God of War Ragnarok meets all the expectations of the franchise. However, it manages to surpass them in many ways.
God War Ragnarok needed to step in, as the follow-up to 2018’s beloved release. However, it also combined the entire Ragnarok story into one game. Santa Monica Studio previously stated God of War’s Norse Saga could very easily have been a three-parter. But, the developer didn’t wish to keep fans waiting for years. Santa Monica has not reduced its game to fit everything in one title. God of War Ragnarok is an epic that is worthy of its video game reputation as well as its mythological source material.
God of War Ragnarok picks up a few years after the original. Atreus is facing the dangers of Fimbulwinter. The events from the first game and the original Greek storyline matter throughout the ensuing story.
God of War tells the story of one family, while God of War Ragnarok follows the journey of a father/son. It’s a story that brings the ending of the world of Ragnarok to the household of a family. There is a father, son, odd uncle, mother figure, branching friends, and many other familial connections. The game manages to bring a lot of emotion to these situations. Every family member’s relationship is unique, and it won’t shy from frustrating, irritating family dinners. God of War Ragnarok weaves grief, first love, trauma, and much more into its storyline in a way it is unsurpassed.
It’s far from all doom and gore. God of War Ragnarok takes players to wartorn locations with enough humor that the game feels extremely well-paced. The game moves at different speeds and slows down. It also sometimes stops, which allows the story to take its best strides while enjoying its slow moments. It understands when to give relief from the bigger events around it, as well as how to stick a knife in it in a surprising fashion. The story of God of War Ragnarok doesn’t look like many fans might expect. From start to end, it’s all the greater for it. This is not to say that there aren’t weak plot points. However, the sum of God of War Ragnarok far exceeds its parts.
The acting talent of many actors is what makes this story possible. They all deserve to be commended for their work. Each God of War Ragnarok actor is unique, sometimes raw, and players are forced to experience a variety of emotions. Kratos remains a loving, strong-willed stoic. But his character arc is a testament to how far he has come. Atreus, however, has reached his full potential. His journey is much shorter than that of his father. Every character, no matter how small or large, that they encounter, be they Aesir Vanir giants, Vanir, or any other character, has the emotional depths and character developments fans wouldn’t expect from side characters in any game.
The combat is just as detailed and emotional as the narrative. God o War Ragnarok’s combat is visceral, brutal, and evolving. It is simple to learn the basics and it continues to grow as the player progresses through the game. It doesn’t feel like an endless tutorial. As players gain experience, unlock new skills, and learn new combinations, they will be able to improve their weapons through various attachments or special attacks. They can even modify combat to fit their preferences using artifacts, magic, and many other options. In the end, players will be able to combine an impressive array of abilities and attacks, seamlessly switching between Kratos’ weapons in combat, unleashing Atreus’ various arrow types, as well facing formidable enemies.
God of War Ragnarok is spectacular. They maintain all the ferocity of originals and, often, push players’ weapons skills. The different locations throughout the game allow players to confront multiple enemy archetypes. However, this does have one drawback. God of War Ragnarok, not all realms are created equal. Some may feel more like an open-world game, while others can be used as a hub of activities. You will likely spend more time in one or two realms than you do in the others. However, depending upon the realm, players might encounter a lot of simplistic fodder enemies like nightmares and wretches. The game does improve in the later sections but there is still enough fodder for Kratos to be unleashed against.
Atreus travels with Kratos through God’s War. It is one among many games that use a gameplay buddy system with dual protagonists. Santa Monica Studio established a new standard for games that wish to emulate this gameplay format with God of War Ragnarok. It’s not easy to keep up with it.
God of War Ragnarok‘s storyline and combat features have a similar depth as they weave into one another so easily. It feels so natural it is difficult to tell the difference between gameplay and story. There are powerful moments when it seems like players are intimidating people even though it is just a cutscene. This deep understanding is evident in the God of War Ragnarok puzzles. At first, they seem simple–throw an Axe, and then burn something with the Blades of Chaos. However, the puzzles get more difficult and unique as time goes by. God of War Ragnarok will take you through all of its features and make the game even more enjoyable.
This combined with God of War Ragnarok’s impressive array of accessibility options makes the game more accessible to everyone. These options can be found quickly in the game menu. There are many other options available to launch the game once it is booted up. We are unable to say whether God of War Ragnarok covers the entire accessibility spectrum. But it does try, and we found many new options that made this game even better.
God of War Ragnarok can be described as a special game. It doesn’t live up to the expectations. Instead, it exceeds them. There’s nothing quite like it yet on PS4 and PS5, and it would be difficult for anything to reach those same heights. God of War Ragnarok will not make full use of the PS5 features. However, it is an absolute testament to the fact that vision, art, and creativity far outweigh physical hardware.
God of War Ragnarok is available November 9 for PS4/PS5. Game Rant was provided with an Xbox5 code to complete this review.