Sony has announced God of War will launch for PlayStation 4 on April 20. The announcement was made on the PlayStation Blog, where a new trailer also made its debut. It focuses on Kratos as he grapples with trying to teach his son, Atreus, about restraint, responsibility, and consequence, which are all things Kratos learned the hard way in his previous life as a god-slayer.
Interestingly, his son isn't aware that Kratos is a deity, and is starting to face the same struggle with power and rage that his father did. Of course, there's also plenty of typical God of War eye candy on show, ranging from lush environments and sweeping vistas to towering monsters. Check it out below.
Also in the post, game director Cory Barlog detailed God of War's various special editions, as well as pre-order bonuses. Anyone that puts their money down for the game ahead of its release at participating retailers will get three legendary skins for Kratos's shield.
If you pre-order GameStop or EB Games, you'll also get the "Luck of Ages XP Boost," which grants +10 Luck and one Enchantment Slot. Luck increases the amount of experience and Hacksilver gained and lets you use abilities more often.
The Collector's Edition is $130 USD/$170 CAD (European price not yet available), and includes a 9-inch statue of Kratos and Atreus, a steelbook case, 2-inch Huldra Brothers carvings, a cloth map, and an art piece on its own. It also features the Death's Vow armor set, Exile's Guardian shield, an issue of the God of War digital comic, a digital artbook, and a dynamic theme.
The Stone Mason Edition, meanwhile, features all the content mentioned above, as well as the Stone Mason's ring, Mimir's Head talking keychain, a 2-inch Horse and Troll carving, and the Defender of the Chosen in-game shield. It costs $150 USD/$200 CAD.
Finally, the Digital Deluxe Edition has the full game, digital artbook, digital comic, dynamic theme, Death's Vow armor set, Exile's Guardian Shield, and--for those that pre-order--a Kratos and Atreus physical pin. This version will cost $70 USD/$90 CAD
You can take a look at all the versions, and their contents, in the gallery above or learn more about them here.
Having carved a path through the Greek gods, this new God of War title takes Kratos to a land dominated by Nordic gods and monsters. As the trailer above indicates, it will be a more intimate story about Kratos and his son. The game is also going to be much longer than its predecessors, taking 25-35 hours to beat.
David Ballard, a designer no longer with the studio, alleged in a series of tweets on Saturday that he was terminated in February 2016 after informing the studio and the human resources department of its parent, Sony Interactive Entertainment, of the harassment allegations. He said he was offered $20,000 in severance pay on the condition that he remain silent about his time with the studio. Ballard said he refused.
Naughty Dog, in a statement published on its site today, said “we have not found any evidence of having received allegations from Mr. Ballard that he was harassed in any way at Naughty Dog or Sony Interactive Entertainment.”
Ballard said he was speaking out now “because of the strength I've seen in others coming forward about their experiences in the TV/Film industry,” apparently a reference to the week’s news of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape over decades in his position. Weinstein was fired by the production company he founded and several companies terminated their agreements with it in response.
Ballard’s profile on LinkedIn lists him as an environmental artist for Naughty Dog From 2009 to 2014; following a nine-month stint with Ubisoft he returned to Naughty Dog in 2016 as a multiplayer level designer. He has been credited on Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us.
Ballard said he has been unemployed for the past 17 months. He alleged that he told PlayStation’s human resources department about the sex harassment allegations and was dismissed one day later.
“We have taken and always will take reports of sexual harassment and other workplace grievances very seriously,” Naughty Dog said in its statement. “We value every single person who works at Naughty Dog and Sony interactive Entertainment.”