Interview with the developers of the first God of War game.
Santa Monica began development of God of War in 2002, under the working title Dark Odyssey, and unveiled it two years later at SCEA Santa Monica Gamers’ Day 2004. In a meeting with GameSpot at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the developers said there would be 15 to 25 different attacks with the player’s main weapon in the final game, with a free-form combo system that would allow players to combine moves in almost any order. GameSpot said the developers described the gameplay “as merging the action of Devil May Cry with the puzzle-solving of Ico” and noted that players would be able to “sunder enemies with a single move, such as by ripping them in half”.
Game Director and creator David Jaffe confirmed the game would be a cinematic presentation. He said that at E3, they got to see where players were having issues with the camera system and said, “we are doing extensive focus tests, and using data compiled from E3, to find and fix the problem areas” of the cameras. He said he had the confidence that the team would fix the problems before the game’s release. However, he said if players “hate cinematic camera systems, nothing we can do will help you like the God of War cameras”. The game uses Santa Monica’s Kinetica engine, which they developed for their previous game, Kinetica (2001).
Although the game is based on Greek mythology, the development team gave themselves “lots of freedom” to modify the myths, and Jaffe said they took the “coolest aspects of the subject” and wrote a story using those elements. In an interview for Eurogamer, he said while the idea for God of War was his own, the concept owed a debt to Capcom because he had played Onimusha and said “let’s do that with Greek Mythology”. He was inspired in part by the 1981 feature film, Clash of the Titans, saying, “the real high concept for me was … merging it with Heavy Metal magazine”. He said he liked both “the kids stuff … with Greek Mythology” and the idea of adding more adult themes.