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Santa Monica Studio's new God of War clearly draws inspiration from a lot of different places. Some of those inspirations, though, aren't so obvious. For instance, Director Cory Barlog referenced the Resident Evil series for guiding some of the decisions made in Kratos' latest adventure.
You know, Resident Evil 4 came out in the middle of [God of War 2], right? And that game affected me so dramatically. And then, Resident Evil 7 comes out, and it show creators with, I think, a very strong vision and a really good team, can make these bold decisions, and actually have the audience follow them. Even if there was distance in the beginning, right? It's the, every time James Bond changes, right, they're like, 'Oh, Daniel Craig, who is this guy?'
While Resident Evil 4 was more of an evolution of the beloved survival horror series, it certainly left its mark on plenty of action games that followed. But as Barlog points out, Resident Evil 7 was less of an evolution and more of a revolution. At first glance, it's a totally different game from its predecessors, shifting the camera to a first-person perspective and altering the way well-known systems worked. Barlog also points out how, at first, the general reaction to the changes in Resident Evil 7 was not super enthusiastic. Once the game came out, though, the community loved it. Even Capcom was taken by surprise with the game's reception, deciding to do even more post-launch content than originally planned in order to capitalize on the unexpected success.
In other words, with so many concepts and systems changing in God of War, Barlog took at least some comfort in seeing that, if you manage to nail the new formula, the fans will absolutely come along for the ride.
It's actually a pretty perfect comparison, as the new God of War throws out many things that have become staples of the series over the years. The camera is shifted to an over the shoulder view, the controls have been completely revamped, Kratos has a son tagging along on the journey and even his trademark weapons, the Blades of Chaos, are gone. No spoilers, but it took me quite a while to stop trying to mash the Square and Triangle buttons to get Kratos to perform combos in the new God of War, as the standard attack buttons have now been shifted to R1 and R2. I wasn't too happy about that change at first, but it has definitely grown on me.
Speaking of which, the controller mapping, combat, and level design are also clearly influenced by another game, Bloodborne. But while some inspirations are more easy to spot, it's cool getting these kinds of behind-the-scenes looks at development highlighting influences we would have otherwise missed.