Without a doubt, Sony and Santa Monica Studio's forthcoming God of War is easily one of the PS4's most anticipated exclusives for 2017, but some may be disappointed to learn that the forthcoming action-adventure game won't feature vikings in any capacity even though the title is placed within a Norse setting. As Cory Barlog, the creative director at Sony Interactive Entertainment's Santa Monica Studio explains, the reason why the next game in Kratos' story won't include any Nordic raiders and warriors is due to fact that the title exists "in a time well before the first Vikings."
As seen in the exchange on Twitter between a God of War fan and Barlog, the director is asked if the legendary vikings Ragnar Lothbrok or Bjorn Ironsides would be making an appearance in the game due to the title being set within a Norse environment. Barlog apologizes to say that he doesn't "see them appearing" since the next installment in the series apparently occurs "well before" the beginning of the Viking Age.
Our story takes lace in a time well before the first Vikings so I don’t see them appearing. Sorry.— Cory Barlog 🎮 (@corybarlog) April 26, 2017
Although it seems as if God of War won't feature vikings, it doesn't mean that the game won't rely on Norse mythology to flesh out the plot. As a matter of fact, Barlog has explained in the past that he and his crew at Santa Monica Studio have been exploring the lore of Scandinavia prior to the Viking Age, with the director saying that the development team's mindset for the title's creation is rooted in "a prehistory point, where gods did walk the Earth, when monsters were real, before they became extinct."
Interestingly enough, God of War could have taken a completely different route with its next entry by taking Kratos south from Greece instead of north, as Santa Monica Studio originally had the idea to give the game an Egypt setting. While Barlog was originally enthralled by the notion of exploring ancient Egyptian culture and mythology for the game, he ultimately decided that using the country's lore had the potential to distract from Kratos as the central focus.
Unfortunately, very little concrete footage for God of War has been shown to the public since its debut at E3 2016, so it's difficult to know how well its production is progressing. Nevertheless, Santa Monica Studio has proclaimed that the "whole game" is playable internally at the developer's headquarters. So, with this being the case, fans will likely learn even more this summer during Sony's E3 2017 press conference.
God of War is currently in development for PlayStation 4.
Source: Cory Barlog – Twitter