How does Kratos' own personal storyline develop in God of War II? Will we see his story unfold over a classic trilogy?
Cory Barlog: I would love to see a trilogy happen. Dave [Jaffe] and I have a pretty similar view as to where the story of Kratos should go and it does play itself out in a trilogy but there are no trilogy plans as of right now. We are telling the continuation of Kratos life as we left off from the first game. The story in God of War II will begin to show a larger view of Kratos' role within the mythological world.
We saw the Wind Bow at E3 - can you tell us a little more about that and some of Kratos' new moves, combos and weapons?
Cory Barlog: I'm gonna' turn this one over to Derek Daniels, Senior Combat Designer; he is kind of like the Kane from 'Kung Fu' of combat design.
Derek Daniels: The Wind Bow is part of the new magic suite that we have built for this game. In part 1 the Gods were responsible for helping you out on your quest to take down Ares. For part 2 we took the traditional power-ups in a new direction and are basing them on elements. The first one that we showed off was obviously the Wind Bow but this is only the beginning of some of the great things we have in store. A lot of people at E3 wondered if the Wind Bow was a weapon such as the Blade of Artemis that we had in part 1. The Wind Bow is a magic which leaves us more room to do fun things with weapons. We are going to do more with the weapons this time then simply giving you one extra one. They will be much more pivotal to the story and integrated better into the combat system.
How have you tried to refine and advance the combat system this time around?
Derek Daniels: One of the things we felt that we could improve upon was bringing everything together in our combat system so the player could flow from one move to another. So things like the Wind Bow have strafe navigation which allows you to keep navigating towards enemies instead of being locked in place. This simple change has helped immensely in the cancelling in and out of attacks to keep the combat flowing smoothly. We wanted the same thing for the weapons so we have changed the command, making it easier to cancel your basic attacks into pulling out a new weapon and keeping the combo going. We want players to always be moving and having fun doing so.
Tell us about the balance of puzzle solving and combat - what have you tried to achieve in terms of design with the puzzles in GoW II?
Derek Daniels: God of War has a pretty solid mixture of puzzle solving, exploration, and combat. With God of War II, I am working to maintain a very similar balance. Of course that will mean bringing back, possibly even increasing, the vertical spinning blades in Hades. Those ROCKED!!! Not really...but I do know what worked with the first game and what felt fun so I will be using that as a base for the overall balance of elements in God of War II. Basically...the game will not turn into a puzzle heavy game nor will it turn into a pure action game. We will be keeping it real'er (if that's a word).
Will magic play a greater role in God of War II's gameplay? What kind of new magical items and spells are you introducing and how will they affect gameplay?