God of War Leviathan Ax Explained by Lead Gameplay Designer

The Leviathan ax in the new God of War is a fairly big departure from the twin blades that we’re all used to Kratos carrying. It fits better with both the setting of Nordic mythology, and the more grounded and gritty tone of the game. The lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, sat down with Game Informer to talk more about the ax and how it will affect gameplay in the new God of War.

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God of War Leviathan Ax Explained by Lead Gameplay Designer
God of War Leviathan Ax Explained by Lead Gameplay Designer

The new God of War is definitely shaping up to be quite a different beast from its predecessors. Among the many changes is the Leviathan ax, which will be replacing the Blades of Chaos. According to a Game Informer interview with lead gameplay designer Jason McDonald, the switch to the ax will impact the combat in God of War, which will be slightly slower, more grounded, and tactical than before.

First off, a quick backstory of the Leviathan ax. It ties into Norse mythology through its makers, dwarves Brokkr and Sindre. They are blacksmiths of legend. Among their many mythical creations is Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. This segues us into one of the major new mechanics of the Leviathan ax. You can throw it to pin enemies down, and call it back to your hand, much like Thor can call Mjölnir. With your hands free, you can then dish out some punishment with your bare fists. You can also string throwing the ax and calling it back into some pretty brutal combos. The Leviathan also appears to have elemental properties of ice. It can also deal AOE damage to hurt enemies from a distance without throwing the ax.

The gameplay bits showed during the interview definitely portray the combat as a little slower than before, but equally brutal and smooth. The closer camera angle does restrict you when it comes to enemies being behind you. Fortunately, there are ways to take care of that. Atreus has your back, and you can incapacitate enemies to keep them down for a while. Another interesting departure from the previous games is the lack of quicktime events. Instead, you’ll get a button prompt to perform a devastating move. It’s much less flashy and more gruesome. The Leviathan ax definitely seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun to play with. I just wish they gave it a different name connected to Norse mythology, but oh well.

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A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.