The latter third of God of War kicks off with the help of a returning classic.
Major story SPOILERS to follow.
When Atreus falls ill during the events of God of War, Kratos is asked to go Helheim to retrieve an item that will heal the boy. Unfortunately, the Norse underworld, unlike Hades, is a frozen hellscape. Which means, his axe’s ice attacks won’t do any damage.
For this, Kartos needed the help of an old friend. Up to that point, Kratos had been using his axe and only the axe. The moment he goes back to his home to unearth the Blades is pivotal for its story implications, as well as gameplay, as players are introduced to a new weapon very late into the game.
According to game director Cory Barlog, however, that entire thing was almost cut. In a Gamespot video, Barlog explores the scenes from the moment Kratos makes his decision, to his arrival at home and eventual reveal of the Blades.
Barlog revealed that this section was envisioned as a much more elaborate level, but concessions had to be made in order to finish it on time. The Blades themselves were also a challenge to implement. The team had spent three years perfecting the axe, so they never thought they could finish designing a new weapon with its own mechanics just a year from release.
It’s a fascinating look back at the planning, compromises, and struggles that go into creating some of our most favourite moments in games.