God of War III has been one of the most popular titles on show here at E3, with players queuing up to swing the Chains of Olympus through the game’s opening level. I took a break from wanton decapitation to sit down with Adam Puhl, staff designer on the game.
Adam Puhl, staff designer of God of War III
“We’re finally getting the chance to show a playable version of God of War III at E3,” he told me, “which includes new weapons and abilities in a war between the Gods, the Titans and Kratos. We’re proud to be showcasing the new level of visceral combat in the game as well as the fantastic visuals.”
“We’re now able to show details such as Kratos’ muscles flexing in battle, his veins popping out and blood spraying across the battlefield and landing on his body, which really helps you feel more immersed in this world.”
When a lot of people saw the very first gameplay footage from the game, some claimed that it looked merely like ‘God of War II but with more pixels’; I asked Puhl how he would counter this argument.
“Well, there are a hell of a lot more pixels, that’s for sure,” he said, “but there’s a lot more than that. We’re revaluating the series and putting in a lot of the things that we have wanted since the first game. The Titan gameplay, for example, is incredible this time. In previous games you had glimpses of these enormous creatures that you were on top of, but this time it’s for real. You’re running on a living, moving creature and you have to react to that dynamic, and while people might say the gameplay feels the same, we wouldn’t want to reinvent the series and alienate people – you have to keep the essence of Kratos.”
God of War III isn’t the only game Kratos is appearing in at E3; he is also a playable character in Soulcalibur PSP, so I asked Puhl how involved he has been in this cameo.
“Myself and the guys from Santa Monica Studios worked with the Soul Calibur team and we found them to be fantastic – they had looked at Kratos’ character closely and he feels just right on Soulcalibur PSP. They even introduced some moves that even we hadn’t thought of, but suit him perfectly.”
God of War III is a single-player game, but I wondered if the team had ever considered experimenting with multiplayer.
“Personally, sure,” said Puhl. “I love multiplayer games and that stuff really excites me, but God of War is all about Kratos and if we threw another character in there it could become a distraction.”
It will also be the first time the series has featured Trophies, so I asked what Puhl thinks makes a good Trophy list.
“I like Trophies a lot, but they should feel right,” he replied. “It shouldn’t be like ‘you finished level one, here you go’. The play experience should be rewarding in itself, and Trophies should be another layer of reward for a particularly tricky task, such as ripping 20 civilians apart in a row. They should be a reason to go back and experiment with the game.”
So there you have it, I hope this gives you some indication of how the game is coming along and gets you excited about its March 2010 release. I know you guys love Trophies and I thought Puhl’s views on them were really interesting. Which Trophies would you like to see in God of War III? The development team may even be reading this…