God of War Creator Says They Could Never Compete in the Open World Genre with Ubisoft or Rockstar

Cory Barlog, Game Director of God of War, said it wouldn't be possible for them to compete in the open world genre with Ubisoft or Rockstar. Those developers throw thousands of people at their massive projects like Assassin's Creed and Red Dead Redemption 2; the cost of entry and expectation level are just too high.

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ccgr12d ago

Best stick with what you're good at

Sitdown12d ago

You don't know what you are good at until you try. For all we know, they could be great at it.

DarXyde12d ago

Case in point, Guerrilla Games.

I think Horizon is far better than Killzone.

PoopsMcGee12d ago

I'm a big fan of the Killzone series but, I agree, Horizon outclassed them.

I still would love a new Killzone tho...

Livingthedream12d ago

I always thought the game would have been better with actual dinosaurs, was still a good game just think they could have pulled off some nice dinosaurs.

RememberThe35712d ago

Damn it, KZ2 was so damn good and so many people trashed it. I agree that Horizon is a class above KZ but man if they could take KZ to the level of Horizon they'd have something special.

UltraNova12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

No one, currently, can compete with Rockstar's development assets(thousands of people and unlimited budget). To try and go up against a game as massive like RDR2 is a fool's errand. But the beauty of it is that no one has too...let R* pump out games like that and others on smaller more impactful games like GOW. Thing's are balanced if you like and competition is always better when it comes in multiple levels.

UCForce12d ago

@Livingthedream Not big fan of sci fi, hud ?

bouzebbal12d ago

it is my own opinion but i think open world games are so boring.. i prefer a highly detailed semi-open world with great gameplay.
i played all GTAs but never finished a single one.. I am a hardcore zelda fan, and the last one killed me by its repetitiveness and nothing to do (other than crap tasks), so i haven't finished that one either. I had to stop on the way to Ganon.

pinkcrocodile7511d ago

It's people like @Sitdown with throw away comments like that, that start wars.

The creator made a statement and he'd know what he would be comfortable with, wouldn't he!

anonymousfan11d ago

I'm glad Guerilla Games didn't stick to linear FPS

Sitdown11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

It's comments like yours that keeps an industry stagnant. There are plenty people who are comfortable at their jobs, and often times it comes at the expense of greater dreams. Exactly what kind of war would my comment start? Oh and do us a favor, trying reading his comments first.

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raWfodog12d ago

Yep, its best to play to your strengths. But they shouldn't completely rule it out. Maybe explore it with a new IP.

Potnoodle99912d ago

Im happy they choose to stick to what they are good at...making a (strong contender for) game of the generation 👍

I didn’t know it before playing god of war, but I much prefer playing this kind of more focused open world. It’s got the polish of a linear story driven game but the open exploration that we love from open world games. To be honest, this is what I expect a lot of open world games would turn out like if they trimmed the fat a lot and went with the main side quests. Even horizon (a game I absolutely adore btw, one of the best games of the gen again) had kind of lacking side quests if you compare.

Open world side quests in general need an overhaul. Playing Spider-Man, the main story was absolutely brilliant, but most of the side content was so poor it was a complete slog to get through, the only good part about some of it was that it was more of an excuse to swing around New York City. It was a great game but like I said, the fat needs to be trimmed in these games. Very few games value my time anymore. God of war was one of them.

Time is valuable to people over a certain age and I really wish developers would stop making me travel through 100 side quests just so I can find the few diamonds in the rough. But hey ho. Ridiculously huge Open world games are the trend lately.

P.s off topic I am currently playing divinity original sin 2 on ps4. Didn’t think I’d like it but holy shit anyone that likes more tactical games and rpgs needs to try it out. Although it does take a LOT of time, it’s so worth it due to the sheer amount of depth and detail to it! It’s 10/10 for me so far. Definitely not for everyone though. Anyway essay over haha

sprinterboy12d ago

"I didn’t know it before playing god of war, but I much prefer playing this kind of more focused open world. It’s got the polish of a linear story driven game but the open exploration that we love from open world games"

Exactly, perfectly put.

rainslacker12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

I disagree with you on the side quests for Horizon. Some of them were so well integrated into the story line, that they actually felt like part of the narrative. There were two big one's. One that spanned almost the whole game, and another which spanned about half of the 2nd half of the narrative. The way they were set up though, it made it seem like that was the proper way to go. Some of the other stuff was more typical, but at least it served the purpose of building the lore. That's something i feel a lot of open world games fail at, as the end result from those quests doesn't often offer up anything, or give any kind of reward to make it worthwhile. It's just busy work to add fluff to the overall story. Horizon is probably the first open world game that made me want to explore all that side stuff to learn more about the world, and find how things came to be. Some of it came together when the Zero Dawn reveal came, along with Aloy's revelations, other things just kind of ended with nothing tangible to take from it other than some knowledge of the world and it's people.

I somewhat agree on Spider-Man. Some were OK, like bases or street crime. The collection stuff(backpacks, pictures, etc) were too generic and way too many, although it wasn't so bad if you just did them as you came across them. The side character side quests like Black Cat and that one trying to get viewers(can't remember the name), were not all that great...although Black Cat gave some back story which required DLC to complete, and did so in a rather unspectacular way. I'd go into detail, but that's kind of a spoiler thing.

Christopher12d ago

I like both, TBH. I enjoyed Odyssey more than GoW, but I greatly enjoyed both for what they did with open/hub-styled worlds and approaches. I think both teams are moving towards the best of their style of games, even with Ubisoft stealing some concepts from Mordor games that were good as well.

starchild12d ago

@ Christopher

I agree, there's room for both kinds of games. I, too, love God of War and AC Odyssey. They were both incredibly good experiences for me. I wouldn't want either approach to go away. Variety is the spice of life.

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Michiel198912d ago

I do think they at some point in development considered making it open world and probably put some time into that. Cant complain with the result either way ^^

deafdani12d ago

If everyone thought like that, we wouldn't have gotten Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Or Zelda BOTW for that matter.

ab681012d ago

But because they do think like that we ended up getting the masterpiece that was god of war.

rainslacker12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

I'm sure they could compete, but I don't see the need for it. If we're talking about GOW specifically, I don't see any real advantage to making it a huge open world like you see in R* or Ubi games. GOW has always kind of had a sense of emptyness to it. While there were often others around, Kratos usually travelled alone, and given his character, he was alone. Adding in Altreus still had that same feel, although it was on more than one level this time.

With the Norse stuff, it seems like the mythology of the world is dead to the people of the world it exists in. There are no, or very few people left anymore. Even most of the side quests were given by spirits. Whether this is by design, or because they just didn't want to get into making towns or whatnot, I couldn't say, but it felt like a GOW game in that sense. What open world they did have could be filled up with monsters and stuff to do, but I think it would just seem like busy work, and that would be counter to his character of being driven and goal focused. Even in the reboot, he repeatedly said the only reason to go off the beaten path was to become stronger.

That said, there is absolutely nothing that says everything has to be open world of that scale, and while I can muddle my way through those games, most of them do get boring at some point.

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KaiPow12d ago

Good. Their small scale open world felt so much more alive because everything felt so connected, not like it's a bunch of random encounters like certain AAA open worlds pad themselves with.

Alexious12d ago

To be honest, I wouldn't say it felt more alive. The world still felt like there were barely any living people except for the two NPC dwarves.

I do agree not every game needs to a have a massive open world, though.

Teflon0212d ago

Saying the world feels alive doesn't mean literally living things in the world lol

ShaunCameron12d ago

Case in point: The Evil Within 2. The open world wasn't needed.

rainslacker12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

I felt the world felt kind of dead. Not to say it was barren, as there were certainly things there to keep it interesting, but it seemed designed like past GOW games, where Kratos is pretty much alone. Even though he had a companion this time, they were alone in the world, and it made that connection between the two more stark.

I actually felt like the world itself was more like it was on the tail end of Norse mythology, where the people were dying out, and most have moved on. That theme played into the overall story of the eventual Ragnarok, where the world is destroyed by God's fighting to remain relevant. It's a contrast to the original GOW, where the Gods were part of everyone's life. A lot of the difference there though was because Kratos was a Spartan, and it wouldn't make sense for him to be around when the Greek people had moved on from their Gods.

Jackhass12d ago

I think GoW got it just right in terms of the size of the world.

81BX12d ago

Agreed. However it lacked in enemy variation. Excellent game overall

cell98912d ago

I boss variation was really the only small hiccup i got from the whole experience. I did like how all the Valkyries were treated in a unique way.

Immorals12d ago

Enemy variation and combat. Its all pretty samey

81BX12d ago

The valkyries were brutal, lol. Just kept me coming back for more
I was really impressed by the head dialogue. I never heard the same thing twice

ClayRules201212d ago

Yeah, God of War definitely got it right.

rainslacker12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

I felt the world was plenty big. It had about as many locations to visit as any big open world game. The only difference is is you didn't have to spend a lot of time traveling to them. There was a lot more to the world than just a big lake, and a few other realms one could visit, and a lot of places could be revisited to access new places as you progressed in the game.

Bigger isn't always better. RDR2 has a huge map. But there really isn't that much to do in 90% of it until an NPC quest giver shows up, which then forces you into a linear section which you can't go exploring anyways. More often than not, you're just running back and forth between camp and quest destinations to really do anything beyond hunting/fishing. Maybe running around to find the NPC's. But ultimately, you just keep seeing the same parts over and over again. It's a beautiful world, and does feel alive, but I wouldn't say the content within is well placed.

I've run off the beaten path and explored new areas in the game before they were really meant to be narrative wise, and all you really do is run around, maybe kill some game, possibly get ambushed by a enemy, or potentially come across a house you can enter and rob. The actual interesting content is spread out so much, it can be easy to miss, and the large open world just pads about the time it takes to do anything.

GOW made it more fun to move around and explore. You could go places and not spend ten minutes to find out there was nothing there, or you couldn't get into an area. The lore narrative of the talking head was great to keep it interesting with the stories....which is something I also found RDR2 lacking in, since it was forced onto you while riding to quest objectives.

Chris_Wray12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

I can believe that, but there's something to be said for a world populated with actual content than copy-pasted rubbish like That Ubisoft Game, because they are all That Ubisoft Game. RDR2, well, I wouldn't want to run a company which damages peoples lives the same way that Rockstar did, despite it being a fantastic game.

The best open world game is still Horizon: Zero Dawn though.

Movefasta199312d ago (Edited 12d ago )

Only on n4g lmao horizon isn't better than TW3, Botw or RDR2. I know you fanboys live by sales and metacritic, so i'll use that against you .
AND I wouldn't want to run a company which damages peoples lives the same way that Rockstar did - cry me a river.

S2Killinit12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

Horizon was the join game of the year with breathe of the wild. I have both games and they are both great, Horizon is at the same level if not better than Botw. Not that they are comparable, but the fanboy comment is yours not his.

Movefasta199312d ago (Edited 12d ago )

horizon was trashed on by botw, better game ,better reviews and sales. In every way it is better except story lol botw is shallwo in that regard but fun factor horzion is plastic in comparison and no amound of visuals can help it. Killzone 2 was the last good game by them

Nyxus12d ago

In my opinion Horizon was better that BotW, yes. You know what an opinion is, right?

Razzer12d ago

BoTW was not a good open world game, imo. I enjoyed HZD a heck of a lot more. But.....opinions...

Kribwalker12d ago


saying HZD was the joint game of the year is one of the dumbest comments i’ve read. GOW and RDR2 are much closer to being joint games of the year as there are more people voting for both of those games. BotW and Super Mario Odyssey would be closer to joint games of the year, except that wasn’t even the case either as BOTW walked away with it last year. Head and shoulders above

ninsigma12d ago

Horizon is definitely better than BOTW and RDR2. Against Witcher there are some things it does better but Witcher does some things better than Horizon too.

ThatGuyDart12d ago

Horizon Zero Dawn is better than The Witcher 3 only in gameplay, everything else Witcher wins. Ask any Witcher fanboy and they will tell you the gameplay was always the Achilles heel of that franchise.

starchild12d ago

It's all a matter of opinion. For me it goes like this: The Witcher 3 > Red Dead Redemption 2 > AC Odyssey > AC Origins > Horizon Zero Dawn > Far Cry 5

I didn't get to play enough of Zelda Breath of the Wild to make a precise judgement about the whole game. I do know it was a really good game though.

I'm surely forgetting some other notable open world games.

UCForce12d ago (Edited 12d ago )

You, @Kribwalker,@starchild, @goldwyncq,@sander9702,@sitdow n, @king-noctics, @zefros Those games franchise you guys mention are juggernaut. What I called Horizon Zero Dawn is a new champion. God of War 2018 is a redemption of legendary.

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sander970212d ago (Edited 12d ago )

"The best open world game is still Horizon: Zero Dawn though."

It's barely good let alone the best open world game ever made, KC:D is the best open world game ever made IMO and wtf are you talking about Rockstar ruining lives?

Dark_Knightmare212d ago

Barely good lmao gtho. I’m not saying it’s the best open world this gen I would say most unique but it’s easily one of the best this gen which sales,metacritic score and gamer response backs up

opc12d ago

I had to Google KC:D to even know what you were talking about.

Travis370812d ago

Barely good?? Lmao you kids dont know a good game even if it hits you.

goldwyncq12d ago

Red Dead Redemption 2's open world shits on HZD's open world.

And just lol at Rockstar damaging people's lives.

Sitdown12d ago

How much stock do you have in Sony?

Test24712d ago

It is under 90% metacritic there are other better games. Amazing graphics but let down by repitition and copy and pasting Ubisoft template.

Immorals12d ago

I did not like HZD at all, and I love open world games, especially RPGs. I didn't play the dlc, but the base game was so lifeless, repetitive and had a meh story. Really can't get the fuss about it other than the stunning graphics

Hardiman12d ago

The game world literally had animals, tribes and machine creatures all over the game world! The narrative was one of the best parts and really the only time I took the time to read all data logs and watch all holo tapes because I had to know what happened. I'd say GG killed it, what with that being their first open world game. The combat and strategy that goes into taking down the bigger machines was pretty great too. The only thing you said I agree with is it was beautiful.

I'd try to debate with you more but I can't with you saying you can't see what all the fuss is about other than stunning graphics. I have a sneaking suspicion if games like this were multi plat more people would understand why they are so great!

kayoss12d ago

@Immorals With a comment like that, makes me think you didnt actually play the game. Horizon was not repetitive at all. All the small mission were different. R2D2 and even BotW have very repetitive missions. Especially BOTW, find this find that to make a weapon, only for it to break after a handful of uses. WTF??

ClayRules201212d ago (Edited 12d ago )

While I disagree agree with you on HZD still being the best open world game, it’s an open world game that oozes beauty (visually speaking) to the likes I still don’t think have been matched, although RDR2 for example is a technical marvel in its own right.

Horizon’s world does feel alive to me, but once a different way, especially with the robo dinosaurs lurking around doing their own thing, and I love the game, and believe it’s a masterpiece looking at the whole package of what the game offers. Knowing it’s Guerrilla Games first attempt at open world amazes me with how well they did across the board. It still deserves all the praise it got back than and still now.

But for me, Rockstar’s passion & love for open world games, and their desire to craft the most amazing open worlds that raise the bar across the board (minus the controls) is something on a completely different level “in my opinion”

But I’m so glad you were so amazed with HZD. Absolutely love that game.

opc12d ago

What Ubisoft game? The newest AC is pretty amazing

starchild12d ago

Agreed. Odyssey is my third favorite open world game of all time. Not far behind The Witcher 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

King_Noctis12d ago

“The best open world game is still Horizon: Zero Dawn though“

Horizon is a great game, but the best? If it is then it would have won 2017 GOTY.

Zefros12d ago

So personal opinions don't count?

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bluefox75512d ago

I mean, I don't want them to, but I'm sure they could do a hell of a lot better than Ubisoft. Nice that they're being humble though.

opc12d ago

I feel like everyone bashing Ubisoft hasn't actually played an Ubisoft game since 2012. The last AC game is fantastic and plays more like the The Witcher 3 than old AC games. You can stumble upon quests, finish them, and then go talk to the quest giver for the first time, and there will be a cinematic spoken dialogue change because you completed the quest. This is for every quest in the game.

MrVux00012d ago

"and plays more like the The Witcher 3"
The Witcher 3 did good things for the open-world genre...gameplay wasn't one of those things.

opc12d ago

AC:O took The Witcher 3's entire dialogue system and then it added a decent combat system on top of it.

Hardiman12d ago

I played Origins and I'm half way through Odyssey. They are fun no doubt but I wouldn't go as far as amazing. I like the newer takes on the AC series but Origins was better because it had more time.

starchild12d ago


Nah, the Witcher 3's gameplay was good. I enjoyed playing it. There's no way it would have received so many awards and high scores if it had bad or mediocre gameplay. It's a game for hell sake--gameplay is numero uno. No game is going to be that highly rated and beloved simply for having a good narrative and pretty graphics.

The problem was, a lot of people were trying to compare it to Bloodborne at the time (and some were just butthurt that The Witcher 3 was getting more attention that year) and expecting the combat to have that kind of depth, which is completely bogus because they are very different kinds of games.

At the time The Witcher 3 came out there had never been a massive open world RPG with combat that good. It was solid and enjoyable for me, even as someone who has played through games like Nioh and the Dark Souls series.

@ opc

Yeah, I think AC Odyssey is pretty brilliant. Up there as one of the best open world games I've played.

MrVux00012d ago


"here's no way it would have received so many awards and high scores if it had bad or mediocre gameplay."
just like RDR 2 would did not receive so many awards and high scores...give me a break.

To this day even the most people (myself included) that praised both games, criticized both games for clunky/mediocre gameplay.

"simply for having a good narrative and pretty graphics. "

Funny cuz most people praised the very same games for those two elements as the main factor for their success...don't believe me?

"At the time The Witcher 3 came out there had never been a massive open world RPG with combat that good."

Well that explains your comment lol

starchild11d ago

@ MrVux000

Nope, go back and read the reviews. The majority of them praised the game regarding multiple aspects of its design, including gameplay. The reviews do not read as "oh it has sh*t gameplay, but the story and pretty visuals make up for it". No gamer thinks like that.

Red Dead Redemption 2 deserves its scores too. The gameplay is great. Gameplay is everything you actively do in a game. Narrative and staring at nice graphics are passive. They can enhance one's experience with a game, but they're not the main reason most people play games. I've seen plenty of games with good narratives or good visuals get mediocre reviews, because those things aren't enough on their own. The games that receive the highest scores earn them by engaging gamers on all the main pillars of their game design.