For a series that is well-known for its gratuitous depiction of violence and gore, God of War will be pulling back a few punches, especially when it comes to the fairer sex, in the upcoming title.
Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Santa Monica Studio design manager David Hewitt conceded that God of War: Ascension will be low on violence against women, something that is being taken as serious offense even in a video game.
Kratos, the main protagonist in the popular third-person action-adventure game, has had to tear a lot of limbs, be it of men, women, children, gods or monsters. Violently bringing his enemies to a painful death is something that Kratos has been doing routinely since the very first game in the series. He is on a path of revenge and walking down this road does not exactly involve beds of roses, rainbows and unicorns. It is a dark path and anyone who walks down it is doing so because he has been hurt.
In his pursuit of revenge, Kratos has shown no hesitance in laying whatever comes in his path to waste, not for personal satisfaction or pleasure but primarily to get to his ultimate objective.
While he got away with turning and twisting semi-naked females to death in the previous God of War titles, he will have to show some respect to the ladies in the upcoming game. Respect here means nothing more than refraining from pulling out their limb or stabbing them with his blades, while his morals will pretty much remain the same.
Hewitt said that the team working on God of War: Ascension had drawn a line with regard to violence and are committed to not go beyond it as it could lead to serious repercussions.
“There are some things we’ve pulled back from. I think where this has been an issue is with violence against women,” he said. “The team’s pulled back from some of that and assessed that a little more carefully. There are certain things that carry a different kind of resonance that we don’t want to get into. This isn’t about statement-making in that regard. It’s about fleshing out this character.”
For a series that has never shied away from showing gore and violence and justified it by calling it an integral part of the Greek mythology-oriented theme, it is indeed surprising to see a sudden change of heart.
The decision by SCE Santa Monica Studios to go easy on women in the upcoming God of War title may have been influenced by the strong reaction that followed the depiction of a rape scene in Tomb Raider, as well as the killing of nuns in Hitman: Absolution.
God of War: Ascension is scheduled to be released for the PlayStation 3 on March 12, 2013.