Becoming a Deity: God of War II Interview
Cory Barlog talks about Kratos, coming out of David Jaffe's shadow, and Barbie.
Page: 1 2
Before Ashley Morgan began designing levels for God of War at Sony's studio in Santa Monica, she worked on the little-played (in hardcore circles, at least) Secret Agent Barbie: Royal Jewels Mission for the Game Boy Advance. The convoluted path to her meeting with Kratos is one echoed by several members in the team.
"Prior to God of War," says Sony's Cory Barlog, "we were all people who were making fairly sub-par games. It kind of all clicked and came together."
As lead animator on Kratos's first PlayStation 2 adventure, Barlog spent most of his time making sure that the eponymous God of War looked good in motion. Nowadays, as creative director, he's in charge of everything related to the franchise, after taking over God of War II from David Jaffe, who wanted to focus on other projects after the first game.
Jaffe made a name for himself in recent years not only for his creative streak but also for his colourful, some would say drunken, interviews and his generally outspoken nature. (Recently he said if he had designed the PS3 he would have left out the Blu-ray drive.) His departure from day-to-day work on the God of War series pushed Barlog to the forefront. It took him by surprise.
"I so didn't see that coming," he says. Following Jaffe's departure, Barlog was approached by producers at Sony about taking over the series. "I kind of laughed, and looked around to see if there were any cameras, 'cause I thought it was part of a documentary and they were making fun of me or something like that."
Following up on an act as successful as Jaffe's hasn't been easy. For one thing, Barlog has had to listen as praise for the God of War games was heaped on his old boss, as the focal point for the series. "I'm still in that shadow, and I don't think I'll be out of it for a while," he admits.
There was something else. Heading a team working on a sequel to what had been called one of the best action games of the past decade was no easy task. Before he even started, Barlog had to become more introspective, to make sure he had what it would take to do it properly.
"If I had known what I had gotten myself into, I probably would have questioned it even harder, and maybe not have ended up doing it," he says. "But I'm so glad I was an idiot, and didn't know what I was getting into because it has been amazing."
"As long as you're ignorant of what you're getting yourself into, it's like, oh, it's bliss."