In a video centered around the gaming-related inspirations behind the original God of War (2005), creator David Jaffe noted the title was almost a first-person experience. God of War’s Kratos slashed his way onto PlayStation platforms in the PS2 era, introducing players to an anti-hero with a haunted past and an equally harrowing future.
Though the violence and sex-focused mini-games garnered much of the public attention, God of War’s fast-paced hack-and-slash gameplay took the industry by storm in its own right. The action title bore similarities to Capcom’s Devil May Cry (2001), sure, but brought a wholly unique flair to the action-adventure formula, one that many a GoW clone would copy in the proceeding years. Interestingly, had God of War creator David Jaffe stayed true to his initial vision for the project, the franchise’s success may have taken a different turn entirely.
On his YouTube channel, David Jaffe (via MP1st) uploaded a video highlighting the games that influenced the creation of God of War’s 2005 release. Jaffe stated that God of War’s locked-on third-person camera came courtesy of inspiration from Ico and Devil May Cry. “However… for about three months, I was seriously considering going first-person and the game I was looking at was a Dreamcast game… Maken X,” he said. Despite Maken X’s myriad shortcomings, the developer said it counted among the “few games where I saw melee combat done well in a first-person perspective.”
It would’ve been a cool way to differentiate God of War from other action titles at the time, yet Jaffe didn’t think first-person lent itself well to the “kind of emotion and combat and character building that I was hoping to do.” In hindsight, he doubts the idea would’ve lasted long enough to pitch to Lead Programmer Tim Moss. A DICE conference in Las Vegas where Ico and Devil May Cry were shown sparked Jaffe’s and Moss’ desire to focus on a locked third-person camera for God of War.
Evidently, Jaffe’s change of heart about the camera angle worked in God of War’s favor. Following the brand’s advent in 2005, Sony’s Santa Monica group helmed multiple sequels; meanwhile, Kratos also left his mark with a couple of handheld excursions on PSP.
God of War: Ascension launch in 2013 on PS3, leaving much to be desired in terms of a classic GoW experience. But instead of retreading old ground, the IP returned in 2018 with a brand-new setting, mature Kratos, and a different approach to gameplay. Another new outing, God of War: Ragnarök, should hit PS4 and PS5 sometime in 2022.
The original God of War is available to play in the remastered God of War Collection on PS3.