Game news God of War: Before Ragnarok on PS5, here’s the mobile game everyone forgot about!
Do you think you know the God of War saga? Did you know there was an episode released in 2007 on mobile only? If this is not the case: we invite you to discover its history here, in this article. Here comes God of War Betrayal, a 2D action game that fits in your pocket.
On the borders of Greek and Norse mythology, there is a third world where Kratos comes to swing his blades… A world that fits in your pocket! Did you know Betrayal of the God of War ? So far this is the only official opus of the series that has landed on mobile. This is also one in the form of a side-scrolling 2D action game. Its release began in June 2007, while God of War 2 – which arrived three months earlier – further cemented the Santa Monica kid as a new benchmark for beating all action. But as Chains of Olympus prepares for the PSP, its close cousin will take the spotlight. Because yes, Betrayal is a very good game. At the time, IGN even called it “a true third chapter” for the God of War franchise.
A huge technical challenge
You still have to imagine the thing! Transfer all the strength and brutality of Kratos with mobiles that are not more powerful than a few hundred kilobytes. In June 2007, the first iPhone had just seen the light of day… So it was a big challenge waiting for Sony Online Entertainment (now Daybreak Game Company). It is then a moderate subsidiary from the famous Japanese company – responsible for the development of cheap experiments with licenses of Sony Pictures. His proximity to PlayStation led him to work on God of War. The goal: to make a game in six months.
Do not panic, at the time, it is more or less the usual time to develop a mobile title. That does not mean that it is a foregone conclusion. “For Betrayal, (the challenge, editor’s note) concerns everything related to the appearance of Kratos” summarized Phil Cohen, producer of the project, in an old interviews. “Whether it’s the animations, the abilities, the combat that everyone wants to see.” In question, the lack of power, which affects all the other elements of God of War Betrayal, whether it is the design of puzzles, traps, interaction with the level or behavior of the enemy.
Fortunately, Sony Online Entertainment is well supported, especially with the presence of the Javaground team at its side! As its name suggests, it knows the Java platform – on which God of War Betrayal was developed – by heart. In the same interview, Phil Cohen explained that the company provided him with “the best set of mobile tools” possible. Of course, without Javaground, Kratos will not be very comfortable on 2007 handsets! But its help is also important to ensure the hundreds of ports, extending the development for about three months. Yes, in the good old days, every phone had a different version. Think about the job.
Versions (of God of War Betrayal, editor’s note) for high-end mobiles are completed in 9 months! We completed the final builds for low-end devices in the next 2 months (…) After that, the porting team ported the game to over 200 handsets within weeks – Phil Cohen, Producer of God of War Betrayal
Javaground is not the only guardian angel overseeing the pregnancy of God of War Betrayal. As you can imagine, Santa Monica is involved. David Jaffe, helmer of the first installment, and Cory Barlog, director of God of War 2 (later from the 2018 reboot) made sure that Sony Online captured the “feel” and “visual style” of the license, said Phil Cohen. Even the beloved Eric Williams, who until recently directed God of War Ragnarok, watched the fights closely. “We also had the opportunity to work with Marianne Krawczyk, author of the series” continued the man.
A real God of War game?
All in all, the story of Betrayal is officially part of Kratos’ adventures! The action of the mobile game takes place between the first two episodes – probably after Ghost of Sparta – as the hero searches for the killer of the goddess Hera’s pet. A heinous act of which he finds himself accused, heats the spirit of the gods. One by one, he must kill Ceryx (one of the two bosses of the adventure), the son of Hermes! What contributed to the explosions of violence in the excellent God of War 3. In this regard, the killer will forever remain untraceable.
It may be the work of the gods, but yes, Betraying the God of War is a feat. The media IGN goes for 9/10, which recognizes the honesty of the project with the Santa Monica child. Same story from GamesRadar (4/5). It’s very simple, the software is beautiful, incredibly well animated compared to the competition, pleasant to manage – and all the markers of the franchise are there: hemoglobin, puzzles, combos, even QTE! All with weapons and items in the first part (Blades of Chaos and Artemis, Gaze of Medusa, etc.). Everything is of course not perfect but it is good enough for God of War mobile. Also note that the game is still available for purchase (here) on old-school phones running Java. Side life, about an hour.