I said this in my review of Horizon Forbidden West, it is hard to do a sequel. There is a balancing act between providing more of what worked before and delivery something new in order to avoid being just more of the same. God of War Ragnarok accomplishes this balancing act in a Godly fashion. There is no other way to say it. God of War Ragnarok is special. Everything about the game screams high quality. The gameplay, the graphics, and the narrative all mixes together to create an experience that feels premium.
Let’s dive into why this game is special.
Just like God of War 2018, Ragnarok is rich in story. This is evident with the main campaign’s narrative and the game’s numerous side stories. No spoilers, but the games main campaign spoke to me in ways that few games ever have. I loved the themes the game explores and the softer lessons that are taught throughout the journey. The game does feature the traditional way of storytelling in games where you play the game to progress to the next cutscene (or interactive cutscene), but it tells its narrative in such a rich and high quality fashion that it works to the games favor. The acting in this game is award winning movie quality so you don’t mind watching things play out.
The dialogue is well written and surprisingly funny. One of the things that sound out to me is that the game has a very subtle humor. I don’t know if the writers intended the lines to be as funny as they were.
Just like God of War 2018, Ragnarok feature tons of quieter moments, in which, the characters talk to one another or tell a story. Hearing the characters tell stories about their past or just recasting stories of history is enthralling. It’s almost like listening to your favorite podcast while playing the game. There were many moments where I chose to chill out and listen to the rest of the tale being told as opposed to rushing onwards to the next objective.
If you played the first game then you know that a part of what makes the Norse God of War games special is the characters in the game. All the characters you know and love from the first game are back. The new characters are fantastic as well. I won’t spoil anything but know that they make quite the impression and impact in different ways.
I love the way the game focuses on evolving the side characters. It provides us with a deeper dive into the characters we know and love from the first game as well as a lot of the new ones that we meet in this game.
It’s amazing to see the growth of the characters, but that is especially true with Kratos. In the first trilogy, the Greek God of War didn’t care much very any other than those that furthered his goals. In God of War 2018 and in Ragnarok you can see how he’s evolved. When you compare how Kratos was portrayed in the Greek Saga verses who he is in the Norse adventure it honestly feels like he has aged and matured with us.
If you enjoyed the gameplay and the combat from God of War 2018 then you’re in luck because this game takes the combat and amps up to another level. The combat here feels more fluid and zipper. At the same time, all the moves feel like they have impact and weight behind it. You can use more objects in your environment to mess up foes, for example you have the ability to rip out trees and using them like clubs.
The Blades of Chaos and the Leviathan Axe are back and offer new ways to dish out death to your enemies. This sequel gives you new weapon abilities and additional elemental moves that you can use against enemies. Using your shield as a weapon is also a bigger part of the combat this time around. The marketing leading up to this game described the combat as “being able to play with your food” and they weren’t lying. You can chain together multiple moves to mow through your opponents or use a different combo to juggle them in the air or around the area.
New Combat Features/Enemy Variety:
You also have the ability to call on and use Atreus to inflict damage onto your opponents in new ways. For example, he can call on the spirit of animals to damage, or stun your enemies. It’s useful against the bosses especially. There are new allies you can command (no Spoilers) that adds another element to the combat as well.
Kratos Spartan Rage and Runic attacks are also back, but with their own upgrades. You get more freedom to dictate what the Spartan Rage does. For example, you can use it to regenerate a sizable amount of health, or to turn Kratos into the Norse version of the Hulk and smash all the enemies on the screen.
A common complaint about God of War 2018 was the lack of variety when it came to the enemies that you encounter. Sony Santa Monica must have heard that and took it to heart because it is certainly not an issue with this game. You encounter so many types of foes in this game with different abilities and weaknesses, some that you’ll remember squaring off against in the previous game, and many new foes to vanquish. This variety helps break up some of the issues I had with what I felt was repetitive enemy encounters in God of War 2018. The game has side bosses called Berserkers that present a fun yet challenging obstacle that players can try to overcome.
God of War 2018 was visual treat on the PS4. The look and the presentation of that game felt like the highest AAA experience possible that you can play on the PS4. I’m happy to report that God of War Ragnarok is also a visual treat. The Nine realms that you explore are filled with breathtaking environments and details. All the areas that you encounter from the beautiful lakes and rivers, to the rainforest, to the icy tundra are well designed and gorgeous. The game gives you many excuses to use its photo mode.
I mentioned this game’s incredible writing earlier. An aspect about the writing that blew me away was how many memorable lines of dialogue that there were in this game. This game features some of the best quotes that I’ve ever heard in a video game. Here are just a few that stood out to me.
“Wish for peace, be ready for war”
“It is the nature of a thing that matters. Not it’s form.”
“To grieve deeply is to have loved fully”
“Sometimes there is no making things right only better than it was.”
This is only a couple examples of the many lines of dialogue that stood out in the game. I kid you not there are tons of lines that made me think “that would be a badass tattoo.” I play all my games in subtitles and this is a game that I found myself hitting the saved the last 30 seconds option on the share button just to go back and hear something a character said again.
The Side Quests and Exploration:
There’s a lot to see and do in the game. Unlike God of War 2018, you can visit all 9 realms in the game. All of which offer side quests, collectables, and posses their own challenges. For example, you can partake in Muspelheim’s combat trials, or see how your actions from the previous game have affected Midgard.
The game’s side missions have deep and rich stories feel like more than just your typical errands and fetch quests. For the most part each side quest allows us to dig deeper into the back stories of the characters that we interact with. There are some exceptions where you help strangers in the world, but even those quests masterfully tie into the relationships around Kratos. It is remarkable how much weight and substance the side quests contain. Unlike some other games where the side quest often feels like unnecessary padding the side quests in God of War Ragnarok feel like they all have meaning. It never feels like bloat.
The Sound and score:
I can’t commend the game’s composer, Bear McCreary enough for the soundtrack in this game. The sound and score is phenomenal. Everything amplifies what’s going on in the present and pays homage to the past. McCreary has create fantastic music for the Rings of Power show, Godzilla, and Battlestar Galactica to name a few, but the music for God of War Ragnarok might be his finest work.
I kid you not the main theme is a track that I could listen to in the background of any of my daily tasks. It’s a track that pairs well with a workout, as background work music, or even as background music while cleaning the house (Especially if you wanted to clean in a God-like epic fashion). This is a soundtrack that I will be listening to in the years to come.
Let’s talk about some flaws with the game. I want to preface this by saying that I absolutely adore this game, so all these flaws are really just nitpicks. That’s said let’s talk about some nitpicks with the game.
There is an argument that the game does have pacing issues, especially in the middle section of the game. While it didn’t bother me much, I can understand that perspective.
Another minor critique is that despite the game’s numerous new features it does give the feeling of just more God of War 2018. While I’m an advocate of the saying “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” the game doesn’t take major swings when it comes to innovation. These are minor critiques that doesn’t negate how amazing this game is overall.
Overall/Should you play God of War Ragnarok:
Yes. Hell yes. Si. Yes in any and all languages. God of War Ragnarok is a game that exemplifies how good video games can be. The score is amazing and amplifies everything that is going on. Its gameplay and combat is outstanding and improves on the solid foundation from God of War 2018. The narrative is extremely well written. It mixes all of its emotional beats well with its elements of wonder and adventure. On top of that it has some of the best acting that has ever been in a video game.
Overall this game is not only a masterpiece. It’s a work of art. God of War Ragnarok is a must play for everyone that owns a PS5. This game is not only one of the best games of this generation, but it’s also one of the best games of all time.
Contact Us/Join the Community:
If you’d like to talk to us about this God of War Ragnarok Review you can do so here:
P.s. if you want to talk to us about any game join us at our Discord: