E3 interview: The God of War III

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.

God of War Developer - Adam Puhl

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…

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32 Comments 5 Author replies
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TheTaxMan 5 June, 2009 @ 12:28 pm   1

Nice , thanks looks good and great ,Is there a Beta of GOW coming ?

When they were playing it on stage it blew me away. The graphics are insane and the lighting is really something special.

I thought nothing could beat killzone 2, but I guess God of War 3 and Uncarted 2 have pushed the PS3 even more.

Oh and for a trophy? There has got to be one for completing the game without dying, it’s a must.

Maybe one for being “the God of Love” in the “Randy” Quick time events (if there are any) would be pretty funny.

somethingatt 5 June, 2009 @ 12:55 pm   4

In the final version will the blood and bodies stay on the floor a bit longer?

I’m 90% sure it will be optimised to do so, but I just want to get an official confirmation.

    James Gallagher 5 June, 2009 @ 9:25 pm    

    Good question. The blood does, but there are so many enemies coming at you at some points I think it would get a bit messy on-screen if you had corpses piling up everywhere!

RagingWhisky 5 June, 2009 @ 12:56 pm   5



I second that, I want to be able to paint the ground in blood and I would be appaulled if this wasnt possible.

I demand blood paint!

Arki24885 5 June, 2009 @ 12:59 pm   6

After all, Does the GoW3 carry the other GoW games (GoW 1 and 2) in the same disk?

remanutd5 5 June, 2009 @ 1:01 pm   7

The Ghost of Sparta is BACKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheBussinessMan 5 June, 2009 @ 1:02 pm   8

Wow. This game looks amazing. I never really noticed the blood spraying on kratos or the buldging muscles, but Im sure that their nice features.

I dont understand how can GOW2 with more pixels be a bad thing.
I appreciate them keeping the essence of Kratos, hopefully that means that Kratos is even more angry than before.

And about multiplayer, I was hoping that there would be some sort of co-op (dont ask me why) but as long as the single player is awesome I dont mind.

I also feel trophies in this game should be super hard and Kratos deserves to have 2 platinum trophies, I mean Kratos is like a Playsation veteran.

    James Gallagher 5 June, 2009 @ 9:28 pm    

    Yeah, I hadn’t noticed either, but watching a trailer on the computer is one thing, getting up close with a 50″ Bravia, DUALSHOCK in hand, is another…

Gamester101 5 June, 2009 @ 1:09 pm   9

This is shaping up to be the best game ever! 😀

As for trophies.. no complaints with what he said 😛

Seraphus-Y 5 June, 2009 @ 1:16 pm   10

God of War 3 looks absolutely great!

And adding trophies makes it even more interesting for multiple play-throughs.

But since trophies have been mentioned now, will there ever be an option to disable the trophy-notification? Or show them at the end of a chapter (like with fl0wer) ?

Ikkarus 5 June, 2009 @ 1:19 pm   11

It’s nice to see care given to trophies as opposed to just chucking them on like many have done.

The demo blew me away when watching it on the Sony conference. 2010 will be a treat! 🙂

Apnomis 5 June, 2009 @ 1:27 pm   12

The game is looking really good and as a fan of the series I appauld the decision not to tack on some meaningless extra character so they can shoe-horn in co-op play! There is nothing wrong with having a good old fashioned single player game as long as the story and action is strong enough.

I’m glad they are avoiding the busy Christmas period too (so many games!), this will be next years Killzone 2 – released just as things start to quieten down and you’re looking for a good AAA game to keep you going!

As for trophies, having ones that require you to dig deeper into the game is definitely the way to go, it is those that make it replayable. Just don’t make them impossible! They should still be achievable to the average gamer if they try hard enough, but not the type of thing you would do during a standard playthrough (if it is something you’d be likely to do anyway it should be hidden). Having the right balance between Bronze, Silver, Gold is important too – some games seem to have you jumping through hoops to get a Bronze, but give a Gold for the most basic things! Trophies are much better when their difficulty (or obscurity) corresponds to their value.

Whatever happens it’s easy to see that this game will be HUGE!

vonhammer 5 June, 2009 @ 1:39 pm   13

will check the vid now,but this game is brutal,especially that scene with Helios :0

    James Gallagher 5 June, 2009 @ 9:29 pm    

    Yeah… the head-ripping bit is insane. I’ve loved just watching people’s reactions to it over the week.

tobz1000 5 June, 2009 @ 1:40 pm   14

Yeah, I can’t imagine Kratos with a partner. It’s not how he rolls.


OMG! When i saw the “Head Rippin'” from gametrailers i couldnt believe my eyes.. F’ing great! PLEASE PLEASE have GOW 1 & 2 on the one bluray as a special edition dev team.. you know full well the whole community wants this and to have aything else wont be nearly as good enough. If sony actually LISTENS to us this time it’ll be the best release of a game since…. since….. i dont know when. From a MASSIVE GOW FAN – KAP

TimoTheThug 5 June, 2009 @ 1:46 pm   16

Nice interview! Trophies like completed the ‘sex-scene’ 3 times in a row with a funny name would be great. But gameplay wise i\I really would love 2 see stuff like in Infamous with dropping down ‘X’ feet to finish off a enemy etc.

Or enviremental kills;)

Anyways awesome interview!!

Nocturnvs 5 June, 2009 @ 1:51 pm   17

This game looks absolutely fantastic. So many good games coming!

And I agree trophies should be hard (but not impossible), makes them that much more rewarding.


I think you should get a trophy while in a threesome minigame for having all the winches climax.. all at the same time (silver trophy)

almighty-slayer 5 June, 2009 @ 1:55 pm   19

Looking awesome.

Anything except a trophy for finishing it in God/Titan/Whatever mode…Impossible 😛 Haha. No, but i agree with his view on trophies, they should be something that you wouldn’t normally do, things that make you experiment with it, go back for more, and get as much as you can out of the game. I think InFamous trophies were a perfect example of that.

Looking forward to this game more than anything

locus2k1 5 June, 2009 @ 2:33 pm   20

Kill 20 enemies while controlling an ogre – “Everybody’s Ogre” 😀

locus2k1 5 June, 2009 @ 2:33 pm   21

wait they’re not called ogre, they’re Cyclops aren’t they lol

almighty-slayer 5 June, 2009 @ 3:04 pm   22

Should be a trophy for slaughtering 10,000 enemies :p

almighty-slayer 5 June, 2009 @ 3:05 pm   23

Forgot to add the /s

WarlordKratos 5 June, 2009 @ 3:31 pm   24

Look at my avatar, do I need to say more?

This third, and first PS3 God of War game wil be epic, brutal, awsome, beautiful and the gameplay will smooth, fast and preciese, The sound and the story will be draging you it to this game.
I love God of War and the PS3 version of God of War is landmark for the PS3 just like for example; R%C, Killzone 2, Uncharted and MGS 4 in the past, and for example; Last Guardian, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, MAG, Quantum, GT 5 wil be landmarks in the near future,

Thanks to all the great first- and second party devs from Sony, YOU GUYS ROCK..BIG TIME 🙂

    James Gallagher 5 June, 2009 @ 9:34 pm    

    I’m sure they appreciate your thanks. I agree that all of our dev teams seem to be on great form at the moment.

CartBlanche 5 June, 2009 @ 4:10 pm   25

The most incredible dynamic lighting I’ve seen in any AAA game, this generation.

Very impressive stuff and I can’t wait to play it. Anyone going to GameOn! later in the month? Sony will be there so I’m hoping things like GoW will be there as well.

MightyCrow 5 June, 2009 @ 4:10 pm   26

WOO! GOW3 looks insane! In terms of trophies, could we have one for completing the game on the hardest difficulty and one for getting 50 kills with each of I’m sure awesome weapons or moves you have in the game.

Gambe1984 5 June, 2009 @ 4:11 pm   27

Im preying that the QTE events in this are done well, because from the footage ive seen, i could quite easily be put off looking at the cut scene and not looking for a QTE event, much like I was when i first got my hands on heavenly sword! But looks very impressive, well done dev team! *round of appluase*

    James Gallagher 5 June, 2009 @ 9:39 pm    

    They pretty cool. I like the way that the QTEs are positioned related to the DUALSHOCK (so X button presses appear at the bottom of the screen, Triangle presses at the top etc.)

Xx-UNREAL_UK-xX 5 June, 2009 @ 4:47 pm   28

cannot wait for this game, GOW 1 and 2 are my favourite games of all time

DeathroW22 5 June, 2009 @ 5:18 pm   29

Game of the year 2010, i’m calling it now!

WhiteWolfDK 5 June, 2009 @ 7:15 pm   30

Yeah, trophies should be rewards, not crap like Terminator Salvation where they put in the game to sell a lousy game, GOW III will be a must buy for me if they make the trophies as rewatds for actually playing the game.


Stonesthrow 8 June, 2009 @ 8:48 pm   31

i wasnt a major big fan of the first two games (eventhough i did appreciate them) but even since i saw that first trailer of god of war 3 i became an instant fan of the series (so to speak..)

the gameplay trailer was absolutely stunning, instant epic on a huge scale..

and god of war with these kind of graphix, i mean damn, whats not to like? ghod i want this game..

vergota247 16 June, 2009 @ 3:56 am   32

will the pspgo have a camera or something..? i want to know because im still deciding wether to buy the psp3000 or pspgo..