God of War, developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, is a critically acclaimed action-adventure game that was released in 2018. The game was widely praised for its innovative gameplay, compelling story, and stunning graphics. From a game development perspective, God of War stands out for its innovative design choices and the technical mastery of its developers.
One of the most significant changes in the game was the switch from the fixed camera angles of the previous games in the series to a more cinematic, over-the-shoulder camera. This new camera angle was not just a stylistic choice, but it also allowed the player to experience the game world in a much more immersive way. The developers used a sophisticated system of camera cuts and transitions to create a seamless experience for the player.
Another important change in the game was the introduction of a new gameplay mechanic, the Leviathan Axe. The axe, which was a fundamental part of the game's combat system, could be thrown and recalled, allowing the player to create new attack strategies and solve puzzles in unique ways. The axe also had a significant impact on the game's narrative, as it was closely tied to the story of Kratos and his son, Atreus.
The game's world-building was also impressive, with a rich mythology and lore that drew from both Norse and Greek mythology. The game's level design was meticulously crafted, with intricate puzzles and hidden secrets that rewarded the player for exploration. The game's graphics were also a standout feature, with stunning visuals that were made possible by the developers' mastery of the PlayStation 4 hardware.
From a technical perspective, the game was a tour de force. The game's combat system was expertly designed, with a range of moves and abilities that could be combined in countless ways. The game also made use of advanced artificial intelligence systems, which allowed enemies to work together and adapt to the player's playstyle. The game's physics engine was also a standout feature, allowing for realistic interactions between the player, the environment, and the enemies.
The team at Santa Monica Studio used a wide range of tools to create God of War (2018). Here are some of the most important ones:
1- Kinetica Engine: The game's engine, Kinetica, was developed in-house by Santa Monica Studio. It is a proprietary engine that was specifically designed for the game. The engine allowed the developers to create stunning visuals and realistic animations.
2- Maya: Maya is a 3D modeling and animation software that was used extensively in the development of God of War (2018). The developers used Maya to create the game's characters, environments, and animations.
3- ZBrush: ZBrush is a digital sculpting software that was used to create high-resolution 3D models of the game's characters and creatures. The developers used ZBrush to create the intricate details and textures on the game's characters and creatures.
4- Photoshop: Photoshop is a powerful image editing software that was used to create the game's textures and other 2D assets. The developers used Photoshop to create the game's backgrounds, interface, and other elements.
5- Perforce: Perforce is a software configuration management tool that was used by the developers to manage the game's source code and assets. It allowed the team to work collaboratively and efficiently on the game's development.
In conclusion, the development of God of War (2018) involved the use of a wide range of software tools. These tools allowed the team at Santa Monica Studio to create a visually stunning and immersive game that has become a modern classic. The use of proprietary software like Kinetica and a combination of other industry-standard tools like Maya and Photoshop is one of the reasons why God of War (2018) stands out as a technical achievement in the gaming industry.
Kinetica is a proprietary game engine created by Santa Monica Studio to handle the game's physics, graphics, and animations. The team behind the engine aimed to create a seamless experience that would enable players to explore a vast open world and engage in epic battles without experiencing any hitches in gameplay.
One of the most notable features of Kinetica is the use of the Havok Physics engine. Havok is a well-known physics engine that has been used in many other popular games, including Assassin's Creed, Halo, and Call of Duty. By incorporating Havok into Kinetica, Santa Monica Studio was able to create a more immersive environment that allowed for more realistic physics simulations and interactions with the game's environment.
Kinetica also features a new rendering engine that allowed for high-quality graphics and an immersive experience. The engine supports dynamic lighting and shadowing, as well as volumetric lighting, which enabled the developers to create a more realistic and immersive world. Additionally, Kinetica supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), which provides a wider range of colors and brightness, resulting in a more visually stunning game.
In terms of animations, Kinetica utilizes a unique system called the Kratos Rig. This system was designed to provide fluid and realistic animations for the game's protagonist, Kratos. The Kratos Rig allowed for more nuanced and natural movements and facial expressions, which was essential for conveying the character's emotions and personality.
One of the biggest challenges that the development team faced was optimizing the game to run smoothly on the PlayStation 4. With Kinetica, the team was able to create a game that not only looks and plays great but also runs smoothly on the console.
In conclusion, the Kinetica engine was a major contributor to the success of God of War. By using cutting-edge technology and innovative design, Santa Monica Studio was able to create a game that pushed the limits of what was possible on the PlayStation 4. With its advanced physics, high-quality graphics, and seamless gameplay, Kinetica helped make God of War one of the best games of 2018.
The development of God of War 2018 took approximately five years. The game was officially announced at E3 2016, and it was released on April 20, 2018. During this time, the development team worked on various aspects of the game, including the game's story, graphics, combat system, and more.
The game's director, Cory Barlog, has spoken about the challenges the team faced during development, including the decision to change the game's setting, from the Greek mythology of previous entries in the series to Norse mythology, which required extensive research and development. The team also faced challenges with the game's camera system, which was changed to a single, continuous shot style that required careful choreography and planning.
Despite these challenges, the development team at Santa Monica Studio was able to create a critically acclaimed and commercially successful game that has become one of the most beloved titles on the PlayStation 4. The game's success has led to a sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, which is currently in development and set to release in 2022.
According to Sony's 2019 fiscal year report, God of War sold over 10 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling games on the PlayStation 4 platform. The game's success also helped Sony's gaming division to achieve record-breaking profits that year.
In conclusion, God of War (2018) is a masterpiece of game development. Its innovative design choices, technical mastery, and compelling story have set a new standard for action-adventure games. It is a shining example of what can be achieved when talented developers are given the time and resources to create something truly special.