The big day is almost here: “#God Of War 4” will be released to the PlayStation 4 on April 20, 2018. Ever since it’s reveal at E3 2016, fans have been receiving little bits and pieces of what to expect from this highly-anticipated title. In a recent interview #Cory Barlog, the creative director of “God of War,” goes behind the scenes on the new world being built in one of gaming’s most beloved and cherished franchises.
Researching Norse Mythology
Anyone familiar with the “God of War” series knows that Greek mythology has been the foundation on which it’s creators built their vast world. So, to take the mythos that a world has built on and decide to build upon a different foundation is obviously difficult, especially when the foundation is as complex as Norse mythos.
“Like the weird thing about Norse Mythology, it has so many different translations, so many different interpretations that it’s this very tangled web when you start researching it and trying to understand.”
Barlog then goes on to talk about a level in the game where a stonemason who has some trouble with Thor and ends up with a chisel in his head. This story adds to the tease we received earlier for a Kratos vs. Thor boss fight.
One of the significant contributors to the research were the Prose Edda, a piece of Norse literature from 13th century Iceland, a location that would inspire a lot of the artwork in the game.
The Plot and Theming
One of the most exciting things about “God of War 4” will undoubtedly be exposing and experiencing a new side of Kratos.
“He [Kratos] is a character that everybody feels they know very well, right, that Kratos is the sort of one-note vengeance man.
And we needed a reason, I think, for him to change or a desire to change, right?”
The family is a key role in this game, especially the exploration of the father/son relationship. Barlog explains while Atreus’s mother was alive Kratos was always away from the house and distant from him, so now that it’s only them, they’re struggling to relate to one another.
“Kratos is really struggling with figuring out how to relate to his son, right because he carries a tremendous amount of baggage being responsible for -spoilers- the death of his previous family.”
Kratos isn’t only struggling with relating to his son; he also hasn’t told him they are part god…a fact I’m sure that Atreus won’t be too pleased to here has been hidden from him.
When talking about themes in the story Barlog admits he drew from some of his own experiences with his own family.
“I had my son, and there was a shift in me that I actually want to be a better person in some ways; a bit more patient, right? It’s a constant struggle, a journey, just like the journey he has, right?”
Kratos and Atreus isn’t the only family dynamic we’ll bear witness to.
Brokk and Sindri, two dwarves who in classic lore created Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and in this game upgrade your abilities also have their own complicated family dynamic.
Language and Lore at every corner
One of the things that make a great game isn’t the big massive features; rather it’s the attention to detail. And with so much time, research and energy being poured into it “God of War 4” will be filled with small details to add to its complex and vast world. A good example of this is in the language. Cory Barlog points out a Norse blessing etched into the front of Kratos’s home and the tattoos on Atreus’s neck and arms which mean steady mind and strength and precision respectively.
“God of War 4” is full of story and lore. As its release date fast approaches fans are surely excited about this new installment in this beloved world. #Norse Mythology