Ragnarök Rocks The House 

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By Fabian Camacho

On November 9, 2022, The second installment of God of War’s Norse Saga released worldwide. It was met with critical acclaim from all of the big game websites and it was a hit with the fans, myself included. After earning the Platinum Trophy and doing another playthrough, I think I am more than ready to share my thoughts on “God of War: Ragnarök.” 

To begin, I’ll talk about the gameplay as a whole. Practically all moves from the last game have returned with the exception of a few that have been either replaced or removed altogether. Certain attacks have been remapped and what was already a smooth combat system has become even smoother! Landing complex combos and last-minute dodges are extremely satisfying. To further complement the combat, there is a wide variety of enemies and enemy types to battle this time around- playing as Kratos hasn’t felt so lively in years.  

The visuals and music in this game are absolutely phenomenal. Unlike the last installment in 2018, Kratos and company are able to travel to and explore all nine realms of Norse myth, each one having extremely unique and stunning terrain and design languages to diversify them from one another. No two realms feel the same and that is to be applauded. As for the score, composer Bear McCreary really went all out and, in my opinion, has provided some of his best work yet. The music feels alive at moments and captures the mood perfectly. There is absolutely no wonder how McCreary won the award for his score at 2022’s Game Awards.    

After the impact of the last game’s story, it was always going to be a challenge for this one to live up to it, but I believe “Ragnarök” was able to achieve this. As Kratos and his son, Atreus, seek to prevent the end of days, they encounter the destructive Aesir gods of their lands. To watch the father relationship grow between the two protagonists as everything points to utter destruction is nothing short of beautiful storytelling and makes for both heart-wrenching and heart-warming moments throughout the game’s approximately 25-hour story. Several new characters also get introduced and help to make “God of War: Ragnarök” a great stand-alone adventure.  

The performances in this game are all masterful and only serve the story for the better. Christopher Judge (Kratos) even won the award for Best Performance at the 2022 Game Awards! 

Of course, the game is not perfect. I take issue with little things that I believe could have been handled better. First, I think that the new menu system is just too much. There are several menus within menus and it can be very overwhelming at first, though after some time it becomes less daunting. While I praised the enemy variety earlier, it needs to be said that the scattered mini-bosses (replacements for the Valkyries of last game), The Berserkers, aren’t really anything too special. I think they are lacking in differing qualities and are pretty easy to defeat, all things considered. With Ragnarök pretty much being the apocalypse, I feel like the notion wasn’t translated as well as it could have been and it’s significantly more “avoidable” than portrayed in the myths. 

So, even though the game has some definite shortcomings, I think that they are easy to overlook when looking at the package as a whole. In this game you get solid performance on PS4 and PS5 consoles, a stunning story with phenomenal performance from all parties, stellar gameplay, amazing graphical quality, and more! There is no doubt in my mind that “God of War: Ragnarök” is a solid 9/10 and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a solid single player experience.