Game news God of War Ragnarok: the PlayStation exclusive too close to the last episode?
The more days and months pass, the closer we get to the release of God of War Ragnarok! Yes, the sequel to the 2018 episode promises to be “the meeting” of the end of the year and any information about it is good to take. Recently, we have also been able to see more. The outlines of the game are emerging but don’t they look too much like those of the last part? Here is our opinion.
While the PlayStation Showcase for the start of the school year is long overdue, it is finally Game Informer to report new details – and images – of God of War Ragnarok. The sequel to the adventures of Kratos and Atreus is expected on November 9, 2022 on PS4 | PS5 and promises to end the PlayStation year in style! In this context, the American media teach us something more the action phases and “Svartalfheim”, kingdom of the dwarves. It’s no surprise: Ragnarok seems to rely on all the qualities of the latest God of War, trying to improve them, to take them further. A laudable goal, but above all the episode should find its way.
Also, remember that this time it is not Cory Barlog who is in charge. The man, who became the essential face of the 2018 reboot, leaves the director’s post to Eric Williams, a veteran of the Santa Monica studio who has worked on all aspects of God of War. It is not a coincidence. The club likes to change directors game after game to keep things fresh.
Towards a God of War “1.5”?
And freshness, it will be in God of War Ragnarok! Here, the Lake of Nine – the central area of the last episode – is completely frozen, forcing Kratos and his son Atreus to use a sled to get around. It is therefore not trivial: this new chapter broadly resumes the videogame era of 2018. Obviously with many additions. As PlayStation has already hinted at, God of War Ragnarok will take us through the nine realms of Midgard (versus the previous title’s six). In interview made for Game Informer, Eric Williams explains that areas already visited will seem “new again”. For now, no more information.
On the other hand, the exclusive Game Informer allowed us to see the kingdom of Svartalfheim in action. “We wanted to show the dwarves and what they do in this place” tell then Jon Hickenbottom – level designer on Ragnarok, for the American media. “In the previous software, we sometimes felt quite lonely” observes James Riding, his colleague. “So, especially with Svartalfheim, we wanted to show a living world. There is not only Kratos around ”.
To evolve in this area – and in the other realms – the hero and his son will be able to count on new abilities. Game Informer’s Svartalfheim gameplay therefore shows a Kratos capable of doing this freezes the geysers with his Leviathan ax and break pots using Blades of Chaos. “(With Ragnarok, ed) we wanted to evolve the gameplay in the level space – more variety and verticality” comments Jon Hickenbottom in this regard. Obviously, this new God of War will focus on the same balance between phases of action, puzzle, storytelling, the formidable Mimir always ready to share his stories during a boat trip.
Also, as long as it comes to action, Game Informer has revealed more on the subject. This Ragnarok will introduce, among other things, three novelties: a “signature movement” for the Blades of Chaos and Leviathan’s Ax, used to impregnate any firearm or ice to inflict additional damage and status effects; as well as two new shields, namely “Dauntless” and “Stonewall”. The first opens the way for perfect parries to deliver a powerful blow. The second accumulates energy while blocking the assaults, eventually managing to activate a shock wave on the ground. More shields will be part of the final project. Santa Monica wish offer more varied and flexible fights. The Game Informer video testifies to this.
“We have tried to create systems that make you want to dig, that are fun, that are very playful, that offer a lot of possibilities. When we looked at combat in the last game, we thought, “We can go further and find new toys and new ways to play with enemies and strategies.” This was our guide ” – Mihir Sheth, Combat Designer (Game Informer)
Change for the better?
In front of the images of Game Informer, yes, God of Ragnarok seems to pass a path in terms of action. But this is not our main concern! We wonder above all how this episode will manage its equipment and playful aspect, too messy in 2018; how Santa Monica will better integrate its puzzles and found in the areas; and above all how the narrative will be renewed, the main ingredient of the success of the last God of War. It is on this point that the handover between Cory Barlog and Eric Williams will undoubtedly be the most palpable. The previous director was inspired by his life as a father to shape the new Kratos. “It didn’t work for my wife and me” to confess for his part the last sculptor of the God of War, on (again) an interview with Game Informer.
“I looked at (the script for God of War, ed) from another angle. I thought ok, the last game was a lot about a young person and several adults (…) How can we change that? There is a better prospect for Atreus, to grow up, to become a young man. And so we wanted to find a way to introduce the heroes closest to his age. ” – Eric Williams, director of Ragnarok (Game Informer)
Thus was born Angrboda, the young (and last) giant we see at the end of trailer of last year. God of War Ragnarok should therefore put in place interesting ideas for the character of Atreus – who will also be led to question his own nature. What gives a beautiful dynamic to the story, without forgetting everything about the Gods and the End of the World. After yes, there is still a lot to know about God of War Ragnarok. It’s almost a certainty, Sony should talk about it during the PlayStation Showcase at the start of the school year!