When a game has as much love around it as God of War does, how high does the sequel have to soar to top people’s expectations? Very high. Director Eric Williams opens up about how the developers were feeling about God of War Ragnarok just three months ago, how the journey has been for him trying to fill the shoes of the first game, and what went into the decision to make the Norse saga two games instead of three.
Most of the God of War instalments have come in the form of trilogies, but the directors, Eric Williams and Cory Barlog made the controversial decision to make the Norse Saga a 2 part instead. The only problem with that is that the creative team had already gotten a bee in their bonnet that the game was going to be three parts like they had been before.
“We knew that most of the big plot points were going to be. But at the time we were still talking about ‘Is it going to be two or three games?’ Me and [Cory Barlog] were kind of on the side of two, but the team had already kind of bought into the trilogy. So we’re like, ‘Well how do we walk this back? It’s really difficult to do. Because [the team[ started to go, ‘Well, are we just going to cram two games into one? Because that’s going to be impossible.’ People know [trilogies] and when you change things, people get uncomfortable. But that’s usually where the magic happens. If I don’t feel like I’m scared, like I’m literally gonna get fired every day, because I screwed up, I don’t feel like I’m doing it right.”
Williams did reassure fans that although some things were “readjusted and reconfigured for pacing” the story was not scaled back at all after the decision was made to make the game two parts, so we aren’t missing anything that might have been cut for time.
Devs Thought Their Game Sucked 3 Months Ago
The devs were sitting there saying “Holy crap, the game’s not good. What are we going to do?” just three months ago. “When you work with people that are at the apex of what they do, you’re going to get magic. I just came from a room with those people. All I could say to them was, ‘Thank you.’ They were freaking out three months ago, ‘Holy crap, the game’s not good. What are we going to do?’ I can’t even imagine how they feel today. I wish I had a time machine to go back and feel like that.”
Williams was asked how he stays motivated and handles the pressure and expectations from fans to follow up one of the most-beloved games in recent memory, the 2018 drop of God of War. He started by mentioning that people don’t realize that it isn’t as easy as it may seem to create a follow-up to a game that reached such magnificent heights. “you never hear anyone say, ‘the second time I climbed Everest, it was easy.”
IGN said “an enthralling spectacle to behold and an even more exciting one to take the reins of, God of War Ragnarok melds action and adventure together to create a new, unforgettable Norse saga. Impeccable writing, pitch-perfect performances, knockout action – it’s a complete work of art from top to bottom.”
Here at Fortress of Solitude, we said “God of War Ragnarok feels like more than just a hack-and-slash action-adventure title. Instead, it transcends to higher heights and becomes an important work about so many things — like love, grief, growth, destiny and determination.”
Clearly, the devs were worried for no reason because everyone loves the game.