God of War's Cory Barlog On His Work With Mad Max Creator, Tomb Raider Reboot
Some of you might know that, after his work on the original God of War and God of War II, Cory Barlog left Santa Monica Studio to work on something creatively different.
In an interview with VentureBeat, he recalled those days, and shared what he's done with Mad Max's creator George Miller and Crystal Dynamics on Tomb Raider's 2010 reboot.
"I’d been going for years without a break and shipping these games. I was burned out. I wanted, creatively, to get a different experience," he said.
"I’m not certain how well I knew this or not, but I felt like I didn’t know a lot that I needed to learn, and I wasn’t going to learn it if I was making the same game over and over again."
At the beginning, he asked Sony the permission to bring some other people from the God of War team on another IP he wanted to create. The answer was negative.
So he decided to leave and go in the wild just to learn more about how to make great games with a focus on storytelling.
"I learned way more during that process than I ever expected. Working with George Miller was an education. It was eight college degrees in character development and directing all at once," Barlog said.
"And then working with a bunch of other studios. I did a little stint with Lucas. With Crystal Dynamics I did the Tomb Raider stuff.
That gave me the perspective I needed. I don’t think I would have been able to make this game had I not had that walkabout."
Then, he described his work on Tomb Raider's reboot and how he used that work to build his own "reimagination" of God of War.
"They’d been working on it long before I got there. I came on to direct the second one, actually, but they brought me in really early and said, “We’re having trouble with cinematics. We need someone to come in and direct the cinematics and finish these things off.” I came on and did that," he said.
"That was really good for me, because it gave me a good understanding of, when they were rebooting, what was their process? I ended up using that—this isn’t to say they were wrong. It’s just that the way they approached it, I looked at it and thought, 'I’d approach this very differently.'
They had a specific goal in mind. But it helped me to see, okay, these are the things you would do if this was the goal. What if that wasn’t the goal? What if the goal was not to reboot, but to reimagine, to continue a timeline? Instead of going back and telling an origin, this is a continuation in the chronology of the story."