The God of War franchises’ Blades of Chaos are some of the most iconic weapons in video game history. While we are sad to see them go, the devs at Santa Monica Studio are more than happy to explain why they traded in the god-killing blades for an axe that is the envy of all of Valhalla.
While brainstorming ideas for the upcoming God of War game, the developers realized they had done everything they could with the Blades of Chaos in the series’ eighteen-year run. To make the biggest impact in the new game, Santa Monica Studios decided to give Kratos a different instrument of destruction: The Leviathan Axe.
According to lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, creative director Cory Barlog’s first pitch involved Kratos swinging around an axe. For a time, that was supposedly the only direction they had: just give Kratos an axe. Even though the team brainstormed over its moves and properties, the power to magically call the axe back to Kratos’ hand wasn’t implemented until well after the developers gave him the ability to throw it. But, once that particular feature was coded into the game, it provided a torrent of potential ideas and gameplay tactics, from tripping enemies to targeting specific body parts.
While gamers can upgrade Kratos’ spells and weapons in previous God of War games, they are limited to simple, linear upgrades that deal more damage and occasionally provide some new combos. For the new game, Santa Monica Studios decided to overhaul progression and provide a robust upgrade system that prioritizes player freedom. In the game, players will meet dwarven blacksmiths who can modify the shape and size of the axe’s blade and handle, and each upgrade will come with various moves and abilities. Not every player will like every move, so they can mix and match axe upgrades to turn Kratos into a whirling dervish of Asgardian steel, a Spartan cryomancer, or something in between.
Players will be able to discover all the secrets of Kratos’ new axe when God of War releases April 20th. Until then, stick to Twinfinite for all of your God of War needs.