Sony Santa Monica's hotly-anticipated new God of War game is out now, and the reception has been stunning so far. According to early reviews, Kartos' adventure through Norse Mythology is the best game in the franchise. A key part of that positive reception has been based around the relationship between Kratos and his son, which is why it's pretty shocking to find out that Atreus was nearly cut out of the game altogether!
Director Cory Barlog recently discussed the game's development with GameStop, revealing that it nearly became a drastically different experience. The development team became worried that creating the game around Atreus would be too hard and too expensive, so Barlog began envisioning a version of the game where Kratos journeyed alone.
Obviously, this would require some major changes. According to Barlog, it would have felt something like the movie All Is Lost in which Robert Redford plays a man lost at sea. That's not to say that Kratos would end up adrift, but rather that it would be a largely silent game outside of Kratos talking to himself. In this version of the game, Balrog says NPCs would have all spoken in old Norse languages so that players wouldn't understand them.
When Balrog pitched this idea as an alternative to the Atreus version of the game, Sony executives gave him the go ahead to continue with Atreus, whatever the cost. Based on the game's phenomenal critical reception thus far, I'd say they made the right call.