God of War arrived Friday after two years of extensive hype and five years of grinding development. The game has received overwhelming praise from critics and breathed new resonance into the franchise known for its simplistic approach to gore and hypersexualization, despite its keen combat systems.
While the gaming community has been celebrating the title via reviews and streams, God of War director Cory Barlog waited in the dark as the reception rolled in, choosing to break the seal on the praise awaiting him in a reaction video posted to his YouTube channel. What unfolds is one of the more genuine moments of joy, relief and accomplishment seen from an industry leader.
Complete with his comfort axe, Barlog lets the emotion of discovering the reception of his work rush over him with the simple expression of “holy shit” before falling silent and openly crying what are surely some of the happiest tears he’s shed. The game’s Metacritic score even goes up from 93 to 94 as he’s watching, leading him to thank everyone who worked alongside him. “So much or who we are is on that disc,” said Barlog, adding, “[Review scores] shouldn’t matter, but I’m just so fucking proud … I’m just so lucky to work with the people that I work with.”
Even more heartwarming is the message he wanted to send to his son, Helo, in uploading the reaction video. Barlog wanted to show his son, who was born during Barlog’s work on the franchise, that it is okay to openly show emotion, even if it means crying in front of others. “It has been important to us to let him know that it is OK to be sad, it is OK to cry. There is nothing to hide. I thought I would try to set a good example and show him that papa can cry in front of the world, or at least the 50 people who end up watching this,” wrote Barlog in the video’s description.
Barlog’s video is one of very few moments where those who play the games that he and others produce get an authentic glimpse into the emotional effect that the culmination and appreciation of years of work can have. As God of War built a new, more mature core within itself, so has Barlog’s openness with his own connection with the community he has engaged with from afar for so long.
Do yourself a favor and watch the video below. Those of you enjoying Barlog and company’s creation can find Paste’s God of War tips here.