The new “God of War” came out Friday on PlayStation 4. The soft reboot of the action series features protagonist Kratos and his son, Atreus, battling creatures from Norse myth. Word-of-mouth is overwhelmingly positive — it’s currently the highest-rated PlayStation 4 exclusive on Metacritic — and when creative director Cory Barlog reads the reviews, he can’t contain himself.
Barlog posted the moment on YouTube Thursday. “Comfort axe” in hand, he initially stalls. “I am very nervous about seeing this,” he said. “It is a long, long, long time coming. Five years of work has gone into this game, so this moment means a lot.”
Once Barlog sees that “God of War” has a Metacritic score of 93 (it’s now up to 95, as of this writing), he breaks down in tears. “[The score] shouldn’t matter, but I’m just so f—ing proud,” he said. “A lot of people put a lot of work and a lot of faith [into the game]. And I’m just so lucky to work with the people that I work with.”
Variety’s own reviewer, Arthur Gies, said while the game has some bumps, Sony Santa Monica “has built something rejuvenated, with a change of scenery and a concept previously foreign to the franchise — a sense of responsibility, both practically and philosophically.”
“Kratos remains capable of startling violence,” Gies wrote. “But there is a sense that even Sony Santa Monica has recoiled from some of ‘God of War’s’ legacy, and the game is better for it. It is a game that treats its history with respect where appropriate, but without obligation, even in its very concluding moments. This new ‘God of War’ has some rough edges remaining in its transition to something new, but even in its concluding moments, it commits to its vision in a way that few games do — and it’s the first time the series has felt vibrant and important in a decade.”
In the video’s description, Barlog said he debated whether or not to upload the clip. But, he said he wanted his son, Helo, to see it.
“He doesn’t want us to be around when he is sad, opting to run in another room and yell at us if we try to come in,” Barlog wrote. “It has been important to us to let him know that it is OK to be sad, it is OK to cry. There is nothing to hide. I thought I would try to set a good example and show him that papa can cry in front of the world, or at least the 50 people who end up watching this.”
Over 230,000 people have viewed the video so far.