“Why did you want to do this side errand with me, Dad?” Atreus asks after one of the many optional assignments. Kratos growls a little, but does not dare to show the back of his tongue. It’s Mimir, the severed head full of funny stories, who finally broke the silence: “He just wants to spend more time with you.” It’s also a perfect metaphor for God of War Ragnarök.
Because yes heir soft Reboot from 2018 Basically it feels like more of the same thing. But the God of War was so good that spending more time in this world is not a punishment at all. If you really don’t want to know anything about the game, read this sentence before closing this page: Anyone who enjoyed the previous game will be completely satisfied with Ragnarök.
But Mimir’s quote also applies in another way, that is, because of the emotional basis. Ragnarok focuses almost all of his arrows on the story and the development of relationships between the characters. The scenes seem to have been written on purpose to make you cry and sing, it works. Kratos just wants to spend time with his son, and we need wipes.
God of War Ragnarök begins in the same place as the first part, that is, at home. Kratos and Atreus have been in hiding for a few years because everyone is out to get them. Freya is angry because they killed her son Baldur, Thor is angry because his sons didn’t survive and the supreme god Odin is angry because… well, because Ragnarok is coming, the predicted apocalypse.
Atreus is tired of waiting and eager to discover who he is and what role he plays in all the prophecies. Shouldn’t he save the world, or at least help with something? What follows is an immersive adventure in which everyone learns something about themselves. Can you break free from the predictions and expectations of becoming what you want to be? Are you responsible for your destiny?
In this great pantheon of quarrels between the gods, everything seems very personal. Kratos is no longer what he used to be on a murderous crusade to kill all the gods, but is willing to talk things out and avoid violence, if that keeps his son safe. Kratos’ growth as a human is phenomenal, sometimes incredibly large. Not that he’s now grumbling endless soliloquy, but Kratos who just wants to drink blood is definitely a thing of the past.
The focus is on personal interests and motivations, which admirably seep even into side quests. The game again has a number of open hub worlds, which you can explore fairly freely. Ragnarök isn’t a suddenly open world game, but as in God of War 2018, there are optional areas where you can find additional content if you wish.
You’ll be more motivated than ever to sink your teeth into it, as you’ll be rewarded with bits of story and emotional moments surrounding the main characters. For example, in the dwarf kingdom of Svartalfheim, Mimir asks you to dismantle construction sites, because in the past he helped Odin turn dwarves into slaves of some sort. He wants to correct his mistakes from the past, adding an extra layer to this rather simple job.
Anyway, many of the characters are the biggest plus of the game. The return of favorites like Mimir and the dwarves Brok and Sindri, plus new friends from the realm of the gods to impress. The acting is top notch, with Danielle Bisotti as the highlight. Swinging between boundless anger and heartbreaking sadness, the dashing Freya is a joy to watch.
Plus, Odin’s portrayal is a bold choice that turns out to be great. Among the large and weak muscle masses like Kratos and Thor, Richard Schiff (Toby of the West Wing) plays the Supreme God as the kind of mob boss who relies more on his brain than on sheer strength. It makes him an endlessly intriguing opponent who is always two steps ahead of you.
This story is once again brilliantly captured with great camera work, as no cuts are made in the scenes. Everything takes one, which makes Kratos and Atreus’ adventures even more personal. You really feel like staying by their side and getting out together. It also provides the necessary calm, because the camera rests on the faces for a long time. When there’s an important conversation, you get all the nuances of the actors’ faces.
This time around, the camera gets a little more room to capture other stories as well. Ragnarök has plenty of creative tricks in store to visualize the whole in an amazing way and let everything melt together perfectly. Director Eric Williams deserves a big compliment for his sometimes daring choices, but they’re definitely successful in the script.
Everything takes one, making Kratos and Atreus’ adventures even more personal
You may notice that this action-adventure review is not about 12 paragraphs. This game relies so much on the story that the developers themselves sometimes almost forget that there is still a battle to be fought. Quickly, throw another group of senseless enemies at the player! You regularly face small fights, only because the previous fight was a long time ago.
This sometimes breaks the pace of the game, especially if it starts to feel like a must. Some of the battles and environments are exactly the same as in the previous game. “Hey, remember this great enemy? Well, here he is again!” Fortunately, the total number of different enemies increased, making the game more diverse in the end. However, the iterations do stand out.
It shouldn’t spoil the fun too much, especially since the combat is so good and tight. Little has changed since the previous match, but that’s not a bad thing at all in this case. Axe and double chain swords look cooler than ever. You have complete control over Kratos and all his movements, the controls never get in your way and combos flow easily from your fingertips.
New additions to your arsenal are welcome, but it’s not a huge revolution. For example, you can now charge your weapon before combo starts to get an extra dose of ice or fire. Later in the game, you can choose to focus more on long-range combat, but hey, who wants that when you get your hands on these popular melee weapons?
You also have a little time to get bored of fighting, because the game has more epic moments and battles than before. Although Ragnarök, like its predecessor, has a slow start, the journey is more than ever filled with unforgettable encounters.
Puzzles are great moments of hiccups. Here are the same ideas from 2018, sometimes not wearing a different jacket. You can open chests with runes by searching for three altars, which was not an exciting activity in the previous game. There are also dozens of Odin crows hidden in the area and chests hiding behind all kinds of obstacles.
Not only the optional content, but the main story as well is full of puzzles that slow down its pace. During an important mission, for example, you have to open an almost endless series of doors by freezing gears with your axe. This puzzle format comes back often, while you basically want to know how the story continues.
If you can’t figure it out, the mystery will be solved for you with well-intentioned hints from Mimir. If you have to think for more than a minute, this smartass explains exactly what is expected of you, just like Aloy muttered to himself in Horizon Forbidden West. The game is remarkably linear anyway. Runes constantly mark the places where you should jump or climb.
Oh, that climb, that damn climb. When will these kinds of games learn that pushing the stick one way to climb the wall is not satisfying the gameplay at all? Moving around the world this way now and then isn’t a bad thing in itself, as it takes steam out of the kettle for a while. However, Ragnarok rubs some salt into the wounds by dedicating an entire section to drying.
Despite the above criticisms, God of War Ragnarök is a beautiful game that looks epic and is great in every way. The game is finished to perfection, all the animations and details are correct, and the bugs are non-existent or non-existent at all. The worlds are breathtaking at times, full of little details that make the game come alive. Perhaps we would like to see more of some environments, because not all areas can be explored at your leisure.
But you really can’t complain about the lack of content here. The story races across your screen in about twenty hours, but if you also want to explore all the optional missions, you’ll definitely lose out on twice that, maybe more.
According to the developers, the God of War trilogy and Ragnarök will not be the conclusion to this story. Oddly enough, it feels like a triple. The game is filled with surprising story moments that will make you feel like you have played two complete games in one game. It’s as if the studio had planned a three-story story, but crammed the last two parts into one package.
The minor deities would succumb under their own weight in such a situation, but with Ragnarok that is not the case at all. The game is packed more positively. She masterfully weaves all her great stories and events, and doesn’t make you blow the clock. After thirty hours of playing, we just want to spend more time in this world. Fortunately, there is still a lot to do.
God of War Ragnarök will be released on November 9 for the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. For this review, the game was tested on PlayStation 5.
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