God of War: Ascension Will Humanize Kratos

God of War: Ascension Will Humanize Kratos

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A lead designer feels that Kratos has gotten a bit monstrous and overpowered of late.

If you've played the God of War series, you've been able to see the progression - not necessarily evolution - of its lead character. Kratos, the Spartan general demigod, spent three games transitioning from a brutal, vengeful man with a haunting past to an almost caricatured unending fountain of rage. While Mark Simon, lead designer for the next God of War installment, Ascension, doesn't necessarily agree with this assessment, he's heard the fan outcry, and believes that it's time to bring some balance back to the character.

Simon explains that while Kratos has always been a merciless, selfish individual, he's had a bit of a valiant side as well. "[In the original God of War, Kratos] was running towards the town square when all the creatures were chasing all the people away ... I think that gives you a different impression of Kratos ... It might be to his own ends, but he's doing something heroic." Over the next two games Simon admits that Kratos had become a bit more one-dimensional, even becoming something of a "monster." In Ascension, though, players should expect a Kratos more in-line with the character's original incarnation. "[In] this game, we don't want him to feel like a monster. We want him to feel like he's more heroic, and what he's doing is more heroic, and something you can relate to."

While Simon stands by the idea that God of War's combat should be accessible and fun, he also believes that keeping Kratos's relative power in check will serve the narrative of the new game well. "In order to have conflict, you need to have another end, so you need to have the ebb and flow where you have to play defense a bit in order to feel like you need to overcome something that's more powerful." Simon hopes that the player's triumphs will ultimately be more satisfying if Kratos has to work for them a bit.

Kratos has never been the most down-to-earth character, and it's unlikely that he will suddenly become relatable and compassionate when Ascension comes around. Still, Kratos's characterization was one of the strongest points in the first God of War, so any attempt to recapture it should serve the story well.

Source: Gamasutra

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I don't think this is going to work.

Kratos works as a psychopath. People sometimes enjoy watching lunatics go on a murderous rant. That is why Fox New is so succesful. And it is kind of a selling point of the God of War series.

I am by no means averse to change, but the danger of failing at that change seems pretty big.
It just seems to me that people want to see Kratos smashing really big monsters and not learn about his vulnerable, poetic soul.

So he's going to die again in the beginning isn't he?

This seems like the logical progression of the series to be honest. 'Cause what's left after GOW3? Going into Hades and killing all of the Gods again?

There are few greater fans of the GOW than me.

But I admit if I hear "I WILL HAZ MY REEVEANGEH!!!!!!!" again, I'll puke.

Kopikatsu:
This seems like the logical progression of the series to be honest. 'Cause what's left after GOW3? Going into Hades and killing all of the Gods again?

Giving them puppies. Then killing their new puppies a month later.

OT: Nah, don't believe it, I'll just remember god of war 3 and BAM no more human quality to him.

"[In the original God of War, Kratos] was running towards the town square when all the creatures were chasing all the people away ... I think that gives you a different impression of Kratos ... It might be to his own ends, but he's doing something heroic."

Did he miss the part where you can murder the fleeing civilians for health?

Rocklobster99:

"[In the original God of War, Kratos] was running towards the town square when all the creatures were chasing all the people away ... I think that gives you a different impression of Kratos ... It might be to his own ends, but he's doing something heroic."

Did he miss the part where you can murder the fleeing civilians for health?

TOTALLY forgot about that part, thank you so much for the rl lol. :)

Exterminas:
It just seems to me that people want to see Kratos smashing really big monsters and not learn about his vulnerable, poetic soul.

Except that's exactly what happend in in God of War 3. One moment Kratos uses a poor slave girl as a doorstop for a heavy ass gate by which she is ultimately and gruesomely crushed, and the next moment he's all blubbery and emotional over Pandora. Seriously, this happens back to back.

I think what he means is that Kratos will still be a brutal asshole, but it's for the greater good/a non-selfish act. Or that he at least won't come across as juvenile as in GoW2 and especially 3.

Oh good, give the psycho who murders absolutely everything a personality.

Wasn't his appeal the fact that he was a god-slaying killing machine?

Simon explains that while Kratos has always been a merciless, selfish individual, he's had a bit of a valiant side as well

whoa whoa whoa...wait WAT?

Didn't they try that in Ghost of Sparta for PSP?

Well...I can kinda see that working. I mean, at first, Kratos just wanted revenge because he was tricked into killing his family. I get it; he was pissed. So once he kills Ares, he's all like "Welp, guess I'm done here!" and tried to kill himself but when it didn't work and was turned into a god, you can kinda see he looked bored and unhappy. So that gives you an idea that throughout the first game, he was being motivated by his family and once he took care of that, he feels empty, lonely and finds no reason to live. Yes, and he kills random people too; I'm not saying he was a saint. I just feel he was more humane at the beginning.

They kinda tried to bring that back in the later games, such as when they make it look as if Kratos cared about Athena and bringing the vivid flashbacks of his family and such but it just didn't work because at that point, he had no more feelings. he was hollow so he only killed everyone cause, ya know, what else is he gonna do?

So I guess it makes sense. I mean, he was a general at some point. So that shows...leadership? And he does show veeeery little affection towards Spartans...so yeah, I can kinda see it working from a developer's point of view. However, as a fan, people are kinda used to see angry Kratos kill new creatures.

King of Asgaard:
Didn't they try that in Ghost of Sparta for PSP?

I've only played Chains of Olympus (the first PSP God of War title), and they had their chance there.

Its kind of hard to say we'll "humanize" him with Kratos in a way, but on the other hand since GoW 1 came out, he had a pretty low bar there in terms of difficulty to begin with. I did, however, feel bad (in the first) that he was literally forced into Godhood instead of being allowed his death, then in the second forced and tricked (several times) by the gods and more to continue on his adventure further. 3rd? Pandora was there, but she served more as a foil for him and a representation of his daughter, and again gods provoked him into psycho reaction.

At least the PSP title...

Marshall Honorof:
"[In the original God of War, Kratos] was running towards the town square when all the creatures were chasing all the people away ... I think that gives you a different impression of Kratos ... It might be to his own ends, but he's doing something heroic."

And if I remember rightly, while fighting those creatures, you can murder those poor defenceless townsfolk to get health orbs back.

EDIT: Damn, got ninja'd! :)

Humanizing lead characters is a mistake, this can be seen on Dexter, too. Lara Croft is also a crying little girl: where is this world going to? Kratos has nothing to do with humanity: he is essentially a god-killer, the ultimate agnostic. Leave it with that. If you get fed up with the male power fantasy, maybe you should look into a new IP...

Kratos casually causes mass destruction just to get from point A to point B. The beginning of Ghost of Sparta had plenty of examples of wanton destruction just to get to the other side of the room. That scene made me wonder consider that Zeus was probably doing the right thing in God of War II. If they want to humanize Kratos, how about a game where he puts down the Blades of _____ and start building houses for poor people or something.

In God of War II, it's implied that his destruction of the gods and titans paves the way for a new kind of god, a god of forgiveness among other things which is exactly what Kratos needs badly. I think it would be an interesting twist if it turned out Kratos was the devil and he created the messiah.

Kratos lost any character after the first game was done. I actually kept playing the game in hopes that he would fail, because he is a detestable character by the end of the trilogy, even going to far as destroying the world for his pettiness.

Honestly, I can think of 2 solutions:

1) go full hog evil, I don't mean a villain with a heart of gold, or an anti-hero, because they've already failed at that, I mean go full on EVIIIIL!!!

2) give him a new reason for life, and make him have to pay for his past transgressions. I really thought Pandora was going to become a cipher for his family, but he used her just like everything else in pursuit of bugger all...

 

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