During E3 2016, GameSpot mistakenly reported that Kratos' son's name was Charlie, which Barlog laughingly denied. As a nod to this, the giant turtle above Freya's house in the game was named Chaurli. In January 2017, after a fan downloaded the God of War overture and saw the track's details that said, "An introduction to Kratos and Atreus", Barlog confirmed on Twitter that Atreus was in fact the son's name. Barlog said Atreus was unaware that Kratos was a demigod and did not know about his past. They did not reveal details of Atreus' mother before the release because she was a critical part of the story. Barlog said that during gameplay, Atreus would be "like magic, an additional combat resource, and [the player is] training him and teaching him." The developers said Atreus would not be a burden during gameplay. The team experimented with several different approaches for Atreus to ensure he was an empowering presence. Barlog said he did not want the game to be an escort mission where the artificial intelligence caused a problem for the player. Their goal was for Atreus to enhance Kratos' capabilities without becoming a liability. This resulted in the developers having Atreus act freely unless the player uses a button to issue specific commands to him. Atreus was also designed to call out enemy locations during combat. Since the camera is closer to Kratos, some enemies might be difficult for the player to see. Jason McDonald said it took a lot of iterations with the enemies and Atreus to make it all work together.
The game was released worldwide on April 20, 2018, for the PlayStation 4. In addition to the standard base game, there were three special editions: the Stone Mason Edition, the Collector's Edition, and the Digital Deluxe Edition. The Stone Mason Edition was only available in the United States and Canada and came with several physical items, including: the base game in a SteelBook case, a 9-inch (230 mm) statue of Kratos and Atreus created by Gentle Giant, 2-inch (51 mm) carvings of the Huldra Brothers, a horse, and a troll, an exclusive lithograph, a cloth map, a stone mason's ring, and a keychain of Mímir's head that talks. There was a variety of downloadable content (DLC), including an exclusive shield skin, as well as an armor set and another shield skin for Kratos, a PlayStation 4 dynamic theme, a digital artbook, and God of War #0 by Dark Horse Comics. The Collector's Edition came with many of the same items, minus the ring, the keychain, the carvings of the horse and troll, and the exclusive shield skin. The Digital Deluxe Edition came with all the digital content, minus the exclusive shield skin. U.S. and Canadian customers also received a Kratos and Atreus pin for pre-ordering the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders at select retailers received three skins for Kratos' shield. Pre-orders from GameStop or EB Games also received the "Luck of Ages XP Talisman", granting increased XP gain, increased Hacksilver gain, and increased ability to trigger perks.
God of War: A Call from the Wilds is a text-based game playable through Facebook Messenger. To help further promote God of War, Sony partnered with Facebook, Inc. to develop the play-by-web game, which released on February 1, 2018. Completing the game unlocks downloadable concept art. The short story follows Atreus on his first adventure in the Norse wilds. After archery training and learning runes with his mother, Atreus ventures into the wilderness after telepathically hearing the voice of a dying deer; he finds it covered in blood and stays with it during its final moments. A couple of draugrs appear and Atreus attempts to fight them but is injured. He is saved by his father, Kratos, who was out hunting. The two then battle a revenant before returning home.
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