Sony Santa Monica’s God Of War Ragnarok is a genre-defining action adventure game surpassing God Of War 2018 in almost all departments. God Of War Ragnarok feels more like an evolution than a revolution and opts to focus on refinement rather than overhauls.
We at VeryAliGaming have played through God Of War Ragnarok multiple times, identifying what works and what doesn’t. Below, we’ll cover the Visuals, Gameplay, Story, Music/Audio, and Unique Selling Points. Spoilers are kept to a minimum; instead, we’ll lay out the plot’s emotions, pacing and overall coherency, which matters most.
Regardless of how nicely crafted any video game’s story or visuals are, the core gameplay loop makes or breaks it. God Of War Ragnarok plays more of the same as 2018’s God Of War, which is a good thing. Ragnarok’s core gameplay loop involves travelling through several Realms, battling dangerous enemies and progressing the story. We’ll go a bit in-depth on the improvements made in Combat and Traversal and the drawbacks.
God Of War 2018’s combat system was robust and fluid but lacked enemy variety and creativity. We are pleased to say that Ragnarok fixes most of the issues in God Of War 2018’s combat and refines what already worked.
Players will encounter several new enemy types in different environments. Verticality is also an element in God Of War Ragnarok’s combat and is highly welcome. Shields are a new addition to the combat system and buff Kratos’s strength, vitality and more. Players who enjoyed God Of War 2018’s combat will have a blast with the enhanced systems in Ragnarok.
Improvements aside, we believe there are a few slight issues with the combat system. At higher difficulties, certain enemies may feel more like damage sponges and may not react to being hit. While this is designed to make the game harder, it may take away from the immersion in a few battles. We also wish Runic Attacks were obtained earlier in the game, as they significantly improve the flow of battle.
Players will explore Midgard and other realms in God Of War 2018 primarily on foot, via boats or on Sleds carried by wolves. Moreover, Ragnarok’s world boasts massive areas with lots to offer in every direction. It’s not uncommon to lose track of the main story and spend countless hours exploring what each Realm offers.
Players may explore the Nine Realms optionally at any part of the story provided they have them unlocked or aren’t restricted by the plot. Visiting older areas with recently acquired tools may open up new places to visit and side quests to tackle too.
God Of War Ragnarok has no loading screens though crawling through or between tight spaces before larger areas are expected. We wish the full power of Playstation 5’s SSD were utilized to mask these indirect loading sequences, but that would harm the PS4 Version.
Visuals And Performance
There’s no denying God Of War Ragnarok looks and performs beautifully, though it sometimes leaves players wanting more. Ragnarok is best experienced on a Playstation 5 and benefits from the more powerful graphics and processing capability. Ragnarok’s Playstation 4 and Playstation 4 Pro versions also hold up quite well and squeeze any power left in the older systems.
Overall performance across all systems and modes is locked and smooth. Moreover, the Visual Fidelity in Ragnarok is high quality, and certain setpieces and areas look stunning.
We’ll include a table below detailing Ragnarok’s Frame Rate and Resolution target across all PlayStation platforms. Additionally, we’ll recommend which mode to play Ragnarok on for the most optimum experience.
|Console||Graphical Modes||Resolution Target||Frame Rate Target|
40 FPS Unlocked
60 FPS Unlocked
60 FPS Unlocked
|PlayStation 4 Pro||Quality
30 FPS Unlocked
|PlayStation 4||Standard||1080P||30 FPS|
Players playing Ragnarok on PlayStation 5 should opt for Performance Mode for a seamless and smooth gameplay experience sacrificing Resolution. Quality+HFR+VRR is also viable, provided players have the necessary Monitor or TV Specifications.
Players playing on PlayStation 4 Pro should also play on Performance Mode as combat and traversal improve significantly at higher Frames Per Second.
God Of War Ragnarok is made for PlayStation 4 systems and enhanced for PlayStation 5. This means Ragnarok doesn’t take full advantage of PlayStation 5 systems for even higher performance and visual quality. We’d like to imagine how much better Ragnarok would’ve faired if it was built from the ground up for PlayStation 5.
God Of War Ragnarok continues the story three years after God Of War 2018s and has a strong opening. Without delving too much into spoiler territory, the Nine Realms have changed significantly, and new dangers are present. Throughout the 20+ hour runtime of the main story, players follow the relationship between Kratos and Atreus alongside their extended cast of friends and foes.
While 2018’s God Of War had a single goal throughout the story, Ragnarok’s main objective constantly changed. God Of War Ragnarok unravels many of the mysteries left unexplored in the original and, as such, opens up new avenues for storytelling. The overall coherency of the plot is maintained well, and when essential story moments are set to hit, they hit hard.
Players will grow closer to previously considered side characters and want to interact with them often. Moreover, many of these characters grow and provide valuable advice to Kratos and Atreus as they solve their problems.
Ragnarok’s story is a fitting and satisfactory conclusion to God Of War 2018, though there are pacing issues at rare times. Towards the end of the plot, Ragnarok feels like two games condensed into one with so much going on. Additionally, while the ending is touching, we wish it was slightly extended and refined.
Despite a few shortcomings with pacing and wrapping up loose ends, Ragnarok’s story is still a masterpiece. Video games that offer this level of storytelling are few and far between, and Ragnarok has cemented itself as one of them. We advise players to brush up on their Norse Mythology before heading in to enhance their experience further.
Music And Audio
Bear McCreary was in charge of composing God Of War Ragnarok and has done a fantastic job at it. The Musical themes used throughout God Of War Ragnarok range from hard-hitting to faintingly soft, and we love them. Moreover, one of the reasons why Ragnarok’s plot contains moments that are heartbreaking or shocking is because of the themes used.
Combat is elevated because of the rage-inducing musical scores in the background. Ragnarok’s score sometimes makes you feel like a God Of War wrecking havoc. Additionally, the musical themes aren’t too sudden to alert players of hidden enemies attacking them.
The musical themes that play when players explore the Nine Realms induce mystery and curiosity. In our playthroughs, we couldn’t help but be drawn to nearby areas of interest just because of the themes playing in the background.
Apart from the musical scores, Ragnarok’s voice acting is magnificent, and each character sounds realistic and believable. The voice acting shines through, especially in arguments and debates where each character gives their all. If we had to pick favourites, we would choose Odin for sounding unpredictable and surprisingly charismatic.
The most notable area is Ragnarok’s story which manages to grip players from start to finish and leave them satisfied. We especially love the Accessibility options delivered by the team as they open up Ragnarok to many new players. If God Of War Ragnarok is the last of the franchise, many players will consider it a touching end.
Apart from the main story, the Side Quests in God Of War Ragnarok are high-quality and add to the experience. Moreover, the side quests typically build on the main story and reward players with new and improved gear. We consider the Witcher 3 the absolute best regarding side quests though God Of War Ragnarok comes very close.
God Of War Ragnarok is a game that will stay with players for many years to come and concludes the journey of Kratos that started many years ago. With everything covered, we feel it’s important to say that while Ragnarok excels in all departments, it is unparalleled in terms of storytelling at a grand scale.
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