Cory Barlog on stepping back from directing God of War Ragnarok: "His take is his take"

God of War Ragnarok
(Image credit: PlayStation)

Cory Barlog has opened up on what it's like stepping back from his previous role as creative director on God of War: Ragnarok.

God of War: Ragnarok is getting a major change behind the scenes with Eric Williams taking over as creative director, and, in an interview with GamesRadar+, former lead Barlog tells us it's a "weird, ethereal 'stepping outside of yourself concept'". 

He says: "I'm sort of on the sidelines. I'm like Burgess Meredith [Rocky Balboa's trainer], just sitting there outside of the ring telling him 'No pain, Rock, no pain,' not really helping that much."

Joking aside, he continues: "It is definitely that weird, ethereal 'stepping outside of yourself concept' where you're challenged on a daily basis to know when to take your hands off the wheel, right? To be able to be there – to be the sounding board – to set a few of the expectations and say 'these are important, let's make sure we hit these,' but to really try to place yourself in their shoes. As a director, you don't want somebody else telling you this is how I would do it."

Barlog and Williams chat with GamesRadar+

Williams is no stranger to the God of War series - in fact, he's worked on every God of War game - and that trust seems is evident from Barlog saying: "His take is his take and his take is influenced by his relationship with the team and their take on everything. So that is kind of this amalgam – this mesh – of every single thing, and it's unique to those moments in time."

Our interview with Barlog and Williams follows last week's God of War Ragnarok name reveal trailer. That gave us our biggest look yet at the follow-up to the 2018 action classic, with new characters - including a beefy Thor design - and locations ending the PlayStation Showcase. While there's no release date yet for the game, we do know that God of War Ragnarok will also be landing on PS4 as well as PS5 when it eventually brings the cataclysmic Norse event to our consoles. 

For more on what games are heading to PlayStation, check out our upcoming PS5 games list.

Ben Tyrer

Hello, I'm GamesRadar's News Editor. I've been working in the games industry since 2013, after graduating from Bournemouth University with a degree in multimedia journalism. Since then I've worked for Official PlayStation Magazine as a staff writer and games editor, as well as writing for Official Xbox Magazine, Edge, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, PC Games N, and more. When I'm not moaning about being beaten on FIFA and Warzone, I'm writing news, features, and reviews for this wonderful site.