God of War Ragnarök (2022) Video Game Review

details

Title: God of War Ragnarök.

Release date: 2022.
Console (player on): PlayStation 5.
Console (also available on): Playstation 4.
Play Time: 50 Hours.
Mode(s): Single-Player Campaign.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Action, Adventure.
Developer: Santa Monica Studio.
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Director(s): Eric Williams & Cory Barlog.
Producer(s): Chad Cox.
Artist(s): Rafael Grassetti.
Writer(s): Matt Sophos & Richard Zangrade Gaubert.
Composer(s): Bear McCreary.
Voice Actor(s): Christopher Judge, Sunny Suljic, Danielle Bisutti, Robert Craighead, Adam J. Harrington, Alastair Duncan, Laya DeLeon Hayes, Richard Schiff, Ryan Hurst, and many more!
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 10 out of 10.

thoughts

There’s a fundamental clash underlying all bonds between father and son: experience versus innocence, realism versus optimism, and practicality versus experimentation. Despite the former acting out of love and protection, the latter suffers under the impression of being untrustworthy, full of mischief, and incapable of making a difference between right and wrong. The complexity of such a relational dynamic sends both entities down a spiral of miscommunication and constant conflict, with only themselves to figure out the world, not the world encompassing a myriad of beings with their own lives but the world which simply consists of the two of them, father and son. Sequel to God of War (2018), this latest entry in the franchise, painstakingly and triumphantly concludes the monumental Norse saga by exploring Ragnarök, a deadly series of events that foresees a cataclysmic end-of-the-world scenario implicating numerous deaths.

What is God of War Ragnarök about? Ragnarök is coming. As Fimbulwinter comes to an end, Kratos and Atreus remain passive, avoiding trouble at all costs, with their destiny lingering over their heads following their recent discoveries. Convinced by the ineffectiveness of their inaction, Kratos and Atreus embark on an unforgettable journey, trying to hide from Odin’s ravens and get caught in their Asgardian ploys. As they set off to find answers that could help them understand the destructive prophecy that compels them both around Ragnarök, they discover that the Nine Realms hide more than it dares share, forcing them to reflect on their promises, their predicament, and their options. While knowledge might be power, it might also be the end of one’s grasp over the strings of life, and where Kratos and Atreus go, their actions and their consequences will be primordial in defining their identities but also their own destiny.

(c) Forbes.

There are only so many ways to describe this legendary tour de force that is God of War Ragnarök: an unprecedented foray into the power of choices and the ruthlessness of their consequences, an emotional, intimate, and instinct-driven journey of knowledge, vengeance, love, and protection, or a paramount and insufferable trial of destiny. The war-eroded Kratos, once a God of War prone to act upon his most fiery and explosive emotions in his quest to exact revenge upon those who have betrayed him, now does everything in his power, with the wisdom of Mimir hanging by his side, to pave a way towards peace for his son Atreus, who’s blinded conviction in his secret search for Týr might bring forth the cataclysmic event known as Ragnarök. As their journey brings them to venture across the Nine Realms, at times aided by allies and others stopped in their action by Asgardians, their quest raises to the surface questions of determinism and an individual’s ability to alter and break free from their destiny through free will. However, at the heart of its incredibly emotional narrative is a tale of family, recognition, responsibility, forgiveness, and faith. Not just faith in a life brimming with peace and solace but faith in those you love.

Empowering, implacable, and masterful, the gameplay mechanisms, polished compared to its already perfect predecessor released in 2018, allow players to once more embrace the kinetic finesse of the God of War’s skills and expertise as players fight all kinds of creatures, of all kinds of sizes, and of all kinds of notoriety across the Nine Realms. With the occasional mini-bosses to deliver a healthy dose of challenge and chaos, players must utilize Kratos’ unique weapons and figure out their preferred playstyle, while accounting for the enemies’ weaknesses and patterns, to deliver vicious and gory blows if they envision life over death. For the first time in the franchise, although side characters do aid in combat thanks to clever A.I. configurations, players also periodically get to play Atreus’ character who uses his magical bow and arrows for close and ranged combat, while his father mostly has recourse to his magical battle axe, signature double-chained blades, and his powerful shield.

(c) Engadget.

With a combat system that can be upgraded with runes and optimized according to battle gear players pick and use based on perks and bonuses, the freedom of choice is impressive and reinvigorating. Whether it’s through combinations of light and heavy attacks or strategic use of runic powers, the learning curve remains flexible and wonderful, promoting players who are capable of timely parry and opportunistic assault to embrace a poetic flow of action and mayhem. The integrated animation sequences also make for a fluid transition between gameplay and cinematic that remains incomparably satisfying, always brutal for a cathartic level of satisfaction. On top of the main story missions, the game also features side quests, known as favours, and a variety of chests to discover, as well as challenges, whether it’s defeating powerful Berserkers or the Muspelheim challenges. While the game is heavily story-driven and promotes exploration through engaging encounters, it also contains creative puzzles that players must solve to progress or unlock unique items. The brilliant balance achieved between plot and gameplay is simply applaudable.

Through its admirable and meticulous attention to detail, alongside a thoroughly researched world rich with Norse mythology and the incredible lore developed across nine games since the franchise’s debut in 2005, the game offers an immersive and gorgeous universe where players travel across all nine realms and discover uniquely-crafted and breath-taking worlds with revered yet terrifying creatures and communities of elves, dwarves, and many more. As each realm is visited through the main campaign and most are unlocked for free-realm exploration afterward, the game leaves players continuously anxious to discover every nook and cranny of this exquisite world brought to life by the geniuses at Santa Monica Studio. It would also be a tragedy to neglect to mention composer Bear McCreary’s godly music developed for this latest game, unequivocally elevating the sense of otherworldliness and heroism that he effortlessly captures. From its story-telling to its visual exploits, it is safe to say that this sequel secures its spot as one of the greatest games to have ever been developed today.

God of War Ragnarök is a towering and unparalleled masterpiece bringing forth the epic conclusion to the Norse saga as the almighty and now war-reticent Kratos and his optimistic and resolute son Atreus go up against their ultimate destiny.


EXHIBITA
God of War Ragnarök is out on PlayStation 4 & 5 since November 9th, 2022.

Have you played this game?
Will you? What do you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!

Banner1
INSTAGRAM – GOODREADS – Letterboxd – TWITTER – OUTLOOK

18 thoughts on “God of War Ragnarök (2022) Video Game Review

  1. It’s great to see a sequel that more than lives up to its predecessor. Very glad you enjoyed this. I found it interesting the questions of determinism and free will because an ARC I’m currently reading (The Angel Maker by Alex North) has a character that presents the same questions and his take on them (his view is everything is as it is because it couldn’t be any other way, so he’s not exactly a believer in free will).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. It’s so rare that sequels can step their game up or live up to expectations, especially when the first one is phenomenal and is considered a masterpiece. Absolutely. I do love seeing characters juggle this concept of free will against destiny. I just finished up Sword of Destiny and similar ideas are explored there too. And yes, I’m having a blast with these Witcher books!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So glad to hear you’re enjoying The Witcher. I’ve absolutely loved what I’ve read of the series so far. Exactly my kind of fantasy. I want to get into the next book soon, but I have some Elric books I want to read first. That’s another fun classic fantasy series.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s