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.