It’s been a little while since we have gotten some new information regarding the AAA Playstation series, God of War. That changed recently when details involving magic, runes, and the gods of the latest title’s game were revealed. Cory Barlog and Matt Sophos explained some details in a Playstation podcast.
Magic in the game is a spoken language called Elder Futhark. It is the base language for the other languages in the game and has its own set of runes. Each race will have its own set of runes and, therefor, language; however, each language will be a branch off of Elder Futhark. Confused yet? Think of it like Latin. Latin is the base to many different languages and is the reason that so many languages are similar. The key thing about the language system is that you are able to translate runes from various items and gain memories. Learning different languages will allow you to unlock different abilities as your progress.
In the interview podcast Cory Barlog describes the way they are using runes as more than just “the basic alphabet” in the game, but also as a way to “create a barrier” between the player and game world in order to give a sense of something new and foreign. Matt Sophos explains that the runes “…will not be thrown up for decoration as much as possible.” Cory goes on to say that “most magic in this world begins with speaking of a specific word.” Apparently, Atreus is able to read the runes and acts as a conduit between the runes and Kratos.
Cory and Matt also touched on translating the languages back to Elder Futhark. Since all of the runes correlate to Elder Futhark you are able to, eventually, translate all of the other languages. Doing this could also open new game areas to the player.
The Gods of the game are a stark contrast to the ones we and Kratos are used to. For instance, the Vanir magic is elf-like with power coming from nature. Giants are “the masons” and “the artists” of the world. The Aesir are your classic Norse gods, very warlike and “hedonistic”. Comparing all of this, to the “manicured” and “bastard politician” Greek gods, really shows us that this is a totally different world where we and Kratos are going to be vagabonds.
Another cool thing that Cory and Matt briefly spoke about was that all of the runic writing on walls is actually English translated, as best they could, into old Nordic and then translated into the Elder Futhark runes. This goes to show the attention to detail the team is putting into this game to be as pure as possible. They decided to avoid the “shortcut” of going straight from English to runes.
God of War 4 is still awaiting a final release date sometime in 2018.