Connect with us


God of War Ragnarök played: Truly Divine



God of War Ragnarök played: Truly Divine

Next week, first-party title God of War Ragnarök will be released exclusively for Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The game was again developed by Santa Monica Studio. I had the chance to see this game up close before it even launched. I was already very impressed with the predecessor: it did everything a meaningful reboot required. The sequel is a successful evolution and a must-have game for PlayStation owners.

However, I would like to say what is probably the only downside in advance: we notice in “God of War Ragnarök” that the PlayStation 4 was always the main platform. While “Horizon Forbidden West” (here is my test) on PS5 offers significant added value, Kratos’ new adventure promises to be tighter. However, there is a wide variety of modes. For one, you can play this action-adventure in native 4K at the highest quality settings and 30 fps. If you’re using a display with a 120Hz refresh rate, you also have the option of switching to 40fps – as you know from ‘The Last of Us’ remake.

God of War Ragnarok [PlayStation 5] 100% uncut

God of War Ragnarok [PlayStation 5] 100% uncut

  • Atreus is looking for knowledge that will help him understand the meaning of “Loki’s prophecy” and his role in Ragnarok…
  • The Leviathan Axe, Chaos Blades, and Guardian Shield return, joining a whole arsenal of new abilities that…

Then there are two performance modes: The first shows you “God of War Ragnarök” at 60 fps, but reduces some detail and also the now dynamic resolution to a minimum of 1440p. The second performance mode, which only works on 120Hz displays, again maintains dynamic resolution and fully unlocks the frame rate. Here you sometimes find yourself at 90 fps and above, but the frame rate fluctuates wildly. It’s only worth it if you have a TV with VRR support.

Personally, I’m always more interested in graphics quality and I don’t need to have the highest frame rate. So I mostly played in 40 fps mode. It’s cool that there are so many options. Incidentally, this also applies to accessibility settings, which are just as huge as in Naughty Dog titles. Sony should be commended here, as they really kneel here with first-party games.

“God of War Ragnarök” continues the story of “God of War”. Kratos is still touring north with his son Atreus. The martial anti-hero no longer rivals Greek gods, as in early PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 era games, but sinks deep into Norse mythology. For me, as an aurora borealis, it’s a good thing. The reboot not only changed the storyline that “God of War Ragnarök” continues, but also shook up the combat system, which was designed for button mashing and quick events.

The latter remains largely intact in the sequel, but has been refined. You can also wield Kratos’ ax or let his blades do the talking. Depending on the type of enemy and the number of enemies, one or the other weapon is more suitable. Just hitting it, like in the early “God of War” branded games, won’t get you very far. Instead, the combat system is mostly about the right time to block, dodge, and attack, as well as choosing the right attacks. Without attention and without tactics, you are quickly on the ground.

As in the predecessor, you can fill Kratos’ wrath and trigger a sort of berserk state where Kratos deals undeterred and takes less damage. Here too, the timing must be right when you use this powerful bonus. I found the difficulty level of “God of War” so unusually sharp for a modern game that I occasionally switched to “Easy”. “God of War Ragnarök” is more merciful, but this may also be due to Kratos’ already increased arsenal at the start. Atreus is always there to back him up with his bow and arrows, which can also be key in exploiting enemy weaknesses. Especially since the developers have greatly increased the variety of opponents.

You’ll also come across mini-bosses much more often now, so you’ll barely be able to catch your breath in some areas of the game. In order not to sink, there’s also the option to collect and upgrade new gear. However, the whole system has been streamlined a bit so that it is no longer too complex. For example, your weapons are no longer socketed. However, you can still equip runes to gain special abilities and bonuses. Here you have to constantly adjust, because depending on the separate world in which you travel during the game, other skills can help you.

Which leads to the story: The end of the titular world, Ragnarök, is near. It doesn’t sit well with Norse gods who are still alive, like Odin and Thor. They aren’t keen on Kratos entering their spheres, especially since his actions in “God of War” stirred up a lot of dust and led to new friendships, but also new feuds. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the story is much larger than in part 1, where the central motif, which revolved around the death of Kratos’ wife and Atreus’ mother, was simpler, but also more personal.

In “God of War Ragnarök”, I didn’t find the story as exciting, but it was still very well staged. Like many sequels, there’s a bit of a “faster, higher, further” mentality that sometimes overshoots the mark. As a result, the game is also more extensive than its predecessor. You can schedule 30 hours for the main story. If you take side tasks with you and give in to the urge to find out, then maybe add an extra 15 hours or more. For an unopened world game, that’s pretty impressive.

That’s right, there’s no open game world here: as with the predecessor, there’s a certain central area from which you can travel through portals to different worlds that are self-contained. This again leads to a lot of variety, even if you know some scenarios from the predecessor. Oh, and I would like to warn you: if you haven’t played the predecessor yet, then you should definitely catch up before starting “God of War Ragnarök”. Too often you’ll be sitting in front of the screen with a question mark because you can’t follow the story.

The latter still has a bit of melancholy, but also leaves room for a little more humor than in the first. Bear McCreary’s orchestral soundtrack, which I really appreciate since he worked on “Battlestar Galactica”, also creates a lot of atmosphere. Sony hasn’t splashed here and is pulling out all the artillery. And while I hinted at the start that God of War Ragnarök was clearly a PS4 title, the art design and attention to detail here play at such a dizzying level that the game still looks absolutely stunning.

As you know from Sony’s first-party games, “God of War Ragnarök” is extremely polished from the get-go. The frame rate is as stable as concrete, and there were no bugs or crashes in my pre-release. PlayStation Studios is considered the crème de la crème of developers for a reason. Here’s another exclusive title that Microsoft should watch with wide eyes.

The main thing that matters is that you love a game like this: and God of War Ragnarök still does that. The story is entertaining, combat quickly becomes second nature, and the varied game world and atmospheric soundtrack quickly captivate you.

Rarely have I lost track of time as much as with this game. In the end, “Horizon Forbidden West” seduced me. So if you own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, you should definitely try out this new exclusive. “God of War Ragnarök” is a game you will surely hear about for a long time to come – at the latest when it tops many “Game of the Year” lists.

God of War Ragnarok [PlayStation 4]

God of War Ragnarok [PlayStation 4]

  • Atreus is looking for knowledge that will help him understand the meaning of “Loki’s prophecy” and his role in Ragnarok…
  • The Leviathan Axe, Chaos Blades, and Guardian Shield return, joining a whole arsenal of new abilities that…

This article contains affiliate links, so we mark it as advertisement. By clicking on it, you will directly access the supplier. If you decide to make a purchase there, we will receive a small commission. Nothing changes in the price for you. Thank you for your support!

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *