Our opinion on God of War: Ragnarok, which was released on November 9, 2022 and has already broken sales records.
Maybe the Game of the Year award for God of War? And father of the year for Kratos? Aging, battle-weary, struggling with his destiny, our beloved god of war wants to avoid the destruction of another pantheon. But to our greatest delight, the Æsir of Norse mythology will swallow their teeth. Blame Atreus, who thinks he’s too big in the midst of a god-like adolescence crisis, and Kratos, who still struggles to confess his love to his son…if not to be cruel to anyone who wishes him harm.
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If the God of War formula has been so refreshing since 2018, it’s because of the father-son relationship that has all the charm and complexity of The Last of Us. We take it even further with this opus. Kratos and Atreus both oppose and unite, and their choice inevitably fuels Ragnarok, the end of time as depicted in Norse mythology. The storytelling is a marvel that binds Katros and Atreus together more than ever as the nine worlds wither. From start to finish, the game offers real moving scenes worthy of a movie. The technical prowess of the production is stunning, knowing that the cutscenes and game phases are one. The camera never turns off. From the first second to the explosive ending, one camera pans behind and between the characters, but offers more than one iconic scene. Achievement gem.
The music is still inspiring, with some very strong newcomers and some familiar themes that often foreshadow something heavy. You know, when Kratos’ music kicks in, the god of war is about to go off the rails. God of War: Ragnarok fits the bill, the adventure is as beautiful as it is challenging, the game sounds like a great ending that fans shouldn’t shy away from.
Combat, exploration, puzzles… The perfect formula?
And what happens when we are not interested in history and we have to take on the controller? As in the first part of 2018, the game ranges from very intense and fast-paced combat phases, a treasure hunt littered with puzzles, and exploration of vast territories across several kingdoms that will take several hours (each) to navigate. All of this adds up to a pretty great lifespan for this single player game, count down at least 20 hours to play through the story in a straight line, and well, triple that to complete the side quests, find all the chests, and visit all the locations. It’s always nice to ride a boat, sled or run through the nine worlds. Each of them has their own stories that the characters want to tell, and which you can listen to or not.
To take full advantage of this universe, feel free to lower the difficulty of the game because the challenge is very high. The smallest opponent has his own scheme, which will have to be remembered in order not to get slapped in the face in every fight. Dodging and parrying will be your best allies, and if you don’t master them, it’s useless to play on normal difficulty or higher. Oddly enough, boss encounters aren’t necessarily the hardest, and you’ll be much more afraid of certain creatures that spawn more frequently.
However, if you enjoy challenges, expect to drool but be rewarded with the visual blasts the game offers and the fate that awaits those who bow before you. The final blows are still pleasant, brutal and unfiltered.
Fortunately, the game is not only about killing everything that moves, far from it. You will even spend most of your time racking your brains to unlock a path to a chest or even the main story. And riddles … sometimes far-fetched, due to the fault of one or another mechanism, which does not always work and therefore leads us on the wrong track. After a good hour of thinking, it’s frustrating to turn to solutions on the Internet and realize that our basic idea was right, we just had to insist a little more … The feeling of annoyance increased when Kratos’ road was blocked by a simple cart or a wooden door.
The post-game is very generous. Revisiting worlds will almost always reward you with one or more new secrets. And the Trials of Muspelheim are back to test your assassination skills.
Destroy myths to sublimate them
This is the hallmark of God of War games: to deconstruct the image of well-known gods, as close as possible to what they embody in their mythology. Don’t expect, for example, to face a Marvel superhero during a face-to-face encounter with Thor. The game features a large number of Scandinavian characters that play a role in the original Ragnarök stories. God of War revisits them in its own way, but the few Norse mythology enthusiasts will find well-known characters, creatures, and weapons.
All of them are beautifully embodied in a flawless background. Frédéric Suterel’s cavernous voice has always paired well with Kratos since 2018. The rest of the actors are just as diligent.
In conclusion: why wait?
God of War: Ragnarok is undoubtedly a candidate for the Game Award 2022, both for the neat adventure, the beauty of the plastics, and for the spectacular gameplay. The game is already breaking all records: in the first week after the release, more than 5 million copies were sold – this is the best launch in the history of a Playstation game. As we remember, Kratos is owned by Sony and can only be played on PS4 and PS5. He dethrones two excellent games, Marvel’s Spider-Man (3.3 million in first week sales) and The Last of Us Part 2 (4 million in first week) with spartan rage on his face.