If God of War creator David Jaffe could do it all again, that game would more closely resemble a Zelda title.
“There are cinematic moments and character moments I’m proud of, but I think maybe it was too combat-centric,” he told Edge.
“Today I would make it more like Zelda, ironically: I’d immerse you in being the hero rather than watching him. By making that game, I’ve realised there’s more to be mined from gameplay that way, rather than just taking people for a ride.”
Jaffe also admitted that the franchise’s combat was shallow, but that was by design.
“I was going for Zelda in terms of depth of combat,” he said.
“I was looking for the presentation of DMC, but I wasn’t interested in doing a deep system.
“To me, the combat, the spatial challenges, the exploration: they were all pieces of the adventure, and all of these came together to push the player along. The actual game loop in God of War is very simple," said Jaffe.
“If this had been the kind of game that didn’t have much money, it would have been an absolute failure, because if it wasn’t for new things to do around every corner, you might feel the core mechanics are actually quite shallow.
“They’re intentionally shallow, because we didn’t want them to overpower the experience. If we’d been DMC, your headspace would have been filled with a lot of fighting mechanics that would have pulled you out of the journey. Our combat’s not deep, but thanks to great animators, it is fluid.”
Jaffe also said that he believed gaming would continue to evolve in a storytelling sense.
“I love my job, but last night I was watching Casablanca and thinking: ‘What am I doing with my life? I any closer to making something that resonates like Casablanca?’” he said.
“I’m fine with making diversions, but when I talk about games’ potential, I think God of War was a stepping stone.
“I’m real proud of it, and I may never be involved again in a game as good, but there’s a lot more to do, both in terms of reaching a bigger audience and just affecting an audience more; affecting them so they carry it through their lives as a fond memory.”