An epic journey across the Nine Realms fueled with action, emotions and heartbreaks
From Rs. 3,999; PS4, PS5
The 2018 God of War set the benchmark high, which meant any game following up has to match the greatness of the critically acclaimed game, if not surpass it. And after playing through the main story of the God of War Ragnarök for about 30 hours, we can say that the sequel lives up to the hype.
If the previous game centred around Kratos coming to terms as a single parent, God of Ragnarök centres around their evolved relationship of father and son and forging new bonds or amending old ones.
Its a story that was already in motion when Kratos killed Baldur and Atreus learned his identity as Loki in a prophecy. But since these incidents happened in the previous game, Santa Monica Studio offers a brief refresher found in the game’s main menu. Thoughtful, but the recap felt short and hurried, which may be difficult for the new players to grasp due to the different characters and storyline. We would recommend playing the previous game first or watching the videos online. Anyway, here we are, in Ragnarök, where Kratos and Atreus embark on a journey traversing through the Nine Realms with the hope to change the outcome of the prophesied war.
But as they say, it’s the journey that counts and it’s true here. The different realms are beautifully designed and feature breathtaking vistas along with extreme attention to detail showing the uniqueness of each realm you visit.
When it comes to the narrative, there’s a nice ebb and flow to the story that feels well-paced giving users the rush and calm as we progress through the campaign. The story is predictable, but we were genuinely surprised by the few twists and turns. Sprinkled around the main campaign are side quests, which are abundant and can result in unlocking some cool gear and abilities. Enhancing the story further is a top-notch performance by all the actors involved. Mimir’s conversations (voiced by Alastair Duncan) keep us entertained throughout whereas the deep grunts by Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) show his interest in the conversation. However, it was Richard Schiff’s voice and acting that made Odin’s evil intentions seem noble and believable.
Combat is where the God of War Ragnarök shines through. The hack-and-slash attacks originating from Kratos’ Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos are so satisfying that is elevated with runic attacks and adequate defence to take the enemy down. Of course, there’s no specific playstyle to defeat the enemy and the game encourages you to try different move combinations, be observant or just experiment with different gear. Atreus is no longer just a sidekick. Well, he still is but his combat is more in sync when fighting alongside Kratos. Atreus’ expanded role in the game means there are instances where you’ll play as Atreus and frankly, some of them were more enjoyable than fighting as Kratos.
The God of War Ragnarök is available on both the PS4 and PS5 where players can choose to prioritise performance or quality. Playing on the PS5 has its advantages like faster loading via SSD, improved visuals, DualSense integration and 3D audio support but we went with the performance mode on the PS4 Pro and it fared fluidly without discernable compromises.
Overall, God of War Ragnarök tells an epic story that fuses gameplay, character performances and the overall atmosphere so well. It’s a must-play for a GoW fan and for someone who is dipping their toe in the franchise for the first time.
WE’RE IMPRESSED Story, visuals, optimised performance
WE’D IMPROVE N/A
THE LAST WORD God of War Ragnarök is a fitting sequel and our GoTY for 2022