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God of War director posts emotional react video to overwhelmingly positive reviews

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‘I’m glad I didn’t fuck it up’

God of War director Cory Barlog’s emotional reaction to the game’s undeniably positive reception is the immediate response of a man who’s worked tirelessly on developing a franchise, and wanting people to adore his work.

Barlog says in the video above that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to post the video, but felt compelled to as a way to help his son. Barlog, who has become a father since working on the God of War franchise, mentioned that he wanted to help his son see that it’s OK to be emotional. The video captures Barlog’s instant reaction to seeing scores go up on Metacritic, and his relief over the numbers rolling in.

“[Review scores] shouldn’t matter, but I’m just so fucking proud,” Barlog said. “I’m just so lucky to work with the people that I work with.”

Barlog points out early in the video that this moment has been “a long, long time coming,” adding that he’s definitely feeling jittery and nervous awaiting the scores. It took Barlog and his team five years to develop this new God of War, and he admits that it’s all come down to this moment.

It’s a universal feeling. We all have projects that we’ve sunk our time into and, no matter the length, we just want to feel a sense of pride knowing that our work resonated with other people. Whether someone’s written a book, produced an excellent report at work, directed a fantastic short or helped coach a soccer team to the championship, most people have felt those knots in their stomachs waiting to hear they’ve done a good job.

Review scores are external validation for Barlog. He’s proud of the work that his team has done over the last five years. He doesn’t really need scores to tell him otherwise, but having those high numbers stare back at him is the little external validation he might have unconsciously sought out. Watching Barlog break down into tears upon realizing that other people understood and enjoyed his work is emotional, because we’ve all been in his shoes to some extent in our own lives.

By the end of the video, Barlog has collected his thoughts, taking time to poke fun at this own reaction. He goes on to thank everyone he’s worked with — there’s an entire team who made his dream project possible — and it pulls at our heartstrings. The video captures the raw emotions of a man who, above all else, wanted to leave a lasting mark on the franchise he helped bring into the world, and the daunting realization that he’s more than exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“I don’t think you want to just sit here and watch me weep, so I will say to every person who was with us on this journey for so long, thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Barlog says. “I’m glad I didn’t fuck it up.”

God of War is available to play on PlayStation 4 now.