Three months ago, way before God of War Ragnarok was awarded by IGN and many others glowing review scores, some of the devs were "freaking out" and thought to themselves, "holy crap, the game's not good. What are we going to do?"
Speaking to GQ UK, God of War Ragnarok director Eric Williams was asked how he stays motivated and handles the pressure of following up on one of the most-beloved games in recent memory in 2018's God of War.
Alongside sharing that some people don't realize it's not as easy as it may seem to follow up a game that reached such high heights as, "you never hear anyone say, 'the second time I climbed Everest, it was easy," he also gave some fascinating insight into the mindset of the team just three months ago.
"When you work with people that are at the apex of what they do, you're going to get magic," Williams said. "I just came from a room with those people. All I could say to them was, 'Thank you.' They were freaking out three months ago, 'Holy crap, the game's not good. What are we going to do?' I can't even imagine how they feel today. I wish I had a time machine to go back and feel like that."
Williams also discussed the decision to make Kratos' Norse mythology journey only two games and not a trilogy.
"We knew what most of the big plot points were going to be," Williams said on what they knew going into Ragnarok after finishing 2018's God of War. "But at the time we were still talking about 'Is it going to be two or three games?' Me and [Cory Barlog] were kind of on the side of two, but the team had already kind of bought into the trilogy. So we're like, 'Well how do we walk this back?'
"It's really difficult to do. Because [the team] started to go, 'Well, are we just going to cram two games into one? Because that's going to be impossible.' People know [trilogies] and when you change things, people get uncomfortable. But that's usually where the magic happens. If I don't feel like I'm scared, like I'm literally gonna get fired every day, because I screwed up, I don't feel like I'm doing it right."
Despite some things getting "readjusted and reconfigured for pacing," Williams also confirmed God of War Ragnarok's story was not scaled back at all after they decided to make this saga just two games.
We here at IGN were all for the decisions the team made as we awarded God of War Ragnarok a rare 10/10. In our review, we said, "an enthralling spectacle to behold and an even more exciting one to take the reins of, God of War Ragnarok melds action and adventure together to create a new, unforgettable Norse saga. Impeccable writing, pitch-perfect performances, knockout action – it’s a complete work of art from top to bottom."
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