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By now you will have noticed Ragnarok arrived in the latest installment of the God of War franchise. It follows from the events of the 2018 reboot which brought Kratos and Atreus to at the time modern systems. The reboot was an amazing success and sold well and deserved its praise. So, will the 2022 sequel live up to the name?

Sales wise in the UK it did. The game’s launch day surpassed God of War 2018 sales from its first week, which is impressive. No surprise as it was heavily advertised. It was also an eagerly awaited title thanks to the success of its predecessor. The question is, did Sony Santa Monica do the franchise justice with this latest entry?

God Of War Ragnarok And Was It Worth The Wait

We know it was considered by many to battle with Elden Ring for Game of the Year. So let’s break the game down and see if this praise is deserved.

Gameplay

The game is incredible to play and is very easy to pick up and play. It teaches you how to perform moves such as blocking enemy attacks. Also as you progress you quickly become more adept at the combat and the small changes from the original. The only minor niggle is the bow can’t be shot through certain gaps which should be achievable. Thankfully didn’t affect the enjoyment. I ran through the game in quality mode and even on a lower frame rate of 30 FPS, everything felt smooth and fluid. What aids the overall gameplay is the redesign of the map. For me, I think it’s a more accurate view of your environment and easier to navigate. Which in turn aids the gameplay experience.

Graphics

The game in 2018 was, on the whole, a stunning-looking game and Santa Monica has excelled here. This becomes evident from the opening of the game and looking at Kratos. The game’s character models are just fantastic. For example in a certain angle and light look at Kratos and see the character is older and aging. It’s an area they put the effort into and the rewards are obvious. It’s not just Kratos either, every character we encounter is of a high standard. It adds to the immersion and makes us more invested in the story as well as the characters.

The world itself needs to match the same standards and we look at the texture detail next. Like the character models, it’s of an exceptionally high standard. A realistic appearing world and characters add to the atmosphere. It makes you feel invested in the events taking place in the nine realms.

Add to this, we need quality lighting effects. The game doesn’t let us down here. There are areas the game just shines more than its predecessor could and when those moments happen you’ll know. They also happen frequently due to the overall polish this game has from start to finish.

The attention to detail is also incredibly high. One example of this is right as you start the game. You can see the tracks left behind as you walk or get led through the snow. May not seem like a lot but it’s an example of how you affect the environment from a visual viewpoint. It’s also what we would expect to experience if we were present at the moment. The only minor glitch I experienced was a brief floating canoe, otherwise, the whole presentation was flawless from a graphical aspect.

Audio

The sound effects and voice capture and the emotion in the audio are virtually flawless. However, that’s not even the strength in this area. The orchestral score enhances the gameplay experience and adds so much to the game atmosphere. The high production of this game shows. Add top-notch visuals to this arrangement and the smooth gameplay works. Only once did part of the audio drop for a brief second.

Story

It will make more sense if you know the story from the 2018 version as there’s a lot of backstory to follow. Also, that game is worth your time as well. However, here’s a brief recap on the menu screen to fill in key events from that entry. Even then, I thought the story in 2018 was good. However, I found that the Ragnarok story goes beyond that. It’s powerful, it’s emotional and full of lore. The characters you can fully believe you’re experiencing the journey.

What we have as well as a tonne of side quests and if you’ve played Witcher 3 you’ll be well versed on this. Like that game, these can enhance the story by adding some lore or explaining more about the characters we come to meet. By fleshing out the key NPC characters it helps enhance a story. We also have collectibles that can fill in pieces of the lore. This game is rich with that as we have multiple realms to explore.

I could write so much on as it aspects of the story I love but it’s hard to talk in-depth about the story other than say it’s one you must experience. The writing as I said is high. It matches the other aspects of the game brilliantly. We know it’s being adapted for a television series and based on this game alone the script is strong enough. The story and the characters as I said are so believable. Add the strong narrative to the acting and the game story flows and takes you on a journey with no effort at all. That’s why the game’s story I feel must be experienced.

To Conclude – My Thoughts On God Of War Ragnarok

It may be obvious now that I loved my time on God of War Ragnarok. The final part with the score and story and the way the game was playing has to be one of the best game sections I have played in some time. My only worry is now Santa Monica actually if they do another game is simple. How do they surpass what they gave us?

It does look like the main two contenders for Game of the Year is this and Elden Ring. For me, Elden Ring loses out to Kratos and I loved Elden Ring. This isn’t a game I just recommend, it’s a game I feel you must experience. Santa Monica for me personally has given us one of the best games of all time. I can’t think of a moment I forced myself to play Ragnarok. I was engrossed in the story and the characters in the story. As I said I feel it’s a game that can claim to be one of the best, so much so that it will be close to impossible to surpass. The franchise was never one I’d call a favorite but this has made me look forward to where next as I didn’t want the journey to end.

God Of War Ragnarok

PS4 $59.99 / PS5 $69.99 / Digital Deluxe $79.99
9.8

Gameplay

10.0/10

Graphics

9.5/10

Audio

9.5/10

Story

10.0/10
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