God of War: How Sound Design Made the Game More Immersive
By TOI Staff April 28, 2023 Update on : April 28, 2023
God of War is a video game franchise that debuted in 2005. The franchise has a cult fanbase and is renowned for its incredible graphics, plot, and sound design. The sound design in God of War has always distinguished it from other games in the genre. Many of the sounds were created by squishing melons, slapping wood, and using toilet plungers, which is a fascinating tidbit about the sound design.
God of War’s noises are among the most distinctive in the game industry. When Kratos swings his axe, for example, the sound it generates is not characteristic of the metal. Instead, it sounds like a cross between metal and wood. This sound was created by recording a sword striking a piece of wood and then overlaying it with a metal sound.
The sound of Kratos’ footfall is another example of innovative sound design in God of War. Most games use a simple sound effect to simulate footsteps. The sound of Kratos’ footsteps in God of War, on the other hand, was made by capturing the sound of someone walking on a variety of surfaces, including gravel, sand, and grass. To generate a more realistic sound, the noises were layered on top of one other.
How are these sounds made?
The God of War sound design team, on the other hand, took a highly hands-on approach. They would use everyday materials to provide unique sounds for the game. The sound of Kratos’ axe striking an enemy’s shield, for example, was made by recording the sound of a sledgehammer striking a metal garbage can. The sound of Kratos’ axe striking a tree was made by recording a machete striking a log. Kratos’ footsteps were made by recording the sound of someone walking on various surfaces.
The attention to detail is what distinguishes God of War’s sound design. The sound design team aimed for the game’s noises to be as authentic as possible. They didn’t want the sounds to come across as a last-minute addition. Every sound in the game was meticulously designed to correspond with the action on the screen.
The use of everyday objects to generate sounds is not a novel practice in the field of sound design. In truth, it’s a technique that’s been around for a long time. What distinguishes God of War’s sound design is the innovation that went into producing the sounds. Using a toilet plunger to simulate an enemy being dragged into a vortex is not what you’d expect from a game like God of War. But it works and contributes to the overall gaming experience.
Will this technique be used more in the future? It’s difficult to say. It is becoming easier to make realistic sounds using digital techniques as technology develops. However, the hands-on approach to sound design will always have a role. There’s something remarkable about using ordinary objects to make unusual sounds. It gives the game a more personal touch and can make the sound design feel more authentic.
In God of War, the usage of everyday objects to make sounds is not confined to sound effects. The soundtrack for the game is equally distinctive. Bear McCreary, famed for his work on shows such as Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead, wrote the music. McCreary employed a range of instruments from throughout the world for God of War, including the Hardanger fiddle, a Norwegian instrument with a particular tone. He also employed the sound of a bullroarer, an old device that when spun around produces a low-pitched humming sound.
The sound design team also used their inventiveness to generate enemy sounds. For example, the sound of a Draugr, a type of opponent in the game, was generated by first recording a person snarling and then overlaying it with a bear growling. Another monster in the game, the Hel-Walker, was created by recording the sound of a person wailing and then altering the sound to make it sound otherworldly.
Overall, God of War’s sound design is a testament to the sound team’s innovation and ingenuity. Their hands-on approach to sound creation has resulted in some of the gaming industry’s most unique and unforgettable sounds. While technology continues to improve and change the way video game sounds are made, it is evident that the personal touch and attention to detail that went into God of War’s sound design will always be appreciated by gamers and sound fans alike. The sound design of God of War distinguishes it from other games in the genre. The utilization of everyday objects to produce distinctive sounds gives the game a more personal touch and helps the sound design feel more authentic. The attention to detail is what distinguishes God of War’s sound design. Every sound in the game was meticulously designed to correspond with the action on the screen. It remains to be seen whether or not this technique will be adopted in the future, but it is evident that the hands-on approach to sound creation will always have a role in the game business.