One of the first things you’ll notice in the new God of War is just how good that new Leviathan Axe feels when you’re flinging it at cackling revenants. Now, a God of War insider is ready to spill some tea on creating the all-important ‘axe recall’ mechanic.
“Despite how much work it took, this mechanic might be the one I’m most proud of in the game,” says Vince Nappali, lead systems designer. “Of course we took some inspiration from a certain Marvel character… but from a gameplay standpoint, I feel like it really did open a lot of doors we weren’t expecting.”
We’ve spoken to Nappali and the combat team in the past about making the axe feel right, but Nappali goes into way more depth in this personal blog post.
“One of the more subtle little mechanics (that was notorious for breaking numerous times during development) is a wiggle the axe does before it rips itself out of an enemy or wall,” he explains.
“We wanted the axe to feel like it was really wedged into the surface. In order to do that we created a programmatic wiggle that happens for the first 0.1 seconds before beginning its return flight. It used to be much longer, but we started getting complaints that the axe felt like it was taking too long to come back.”
Nappali also explains how the team had to keep tweaking the animation, controller rumble, and sound to make sure that nothing felt strange, slow, or straight-up broken. If you haven’t started God of War yet, just know that you spend a lot of time throwing the axe – and thanks to Nappali and his team, it never gets old.
For more ways to get the most from the game, check out our comprehensive God of War guide.