Sony Santa Monica won’t be creating another God of War game for a long time, as they’ll squarely be focused on Ascension in the near future, especially with the franchise’s first foray into multiplayer. But in the future, God of War will be on PS4, and according to the studio’s lead game designer Mark Simon, they’ll “blow us away” when that time comes.
That’s what he said while speaking to Eurogamer in a recent interview, all while reiterating the firm’s focus on God of War: Ascension:
“We’re going to be able to show a lot more, right?” he said, speaking of PS4. ”If you give us enough time and you give us those specs, we will blow you away. Our team’s pretty good.”
“Well, the hardware itself has 16 times the memory we had on the previous console,” Simon continued. “The hardware takes a lot of the shackles off in terms of visuals.”
To me [the PS4] is imagination land. We haven’t touched it. We’re not even concentrating on it. All we’re concentrating on is we know we release in a week. I imagine we’re going to be on our forums talking to players about the stuff they’re experiencing in multiplayer and trying to address that stuff immediately. We’re going to have half of our team ready to go for that stuff.
We’re going to continue to tune and balance and create new content. We still get to think about and imagine how cool it would be, but we’re still working on this game on the PS3.
Simon went on, adding that although it seems as if they’ve maxed PS3 out (like many said they did back when God of War 3 came out), he realized they’ll never max out the console, because given enough time, they’ll find more ways to tweak better performance out of the aging system.
When we were done with God of War 3 people were saying, ‘they’ve got everything out of the PS3 in terms of how it can look and they’ve squeezed every little bit out of it they possibly could.’ But then, we get to do another project on PS3, and we gave ourselves all these new challenges we’re going to try to do for this project.
So we re-write our renderer to make it a little bit faster. We take our lighting scheme and we change it so we can get more colours out of it. We can make it a little bit faster as well. We change the layering system so the worlds look less polygonal. The artists can actually paint up to three layers in the world.
We added an avatar system which, based on the weapon you wield, will change the animations you have. It gives you three different sets of head, upper chest and lower body, and changes the armour pieces out. We had a crazy system to do that.
We had IK (inverse kinematic) animation blending. And then on top of all that we re-write our game code underneath so it will work across the network. We never had to worry about that before.
God of War 3 didn’t have any of this stuff in it. God of War: Ascension has all this stuff in it. And they said this has tapped out the PS3.
It’s funny. In my head right now I’m like, oh yeah, we totally had to have tapped it out. But I bet you, if you gave us the same hardware, and you gave us another two or three years we would find more stuff to try to extract out of the PS3.
What ends up happening is the hardware is incredible and allows you to do an amazing amount of things, but the team at Sony Santa Monica is so creative and technically gifted that if you give them enough time to do something and just let them go, they will find new things to innovate in and they will find new things to make awesome.
God of War: Ascension comes out on Tuesday, reviews are live here.