* At the end of the E3 God of War 2 demo, Medusa’s sister Uriel appears on the screen just as the camera cuts out and the demo ends. Well, she is one of the bosses in the game, and she’s not too happy with Kratos for what he’s done to her sister. You fight Uriel in an arena where she slithers around, pounds the ground with her fists, and crawls up on pillars to escape and attack from a distance. Naturally, you have to destroy those pillars and then take out Uriel herself.
* As many players have upgraded to HDTVs since the original God of War shipped, God of War 2’s programming team has spent quite a bit of time on making sure the game looks solid if players run it in high definition. “We’re aware that there’s a lot more HDTVs in the marketplace than there necessarily was a couple years ago,” says Tim Moss (director of technology). “We spent a lot of time on making the resolution a bit higher, making sure art looks really nice on TVs, progressive scan — all that kind of stuff.”
* When it came time to create international versions of God of War, the developers had to make certain changes so the content would be appropriate for territories like Korea and Japan. This meant removing the blood from the game, changing certain character models so they would have five fingers instead of four, and altering one of the game’s most famous sequences — the “cage push” where players had to sacrifice an innocent man by pushing him up a ramp in a cage and killing him in order to proceed (the man was replaced with a monster internationally). “Part of that puzzle that’s cool is hearing him go, ‘No, what are you doing? I thought we were buddies,'” notes Cory Barlog (game director), explaining that the scene lost a lot of its impact when the player didn’t have to kill an ally.
What does this have to do with God of War 2, then? Well, the developers are hopeful they can get away with more scenes like this internationally in the sequel thanks to the success of the original. “Last time, we were a relatively unknown project, so I think we can throw our weight around a little bit more this time,” says Moss. “Hopefully we will have a stronger argument that ‘Look — this is character building’ and we won’t have to argue quite so much.” To top it off, there will be many areas like the cage push in God of War 2.
* We’ve never heard a firmer denial about the possibility a game may be delayed than from the God of War 2 team. “There will be no delay,” says Barlog. “We can’t delay,” says Steve Caterson (producer). “We’re going to be finished in March,” concludes Moss. “We’re already going to be one of the last PS2 games that gets out there, so we’re really enjoying it and it’s a really good challenge, but we’re also looking forward to working on the next stuff.” That’s a release on March 15th to be exact.
But for now let’s take another look at the latest trailer: