A walk through history
Preferences and fanaticism aside, since the beginning of the eighth generation, with the progress of launches and marketing projections, Sony has led and should continue to be on the console sales podium for a long time. This dominance had already happened before with the Playstation 1 and also with the Playstation 2, this one even more intensely.
It was not until the seventh generation, when they put their feet in their hands, with the Playstation 3, where Microsoft “led”, rightly, for a long time, that they were wrong. Yet, towards the end of the third console’s career, Sony invested heavily in exclusives, a cheaper machine, and regained prestige, so much so that it outsold the Xbox 360 itself.
And I put quotes around the momentary Xbox 360 lead because obviously Nintendo was the 7th gen sales leader with a lot of hands because of the Nintendo Wii, but that had another proposition compared to to competitors.
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However, with Sony established in the video game market, one can easily think that the company has always been tactful for this… But it’s not quite that, because before venturing into the field, as many may know, they had worked with Nintendo developing components and peripherals for them, and it wasn’t until later with a rift between the companies that Sony decided to launch their own console.
Believe me, a lot of people were joking when the PlayStation came around, they said Sony was a TV and sound brand, and they didn’t understand video games. However, by hiring the right professionals, partnering with major studios, and relying on Nintendo’s arrogance, the company managed to reach where it is today.
Coming soon to Playstation 1, the guys have already managed to score several platform-exclusive classics. In fact, exclusivity with certain developers has always been one of Sony’s greatest strengths. Titles like ‘Metal Gear Solid’, ‘Final Fantasy VII’, ‘Silent Hill’, ‘GTA’ and ‘Gran Turismo’ were limited to the Playstation, because to play them you had to have the machine. Not to mention the cross-platform games that sold for real only on the Playstation, examples like ‘Castlevania Symphony of the Night’, ‘Resident Evil 2’, ‘Tomb Raider’ and others speak for themselves.
need a symbol
But, like Sega and Nintendo, the company needed something that represented its brand as dearly as Sonic and Mario. A definitive symbol.
So even though the use of adorable anthropomorphic animals in platformers is already falling out of favor, the now classic “Crash Bandicoot” was a huge hit. It sold nearly 7 million units, captured the hearts of gamers around the world, and earned several sequels, including three more on the original Playstation itself, starring Crash Team Racing.
Still, Crash was considered a Sonic and Mario wanted to be. It was precisely in this game that the partnership with the now renowned studio, Nauty Dog, was born, which is undoubtedly today the flagship of the company for the creation of franchises such as “Uncharted” and “The Last of Us”.
Yeah, but before they got to those games that are so popular these days, in the middle of the road there was Kratos; there was Kratos in the middle of the road… Well, here it is, just on Playstation 2, exactly in 2005, Sony would finally have the game, the franchise, the character that would be its greatest symbol. Unlike “Crash Bandicoot”, “God of War” is still the game that best encapsulates the essence of Playstation.
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It’s not the company’s best game, I mean, maybe even for some, but it’s definitely where we see the recurring features in most of Sony’s great titles. It’s a production full of cinematic scenes; ambitious sets and megalomaniac moments. The electrifying gameplay uses various audio-visual tools to have a cathartic impact on gamers. It’s instant, you come across ‘God of War’ and instantly remember the Playstation!
With the release of ‘God of War Ragnarok’, which should continue the saga of Kratos through Asgard and maintain the level of the previous game which won the Game of the Year award, we have decided to recall here how it all started , where the first game ideas. What were the major developer influences and how over time have these games influenced the industry in general.
the origin of everything
It all began to be planned in 2002, with Santa Monica Studios developing mechanics for a hack and slash game with a Greek mythological theme. Even then, several ideas that would be recurring in the final product had already been thought of, such as the special abilities of Medusa’s head, the lightning of Zeus, and clashes against creatures such as giant Cyclops.
But it didn’t really happen until a madman named David Jaffe joined the team. He who, in the previous generation, was responsible for the insane car confrontation game, “Twisted Metal”. And in this crazy atmosphere, he brought several concepts that would be trademarks of “God of War”.
Kratos’ personality, that always brooding and aggressive way and brutal way in fights was always something Jaffe thought about. And something that’s recurring in interviews is how the team says it’s always wanted everyone to be involved in the game’s creation process.
Curious thing to say the least, because it must be said that currently, David Jaffe is a kind of relegated in the industry, with failed projects and all that. His last was “Drawn to Death”, this online multiplayer drawn entirely on notebook pages, with sharks shooting at each other. In short, it’s a huge blunder.
In fact, today’s foul language cites that much of the success of ‘God of War’ was down to the team that kept the comrade mad. Rumors or not, David Jaffe is a guy who’s already made his name in the games industry and had some fantastic ideas. Santa Monica himself and he thought of making an action game that would bring together other elements such as puzzles, wide navigation through scenarios and the famous quick events.
Of course, it all had to be packed with plenty of hard-hitting battles and provide a consistent cinematic climax. The idea was to show off the power of the Playstation 2 and give audiences an epic experience never seen before. Something visceral not just for violence, but exploring gender itself in gameplay design, which was something very present in Greek mythology stories.
Copy or reference?
But it would be unfair to talk so much about these points and not mention the existence of ‘Rygar – The Legendary Adventure’, an 8 Bit generation franchise that won a reimagining for the Playstation 2, in 2002 – exactly the year that ‘ God of War ‘ began to be made.
And it’s really undeniable that there was, indeed, a clear influence and reuse of countless peculiarities of this game. The most glaring is undoubtedly in combat and aesthetics, the character has a weapon virtually identical to Kratos’ famous Blades of Chaos. Thematically, the same goes for dealing with mythological themes or bringing in creatures such as blessed Cyclopes and harpies.
Boss fights follow the same design logic with giant enemies. Even the way the character interacts with the setting is similar. But “Rygar” was a huge failure when it was released, and even later when it was re-released on Wii. So this idea of taking smaller game mechanics and ideas and replicating them with a bigger dimension in other titles has always existed in the gaming world.
Everything in ‘God of War’ is superior to ‘Rygar’, all these characteristics have been refined. Apart from the fundamental elements that exist in the Santa Monica game, such as cutscenes, character charisma and impact in battle scenes.
Although it didn’t sell as much as ‘Crash Bandicoot’, even because Kratos’ game isn’t a game for all audiences, ‘God of War’ surpassed the 4.6 million mark. units. For an exclusive with a higher rating, it was quite a result.
But the game’s greatest achievement was to score points in the industry and set the definitive face of the Playstation. There have been several other sequels, the second title in the franchise was also released on the Playstation 2, although oddly enough the Playstation 3 already existed when it was released. But they wanted to leave the game on its original platform.
Especially because with the arrival of ‘God of War 3’, the world once again stopped to see how the god of war would enter the seventh generation. And to be honest, there was no other title on Playstation 3 that brought as much grandeur as “God of War 3”, right from the start. Ah, the PSP also won two games, the wonderful “Chains of Olympus” and “Ghost of Spartan”.
It is true that over the years the series has lost its strength. The jokes started that the game could be ended with a single button; that it was too simplistic and that Kratos was a ridiculous caricature.
Fatigue was evident in ‘God of War Ascession’, which had very nice graphics and spectacular scenes, but repeated the same ideas as the previous ones and with time everything became really tiring. So much so that after all this history, the game sold less than the first. It was time to take a break and renew…
New gods, new times
Coming almost as a reboot, with no numbering or subtitles, and absolutely stunning visuals, featuring gameplay with elements from the Souls franchises and now exploring Norse mythology, the new “God of War” on Playstation 4 has arrived. just like it was. Kratos likes: Kicking ass and flipping blocks.
The reviews were the best it could be, the player experience exceeded anything one could imagine of a good reception, and the franchise got its life back. The god of war has once again conquered the gaming industry, winning hundreds of awards and among them Game of the Year, in fairness to the world.
As in the very beginning, almost 15 years later, Kratos gave Sony the greatness it lacked for a Playstation 4 generation title – even if ‘Uncharted 4’ and ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ repeated it very well – ‘The Last of Us 2’ repeated the feat years later. But Bom de Guerra is undoubtedly the turning point in this direction.
And it looks like the highly anticipated “God of War Ragnarok” manages to improve on everything the previous game did – which is quite the feat, earning even higher marks. We can only wait and see if the game is all they say. And you, did you always like ‘God of War’ or did you start playing after this complete refinement? Do you think Kratos is a pain in the ass who lives with regrets or do you just consider him the greatest character in games?
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