God of War Ragnarök – The 2018 God of War gets a sequel this week that is largely the same. It is a game about fights between gods, but especially about the strained relationship between a father and his adolescent son.
God of War Ragnarök
For years,God of Warwas playstation’s big action game series. The Spartan Kratos fought his way past all the gods on Mount Olympus and eventually became the god of war himself. They were popcorn titles: kratos fights were magnified considerably, with plenty of room for a lot of blood, adrenaline and here and there some thoughtless sex.
That changed in 2018 when a sequel, simply titled God of War, appeared for the PlayStation 4. In that game, a quieter, thoughtful Kratos had moved to the Scandinavian god world of Midgaard.
The bloodthirsty Kratos had become a father and was therefore struggling with a struggle on a much smaller scale: life as a single father. He tried to save his son from the anger he himself once felt, while also struggling to give his wartime past a place.
Battle between father and adolescent
The new God of War Ragnarök builds directly on that. Kratos’ son Atreus is now an adolescent and is just beginning to show the impulsive behavior that the father recognizes from his own childhood.
This brings Kratos’ biggest fear a little closer: that his son will become the same young warrior who killed Olympus in the first games. But Kratos has trouble properly articulating his concerns to his son.
Meanwhile, a new evil threatens: the Norse god Odin invades the house of Kratos and Atreus and starts a battle that continues throughout the game. But that grand, mythical spectacle rages in the background, while the relationship between Kratos and Atreus is central.
It’s an intimate, personal story. As in many modern games, everything in God of War is played out by actors in special suits. In this case, it results in a game that feels like a good movie or TV series.
At its core, as in 2018
Game-wise, not much has changed since 2018. Kratos still plays largely the same as in the previous part and chops enemies with an axe. While there’s little new to the combat system, it’s still great four years later. Fights feel exciting and require supreme concentration. Ramming blindly on the buttons rarely pays off and profit always feels deserved.
In between battles, you’ll explore mythical Scandinavian areas by walking, jumping, and solving puzzles. While you can explore the game world a little more freely later, you’ll be walking one big linear path most of your time.
Puzzles sometimes frustrating and sometimes great
The puzzles that you find feel atmospheric. But if you don’t know what to do, they quickly lead to frustration. The creators want you to solve everything in a specific way, and if you haven’t discovered that way, it’s like hitting a brick wall.
But if you are on the same wavelength with the game designers, those puzzles often turn out great. It feels like you’re discovering a great mystery in a temple from an Indiana Jones movie. Because the game walks a linear path, almost every puzzle is unique, which prevents boredom from setting in.
God of War Ragnarökis more of what we saw in 2018 with God ofWar. The fact that this sequel is also exciting and compelling shows that that previous game from 2018 was ahead of its time.
Just like in the pastor, Ragnarök tells a frank story, this time about how during puberty the relationship between parent and child comes under pressure. It is extremely special that action games like this, which were long ago known for their exaggerated violence, can paint such an intimate portrait.
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God of War Ragnarök