the movie industry, he's worked all his life in gaming and made one of the industry's most successful franchises. Just cause he wants to improve the cinematography aspect of his games doesn't mean he's secretly in love with the movie industry lol.

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HeartYouMeUs

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@livedreamplay: Dave Jaffe would like a word.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@heartyoumeus: Guillermo del Toro worked on a gaming project, so the movie industry must secretly want to work in the games industry too. :-o

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RaveNRolla

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i hope i see his point too when the game comes out. i'm really excited!

i don't quite get why this particular feature is so important to him. quite frankly there are a hundred more important things in a videogame than short/no loading screens (gameplay, character design, level design, etc., which i'm sure they nailed). it's cool though, no doubt. and i was very happy back when Bloodborne somehow severely reduced the loading times with a patch (how do you even do that?)..

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LiveDreamPlay

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@RaveNRolla:

It's not "no loading", that's just an addded bonus so to speak. It's the fluency of the camera, meaning it never switches between different camera angles, it controlls all the scenes from just moving the one camera shot. Here's a video that explains it better than me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_RpwPcfhB8

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RaveNRolla

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@livedreamplay: ah ok, starting to get his excitement. when i get the game i'll see what it adds for me.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@RaveNRolla:

It's a great thing but it's really hard to do it well. Let's hope they succeeded...

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berserks

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Glad he came back to do Gow , look epic . Never expected to care for a Gow game again .

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DevilStrider

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Lol they act like this was never done before. This was done with legacy of Kain Soul Reaver.

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NaturallyEvil

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@DevilStrider: Soul Reaver had few load times, but didn't have the camera style he's talking about. All the Legacy of Kain games were full of traditional cut scenes where the camera switches to pre-set angles like in a movie. It sounds like the camera he's describing is more like someone is following and just recording everything live with 1 camera, which worries me that this will be like Kratos meets Blair Witch Project.

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Xirtahm

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@DevilStrider: ... no one ever said it was never done before.... :|

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LiveDreamPlay

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Edited By LiveDreamPlay

@DevilStrider:

Lol who acts like this wasn't done before? They just say it's a cool feature...

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