Sony Santa Monica has brought a veteran sound designer from Naughty Dog on board for God of War 2, which will add a new level of immersion to the anticipated game.
"Beyond thrilled to announce I have joined the PlayStation Sound team," said Beau Anthony Jimenez on his personal Twitter account. "Honored to help contribute to PlayStation's tradition of pushing the industry forward with iconic-sounding experiences ... starting with the next God of War title!" God of War 2 was unveiled in Sony's September 2020 showcase, featuring a cluster of titles on their way to the PlayStation 5, though there are rumblings that the sequel will be a cross-generational game. Everything is very hush-hush at the moment, even though God of War 2 is scheduled to launch some time this year. We're not even sure if Sony Santa Monica will call it God of War 2, or a snazzy and stylish title which differentiates itself from the entry of the same name released in 2007.
On that account, any morsel of an announcement is gobbled up greedily by fans of the game (we're including ourselves in that group), and the knowledge that a talented sound designer has signed on is very enticing indeed. Jimenez, who has credits on Destiny, Destiny 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, and The Witness, is an "ear exciter" who wants to "push the limits of game audio and help steer a team towards excellence." One only needs to glance over to The Last of Us Part 2 to see the fruits of his labour, and he's shed a little light on his creative process through social media.
His explanation of the sounds of the infected enemies, which was the "largest task" that he undertook for The Last of Us Part 2, is a fascinating dive into the stages of the disease that destroyed civilisation. Additionally, the heart rate system in the game (which exists for every "living" character in the world), dictates the breathing rate of the character, letting Ellie draw in sharp and frequent breaths while sprinting which gradually lessens as she regains her stamina. Jimenez was even able to script the heart rate to spike after a jump scare, ensuring that the fear of the character matches the fear of the player.
Alternatively, the player may not have a fear of heights, but Abby absolutely does. Ergo, Abby's breathing rate will increase dependent on her position to a ledge, as well as by how much the player looks over the ledge with the camera. It's this magnificent and mind boggling detail that we'll look forward to hearing in God of War 2 with Jimenez in the driver's seat, so we'll keep you in the loop or any more developments in the game.
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