Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Ready At Dawn Talks About Kratos' Latest Rampage
by Joe Juba on Sep 13, 2010 at 07:15 AM
Platform PSP
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer Ready at Dawn Studios
Rating Mature

You may have thought that your time with the God of War series concluded after reducing the world to chaos in the third installment. Fans will be happy to know that although Kratos’ vengeance is complete, his story is far from over. Ready at Dawn Studios, the developer behind Chains of Olympus, is taking up the blades again and bringing Kratos back to the PSP in an adventure set between God of War 1 and 2. We caught up with Ready at Dawn co-founder and creative director Ru Weerasuriya to chat about the studio’s vision for God of War: Ghost of Sparta and how the title will contribute to the mythology of the franchise as a whole.

Recently, Ready at Dawn has seemed eager to move away from PSP development to create home console titles. What drew you back?
Our mentality has always been to make great games regardless of the platform we are working on. When we shifted our focus, it was to familiarize ourselves with the different hardware out there so that we could gain some knowledge and maybe develop for them. When Ghost of Sparta was discussed, it wasn’t so much the hardware that drew us back but the IP. We knew the world, we knew the character, and we knew we could improve on what we had already built. In all honesty, if we didn’t think we could do a better job on a second title, we wouldn’t have taken it on.

The beginning of God of War II seems to imply that little time passes between the first two games. How do you view that span…did years pass? Days? Decades?
It’s hard to pinpoint an amount of time, but it’s definitely more than days. At the end of GoW 1, we leave Kratos on the throne as the new God of War. By the time GoW 2 comes out, Kratos has angered the Gods, adorned his god armor, and is ready to lead the Spartan army to war. Let’s just say that events have taken place to enrage him to the point of taking on the Olympians, events that you’ll be able to see and play in Ghost of Sparta.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for Ghost of Sparta to expand on Kratos as a character?

That’s just it. Ghost of Sparta is all about Kratos’ character. Although the other games touch on that very subject, both Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta center around the man behind the god. There is a lot more to Kratos’ past than we have seen thus far. The person he becomes by the end of GoW 3 is a culmination of the things he has endured throughout his life, and the different aspects that define him. We saw one important side of it in the first PSP game. The player will discover a lot more in the second.

What aspects of Chains of Olympus stand out as the areas you’d most like to improve in Ghost of Sparta?
There are so many things we wanted to improve on. From the graphics, to the depth of combat, to the navigation, we had our pick when it came to choosing the areas to modify. Fortunately, we’ve been able to somewhat rework every aspect of the game, sometimes by doing things we didn’t have time to do in the first game and also by adding new things never seen before in the franchise.

God of War 3 made some modifications to the series’ formula, like separating items from magic and changing the presentation on the context-sensitive events. Are you considering implementing any of those changes in Ghost of Sparta?
We didn’t decide to follow any particular path when it came to Ghost of Sparta. It was more important that the way items and magic were handled worked well with the story. That said, there are definitely cool things that GoW 3 did with [context-sensitive] events, and it inspired us to explore ways to improve on the traditional GoW gameplay.

Chains of Olympus’ scene with Kratos and Calliope in the Elysium Fields is a standout for the entire series. How do you approach including more emotional scenes in a game generally about killing monsters, and can we expect more moments like that in Ghost of Sparta?
We see both games we’ve done here at RAD as more personal takes on Kratos’ tormented life. Adding that moment with Calliope was always something that was going to stir debate, with some people being affected by it and others not caring one bit. But that was the challenge of trying to make people play their emotions rather than just see events being played in front of them. That’s the same approach we took with Ghost of Sparta. The game harkens to the same goal of instilling emotion by gameplay. We’ll just have to wait and see if those moments work.

Products In This Article

God of War: Ghost of Spartacover

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Release Date: