God of War IV: What Sony could do

On PlayStation’s Facebook page yesterday a simple picture was displayed. The colouring of the image coupled with the question “will vengeance bring redemption” immediately led to assumptions that the date given, 4/19/12, would mark the official announcement of God of War IV.

The company also trademarked From Ashes, which is unlikely to have anything to do with the Mass Effect DLC of the same name.

God of War is a phenomenal series that has not been matched, although Dante’s Inferno was a surprisingly decent effort, there’s only one problem, nearly everyone, from the lowliest human, right up Zeus himself is dead. Murdered by Kratos, who has died and been resurrected four times, I believe, over the course of the series.

To mark the possible return of the series here are five additions Sony might be considering.

A New Location: Egypt

Otherwise known as the obvious choice. Egypt has just as rich a mythology as Greece but with a markedly different landscape and culture. There are 42 gods in the Hall of Judgement alone (essentially purgatory) as well as more well-known deities like the sun god Ra who transported the star every day by chariot across the sky.

There’s also Osiris a god who turned into a tree by his brother Seth, and then, because that wasn’t enough, Seth cut Osiris up into 14 pieces and spread them far and wide across Egypt.

Seth would be an obvious choice for end of game boss, even if he was technically the god of chaos (there were at least 12 Egyptian war gods).

In the meantime Kratos (or whoever) could fight phoenixes, which weren’t exclusively Greek, sphinxes, and the Maka a cosmic serpent that constantly attacks the sun god Ra as the travels across the sky with the sun.

There were also plenty of myths about the End of the Cosmos which is obvious material for the endgame of God of War VI.

A New Protagonist

Kratos was stabbed by Ares in God of War, in God of War 2 the king of the gods himself stabbed his son, in God of War 3 Kratos flung himself into the River Styx (never a good idea) and later he stabbed himself. He is very, very dead.

Of course they could decide to resurrect him, again, or create an entirely new character. This would fit if they’ve chosen a new a setting and would allow Santa Monica Studios to escape from the clutches of a story so wound up in bloody revenge that the third games ended with you having to punch Zeus again and again until the screen filled with his blood.

Alternatively, “will vengeance bring redemption” could mean that this is in fact another part of Kratos’s hyper-violent which is sort of the point of the whole thing.


There have been rumours about this for quite some time. While I personally belong to the camp that says Kratos doesn’t need help and would only be slowed down if someone tagged along but you can see the sense of adding this from Sony’s perspective.

The best route might be to make this a separate mode but the question is who’ll be the co-op partner? If the game is a prequel it could possibly be Kratos’s brother Deimos. Deimos died in Ghost of Sparta but being God of War that’s not necessarily the impediment it usually is.

If there is a new main character then your guess for the co-op character is as good as mine.

Platforming Sections that Actually Work

One of the few things about God of War 3 that people didn’t like was the platforming sections. While the combat was never less than brilliant the game’s platforming sections were somewhat less than stellar. Particularly when you couldn’t change the camera angles as certain points.

It wasn’t a major problem as these sections only really happened in the few brief lulls between the mutilations and decapitations and so on but it was still a niggle. That’s not to say it couldn’t work in God of War 4 and it would be nice to see some platforming given the dearth of games in that genre this generation compared to the last (assuming that God of War isn’t a PS4 launch title).

Move Support

Calm down, calm down. It would of course be completely optional. Move hasn’t had many (or any) killer apps to date but this could well be it. Move doesn’t have to rely entirely on you gesturing either as the Eye camera can also be used for voice input the way Mass Effect 3 (and soon Skyrim) works with Kinect.

It would be a way for Move to appeal to the hardcore crowd and it could, quite possibly, work. After all whoever thought you’d be able to play a Bioshock with motion control? I have faith in Irrational Games to make that work for Infinite (though how much I use the feature is another matter) and Santa Monica Studios is a great developer in its own right.

As long as Sony doesn’t force the developer to add the feature and it’s done correctly God of War IV could be the game that changes how motion controls are perceived.

Until the 19th

It’s entirely possible that Sony will announce something completely unrelated to the God of War franchise but that seems highly unlikely. And whether the game is for PS3 or PS4 it’ll certainly be one to watch.