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God of War Ragnarok Review

God of War Ragnarok lives up to the talk-up and gameplay expectations of the territory but also manages to overthrow and maximize them in many ways.

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God of War Ragnarok had great shoes to fill, being the carry-on to the beloved 2018 release while shuffling the entire mythology of Ragnarok into one game. Santa Monica Studio has previously stated God of War’s Norse Saga could have easily been a trilogy, but the developer didn’t want to keep fans waiting for years for a proper conclusion. its clear, though, that Santa Monica didn’t cool down its game to fit for everything inside one his title; in every way, God of War Ragnarok is an epic profited its video game character and mythological type material.

God of War Ragnarok chooses a few years after the original game, with Kratos and Atreus facing the menace of Fimbulwinter. The events of the first game, as well as the original Greek storyline, matter throughout the ensuing story, and the result is an epic story told across mythologies but centered on one family.

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Indeed, if God of War 2018 is based on a father and son’s journey, then God of War Ragnarok is about the story of an entire chosen family. It’s a story that brings the world-ending events of Ragnarok into the extended family, completing with a father and son, out-there cousins, an odd uncle, as a mother figure, and all the branching with friends and familial connections. It leads to packing a lot of emotion onto these circumstances, as each family member’s connection with the other is distinct, and the game doesn’t get away from foil, upsetting family dinners. After that, God of War Ragnarok knit first love, grief, drama, and more into its narrative in a way that is nothing short of a showpiece.

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It’s not all disaster, dark, and family drama either; God of War Ragnarok manages to force players into war revenge location after wartorn, with enough liveliness occurring around it that the game feels actually well-paced. It speeds up, slows down, and sometimes stops, giving the story to hit its peak strides while enjoying its slower moments. It knows when to give players ease from the bigger events developing around them, as well as when to stick a knife in them in a shocking way. The story of God of War Ragnarok is far beyond like what many fans would expect, and from beginning to finish, it’s all excellent for it. That’s not to say there’s not any weak plot in God of War Ragnarok, but the total of God of War Ragnarok is greater than its parts.

This story is delivered to a variety of actors, and all of them deserve rewards for their excellent performances. Each and every God of War Ragnarok character feels clear and sometimes raw, as players paddle through a boiling pot of emotions. Kratos remains likable and impassive, but his character arc displays how much he has matured. Atreus has fully come into his own, meanwhile, it’s clear his journey is too early than his father’s. And every character players experience, whether they be Aesir, Vanir, giant, or so on, has deep emotions and character development fans would not anticipate of side characters in any game.

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Aside from the narrative and characters, the battle has as much detailed load with every element as the narrative does emotion. God of War Ragnarok’s battle is brutal, instinctive, and the best part: progressing. It’s easy to learn the basics, but it develops as players progress throughout the game. It does this without feeling like a game-long tutorial either, as players will unlock more skills and levels as they gain experience, learn new skills and combos, also improve their weapons skills through various attachments and special attacks, and upgrade combat skills to their preference through the use of fossil, enchantments, and more. By the end of the game, players will found themselves hanging together an impressive array of abilities and attack skills, changing between Kratos’ weapons flawlessly in the flow of combat, unleashing Atreus’ various arrow types, and fighting enemies of epic portion.

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God of War Ragnarok’s major boss battles is nothing less than breathtaking, retaining all the ferocity of the original and, at many times, pushing a player’s mastery of their weapons. Trickling down, players will face several enemy archetypes thanks to the various locations in the game, though this does come with one drawback. Not every realm in God of War Ragnarok is created equally, with some feeling more like a small open-world game and others simply feeling like a small hub for activities. Players will spend a lot of time in a few of the realms and marginally less in others. But, depending on the realm, players may find themselves fighting through a lot of simplistic, fodder enemies like wretches and nightmares. This improves as the game opens up in later sections, but there is plenty of fodder to just unleash Kratos against.

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As many no doubt know, Atreus accompanies Kratos throughout their entire journey in God of War. It is one of many games to utilize a gameplay companion system with dual protagonists like this, but suffice it to say, this system has been expanded tenfold in this sequel. With God of War Ragnarok, Santa Monica Studio set a new bar for any game that wishes to follow this gameplay format in the future, and it’s going to be hard to live up to it.
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God of War Ragnarok’s story and combat features a similar depth because they weave into and out of each other so easily. It feels so natural that sometimes the transition from gameplay to the story is almost unrecognizable, creating powerful moments where it feels like players are just naturally intimidating someone when it’s actually a cutscene. This very depth translates to the puzzles found throughout God of War Ragnarok, as they begin rather simple—throw the Leviathan Axe, burn something with the Blades of Chaos—but as the game progresses, they grow increasingly complex and unique. God of War Ragnarok is a journey through every single one of its features, and the game is all the better for it.

Combine this with God of War Ragnarok’s impressive array of accessibility features, and it means that the game is better for everyone. These are quickly accessible in the game menu, and once players boot the game up for the first time, there are a ton of options to launch the game with. We cannot speak to if God of War Ragnarok covers every aspect of the accessibility spectrum, but it sure tries, and we found several options we’ve never seen before that made the game even better for us.

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God of War Ragnarok is a once-in-a-generation game. It doesn’t just live up to its high expectations but subverts them and expands beyond them all the same. There is nothing quite like it on PS4 or on the PS5 yet, and it would be hard for anything to live up to the same heights. God of War Ragnarok may not make full use of the PS5’s features, as there is nothing necessarily groundbreaking that couldn’t be experienced on a PS4, but it’s absolute proof that vision, artistry, and creative direction far outweigh hardware.


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