God of War Ragnarok Review


The next installment of God of War has arrived, but can it stand up to its predecessor? The God of War (GOW) franchise, created by developers at Santa Monica Studios, was launched in 2005 with the initial God of War game. God of War Ragnarok is being released in November 2022.

The predecessor of the newest game, GOW 2018, won the game of the year award in 2018. In my opinion, GOW Ragnarok is better than GOW 2018. The story was more in-depth than the difficult-to-beat storyline of GOW 2018. 

The developers at Santa Monica rose to the occasion and delivered a game that beat its established high expectations. 

GOW contains one of the best stories in gaming and one of the dearest stories to me. The newest installment encapsulates the beautiful feeling I get from playing the God of War games and adds many more elements to the story.

GOW Ragnarok follows Kratos as he continues his struggle with parenthood. The first couple of moments shows he is far from the man he was in the previous game. He smiles, which is a big deal for him, and he lets his son show him his independence, a continuous struggle between them throughout the story. 

Thor and Odin visit them and offer them peace through the upcoming Ragnarok; they decline and sought after Tyr, the God of War in these lands. They find him and recruit him, but he is passive, refuses to hurt anything, and continues to find reasons to leave. Atreus sneaks out with Sindri after everyone goes to sleep and sees Freya. She spares his life but says she will not do the same for Kratos.

While visiting their old home, they are attacked, and Atreus turns into a bear; Kratos stops him from hurting the stranger when it is revealed to be Freya. She backs down and agrees to make a truce with Kratos as long as they help her break the curse tying her to Midgard. Atreus leaves for Asgard with Odin after he gets in a fight with his dad. He releases a Large Dog while looking for artifacts under Odin’s influence. 

Atreus returns home, and Kratos helps him place the spirit of his dead wolf into the large wolf. After Tyr becomes Odin in disguise, they end up going to war against Asgard. They win the war against Asgard, and Atreus decides to go on his journey alone while Kratos realizes this is his time to be a good god. So he continues to do good things around the nine realms with Freya by his side.

The game’s map design is drop-dead gorgeous. Even though this game was designed for new consoles, I’m glad Santa Monica released a last-generation version for the PlayStation 4. I believe this allows a broader audience to enjoy this game’s masterpiece. 

The combat system was also improved from the last game. They took the combat system from GOW 2018, added more moves, and removed others. The weapons used in GOW Ragnarok are an excellent blend of elemental power, just as you would expect a god to use. 

The Blades of Chaos has fire that can burn through anything you need to, making it a valuable tool to behold. The Leviathan Axe has ice that can freeze anything and causes ice damage to enemies. The Draupnir Spear has wind elemental allowing a blast of air to blow up on enemies, and the unlimited amount that can be produced allows for many explosions and even vault capabilities for reaching high-to-reach areas.

Similar to how you gained the blades of chaos later in the game from the previous one, In Ragnarok, you gain a spear made from the Draupnir ring, a ring that produces eight rings of equal weight, value, and look; this power is harnessed into a weapon, a spear that duplicates into an exact version of the previous spear. They introduced this weapon in a similar way as the previous game, which is later in the story.

The initial fight with Thor was beautifully done. The battle establishes Thor as a massive threat to Kratos; being able to kill and revive Kratos just because he wasn’t done with him yet was a terrifying moment for all who played the game. At the end of the game,  one genuinely gets excited when Thor shows change and decides to rebel against Odin. 

What worked well for this game in both marketing and practice is the threat of Freya. Showing her off in the trailer was perfect for getting everyone invested in seeing what happened with Freya after the death of Baldur. The threat of Freya plotting to take out Kratos all while you traverse the snowy landscapes with Atreus is terrifying and a completely different take than the loving, potion-making, magical goddess she was in the GOW 2018. 

The new distraught makeup ruined by tears Freya that we see shows excellent development, and when she joins Kratos and Atreus in taking down Asgard, it offers a lot of character development. The perfect amount of development for a great character such as Freya.

The friendship that developed between Atreus and Sindri was unexpected, at least for me, but it was a good development. Sindri being more than just the blacksmith that helps Kratos and Atreus with their adventures was well deserved. Kratos including Brok in his adventures since Sindri was helping Atreus was also an exquisite detail. 

Overall, I personally love the God of War series; after playing every game in the series multiple times it is safe to say that God of War Ragnarok was one of the best installments of the entire series. The anticipation and suspense of fate deeming Krato’s death as imminent and forcing the player to play everything that is foretold was scary for me. I genuinely felt like there was nothing I could do to prove the fates (Norns) wrong. 

The ending was perfectly worth the journey, and the satisfying ending was immaculate. This game franchise has my favorite story of all time, and God of War Ragnarok was the absolute perfect addition to the story. I believe God of War Ragnarok is better as a game and has a better story than GOW 2018. I genuinely hope that God of War Ragnarok wins the game of the year for 2022 or 2023.