In God of War Ragnarok, while it was a staple of God of War, players shouldn't expect to hear Kratos call Atreus 'boy'.
Speaking to us about God of War Ragnarok, director Eric Williams talked about the relationship between Kratos and Atreus, and how that has changed in the time between the two games, meaning Kratos won't say the word he became most known for. Willaims explains: "He calls him Atreus."
"It's that idea that we really wanted it to be this feeling of like 'oh, I can find a way into this story, whether I'm a parent or a child, or I'm somewhere in between, or I remember both sides of it'. There's a way in for everyone."
That relationship has matured past where it was in God of War along with Atreus, who has become a freer thinker as he's gotten older. Kratos and Mimir now have to contend which his burgeoning individualism, as Willams explains: "The last game you had Atreus just always being told what to do by adults. Anybody asks a question and they never give him an answer. But we wanted to be a lot more grey."
"Now we're getting into Atreus being like, "Well, I don't think it's like that". And [Kratos and Mimir] are like, "Oh, are you being sassy? Or should we actually have a real conversation about this?"
Kratos and Atreus' relationship is at the heart of the God of War revival, and it was a complex dynamic that both characters worked through in the first game. With major revelations about Atreus' origins and identity coming at the end of the last game, God of War Ragnarok will undoubtedly have them contending with each other once again.
Williams concluded with: "We really took the idea that it takes a village because Kratos can't answer a lot of the questions that are being asked of him... I love those parts that Kratos struggles with because he can't beat them up."
Earlier this year, fans noted that Atreus was already hinting that the 'dad of boy' meme might be dead, as a lore book retelling the events of the first game through the archer's eyes suggested the moniker was no more. Elsewhere in our conversation with Williams, he talked us through how sequels aren't always a major step up, and how Sony Santa Monica wants to stand toe-to-toe with Naughty Dog on accessibility.
Want to know more? We talk with God of War Raganrok's game director about the importance of the opening hours - which we also got to see in our God of War preview.