God of War Developers Have "Pulled Back" from Violence Against Women
By George Denison on July 20th, 2012 (30 comments)
David Hewett, the design manager of Sony Santa Monica, has explained in an interview with IGN that the development team will be thinking a little more carefully about how violence is depicted in God of War: Ascension.
Responding to the criticisms of the game's violent trailer revealed at E3, he said:
There are some things we’ve pulled back from. I think where this has been an issue is with violence against women -- 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.
It's not just the issue of violence against women, but violence in general, that is being more carefully considered by the team. Hewett explained that Kratos is "seeking revenge and he’s after his ultimate objective and he will tear through enemies -- rip them in half -- as quickly as he can. But there’s not a lot of flourishes, there’s not any kind of enjoying the moment. There’s nothing about this that he’s enjoying."
Violence against women in videogames has been a hot topic over the last few months, with the controversial (and stupid) nun bludgeoning trailer for Hitman: Absolution and the furore over a supposed "rape" scene in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot being prime examples. I think that's a good thing, and that the more discussion that occurs as a result of these outrages, the better the chance we have of shining a light on some of the murkier, more misogynist corners of the gaming world which have previously gone unchecked.
It might be a tricky task for God of War: Ascension to pull back from its violent overtones, especially since it's heavily inspired by Greek mythology which was itself steeped in violence and misogyny. There is one reassuring fact we can glean from the interview with Hewett, though: Kratos will still be a Mr Grumpy Pants.
God of War: Ascension's current release date is March 12th 2013.
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