The game doesn’t shy away from stressful, distressing family dinners, and the unique relationships between family members help to pack a lot of emotional punch. Beyond that, God of War: Ragnarok is a masterwork incorporating universal themes like young love, loss, and pain.
Even though God of War Ragnarok takes players to the war-torn site after war-torn location, the game is exceptionally well-paced because of the humor interspersed throughout. It picks up speed when appropriate and slows down when the tale calls for it, allowing the reader to experience both fully.
It’s savvy enough to know when to give players a break from the more significant events around them and when to stab them in the back unexpectedly. From beginning to end, God of War: Ragnarok’s narrative deviates wildly from what most players would be anticipating. Not that every plot point in God of War: Ragnarok is solid, but the whole is better than the sum of its parts.
Many people should be recognized for bringing this story to life. The characters in God of War: Ragnarok all have personalities and can make players feel a wide range of emotions. Kratos hasn’t changed much from his adorable stoicism days, but his character development highlights his maturation.
Atreus is also fully matured, albeit it is evident that he is much closer to the beginning of his journey than his father was. Even minor characters, such as Aesir, Vanir, giants, and so on, have the kind of emotional depth and character development that gamers wouldn’t normally associate with supporting cast members.
In addition to the plot and characters, the fight scenes feature the same level of attention to detail and emotional depth. The fighting in God of War: Ragnarok is harsh, visceral, and, best of all, constantly changing.
It’s simple to pick up the basics but it gets more challenging. This is accomplished without making the game feel like a tutorial. Skills are unlocked as players gain experience, new combos are learned, weapons are upgraded with attachments, and special attacks are known.
Combat is tailored to the player’s preferences through artifacts, enchantments, and more. At the game’s conclusion, players will have amassed an impressive arsenal of skills and attacks, seamlessly switching between Kratos’ weapons amid the fight, unleashing Atreus’ different arrow varieties, and taking on adversaries of epic proportions.
Central boss fights in God of War: Ragnarok is nothing short of astounding, keeping all the intensity of the original and, at several points, testing a player’s mastery of their weaponry. The game’s several environments mean players will confront various enemies, although this has a downside.
Some of God of War Ragnarok’s realms feel like a mini-open world, while others are more like a central center with a few side quests. Some of the domains will see significantly more time spent than others.
However, players may battle through hordes of simple fodder foes like wretches and nightmares, depending on the realm. This gets better as the game progresses, but there are still plenty of easy enemies to let Kratos have his way with.
As most players of God of War know, Atreus travels with Kratos the entire game. It’s not the first game to include a dual protagonist and gaming companion system, but suffice it to say that the latter has been greatly expanded upon in the sequel.
The bar that Santa Monica Studio established with God of War: Ragnarok is incredibly high, and it will be challenging for any subsequent game to follow in its footsteps.
The plot and fighting in God of War: Ragnarok share a comparable level of depth, thanks to their seamless interplay. The seamless shift from gameplay to plot creates impactful moments where players feel organically intimidating someone, even though they are actually in a cutscene.
The puzzles in God of War: Ragnarok reflect this level of complexity, starting relatively straightforward (throw the Leviathan Axe, burn something with the Blades of Chaos) but becoming progressively more complex and varied as the game proceeds. The best way to experience God of War: Ragnarok is to explore its many features.
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When taken together with the game’s other unique accessibility features, God of War: Ragnarok offers a better experience for all players. The game’s menu makes these readily available, and new players have many alternatives when they first start the game.
We can’t say whether or not God of War Ragnarok is fully accessible, but it makes an effort and offers some novel features that improve the experience for us.
God of War: Ragnarok is an unprecedented video game event. It doesn’t merely meet its lofty standards; it subverts and exceeds them. Nothing on PS4 or PS5 comes close, and it will be harder for future releases to match its ideals.
Though there isn’t much here that couldn’t have been seen in a PS4 version of the game, God of War: Ragnarok is undeniable proof that vision, aesthetics, and creative direction vastly trump hardware.
On November 9th, PS4 and PS5 owners can purchase God of War: Ragnarok. For the sake of this review, Game Rant was given a PlayStation 5 code.