A good sequel must offer more challenge, more action, but it must also be able to stand on its own as a story, and not just offer a rehash of the original. A new story in which we got the chance to see how our characters grow and change is also a determinant that is often mentioned as the key to a good continuation of a story. And we found all of that in God of War Ragnarok, the sequel to one of the best games of this generation.
Without a doubt, Ragnarok is one of the best games of the year.
It is a game that literally has everything, fascinating film sequences in which you can get lost, but also numerous enemies and huge beasts that you will have to destroy with your ax and your blades. And the landscape, alas, what a wonder it is to walk through the worlds of God of War, it is absolutely genius how much attention is paid to details, how richly everything is made. And with all that, the real strength of this game is in the characters and the story. The whole drama that you untangle is fantastically arranged and connected with characters that are so well written, as well as acted, that they leave a much more lasting impression than ordinary ones, on a par with some great movie characters. Take for example Odin, played brilliantly by Richard Schiff, well known from The West Wing, The Good Doctor and The Players. These side characters are there for you and to guide and help you through the story, but their backstories and motivations give them depth so you care about them as much as you do about Kratos and Atreus as they continue their adventure after the 2018 game. years.
Kratos and Atreus have now entered the world of PlayStation 5 and enjoy all the graphical benefits of the new console, and apart from the fact that they are both slightly older, they look much better than before. The level of detail on the faces, the micro-expressions, the details on the armor and weapons, all look different and incredibly detailed and realistic. This is certainly one of the most beautiful games on PlayStation 5 so far. While you will move through the worlds on a sleigh or various animals, your eyes will constantly escape to the fantastically designed world, and your entire adventure will be accompanied by the great music of Bear McCreary, who made the music for Battlestar Galactica , the Amazon series Rings of Power, Outlander, but also numerous games.
From the start, Ragnarok will seem familiar to everyone who played the first game and swung an ax at least once, and the introduction to the game will serve well to remind you of the controls and story from its predecessor.
Through the game, we follow their relationship, which continues several years later, and is still riddled with conflicts that often characterize the relationship between fathers and sons, so we have a teenage son who wants to prove himself and earn the trust of his father, who still tries to solve most of the problems with an ax. They are closer, but the events they set in motion in the previous game, referring to Ragnarok, pull them to their side. It inevitably affects their relationship later in the game. All of this is woven through the conflicts of the Norse gods and their mutual family dramas, which we encounter along the way. All this spice to the game brings us those characters who seem quite alive and down-to-earth through the various reactions we see in their conversations, and various side missions will show you the background of various relationships. Eh, there are a lot of these side missions and various services and they can drastically distract you from the main mission and increase the playing time. True, valuable prizes are often hidden at the end of them, but they make the whole thing more complex.
It’s interesting how this game puts a huge emphasis on Atreus and mostly acts as an ‘Atreus story’, and the fact that you go through parts of the game alone or accompanied by some interesting companions gives you the opportunity to discover new details about Atreus. The same thing applies when Kratos is alone without the boy, because his conversations with Mimir, as well as the characters who help him along the way, also reveal how Kratos thinks, but also how he feels. Mimir, but also Brok and Sindri, who are there from the previous sequel, also serve to add some humor to the whole story, so they have various jumps, and they, along with some of your other companions, are also there to point you to some clues that you might not see at first. However, it can sometimes be a little clumsy because it will point you to something ahead of time and maybe spoil that a-ha moment where you discovered how to solve one of the many puzzles and mechanisms in order to progress further. One conditional minus to the whole story is that it is too tied to the previous game. Clearly, it is a sequel and it has to be, but it will be difficult for a paratrooper to see this as an independent game.
The Leviathan Ax and Blades of Chaos are still your main weapons, but not your only ones. Deftly swinging one or the other through the game and lightning-fast combinations of blows in which you will scatter and turn numerous enemies into dust will continue to be your main tool for progressing through the game, but now those animations are richer and Kratos, as well as Atreus, grind opponents in really creative ways on his way. Kratos has both weapons practically from the start of the game, more or less everything is there as in the last sequel, but the system of upgrading skills and equipment is simplified and it is easier to navigate. There are also various novelties in which you will be able to use ‘nature’ as a weapon, so in parts of the game you have trees that you can pull out of the ground, but also rocks that you can throw at enemies to cause enormous damage. There are more enemies now, they’re more varied, and more often you’ll find mini-bosses on your way that, depending on the level you’re playing on, will be a source of frustration until you hit the right barrage of blows with the ice ax and fire blades to break them into their basic parts. And there are also a lot more big bosses and they will prove to be a real challenge.