God of War director Cory Barlog has been working over the past half-decade to deliver a fresh and revitalized take on one of gaming’s most beloved properties after thirteen years of God of War’s dominance on sales charts and critical lists. One-upping yourself time and time again must be daunting for a mostly-anonymous team that bears the negativity of a game that may not live up to the lofty standards of its predecessors, so Balrog decided to record his reaction to the Metacritic reviews.
His reasoning? He wanted to capture the raw moment for his son, as he explained in the video’s caption:
So, I thought a lot about whether or not to upload but then I thought of what my son, Helo, is going through right now. 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. :) This is for you, Helo. Papa loves you.
Rather than get hit with negative news, Balrog becomes overwhelmed at the universal praise his instant-classic of a game is getting. He opens the Metacritic page to see “93,” then, in the midst of the video, it goes up to a 94. It’s currently at a 95 Metacritic rating.
Metacritic scores obviously don’t mean everything, but as Balrog puts it multiple times: five years of his life went into this brilliant game, and its story of a father and son struggling to relate to one another is connecting to people. We called it “the new benchmark for how to revitalize a franchise,” and it’s clear a ton of heart went into it.