The man, the myth, the absolute UNIT returns in his latest – and greatest – god-slaying adventure on PS4 and PS5
By Jon Billinge, Staff Writer
Following on from 2018’s action-adventure smash hit God Of War, Ragnarök sees the titular man mountain navigating the end-of-days event with son Atreus in tow. Not quite the vacation he was hoping for, we’d wager.
Beginning life back in 2015 with the original God Of War on the PlayStation 2, the franchise has come on leaps and bounds since then to become the cinematic showstopper it is today. Rich in lore, snappy gameplay and great big battle axes to the FACE, each new iteration is – like Ragnarök’s mythological namesake – quite the event.
But what does the new adventure entail? What new features can you expect? Will Kratos ever get to put his feet up? Read on to discover all this and more before the game launches on Wednesday 9 November.
What’s the story?
Set three years after the events of God Of War, Ragnarök opens as Fimbulwinter, a season spanning three summers, is reaching its end. This, in Norse mythology, signifies the beginning of Ragnarök, a time of great wars, the death of gods and the submersion of the world in water.
In a bid to prevent this cataclysm from occurring, Kratos and his teenage son Atreus set out on an epic journery across nine realms. But their journey will be anything from a walk in the park, with all manner of men, beasts and gods (including the mighty Thor) looking to thwart his efforts. Someone tell Chris Hemsworth!
Who is Kratos?
Known by various names, such as “God of War”, “the divine personification of strength” and “Dad”, Kratos is an archetypal antihero. A Spartan warrior tricked into murdering his family by the former God of War, Ares, he’s a morally ambiguous and at times bloodthirsty killer. On exacting his revenge against Ares, he becomes the new God of War, before discovering his true nature as a demigod and son of Zeus. Tough break.
But Kratos’s personality is not without its winning aspects: he has a sense of justice and even the capacity for something approaching warmth, as demonstrated by his grumbling quips, relentless pursuing of misbehaving gods, and nuanced relationship with son Atreus.
As in 2018’s God Of War, Atreus will be at his father’s side throughout much of Ragnarök, aiding Kratos in battle with his superhuman strength and expert archery skills, and probably rolling his eyes at his dad’s misty-eyed war stories around the campfire.
Where is Ragnarök set?
Where in the previous game you only had six realms to explore, here all nine are open, each with its own unique flora and fauna. With Midgard, Alfheim, Helheim, Jotunheim, Muspelheim, Niflheim, Vanaheim, Svartalfheim and Asgard on your travel itinerary, that’s a lot of roses to stop and smell… and a lot of heads to chop off.
What’s the gameplay like?
In a word: sumptuous. The series has long been praised for its tight controls and beautiful cinematography, and Ragnarök is no different.
The game is presented in one continuous shot, with no cuts or loading screens, letting you fully immerse yourself in the action. And boy oh boy is the action sweeter than ever. Across the nine realms you’ll battle a host of foes from Norse mythology, from the small to the large to the absolutely MASSIVE, drawing on a combination of spectacular melee combos, supernatural abilities and complementary attacks courtesy of Atreus.
Is there crafting?
At the start of Ragnarök, Kratos is equipped with all three of his weapons from the previous game: the Leviathan Axe, the Blades of Chaos and the Guardian Shield.
But that’s just the start of it. Runes, equipment drops and crafting all make a return, with the latter packaged in a simple, no-frills interface that’ll let you see all the necessary stats and buffs, and admire your creations – before burying them in your enemy’s skull of course.
How big is God Of War: Ragnarök?
When can I play God Of War: Ragnarök?
God Of War: Ragnarök is available on PS4 and PS5 from Wednesday 9 November.