God Of War is one of the greatest PlayStation exclusives of all time, breaking records, wowing critics and blowing fans away. It’s so good, it’s officially the 2018 winner of The Game Awards’ Best Game.
One of the most phenomenal parts of the game actually happens pretty soon into playing – of course I’m talking about the boss battle with the Stranger.
(If you haven’t yet played God of War then stop reading and go and play it. There will be spoilers, and you probably should play this game anyway).
Denny Yeh, Senior Staff Combat Designer for the game took over the official PlayStation blog earlier this year to tell the world just how this awesome battle sequence was achieved.
Yeh writes: “We knew we needed to do something just as epic in the new God of War, so when it was decided that the opening boss fight of the game was going to be against a smaller humanoid that was only about as tall as Kratos’ shoulder, we knew we were in for a big challenge.
“This is the (greatly condensed) story of how we created the boss fight with ‘The Stranger,’ aka Baldur.”
According to Yeh, the team designed the fight completely differently to previous God of War battles by zooming the camera in rather than out, showing off a more intimate fight that really helped with immersion in the game.
He explains: “The close camera would help to sell the impact of each punch. These were two gods trading blows, so each hit needed to resonate with incredible force.
“Much of our early development time was spent on the “feel” of the fight.
“We wanted the player to feel like a god fighting a god, with the environment around you paying the price.”
He reveals that a lot of the plans for the original fight – including the Stranger being able to take Kratos’ hammer – didn’t make it into the final battle, mostly due to time restraints.
The battle wasn’t just designed to show-off the fantastic combat in the game though, as it was also created to “teach and encourage different defensive mechanics,” very early into the game.
Showing off some of the early concept designs for the fight, Yeh states: “The development of just one boss fight involves pretty much every department.
“From environmental artists creating the arena, to audio designers making each punch sound chunky, to producers making sure we’re not just browsing cat videos all day. I was only able to share a small snippet here, but the end product was a culmination of everyone’s efforts.”
Check out the full details on how Santa Monica Studio created the fight, right here.