One of the biggest changes the new God of War game, which is due to release in a little over a month, has compared to the previous titles is that it’s more of an action RPG now. Kratos has levels, enemies have levels, you have top explore to find loot and gear, and loot and gear can drastically affect how well equipped Kratos is to take on threats in the environment.

This is actually a move in line with what many popular franchises have made recently- series like The Legend of Zelda or Assassin’s Creed, neither of which were RPGs, made the transition to being full blown RPGs with their latest entries (Breath of the Wild and Origins respectively). But why did God of War decide to make the jump to having RPG elements, too?

Speaking to Geek Culture, Aaron Kaufman of Sony Santa Monica explained the studio’s reasoning for switching to a more RPG style of game. “The biggest reason is just choice, it’s really not a complex answer,” he said. “Past God of War games have been kind of a one-way street in combat and the kind of way you can choose to play. We gave you a choice by having the Cestus or the Blades, a single track weapon that you could switch out anytime and have different abilities about it.

“Now, with more RPG-like elements, you have armour, your axe, you have different ways to upgrade each of those. You have your shield, the melee, you have Atreus. All of these things can be upgraded whether in their abilities or giving them new elemental effects.

“I think, for the team, it just came down to, let’s give the players more strategic choice, how they want to play the game.

Now, I need to be honest, I love RPGs, and I love RPG elements in all my games- so I’m not complaining about this at all. And given just how absolutely great God of War looks to be, I don’t think anyone else will be complaining about the inclusion of leveling and gear and equipment in the game once they get to play it, either.