×

Sony’s Santa Monica Studio Goes Behind the Scenes With ‘God of War’s’ First Boss Encounter

Sony’s 2018 “God of War” reboot was rife with plenty of opportunities to slay some magnificent bosses. One of them (spoiler warning) was “The Stranger,” otherwise known to players as Baldur.

It was an intriguing way to open the game, especially without any real way of knowing who the character was at the beginning, and after trying some other unique boss encounters in previous “God of War” entries, the Santa Monica Studio team wanted to try something different. Senior Staff Combat Designer Denny Yeh took to the official PlayStation Blog to run down some of the design decisions behind bringing Baldur to life as a larger-than-life enemy encounter.

“When it was decided that the opening boss fight of the game was going to be against a smaller humanoid that was only about as tall as Kratos’ shoulder, we knew we were in for a big challenge,” said Yeh, before explaining how the team set about working on making a fight with Baldur feel just as epic as the enormous bosses from the older “God of War” games.

An important part of the team’s strategy was to zoom the camera in closer than what would typically be necessary, which added some “impact” to each blow traded between the god. Animator Fabian Johnson helped to add in breakable objects into the mix and helped fold in “godly reactions” from both characters, while asking questions such as how large the fighting arena would be, and so on.

The team ultimately decided that much of the fight would be a lot more fun when playing with a smaller enemy, as it felt more “satisfying.” As a result, Baldur was made to fly through the air in reaction to Kratos’s powerful punches and other devastating blows. The team developed design documents that utilized several of these ideas, and put together skeletons of each phase of the fight, which resulted in a “fight introduction” that you can see in the above video.

The fight was broken down into three phases: The introduction and the transition phase, and then where Spartan Rage is introduced. Kratos must go on the defensive as Baldur finds his swagger. The final phase finds Baldur unleashing a torrent of his most powerful attacks, such as combos, a ground shockwave, and guards that keep Kratos on his toes.

The process that went into bringing this fight to live is intriguing, and one that obviously took a lot of work to bring together. You can see it all in “God of War,” a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and the rest of the behind-the-scenes look at the PlayStation Blog here.

More Gaming

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • survios at the linq

    Not Just Gambling: Las Vegas Is Becoming a Virtual Reality Hub

    Walk into the Linq on the Las Vegas strip these days, and you might not immediately realize you just stepped into a casino. Instead, you’ll stumble across a series of living-room-like lounge setups, complete with leather couches, big-screen TVs, Xbox Ones and Oculus Go VR headsets. There’s also a bar with a massive wrap-around touch [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Game

    ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ to Launch This Week

    “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic is getting ready to launch its next big game: “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set to launch in June 21, the company revealed in a tweet this week. The worldwide launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins this Friday, June 21! Keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information [...]

  • Sarah Iooss - Twitch

    Twitch Hires Sarah Iooss, Former Mic and Viacom Exec, as Head of North America Sales

    Twitch has tapped Sarah Iooss, most recently EVP of revenue at millennial-news startup Mic, to lead the advertising sales team in North America for the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform focused on video gaming. Iooss will be based in New York, reporting to chief revenue officer Walker Jacobs, who joined Twitch last fall after serving as [...]

  • littlstar ps4 app

    Littlstar Expands Beyond VR With New PS4 App, Signs Up 30,000 Paying Subscribers (EXCLUSIVE)

    A&E-backed immersive content aggregator Littlstar is expanding beyond virtual reality (VR): The New York-based startup launched a dedicated PlayStation4 app this week, giving users of Sony’s game console access to their personal media libraries, as well as both traditional and 360-degree video content from a variety of publishers. Littlstar also announced that it signed up [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content