When it comes to video games and their lead protagonists, we’re often guilty of pitting one against the other in theoretical battles to the death. But what would happen if one of our favourite heroes came up against a younger version of themself?
That’s the question one God of War fan asked Cory Barlog, the director of last year’s successful Sony reboot. This was Barlog’s answer:
Old Kratos. Without question.
— Cory Barlog 🎮 (@corybarlog) September 13, 2019
So there you have it: our newer, Norse-ier Kratos would wipe the floor with his younger, pantheon purging counterpart. To clarify “Old Kratos” refers to the latest beardy iteration of the beloved PlayStation mascot (which initially left us confused, admittedly).
This is usually the kind of question that simply gets ignored, left for fans to furiously debate over in forums or on social media. Therefore, it’s interesting that Barlog would give such a direct answer and one that may surprise those who still carry a torch for Olympus era Kratos.
Taking a step back to look at the franchise as a whole, some would argue that the original Kratos would have the upper hand. God of War series spoilers here, so if you’ve yet to play through the Ghost of Sparta’s bloody saga, you may want to stop reading.
Last year’s God of War gave us a much more in-depth, nuanced insight into Kratos as a character. Instead of butchering everyone and everything in sight, his duty is to raise his son Atreus. One of the core themes throughout the game is Kratos battling that rage that had him previously dancing the line between deity crushing badass and uncontrollable monster.
Although we see him occasionally channel that fury (both as a narrative and gameplay device) his restraint arguably makes him far less formidable if he were to face his uncaged Grecian self.
Then again, the fact that Kratos can bottle his emotions instead of being enslaved to them suggests that he’s more powerful than ever.
Given how 2018’s instalment ends, we know for a fact that there’s more God of War to come. Will we see Kratos forced to give in to his rage, is this something that’s been passed on to Atreus? We’ll hopefully find out more about what Sony Santa Monica has planned, maybe in time for the PlayStation 5. We can dream, anyway.