When the embargo was lifted last week for advance reviews of God of War, fans around the world were likely hitting their refresh button on review aggregator sites like OpenCritic and Metacritic to see the critical consensus on Kratos’ latest adventure. But it wasn’t just fans mashing the F5 key – God of War director Cory Barlog was doing the same, and he filmed himself doing so.
In a 5 minute vlog uploaded to his personal YouTube channel, Barlog shared some very personal moments: his first reaction to the near-universal praise for God of War. “I’m really trying to stall as much as possible,” Barlog said. “I am very nervous about seeing this. It is a long, long time coming. Five years of work has gone into this game. This moment means … a lot.”
Barlog then clicked through Metacritic to see that the game he and his team at Sony Santa Monica had worked so hard to bring to life, had earned a Metascore of 93. You can see the sense of relief wash over him, followed by his face in his hands as he is brought to tears. “Ninety-three. Ninety-three Metacritic. Ninety-four! It just changed,” Barlog said. “It shouldn’t matter, but I’m just so fucking proud.”
In the description for the video on YouTube, Barlog said he debated with himself whether he should release it at all. That's understandable as it’s a moment of vulnerability that most people would keep private. “But then I thought of what my son, Helo, is going through right now,” wrote Barlog. “He doesn’t want us to be around when he is sad — opting to run in another room and yell at us if we try to come in.”
“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.” The video went life 14 hours ago, and at the time of this writing over 95,000 people have watched it.
God of War now has a Metascore of 95 as aggregated by Metacritic from 94 reviews. That makes it one of the best-reviewed games of all time on that aggregation site, joining the hallowed company of Red Dead Redemption, Halo 2 and The Last of Us.