God of War’s Gameplay Trailer Is The Most Watched E3 Video on YouTube; Dev: It’s Crazy


Three months ago, we reported on leaked concept art that seemed to indicate a new God of War set within the Norse mythology.

All of this came to pass at E3 2016, when Sony Santa Monica finally revealed the God of War game they've been working on for the PlayStation 4. The gameplay demonstration turned out to be the highlight of Sony's E3 2016 press conference and this is reflected by the incredible popularity gained on YouTube: the God of War Gameplay Trailer is the most watched video of all E3, with 9.479.959 views at the time of writing.

Battlefield 1's E3 trailer has 9.210.801 views right now and even Microsoft's new hardware announcement, the Xbox One S, "only" registered 9.342.313 views so far. A developer from Sony Santa Monica even chimed in the Reddit discussion, saying:

Still crazy to me that the demo continues to get views. We definitely appreciate all of the support and excitement!

That's probably because the gameplay demo managed to lure in new fans thanks to the new perspective (the game is now played in a close third person view like many action titles) and atmosphere, without alienating old fans. Sony decided to bring back Cory Barlog, who was Lead Animator on God of War and Game Director on God of War II.

Here's how Barlog described the changes made to the game and its main character, Kratos, who's now much older and has to deal with a son.

I realized early on that we had to make changes in every aspect of the game. I knew I didn’t want to simply reboot the franchise, starting over with a retelling of the origin story. I wanted to reimagine the gameplay, give players a fresh perspective and a new tactile experience while delving deeper into the emotional journey of Kratos to explore the compelling drama that unfolds when an immortal demigod makes a decision to change.
For Kratos, this change means breaking the cycle of violence, distrust and deception that his family, the Greek pantheon, perpetuated for so long. That cycle drove a whole host of bad decisions – the ill-fated deal with Ares, the murder of his family and a rage fueled descent into madness and vengeance that ultimately ended with the epic destruction of Olympus.

It also means learning how to control his rage, the intensely turbulent monster that lives within him, steering him down ever-darker paths. Kratos needed to figure out how to put the monster back in the box, how to control when he does and does not let that monster out.
Kratos’ rage has provoked a ton of bad decisions in his life, so I was fascinated to see what would happen if he actually made a good one. What would that look like? How would he struggle with this very difficult and unfamiliar road? And more importantly, why would he do this?

The last question was answered in my own life with the birth of my son, a tremendously transformative event that had me thinking about all kinds of change in life. It is hard for human beings to truly change, but one thing that can really motivate us is the thought of being responsible for a life, and especially the life of our child. The weight of that responsibility drives the instinct to protect, to want to prevent the mistakes of our past being delivered upon them. There is no end to the lengths we will go, no adversity we will not overcome, to be better… for them.

There's no date yet for PlayStation 4's God of War. Given the in-development label, it wouldn't be surprising if it released in 2018; the good news is that like all games showcased at E3 2016, it was running on a normal PlayStation 4, which begs the question: how will it look on the new PS4 Neo?