God of War Ragnarok is an action-adventure video game developed and produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio, and is the sequel to the 2018 release of the same series, God of War (also known as God of War 4). God of War Ragnarok” will continue to be based on Norse mythology, revolving around the story of “Twilight of the Gods” in Norse mythology.
On normal difficulty, the game takes about 20 hours or more to pass the main line, and about 40 hours or more to fully pass the game. This article contains slight spoilers, please choose to watch carefully before playing.
There is no doubt that 2018’s new God of War gave us the amazing “One Shot to the End” and Kratos’s journey across the world of Norse mythology, and opened up a whole new dimension to the best action game ever made, but at the same time put the next Santa Monica studio under the obvious pressure: how to make a sequel to a near-perfect game?
The new God of War is an unprecedented experience for players, as it has a great deal of innovation compared to the previous series. But a sequel will more or less give a sense of preconceptions within expectations. I certainly don’t doubt that Santa Monica will bring us a better God of War, but I’m still left wondering: how much better will it be?
Happily, after nearly 50 hours of gameplay, getting the game’s platinum trophy, and advancing the game’s completion to 100%, I can assure you with a pat on the back: “God of War Ragnarok” is indeed a better sequel, and even though you already have enough expectations for the game, I believe you will still find a lot of surprises in the game.
If the previous game was biased in terms of content richness because of its focus on groundbreaking, “God of War Ragnarok” is a mature and complete framework that rivets enough game content to reward players.
As a game with open maps, the previous game except for the middle area of Midgardt, the player can actually go to only four maps. In this work, the number of this directly doubled, only one of the nine worlds can not go, four of the maps are completely open maps, enough to explore the player travel.
These maps, of course, is not a brain thrown to the player blindly at the beginning, but with the advancement of the plot, gradually to the player spread out a full picture of the nine worlds. Even the previous work on the map, in this work is not a simple reuse of material, but a complete re-production, so that players both feel déjà vu and a new look.
The lake of the nine worlds located in the middle of the map Midgardt, for example, because the twilight of the gods triggered the winter of Fimbul and has long been frozen into a large frozen lake. In the previous work, Kratos and Atreus are still using a page of small wooden boats to travel on the lake, now only by a sled car to explore this area. But do not think that here is simply frozen lake thing, the entire map structure has been completely redesigned, can explore the area and the previous work almost completely different, in addition to certain familiar landmarks, basically can be considered a brand new map.
What can be revealed is that the game needs to use wooden boats or sleds such as mobility tools to explore a total of four maps, and in some maps there are also surface and underground parts, not to mention that many maps and hidden pathways, the map area of this time is evident.
In the process of exploring the map, in addition to the combat part, there are also many places on the map where you need to solve puzzles to move on. The puzzles of this work can be roughly divided into two purposes, one is to open the treasure chest, such as the location of the legendary treasure chest certainly need to spend some effort to find, the three goddesses treasure chest also has a new solution; the other is to open the pathway, here the game in some maps introduced the mechanism of night and day, through the new props obtained in the game plot can change the time, so that the map will appear in a specific time in the pathway.
In addition, according to the different weapons and props in the hands of the player, there are also many targeted puzzles or obstacles designed. Many places or many treasure chests are not passable or accessible when you first see them, and must be unlocked later on after getting specific weapons and props. In a way, this is an incentive for players to explore the map repeatedly, the vast majority of maps in the game you have to go more than once to explore them all.
In addition, because of the existence of character and weaponry levels, so some maps can be explored at first, but because of the presence of higher level enemies, the game’s level suppression will cause you to wait until after the upgrade to move on.
If you just advance the main part of the story in the game, you will find that by the end of the game there are many areas of the map that have never been explored, and these are reserved for side quests. In a way this can be exciting, but of course the reality is that during the game you can not focus on the main line, in addition to leveling needs, this magical nine worlds always have those fascinating charm that you do not know you are walking into the side lines.
As a mature action game, the previous game laid a solid foundation in terms of systems, making “God of War Ragnarok” almost a “sitting duck”.
In terms of character skills, the skill tree of Kratos’s Leviathan’s Axe and Chaos Twin Blades has been expanded from two to three in the previous game, with about 30% to 40% of the new skills added. And as a small followers of Atreus and other characters also have a complete three-branch skill tree, these skills are to be upgraded through the experience value gained in the game.
Specific to each skill point, this work adds a new reward system, that is, according to the number of times you use the skill, giving different amounts of experience value from bronze to silver to gold. The skills that reach the highest level can be stacked with another secondary effect, such as increased damage or improved defense, or can be a boost to the rune effect, which is completely up to the player and can be changed at any time. This is designed to encourage players to use skills in a variety of ways, while rewarding them further for the skills they master most proficiently.
The armor system is basically the same as its predecessor, with two main changes: the first is to increase the stacking effect of the wrist armor and waist armor at the same time to improve the practicality of the set; the second is to increase the appearance of the upgraded armor, up to three changes in appearance depending on the level. At the same time, the introduction of the armor “illusion” mechanism, for example, you want the performance of the A set, but prefer the appearance of the B set, then you can illusion of the appearance of the B set to the A set, to meet the needs of individual players.
But the slots on the armor were removed in the previous game and replaced by a simplified amulet system. Up to nine amulets can be equipped at the same time after the upgrade can be stacked with each other, and three amulets of the same territory can be equipped at the same time to activate new stacking effects, that is, in addition to the effects of nine amulets themselves, there can be up to three sets of amulets from three different areas to bring three new stacking effects.
The armor system for secondary characters has also been adjusted, and Atreus’ armor is only cosmetic, no longer with secondary effects. The original auxiliary effects were transferred to a separate accessory, up to three accessories can be carried, the role of these accessories vary, players can choose different accessories to equip according to the character characteristics or level needs, no longer bound to the armor itself.
Weapon system in the retention of the previous game set on the basis of little change, weapon upgrades, especially to high levels still need special materials to synthesize. In addition, with accessories (such as axe handle) and light and heavy attack effects of the Rune of Loon, coupled with the new skill tree in the new moves, even the familiar weapons can play a new style.
The secondary character’s weapon can be upgraded in addition to the new Rune of Loon effect, can be equipped with a separate Rune of Loon to use in battle. These effects are very gorgeous, for example, Atreus can summon a spirit deer to attack the enemy and so on, of course, each use also has a corresponding cooldown.
In addition, the shield system has also been redesigned, in this work shield is a separate defensive weapon exists, and added a variety of different properties and styles, even in the attack will also play a corresponding role. Shields can also be embedded with new components, the effect of both can be stacked with each other, for example, to enhance the perfect block effect of the shield, plus increase the perfect block time with the components, can reduce the difficulty of the perfect block and at the same time improve the benefits of obtaining the perfect block effect.
The “holy relics” system in the previous game was moved from the armor column to the weapon column in this game, and the slots were also removed, making the role of this secondary prop become single. Although the holy object can be upgraded, but each holy object will only have a secondary effect. It can be equipped like a weapon and used at any time in battle, with different cooldowns for different holy objects after each use.
God of War Ragnarok” in the weapons and other system adjustments, more can be said to be easier for players to get started and reorganized and optimized combination, with a completely redesigned system menu, indeed gave players a different feeling from the previous work, of course, thanks to the previous work laid a solid enough foundation, this work has been almost “unchangeable”.
The combat part is even more bloodthirsty, all the strengths of the previous game have been inherited, and the shortcomings that had been complained about too few types of monsters have been made up in “God of War Ragnarok”, which makes the game’s playability greatly enhanced.
I did not count how many kinds of enemies, but compared with the previous game almost all humanoid monsters, that this game is still a lot richer. The style of the enemy changes a lot, flying in the sky, walking on the ground, two legs running four legs crawling, in addition to a very few enemies, you can hardly even see the previous game’s enemies (even if they appear is also changed skin), so do not worry at this point.
The battle scene also adds a little object interaction, such as the ground trunk or boulder, can be used as a prop to the enemy to greet the past, which is to add a little spice to the battle.
This time the enemy also increased the attribute effect, for example, the fire attribute of the enemy is naturally the ice attribute of the Leviathan’s axe to damage more, the ice attribute of the enemy of course, we must use the Chaos double blade. In addition, the enemy will also come with a variety of negative attributes of the attack effect, Kratos can also choose to counteract the attributes of weapons and props. And the sidekick such as Atreus also do not let him idle, his bow and arrow now also has two different attribute effects, used to deal with different enemies.
In addition to the normal enemies, the game also increased the number of elite monsters between the Boss battle and the normal enemies, these elite monsters are located in almost all parts of the nine worlds, it is easy to encounter, and will often be mixed with the normal enemies appear, so that people can not be defended. However, the new attack action of Kratos added a fall attack that can be performed when jumping from a high place, is used to hammer the enemy by surprise.
The real meaning of the boss battle in the main line and side missions will be encountered, especially to the main plot of the closing stage, the boss battle concentration is breathless. In the side quests there are also hidden enemies that are more difficult to deal with than the main boss, and similar battles to the previous Valkyrie challenge will also appear in the game, some of the battles are much stronger and more difficult than the previous Valkyrie, and you will only feel the excitement of the challenge when facing these battles and will not feel deterred.
Musbelheim in this work also has an area dedicated to challenges, but it is a pity that the design input of the challenge section is far inferior to that of the previous work. Although the challenge part itself is not too big a problem, but in the late challenge is actually used to repeat the combination of permutations to deliberately lengthen the challenge time, so that players have to be forced to repeat these challenges over and over again, so the design makes people feel a little lazy.
But there is no denying that as the core part of the game, “God of War Ragnarok” combat part is satisfying, or even satisfying, both in terms of quality and quantity than the previous performance. The game through the combination of different enemies so that players often feel panic in the battle, and players must also master the characteristics of each weapon and props in order to have a localized play in the battle, after each battle to give the sense of achievement is pleasant.
The plot and character parts are probably the only things in “God of War Ragnarok” that feel so underwhelming. Of course, I won’t have any spoilers here, so you can feel free to keep reading.
Those who have played the previous game should know that after Kratos killed Badr in front of Freya, the twilight of the gods was about to come inevitably. And the game here left one of the biggest mystery, is the Qui Master in the temple of Jotunheim saw the fresco left by Faye, complete with a preview of all the stories that happened in the entire prequel, and also left a seemingly fated ending for the Qui Master and Atreus, which is also the biggest ambush laid for this work.
The final scene of the previous film, the loss of the twins of Thor, the god of thunder came to the doorstep of Kratos and Atreus, a fated battle of revenge is about to take place. This game is almost immediately after this scene and the unfolding of the Kratos and Thor will have a stunning showdown, but this is like the opening battle between Kratos and Badr in the last film, just an appetizer for the entire game.
If the previous game was Kratos and Atreus unknowingly walked the journey that fate had planned for them, then in “God of War Ragnarok” the father and son will have to face the challenges of fate together. In those written destiny trajectory, both they have to achieve the part, but also their desperate attempts to circumvent the path, the suspense or left to the players themselves in the game with the Kratos father and son to reveal together.
In the last one, although the fledgling Atreus is basically obedient to Kratos, but can already see some of the lame and arrogant. And after a few years (game timeline), Atreus has grown into a fully independent demigod warrior, the game has a lot of details from the inside out to show the changes in this adolescent boy, such as a more mature voice, climbing mountains no longer have to climb on the Kratos, the battle will be more vicious attack enemies, as well as and Kratos more stubborn mouth and so on.
But with this comes an obvious conflict, is to learn the fate of the end of the Kratos, and the search for the fate of the end of Atreus, they hide the truth from each other, and thus in the face of fate will make a different decision. Although Atreus understands that he and his father will eventually go the same way, but he is still in the rebellious stage, he prefers to follow his own ideas to fight the challenges of fate. So the game revolves around the crisis of trust generated by the father and son, the two people in the emotional and rational push and pull each other, is the biggest point of the story plot.
In terms of characters, Freya from the previous game will continue to seek revenge for the loss of her son in this game, and the sharp-tongued and wise Mimir will continue to accompany Kratos on their journey, while Sindri and the Brock brothers will also selflessly help. In addition to our known Tyr, Thor and Angrboda (the little girl in the trailer), there will be more familiar Norse mythology characters on the scene.
In addition, it is interesting to note that Troy Baker, the voice actor familiar to players, voices a character in the game that will surprise you.
This game has significantly enhanced the role of NPC characters, not just simply as supporting characters in the game, but will actually play with the player-controlled characters. At the same time, because of the clever arrangement of the plot, players also have the opportunity to explore the depths of the villains, and thus have a more comprehensive knowledge of these characters.
However, it is regrettable that the treatment of some characters has a sense of “too much to chew” and a sense of haste. Although the role is to serve the plot, but in addition to its own role, the character arc should be portrayed throughout the portrayal of the character, too hastily to deal with the character’s stay or leave, or force the player to accept a certain setting without any reason, will be a bit disconcerting and inexplicable.
In addition, another thing that makes me feel unfulfilled after passing the game is that the unanswered questions that I thought were left in this game do not seem to be fulfilled. These unanswered questions of the previous game are either unclear or simply avoided, which feels a bit perfunctory. Although this treatment does not affect my understanding of the story of this work, but will still feel a little bit of internal uncertainty.
Another point that may have been “overlooked” by the production team is that players who have played the old trilogy should remember that at the beginning of previous works, a plausible event (such as falling into the River Styx) will be created to make Master Kratos lose the skills and growth he had gained in the previous work, so that players in the new work to practice Master Kratos’s skills from scratch will seem more logical. But this time there is no such treatment, forcing the player to accept the Kratos to practice again from scratch in the previous work has mastered the skill tree set, it seems to lack some convincing.
Overall, this small regret does not affect the quality of the script, and I believe that different players will have a different understanding of some of the details after playing, perhaps I think the regret may not become a pimple in your heart. This work is also at the end of the story, for the sequel left a clear ambush, will make people more look forward to after the experience of this work to grow up Atreus, and the fate of a deeper understanding of the Kratos in the future more magnificent adventure.
Although there was some confusion and regret during the process of passing “God of War Ragnarok”, after I finished the platinum I realized that I was actually completely engrossed in the atmosphere created by the game. This time the story is more ambitious than its predecessor, not only because there are more areas to explore, but also because the story is fascinating in the ambush of grass and snakes.
The game is also a very meaningful way for players to evoke the original “God of War” trilogy and derivative works about the protagonist Quintos some memories, which has been accompanied by the Kratos conquest players feel more deeply, it can be said that this sentimental card played very clever.
The game does not end after reaching 100% completion, there is still a lot of content on the map to explore, as well as hidden deeper story and combat, these have nothing to do with trophies and completion, belong to the production team to really like this work of players a little reward.
The game has a well-functioning auxiliary design, for the visual or auditory less convenient players can also enjoy the game to provide convenience. But these features can also help players to some extent to crack the puzzle or find props, make good use of it can reduce the difficulty of some pass, improve the efficiency of obtaining the platinum.
The ambush left at the end of the story guides the player’s imagination for some future sequels. In terms of the story of this game, the conclusion is not perfect, but it is enough to stand up to the wait of the players over the years. I certainly hope that the game can do better, but this work has actually done better, I probably should not be too harsh and greedy.
In addition, I compared the difference between the PS4 and PS5 versions of this work, it is clear that the latter is better in terms of graphics and frame rate performance, I would recommend that you use the PS5 version to play the game as much as possible. But the PS4 version is still very impressive performance, the picture quality and smoothness than the previous work also has a considerable improvement, should be due to further optimization of the engine. However, the PS4 version is at a significant disadvantage in terms of disk reading speed, and there will be more obvious lag and frame drops during the game compared to the PS5 version.
Although the review process encountered some bugs such as the disappearance of voice and subtitles, props can not be picked up, Atreuska behind the door, but the official has said that these problems will be fixed in the first day patch.
2018’s God of War was groundbreaking, and 2022’s God of War Ragnarok lives up to the hype. At some point in the future we are destined to meet Kratos and Atreus again, and I believe all those who have played this game will not hesitate to continue to accompany the father and son on their journey at that time, which is perhaps the best compliment to this work.