Backed by a live orchestra during its E3 keynote presentation Monday night, Sony announced the next entry in its God of War series for the PlayStation 4, promising “a new beginning” for series star Kratos.
Sony has revealed few details regarding the upcoming project, which is simply titled God of War, but significant shifts in both storyline and gameplay suggest that the game is a reboot for Sony’s long-running action franchise.
Live gameplay showcased during Monday’s event featured what appeared to be an older Kratos exploring the wilderness with his young son. The pair take down wild animals and mythical beasts throughout, indicating that gameplay focuses on cooperation between the two characters.
Kratos’ relationship with his son is significant, as series lore revealed that Kratos unknowingly killed his family during the events leading up to the original God of War, suggesting that Sony may be exploring an alternate narrative path for its conflicted protagonist. Currently, the publisher has not confirmed whether the upcoming God of War is a prequel, reboot, or traditional sequel.
Notably, the new God of War also abandons the series’ traditional fixed-camera perspective, instead offering players a third-person view of the on-screen action. Taking on the role of Kratos, players face enemies in melee-focused combat encounters that end in violent flourishes. Little gore was featured during tonight’s gameplay demonstration, however, suggesting that bloodshed may be less prominent in God of War than in previous games.
Long a staple of Sony’s PlayStation family of consoles, the God of War series made its PlayStation 4 debut in 2015 with the launch of God of War III Remastered. The upcoming God of War will follow up on Sony’s last published entry in the series, 2013’s God of War: Ascension.
A release date for Sony’s God of War is not yet known.