With God of War’s 2018 soft reboot now out in the wild and scoring big with critics, Sony Santa Monica Studios is taking a moment to look back at and reveal to fans what the earliest versions of the game looked like.
In an official PlayStation live stream counting down to the game’s official launch, some of the development team and Sony representatives took a moment to show off a few different demos – revisiting the E3 2016 demo but also showing off never-before-seen ‘Greenlight Demo’ footage from 2015.
It’s pretty interesting to look at the two side-by-side, since the footage shown to Sony for the work-in-progress Greenlight build in 2015 bears a striking resemblance to the E3 demo and indeed the final version of the game – but it’s clearly very early with lighting and texture work that is nowhere near the stunning quality found in the final game.
The footage also shows off a potential but ultimately rejected UI design for weapon upgrades, with Kratos’ weapon used as the interface to avoid any cuts to menu screens.
“Because we were going to do the no cut camera, we were looking at being able to have all of the menu systems take place inside the game,” said director Cory Balrog, commentating on part of the footage. “So when you would actually change out different moves you’d do that inside the game. It proved to be a little bit too cumbersome and difficult to figure out while getting everything else done.”
It’s often quite easy to forget how much work goes into creating a game and how much games can improve over the course of their development, and so this God of War footage ends up rather interesting for two reasons: firstly it shows how much Sony Santa Monica Studios were able to improve on their early work for the final release, but also rather impressively it shows just how many of their initial ideas made it into the final game – a testament to a strong vision. See the footage for yourself above.