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God of War dev team has “pulled back” from violence against women

Friday, 20th July 2012 04:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Although the God of War games are undeniably violent, Sony Santa Monica strives to keep from glorifying the gore, and is very careful about how it approaches tricky situations like violence against women.

Asked whether Sony Santa Monica has a threshold of violence it isn’t willing to cross, design manager David Hewitt told IGN that is does.

“The team has a set of rules that define those sorts of things very clearly. Where it shows itself is how the combat designers and animators have designed Kratos’ moves,” he said.

“He’s always leaning forward, he’s always moving forward. He’s seeking revenge and he’s after his ultimate objective and he will tear through enemies – rip them in half – as quickly as he can. But there’s not a lot of flourishes, there’s not any kind of enjoying the moment. There’s nothing about this that he’s enjoying.”

Interestingly, Hewitt said the team treads very carefully in certain particularly loaded examples.

“There are some things we’ve pulled back from. I think where this has been an issue is with violence against women – the team’s pulled back from some of that and assessed that a little more carefully,” he said.

“There are certain things that carry has a different kind of resonance that we don’t want to get into. This isn’t about statement-making in that regard. It’s about fleshing out this character.”

Despite that, Hewitt promised that Ascension will continue the franchise’s traditions of “those moments where people kind of recoil a bit – genuinely uncomfortable moments”.

God of War: Ascension is a PlayStation 3 exclusive due in 2013.

Thanks, CVG. [image]

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35 Comments

  1. Cygnar

    It’s a step to take pride in. As much as I enjoyed God of War III, I still cringe during the portion where Kratos chases down Poseidon’s servant and kills her. The scene is unsettling in a bad way.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    Great! Now why don’t they pull back from every kind of violence? Better yet! Make a game where everything is different shades of pink, pink flowers, pink sky, pink unicorns and also put a pink short skirt on Kratos. Yup. That would be awesome! I’m sure Michaela and all the other b***hes will love it. This is pathetic!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The_Red

    @1
    Gotta disagree. Violence against women is a horrible thing in real life as is any kind of violence but I don’t believe that the fantasy kind has any effect on a normal adult. Sure, kids might be affected but that’s why there is a rating system.

    That part was one of the darkest and craziest sections of GOW3 and while it was shocking for the sake of shock, it felt EXACTLY like Kratos as character would do and that is more than fine by me.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gekidami

    ^ Indeed. It was in his character. Showed that at that point he was willing to sacrifice anyone and everyone to get to Zeus, he didnt care what the results of his actions were as long as he got his personal vengeance.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gadzooks!

    They need more sex QTE minigames, cos that shit is CLASSY yo!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Night Hunter

    “and is very careful about how it approaches tricky situations like violence against women”

    What is tricky about it? Is gutting a woman suddenly worse than ripping a dude’s head off?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Clupula

    Yeah, I felt like that’s exactly how Kratos would have acted. I mean, earlier in the game, he throws a man to his death who is calling for help because his house is burning down. Kratos doesn’t care who you are. Man, woman, he will fuck you up. That’s what is so fun about the character, to be quite honest. It’s also why he’s cursed the way he is.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. The_Red

    @6
    Of course!!! Violence against men is different to violence against men! Just like violence against people of color is different to violence against white people!!!

    But seriously, couldn’t agree more with you here. This is like the issue South Park raised about the “hate crime” thingy. Violence in real life IS bad. I should NOT be about who its against. Saying violence against women is worse than violence against men is another form of separation and sexism just like many “hate crime” laws are actually trying to separate people of different colors.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Night Hunter

    @8: Well I have to agree with you, for all the talk about gender equality there isn’ a lot of real gender equality going around. Of course it is a little more complex than this as women are historically victims of violence, but a good point has been raised here: We are talking about Kratos, he will fuck you up, it is that simple and he doesn’t give a fuck if you are human, beast or god, black, white, yellow, male, female or bigendered*. Sometimes in the simple world of video games there is just not more to it than that ;)

    *I sincerely apologize to all species, skin colors and gender types I might have left out, I really don’t want to discriminate. Don’t worry, you also have the chance to get fucked up by Kratos, all you have to do is stand in his way, or look at him in the wrong way.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dark

    Oh man , i remember killing that Poseidon’s slave .. it was one of the greatest moments in GOW3.

    don’t make me disappointed and lose my trust in you SSM!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Lord Gremlin

    @1 I liked that scene. It’s even better than fire sacrifice in GoW1.
    No, really, really liked killing Poseidon’s princess. Disappointed right now. They shouldn’t hold back really – instead they should go as Kratos-y as possible with all manner of male, female and transgender creatures. Well, as long as they fit in that is.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. matirishhh

    @1 agree

    To the rest of You. You are mental! If this is where games should go then fuck it! I’ll stick with MARIO and colorfull skies. If anyone one of You had fun in killing the pricess then….I’m sorry for You guys. Now I know why VIOLENT games sell so well…….
    And explaing that with “Because it’s KRATOS” ?- Guys he is a dumbest character in a history of video games ! Should we be the same ?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Deacon

    @12 – so you love Mario. Ok. Is he a role model for you?

    Just because we enjoy playing as a character it doesn’t mean we would ever consider acting that way in real life. I speak for myself as I know (statistically) some of you sick fucks probably would :)

    Like I’m not going to play MG Revengeance and enjoy the hell out of slicing people up with a sword?!?

    I have a perfectly functioning sword at home but I’m pretty sure that’s where it’ll stay. Unless someone kidnaps my rabbit or vandalises my MR2.

    I’m getting sick of all this PC bullshit in videogames. I’m going to go home and beat the shit out of my girlfriend in protest of this very article. Egg on your face Sony Santa Monica. Or something.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    Lot of rage boners from guys upset about not being able to kill women ;-)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. matirishhh

    @13 that is a good one heheh :)

    I will play MG Revengeance and I finished all GOW games but I would remove some unnecesary violence from the games. Is it that hard to block the bloody wheel with a big ass rock then to use a human flesh ? How dumb and lazy character have to be ?

    And yes Mario is my role model – he saves the princess and cleans her pipes ! This is a character !

    #15 2 years ago
  16. The_Red

    @12
    Last time I checked, I wasn’t mental, didn’t go on a killing spree or torturing women. Also, I never liked Mario so…

    Also @13
    Now that is a good, hilarious, disturbing and (hopefully) sarcastic comment :)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. xxJPRACERxx

    If Kratos can’t kill them, can he at least fist fuck’em?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. roadkill

    @17 Why f**k them!? It makes no sense! :) God of War is about killing stuff in the most gruesome way possible. And it should stick to that!

    It also should not be sold to children! Look how many are virgins are whining in the previous comments.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dragon246

    Women are now officially added to long list of things are not violated by kratos like medusas, giant elephants, goatmen, mermen, greek and persian sluts etc.
    Oh wait……
    Also does this mean violence against men is okay? Shit, I should have been a woman then.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. OrbitMonkey

    @18, Not sure if your trying so hard, because your a closet gay, or suffering performance issues…

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Ireland Michael

    Wasn’t the whole core of the character’s identity supposed to be centred around the tragic death of his wife and child?

    Random acts of brute violence (especially against women) doesn’t really make any sense in that context.

    Then again, that would imply that they actually cared about providing any sort of genuine characterization for the character since the first game…

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Clupula

    @21 – actually, Michael, you’re forgetting the most important part. This is going to get spoilery, btw…

    It’s not that someone else killed his wife and child and then he decided to seek revenge. It’s that HE did it and didn’t know it was his wife and child until he was done.

    Think about that for a second and it says a lot about Kratos. He was perfectly fine with killing women and children. Enjoyed it, even. But when it was his own (because a god felt without them, Kratos would have nothing holding him back), Kratos went on a quest for vengeance. Kratos spends most of the series in a state of self-loathing and attempts to commit suicide on more than one occasion. He knows he’s a monster. He knows when he gets in the zone, he will fuck up anyone who so much as looks at him. I won’t even say the wrong way, because I don’t think there’s a right way to look at Kratos without being murdered.

    And if you watch the interviews with the various directors of the games, most of them agree, Kratos is incredibly selfish. He doesn’t care who is in his way, he doesn’t care what he has to do to get what he wants. He’ll kill anyone and anything. And the part that he himself doesn’t realize is that his quest for revenge is more motivated by selfishness than any attempt at real redemption. That’s why he doesn’t change his ways. If anything, he gets worse as time goes on, and provides himself with more excuses for his behavior.

    In other words, if there was a girl scout troupe in the way of his revenge, he would have no qualms with killing each and every one of them, never stopping to think that is was behavior like that that ended the life of his own daughter.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    ^ So basically… He’s a twat… Thanks for clearing that up!

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    @22 Sounds more like a lazy afterthought used solely as an excuse to keep making more games.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. freedoms_stain

    @24, What’s a lazy afterthought? I don’t think you’re really clear on what the games are actually about if you thik anything that #22 said links all 6 titles in the franchise (excluding the phone game).

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @25 He got his revenge in the first one. They had to keep making shit up for the rest of them.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Clupula

    @23 – He is. And I don’t the developers of the game would disagree with that assessment. And that’s why it’s so much fun to play as him. He’s not heroic, he’s not doing things for the greater good. He’s a selfish sociopath in a Greek mythological setting. And I love it. When he ran into the guy whose house was burning down and he grabbed the guy by the neck, smashed his face into a wall, and threw him to his death, I laughed. I thought it was funny how over-the-top they had gone with making Kratos an asshole. Up until Ghost of Sparta gave him a little bit of an excuse, Kratos was completely in the wrong in GOW2, and that’s what made it so much fun.

    I mean, in GOW2, half the people you fight are not villains in Greek mythology, but heroes. Kratos is a villain and that’s why he’s fun to play as.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. freedoms_stain

    @26, that’s not an answer to the question.

    What exactly “sounds like a lazy afterthought used solely as an excuse to keep making more games”?

    I actually like the way they weaved Kratos into Greek legend, and unlike a lot of other games which shoe-horned in ideas in order to keep sequels running (DMC I’m looking at you) the angle they took to reignite the story for GoW2 actually works pretty well, the exact opposite of lazy imo.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. roadkill

    @OrbitMonkey F**k off faggot! Go play with your pink unicorns!

    @Michaela So as Clupula truthfully pointed out you’re not only a girl but you’re a dumb one as well. I seriously don’t understand why you have to give us your f**ked up opinion on all of these women/rape-related issues when you have no idea what you’re talking about. This is gaming website. If you haven’t played said game (in this case God of War) then stop spamming. Have you been raped when you were a child? I’m serious now!! Because that’s the only logical explanation to what you’re doing right now. Go seek professional help mate! You’re not going to find it here. Some of us love to kill and rape EVERYTHING or ANYTHING in (wait for it! here it comes!) IN A GAME!! You and the monkey up there (and a lot of other a**holes) are the reasons for which women are still treated as second class citizens of this planet. Well, actually, they are second class citizens but that doesn’t mean you have to treat them like that. Not all of them at least. Some are actually pretty cool. And NO! You’re not one of those!

    #29 2 years ago
  30. roadkill

    @Clupula Dude I salute you! There are not many people who like playing as a villains in video games. I don’t like it either. I just can’t make myself choose the evil option sometimes. :(( But I like how you’re thinking. How you’re putting it. “When he ran into the guy whose house was burning down and he grabbed the guy by the neck, smashed his face into a wall, and threw him to his death, I laughed. I thought it was funny how over-the-top they had gone with making Kratos an asshole.” :))

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OrbitMonkey

    ^ Can’t choose the evil option? Wimp. Standard for a internetz tough-guy like you though eh?

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Ireland Michael

    @30 I don’t get off on rampant, pointless, excessive violence.

    If that makes me a girl, I guess I’m a girl.

    Only a sexist moron like you would use the female gender as a derogatory insult.

    “If you haven’t played said game (in this case God of War) then stop spamming.”

    I have played them all.

    “Have you been raped when you were a child? I’m serious now!”

    No.

    “Because that’s the only logical explanation to what you’re doing right now.”

    Only if you have a very simplistic way of looking at the world. I’ve seen a lot of violence suffered on other people, and as a result I’m very adverse to it. That’s all.

    “Some of us love to kill and rape EVERYTHING or ANYTHING in (wait for it! here it comes!) IN A GAME!!”

    Well as long as its keeping you from doing it in reality, I guess that’s a good thing. Doesn’t stop you from being a sick, twisted, completely messed up bastard though, if that’s what you get your jollies from.

    “You and the monkey up there (and a lot of other a**holes) are the reasons for which women are still treated as second class citizens of this planet.”

    That makes absolutely no sense at all.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. roadkill

    @32 Yes, I am a sexist. But I don’t use the female gender as a derogatory insult. I use the female gender as a derogatory insult on a boy. Hmmm, I think I already said that once. Never mind. On to the next point.

    “I have played them all.” And yet you still don’t know how it all started!? Damn you’re dumb girl. Why do you play games if you don’t understand what’s going on in them?

    So you haven’t been raped when you were a little girl! At least not physically.

    So you hate violence and yet you played all God of War games.. What the f**k!? Why would you play something which contains elements that you.. are adverse to!?

    So killing people in games makes me a “sick, twisted, completely messed up bastard”. Wow! All these years! How did I not see this? Do you hear that you other millions of gamers out there? We should probably stop gaming and look for professional help. LOL!! Michaela, calling you dumb (again) here would be the greatest compliment ever for you. So I’m not going to.

    Of course it doesn’t make any sense! Not for you at least. Not with your low IQ and all.. Let me explain. Women want equality. What you and other f**ktards are doing is single them out. Make it clear that they are different, weak and that they should get special treatment. When they will stop getting this special treatment only then will they be equal to us. Of course that will never happen. But I am just explaining a point.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Ireland Michael

    “Make it clear that they are different, weak and that they should get special treatment.”

    Hahahahahaha… No.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Krono

    Somewhere right now, Kratos is laughing at this article.

    #35 2 years ago

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