The Merits and Drawbacks of Traditional Storytelling in Videogames

hanselthecaretaker

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It also takes place, like, a hundred and fifty years after the third game, so it would make sense that he's changed atleast somewhat. Even if it was just him faffing about in the woods by himself for a century.

And you'd think that if they wanted to ignore what the previous games were about they wouldn't have almost everything Kratos says and does be so heavily infused with the shadow of his past self. A large aspect of his character in the new game is that he's clearly not that man anymore, but that he still carries the sins of what he did.
Santa Monica literally did what I way back when personally thought was only a pipe dream: They took a character who’d devolved into a bad joke; a maniacal, laughable caricature of destruction-incarnate, and turned him into a character worthy of empathy. Even during development people were writing him off, saying they should’ve just used a new protagonist or started a new IP. But that would’ve felt like a cop out to me here. It’s much more interesting to try and bring a once-thought irredeemable character back from the brink, and they fucking nailed it here.



I really hope the next game delves more into Kratos’s personality shift and bridges the gap a bit in how he ended up there. Little things like the urn he finds hint at the Norse realm being well-aware of him, so it’ll be cool to hear what Thor, Odin, etc. think. God knows they consider him a threat since he dismantled the Greek pantheon almost single handily, but really in his mind he just wants to be left the fuck alone now. Of course they’ll ultimately reawaken his dormant worse half based on the ending events, but how he handles this with having a kid now will hopefully be a crucial contrast.
 

happyninja42

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Santa Monica literally did what I way back when personally thought was only a pipe dream: They took a character who’d devolved into a bad joke; a maniacal, laughable caricature of destruction-incarnate, and turned him into a character worthy of empathy. Even during development people were writing him off, saying they should’ve just used a new protagonist or started a new IP. But that would’ve felt like a cop out to me here. It’s much more interesting to try and bring a once-thought irredeemable character back from the brink, and they fucking nailed it here.



I really hope the next game delves more into Kratos’s personality shift and bridges the gap a bit in how he ended up there. Little things like the urn he finds hint at the Norse realm being well-aware of him, so it’ll be cool to hear what Thor, Odin, etc. think. God knows they consider him a threat since he dismantled the Greek pantheon almost single handily, but really in his mind he just wants to be left the fuck alone now. Of course they’ll ultimately reawaken his dormant worse half based on the ending events, but how he handles this with having a kid now will hopefully be a crucial contrast.
Given the way the game ends, I suspect the second game will

Likely have him and Atreus go back in time at some point, to try and complete the loop of him giving birth to the world serpent (since he's Loki and he's already big and snakey), and that we will get to meet his mother, Kratos' wife in her prime. And that at some point, possibly end of game 2, though likely 3, because trilogy, Kratos will actually die, and stay dead. And we will have the mantle of the franchise pass to Loki/Atreus.

Which I am 100% down for.
 

Specter Von Baren

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It didn't work anymore than any other game because every other game has a camera attached to the main character for all of the gameplay. It's only something you'd pick up on in the cutscenes. I wouldn't even know it was a thing if I wasn't told about it whereas in movies/TV is extremely apparent when you're watching a single shot camera for a prolonged period. Hell, I still remember the single shot handheld camera scene from Unbreakable and I haven't seen it since it came out. Ghost of Tsushima is has like 5-10 second load screens when fast traveling and it's a much bigger world than GOW4.
Ya know they have done multi-shot games before? The general consensus was that it was bad because it messed with your controls.
 

Casual Shinji

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Given the way the game ends, I suspect the second game will

Likely have him and Atreus go back in time at some point, to try and complete the loop of him giving birth to the world serpent (since he's Loki and he's already big and snakey), and that we will get to meet his mother, Kratos' wife in her prime. And that at some point, possibly end of game 2, though likely 3, because trilogy, Kratos will actually die, and stay dead. And we will have the mantle of the franchise pass to Loki/Atreus.

Which I am 100% down for.
I can tell you one thing that's gonna happen in the sequels (possibly even the upcoming one); We're going to see Kratos wield Mjolnir. You know Santa Monica isn't going to let that epic image just lying on the table. That shit's going end up as a secondary weapon as soon as we've kicked Thor's ass.
I really hope the next game delves more into Kratos’s personality shift and bridges the gap a bit in how he ended up there. Little things like the urn he finds hint at the Norse realm being well-aware of him, so it’ll be cool to hear what Thor, Odin, etc. think. God knows they consider him a threat since he dismantled the Greek pantheon almost single handily, but really in his mind he just wants to be left the fuck alone now. Of course they’ll ultimately reawaken his dormant worse half based on the ending events, but how he handles this with having a kid now will hopefully be a crucial contrast.
Honestly, I'm quietly hoping for a First Blood-level emotional breakdown from Kratos, where the full extent of the horrors he has commited just comes crashing down on him. Possibly after Atreus finds out the truth about his father's first wife and child. This probably won't happen, because no matter what Santa Monica wants Kratos to be the stoic warrior god, but I would applaud their bravery if they just stripped him of all that spartan glamour and have him cry and whimper over what he's done.
 

happyninja42

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I can tell you one thing that's gonna happen in the sequels (possibly even the upcoming one); We're going to see Kratos wield Mjolnir. You know Santa Monica isn't going to let that epic image just lying on the table. That shit's going end up as a secondary weapon as soon as we've kicked Thor's ass.
Wouldn't surprise me at all. Kratos has a history of taking other mythical weapons/items and using them for his own campaign. Plus they don't have to worry about that whole "if they be worthy" thing with Mjolnir, since that's a marvel exclusive thing.

And yeah, I can't lie, playing Kratos wielding the power of lightning AND hammer combat (two of my favorite types of combats in games) is something I would love to play with.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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I can tell you one thing that's gonna happen in the sequels (possibly even the upcoming one); We're going to see Kratos wield Mjolnir. You know Santa Monica isn't going to let that epic image just lying on the table. That shit's going end up as a secondary weapon as soon as we've kicked Thor's ass.

Honestly, I'm quietly hoping for a First Blood-level emotional breakdown from Kratos, where the full extent of the horrors he has commited just comes crashing down on him. Possibly after Atreus finds out the truth about his father's first wife and child. This probably won't happen, because no matter what Santa Monica wants Kratos to be the stoic warrior god, but I would applaud their bravery if they just stripped him of all that spartan glamour and have him cry and whimper over what he's done.

It’s been over a century so he’s likely had ample time to reflect and absorb the weight of his sins, but yeah. The interjection of his son and different personal elements might be the perfect emotional storm he needs to unburden himself.


I hope there’s more banter involving Atreus trying to “crack” Kratos so to speak. Kinda like how John Connor is with the T800 in T2 for some comic relief but more importantly just finding a way to connect with his dad more and build that bond. That might just be what makes Kratos finally emerge from his cold exterior. Maybe he’ll do something like a laugh/cry, where at a quiet, safer point in the game the opportunity for him to actually be...idk, happy might present itself, and he just doesn’t quite feel like he deserves it.
 

Ezekiel

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You mean, like the original games? God of War 1, 2, and 3 took themselves deadly serious to an obnoxious degree. Name me one moment from the original trilogy that was light-hearted, campy, or somewhat self-aware of its own silliness. The sex mini-games maybe? Even those became ego stroking come the third game, just like everything regarding Kratos in that time period.

The new game has the maturity to actually take the piss out of Kratos and not take itself so seriously.
Lighthearted and campy isn't what I meant. The original trilogy spent much less time focusing on the story, because people didn't care as much back then. Now the story is on the forefront. Where previously your exploration had a bombastic, epic soundtrack, now there is usually no music at all, because you need to listen to the dialogue. The silence worked for Team Ico's games, but makes God of War more depressing/boring, in my opinion. Where previously the gameplay remained mostly pure (even quick time events feeling like they were a part of gameplay), now control is often wrestled away from you for the sake of the story. They want to present the story to you a very specific way. I definitely prefer cutscenes over the type of forced walking and linear, scripted, automated climbing stuff that's prevalent now. Besides, the original trilogy left you alone for huge sections, with most cutscene interruptions being brief.


You don't think someone can have a fundamental shift in their world view, and make a concerted effort to change their ways? Because that's the whole point of GoW 4. He doesn't sugar coat his past, he doesn't think he was the hero, he knows he did terrible things, but, I mean he can choose to be different. To try and atone, or at least not fuck up anymore than he already has. I have zero problem with thinking it's the same character, because they end GoW 3 with him making that realization, and killing himself as punishment for his actions. So it's not like it's a new viewpoint really, it's just a continuation of the end point he was at in the end of GoW 3. He's not dead, so he has to do something with himself. He tries to live life like a normal person, and only goes back into the god work when forced to it by outside influences. He regrets what he's done, tries to teach his son to not be like he was, and tries as best he can, to not repeat the mistakes of his past.

How is that not the same person? I mean, unless you just think everyone is a static being, incapable of self reflection and change? Which if so, that's really depressing.
Some people can. Kratos? No. He was almost a cartoon character. Listening to David Jaffe's description of Kratos, I don't think he ever meant for him to be a nuanced, deep character, so trying to make him one now feels dumb.


He goes on repeatedly using the word brutal in the video. He told the designers there wasn't enough blood and that he wanted the players to go nuts and feel that sense of anger and chaos. The tame new God of War should have been a new IP.
 
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Casual Shinji

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Some people can. Kratos? No. He was almost a cartoon character. Listening to David Jaffe's description of Kratos, I don't think he ever meant for him to be a nuanced, deep character, so trying to make him one now feels dumb.
Except there is actual nuance and depth to him in that first game. Not a lot, but it was there, and not by accident. They even tried to give him some depth in GoW3, they just utterly failed at it. The only game in the series where he's pretty much a cartoon character is GoW2, where he might as well be Yosemite Sam.
 
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Adam Jensen

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God of War 4 desperately needs a prequel that explains how Kratos went from a ball of anger to the wise old man of the mountain. Because the transformation is so jarring that it can't be anything other than stupid, unless properly explained.
 

Casual Shinji

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God of War 4 desperately needs a prequel that explains how Kratos went from a ball of anger to the wise old man of the mountain. Because the transformation is so jarring that it can't be anything other than stupid, unless properly explained.
Well, first of all he got his revenge. And then about a 100+ years of cooling down and wishing he was dead.
 

Adam Jensen

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Well, first of all he got his revenge. And then about a 100+ years of cooling down and wishing he was dead.
Sounds like there's a story there waiting to be told.

Otherwise, my point stands. It's stupid. It must be explored and explained.
 

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All I have to say is that as far as action games go, or games in general, Travis Touchdown is the most developed video game character ever. See how he started in No More Heroes 1, to him changing in 2, and how he almost a different person from where he started in Travis Strikes Again works. Granted, the feelings and thoughts you hear from Travis are just as much Suda's thoughts as his. Still works either way. As much as I like Dante, he had his inconsistent moments. DMC2 and the anime for that matter. The fact that Travis has had the same writer since the first game helps.
 

happyninja42

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God of War 4 desperately needs a prequel that explains how Kratos went from a ball of anger to the wise old man of the mountain. Because the transformation is so jarring that it can't be anything other than stupid, unless properly explained.
Why does it have to be explained? It's pretty clear at the end of GoW3 that he finally, at the very end, when looking at all of creation burn around him, by his own hands, that he regretted his actions. He flat out says "what have I done?" and then proceeds to shank himself in the stomach with a god killing blade. I mean, how much more than "damn, I really fucking regret what I've done with my life. I'm standing at the end of it, all my enemies dead, and I feel nothing but emptiness and regret. I'm going to go wander off somewhere and just contemplate what I've done." Do you need? And then he went all Old Hermit Warrior trope.

Isn't that enough? Besides, his "wisdom" is mostly focused on 1 of 2 things. Fighting, and the philosophy of fighting, which, given his warrior heritage, isn't surprising. Or "Don't be a fuck up and act rashly like I did, because nothing good will come of it." There really isn't any other type of wisdom that he doles out to Atreus.
 
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Casual Shinji

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Sounds like there's a story there waiting to be told.

Otherwise, my point stands. It's stupid. It must be explored and explained.
I don't really think it does. If God of War 3 ended with him still being pissed off and wanting to kill everyone, then yes. But it ends with him basically going 'Well, I did what I set out to do, so now I'm gonna do myself in'. But seeing as he couldn't kill himself he was likely left to wander the earth without purpose, and probably just tried to stay the fuck out of everyone's business.

In a way Kratos reverts back to more closesly resemble how he was back in the first game, where he wasn't constantly screaming and raging, and he spoke at normal volume and had some dignity.

And Kratos in GoW '18 is not so much wise as he is very experienced in his own field. He doesn't read the norse language, because he never cared to learn, and he doesn't care to learn about much else other than to survive. It's a recuiring issue, where we see Atreus being inquisitive and trying to draw his father's attention to it, and Kratos brushing him off and telling him to focus. And he also straight lies to Atreus about things, because he's either too ashamed or scared of what will happen if Atreus finds out about his past.
 

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You know I've read these examples of the story interfering with the game, but Mass Effect has a great example of the mechanics fucking with the story. Shepard is, at the start of the story, a certified special operations operative yet I am required by the game to waste talent points on basic firearms competency that could be better spent on improving powers, my conversation skills, my health or literally anything else.
 

Dalisclock

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You know I've read these examples of the story interfering with the game, but Mass Effect has a great example of the mechanics fucking with the story. Shepard is, at the start of the story, a certified special operations operative yet I am required by the game to waste talent points on basic firearms competency that could be better spent on improving powers, my conversation skills, my health or literally anything else.
And then makes you do it again at the beginning of each game becomes somehow you forgot how to shoot stuff in the brief period between games.

Granted, this is also a problem with the Witcher series as well.
 

Gordon_4

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And then makes you do it again at the beginning of each game becomes somehow you forgot how to shoot stuff in the brief period between games.

Granted, this is also a problem with the Witcher series as well.
Mass Effect 2 and 3 do not have weapon skills in their talent trees; and imported characters start at level 25 so most of your skills are unlocked, if not at their best version when you start. Shepard only shoots as well as you do in those two, which is fair enough in my opinion.
 

MrCalavera

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Sounds like there's a story there waiting to be told.

Otherwise, my point stands. It's stupid. It must be explored and explained.
There's a story.
But if it's about Kratos sulking in woods for 100 years, and slowly coming to terms of what a monster he was(which i assume how it happened), then i don't know how much of a riveting gameplay you can make of that.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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And then makes you do it again at the beginning of each game becomes somehow you forgot how to shoot stuff in the brief period between games.

Granted, this is also a problem with the Witcher series as well.

I think it’s a big part of why I never bothered with ME, and have yet to bother finishing TW3. It’s enjoyable enough when playing, but regardless of the side quest quality it’s still quite a slog.

Also, so many map icons...so limited time to see them all.
 

happyninja42

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And then makes you do it again at the beginning of each game becomes somehow you forgot how to shoot stuff in the brief period between games.

Granted, this is also a problem with the Witcher series as well.
Frankly all RPG franchises where you follow the same character have this problem. You either have to keep powering down the protagonist so the player can enjoy the act of leveling back up (which is one of the major components of an RPG experience for a lot of people), or you follow someone else's story in the same universe, where it makes sense for them to be at level 1.

I personally would like to see option 2 more often, as I enjoy legacy stories, but most people lose their shit if you even hint at not letting them play their favorite waifu/husbando protagonist from the previous installment. *shrugs* Just the nature of the beast.
 
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