A generation defining game that shows greatness at every turn
Think in your head of games that defined a generation. Uncharted? Metal Gear Solid? The Last of Us, these were games that years on (25 years in MGS’ case!) that are spoken highly about even now. It’s those games where you only wish you could re-experience for the first time. God of War is a game that I’d completed three times. Was it a game that would live in the memory like those said previously? Probably not due to some niggles that I had. Now here we have God of War’s sequel, God of War Ragnarök. I’ve spent roughly 35 hours with the game as I write this. There was a reason I spoke about generation defining games at the start. God of War Ragnarök is exactly that and up there with one of the best games I have ever played.
Yes, it’s that good ladies and gents, God of War Ragnarök is one hell of a special game from start to finish, and everything in between. Sony Santa Monica have done a tremendous job and it’s why it’s worthy of the perfect score that I have give the game in this review. The PlayStation 5 have some very special games but I really think that God of War Ragnarök is worth buying the console for alone!. Let’s start with the story shall we?
One thing that I promise not to do in this review is share any story details with you. It’s so frustrating reading a review of something you’re really looking forward to watch/play yourself and we are not in the game to spoil things here at Game Hype. You just simply need to play through this. Yes, a playthrough of God of War is strongly recommended before playing this but if you have read this and instantly want to play it (I couldn’t blame you), God of War Ragnarök has a nice little re-cap feature in the starting menu so you can get an idea of what happened in the first one. Warning, it’s very very sparse in terms of information so like I said, I would strongly recommend you playing through God of War first. God of War Ragnarök picks up a little while after the first, and right from the first 15 minutes, I was like wow!. I’ve not had a game that has made me feel so many emotions throughout the story like this in a long time and it’s testament to the developers on what they have done. I also loved the ending too, as it easily sets the game up for a third or maybe even a spin off. Come to me when you’ve finished the game, we’ll talk more….
God of War Ragnarök lets you choose between ‘better’ performance or better resolutions before you first start up. I used ‘better’ because I tried both settings and I thought both looked and ran fantastically well. There were slight differences, but overall God of War Ragnarök harnesses the power of the PlayStation 5. Traversing through the different forests, throughout the different realms is represented brilliantly. The vibrancy, the rich nature of colour used, this is the best looking PlayStation 5 game that I have played since owning the console at launch. A special mention to Ironwood…. You’ll see when you get there.
I love the God of War Ragnarök music, and the sequel just lets me appreciate it even more. This is a game where I can’t recommend enough using the 3D pulse headset that you can get for the console. When using them, it turns it into a completely different experience. Voice acting is super, with a plethora of characters all bringing in a powerful, energetic performance. I also loved the little bits of humour that the game has at times. There is boss battle where once you’ve done it, Kratos says “sit”, and I laughed so hard. Again, no spoilers here but you’ll get the context once you have played it and hopefully you’ll love that scene as much as I do. Brok and Sindri are two of my favourite characters in the sequel, which is quite amusing as I found them quite annoying in the original. Hearing their story play out and being a part of that, it’s just amazing.
What I really like about God of War Ragnarök is that Santa Monica haven’t tried to over do the games’ mechanics. They haven’t tried to introduce too much and change the formula of what made God of War such a success. Everything you loved gameplay wise about the first game is back in God of War Ragnarök, but only fine tuned and built on to make it even better. One of the stand out features in the game is you now get to play as BOTH Kratos and Atreus. Yes, and they’ve done it brilliantly! There are certain parts of the story where you’ll branch off and play as either Kratos and Atreus. Because I’d played all of God of War as Kratos, I was intrigued to see and feel how Atreus would play. Rest assured, Atreus was brilliant to play as. His attacks, runic attacks are brilliant and wait until you see Atreus’ ‘Rage’ attack. I won’t tell you what it is, but my god I had fun with it. Combat has also been improved upon for Kratos too, with more attacks for both the Axe and Chaos Blades being added. I never once got bored of the combat in God of War Ragnarök, which is a statement in itself. The Boss fights once again build on the original. There are some mindblowing boss fights, which I won’t mention in particular but it just made me appreciate the game even more.
One of the main gripes I had with the first game was at times I found the puzzles in the game quite annoying. I sometimes felt that there was a lack of logic and yes, I had to turn to YouTube a couple of times. It seems Santa Monica have listened, and the puzzles now flow really well, with nothing really feeling ‘too hard’. The game helps you out more as if you click in the R3 button, it’ll direct the camera to where you need to go whilst the characters will also hint at what you need to do. However, I never felt ‘stuck’ and I was able to never get frustrated with the game.
The levelling up system is similar to that of God of War. Even after the end, I’m really enjoying doing the quests that I left behind in the other realms because I am able to level up each character evenly, without it feeling like a grind. The story of God of War will take you around 20 – 25 hours to complete, depending on your difficulty choice. This is a game that has so much playability, and I think that there is easily over 40/50 hours of content here for those who like to platinum games
God of War Ragnarök is an enthralling sequel. It shows off the PlayStation 5’s power to its core and shows why PlayStation have some, if not the best story tellers in the world. If you take one thing from this review, I want you to need to play this game… trust me, you’ll thank me later. But for now, thank you Sony, PlayStation and Santa Monica for delivering a masterpiece that will go down as one of the greatest of all times.
A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by PlayStation UK