In 2020, Sony teased the return of Kratos through a shocking visual: God of War, Ragnarok is coming… A year later, we finally see the game and there is a lot to say about this project.
An apocalyptic scenario
We start with the frame. If you’ve made God of War of 2018, you know its ending reveals a secret: The whole game is just an adaptation of Norse myths, and the storyline is a clear opening to a far more violent chapter, a chapter of end of time. So what does actual Norse mythology have in store for this new epic? Already, it’s winter for 3 years, the Fimbulvetr, and as much to say that we can see it clearly in the trailer. During this winter, Loki will unite the giants, his people, but also the dead of Helheim to march in force against the gods, on the plain of Vigrid. And there is a big fight. Meanwhile, the mythical animals are unleashed: Fenrir, the giant wolf breaks free and will devour Odin. Jormungand, for his part (the world serpent we have already seen in God of War 4) will have fun destroying the lands. At the end of this battle, everyone kills each other and ends up dying: Odin, Thor, Loki. It’s just dramatic, even if, in the end, we don’t really care, because the fire giant Surtr comes to finish the job and burns everything in its path. Winter is over, the belligerents are dead, and the world can rise from its ashes. So here is the original myth, to which the scenario of God of War Ragnarok is likely to cling strongly … It remains to be seen whether everything will be respected …
We therefore know roughly where we are going on the scenario side, but what about the gameplay? On the surface, the game seems quite classic in its approach to game design: semi-open areas, which can be explored on foot, by boat or by sled. Alternating between exploration and arena combat, sprinkled with sequence shot narration and treasure hunts: in short, the classic God of War 4 recipe which was a real success at this level.
We see in the trailer a lot of new areas, proof that the nine kingdoms, previously locked for the most part, will be accessible here, something to promise according to the creator of the saga nearly 40 hours of gameplay. Apart from that, it’s the routine: we have the Leviathan ax, the shield, the blades of chaos. In a pinch, the enemies look a lot more varied and that’s cool. We notice the presence of centaurs, elves, overpowered humans in helmets, « giant batrachians », and large lizards that look like bosses or mini-bosses. And look, in some places Atreus is literally fighting alone in the back of the screen, swords in hand… while Kratos makes an attack to reach his arena. Keep that in mind, because we’ll talk about that later in the video. So the gameplay of God of War Ragnarok looks relatively similar to that of its predecessor.
A well-marked casting
Casting side, we find Kratos, equal to himself and always more jaded of the war. He says “war is not the only way to go”. His son Atreus, who is confused about who he really is and what fate has in store for him, pushes him more and more to “stop thinking like a father and think like a general” which Kratos refuses, he who was a Spartan general before selling his soul to become god of war. To help them, we find Brok and Sindri, the two blacksmiths, accompanied by a third merchant, for the moment unknown. We note that they are all three in a sort of village, and we see some NPCs passing by when we arrive there by boat. To see if they will be accessible or if it’s just a trick.
Part of their quest is to go find Tyr, whose exploits we follow in the first God of War of the PS4, and who will here be in support of our team alongside Mimir, the learned head that carries Kratos to his size. Facing them, we only know two antagonists for the moment: Thor, god of lightning, one of whose sons was killed in the first game, the other having courageously fled. We also have a visual of Thor, and yes, sorry, but Thor looks a lot more like that, than that. By his side, in the camp of the wicked, we find Freya, Odin’s ex-wife and Baldr’s mother. She therefore hates that her son has been killed, which is normal. Then, we must not forget that Freya is also the former queen of the Valkyries, the ultimate bosses of God of War 4… enough to presage some pretty clashes against her.
A little innovative episode?
In addition to all this information, we can already see some negative echoes with regard to the title: in particular due to the fact that Cory Barlog, initiator of the reboot operated on PS4, is not on the game. The creatives explain it quite simply: they say they need a new vision for each opus. Well, they also say that people are so exhausted at the end of a development like God of War that changing their minds is a good decision. And there, to end the chapter of Norse mythology, there was a great need for that.
On the technical side, a lot of people said to themselves when they saw the trailer “yeah, it really looks like one” and I admit that… well that’s just normal. Indeed, the first God of War, with Last of Us 2, are part of those games that push the performance of the 2013 PS4 to the max. And as God of War Ragnarok will also be playable on this old model, we end up with a next gen and old gen game that can’t really beat its model, technically speaking. But it also has an advantage: as the technologies are already known and mastered, it allows the teams to let go and do everything they could not do in the first. The nine kingdoms, gigantic bosses, working on the variety of the bestiary, pushing the artistic touch even more: these few small flaws that the title criticized when it was released and which here can be sufficiently corrected to obtain an ultimate copy.
Watch out for surprises!
So, be careful to keep your feet on the ground in front of the trailer… Remember that the first God of War on PS4 hid a lot of surprises, especially regarding the identity of Kratos and his gameplay from the second half. of the game … I am more or less convinced that a lot of clues have been hidden from us here: the giant Tyr, the Norse god of war and therefore equivalent to Kratos, who will intervene in a way unknown at the moment: will it be playable? Will he accompany us in the fights? Similarly, Atreus still seems much more distant and autonomous: in addition to the scripted passages where he questions the authority and logic of his father, there are a lot of fights where he is far away, and seems to be making his mark. life on his side with summons, his bow, and even with flaming swords. This obviously reminds us of a theory a few months old that said Atreus could become a full playable character., operating in sequences without Kratos, which, given the pitch we saw at the very beginning of the video, seems logical and downright stylish.
In short, that’s all we can say for the moment about God of War Ragnarok, do not hesitate to tell us in the comments what you thought about it, and go to JV and its networks for all the news on the game!