God of War III: Q&A with Stig Asmussen

God of War III director Stig Asmussen answers questions on sex, Sixaxis, and online support in GOWIII.

God of War III director Stig Asmussen answers questions on sex, Sixaxis, and online support in GOWIII.

To say that God of War III looked impressive its its debut last week would be an understatement. But God of War III's director Stig Asmussen calls the current showing a mere "snapshot" of the final game and promises that God of War III will be "even better months from now." We sat down with the new director and God of War visionary to learn new secrets about Kratos's epic battle against the Greek gods.

Will the sexy mini-games return for God of War 3? Yes, that is my first question. [laughter]

Stig Asmussen: It's definitely something we're looking at. The sex mini-games are a double-edged sword: we're damned if we do, we're damned if we don't. If we do include a sex mini-game and don't add anything new to it, then people will say it's getting old. If we don't include the sex mini-game, then the fans will be in an uproar. We're trying to come up with a clever new way of advancing it. If it works, and it plays into the experience, then we'll do it. If it doesn't work, I have no problem saying "this is turning into a gimmick" and putting those resources somewhere else.

Animation was always a strong suit in God of War, but Kratos's movements and attacks look simply stunning in God of War 3. Are you using motion-capture for the character animations?

It's all done by hand. We're using some motion capture for the camerawork, and we're also looking at motion capture for certain cinematics - one of our animators would work on top of that, though. Anything that's in-game, that's part of the fight or the controls, is 100% animated by hand.

What's the advantage of doing animation by hand, as in God of War 3, as opposed to motion-captured animation?

If you look at Killzone 2, the animations are f***ing amazing. The choice they made is to do almost 100% motion capture animations, so the characters have these realistic, heavy, human body movements. That gives you a certain look. For God of War 3's look, we're going for extreme power...so Kratos will lock his arm back [cocks his arm back as if preparing for a punch] and hold it longer than a normal person would. You can't get that look easily with motion capture.

Any chance for online integration in God of War 3? We've heard rumors of online cooperative play for years...

God of War 3 is a solo game. That's the way the game is meant to be played. It's very interesting...you can see how there are some cool cooperative play possibilities in [a God of War game], but then you're tinkering with something that's already so fun and solid. It doesn't need that tinkering.

But we're looking at different ways of integrating into the PlayStation Network with God of War 3. Possibly leaderboards, or downloadable things, and we'll be doing Trophies. Home is also an interesting thing, but I don't know where we stand on that right now.

What about Sixaxis support? Will there be any motion-controlled special movies?

If it feels right, then we'll do it. For the moment, we've been spending our time getting the core game working without it, so we haven't started integrated Sixaxis controls yet. But there's been a ton of discussion about it, and I think there's room for it in God of War 3. I think Folklore did a fantastic job with Sixaxis motion controls, and some of the moves were very relevant. How would Kratos rip somebody's head off with Sixaxis? Maybe we'll look at doing things like that. And how does Sixaxis work with the other buttons? We've got these cool analog triggers that are more sensitive than they've ever been, so there's room there.

During the gameplay footage we watched, it looked like Kratos was preparing to attack a Titan...does Kratos fight the Titans in addition to the Gods?

You're the first person to ask that question! I would say, take that for what it's worth. I won't comment either way, but take it for what it's worth [laughs]!

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