Battle the mightiest Aesir Gods in ‘God of War Ragnarök’

Kratos, Atreus return older, stronger, ready for a new adventure


“God of War Ragnarök” is a beautiful game with a compelling story and historic references.
Rating: A+
Art Credit: IGDB Press Kits

Philipos Alebachew, Staff Writer

Three years have passed since Kratos and his son Atreus spread their loved one’s ashes from the highest point in the nine realms. Now, Kratos and Atreus live the simple life in Midgard, but Atreus is bored of the lack of adventure, so he begs Kratos to go on a journey to find the other God of War to fulfill the prophecy from the last game. Developed by Santa Monica Studio, “God of War Ragnarök” takes players on an epic journey spanning the nine realms, each with unique settings, puzzles, and enemies to destroy.

The hype was immense surrounding the fifth game in the revered series, and Santa Monica Studio delivered beyond expectations. Playing as Kratos again after finishing the fourth game felt amazing, and the updated attack system makes defeating enemies much more satisfying. 

It is currently a Playstation exclusive, so the controls are only for DualShock and DualSense controllers. They are pretty easy to learn, though easy to learn does not mean easy to master. When facing multiple enemies, attacking while also watching your back for other enemies is very difficult. The split-second decisions of dodging or attacking can be the difference between victory and defeat. Without good hand-eye coordination, death is pretty much guaranteed. New players shouldn’t get discouraged as the game eases you into combat with a tutorial and low-difficulty enemies, but if combat is a problem, you could always play on a lower difficulty. 

These split-second decisions are especially imperative when facing a boss called a “Dreki,” a giant lizard-like creature. Deciding when to block or dodge, and timing the attack is really frustrating, but after getting the timing right, the satisfaction of defeating that boss after so many tries is unmatched.

The intricate story incorporates so many aspects of Norse Mythology with the creativity of the Santa Monica writers, creating a fusion of remarkable storytelling. Ragnarök is a famous prophecy in Norse Mythology that predicts nearly all life along with the universe will be destroyed in a great battle of gods and other species like the giants and Jötnar. Atreus and Kratos aim to prevent this prophecy from ever coming true. 

Kratos is still undeniably the main character, but getting some focus and character development for Atreus adds a nice new perspective. Kratos can’t be the god-killing menace we know him as forever, so him passing on the reigns to an established character rather than an underdeveloped character spells a very bright future to the series if Kratos ever leaves the spotlight.

Another lesser known aspect I found as a great addition to the game is the little conversations between Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir, a sentient head that accompanies our main duo. One running gag I really enjoyed was Atreus trying to convince the two he was growing a beard. “Know what? My face is itchy. I think my beard’s coming in.” “Is it?” “Yeah. On my jawline, see? It’s growing.” “Is it?” “That’s not just dirt?” “It’s not dirt.” 

But, what really makes this game an A+ is the vast world. It isn’t a complete open world like Elden Ring or The Witcher because it follows one linear story, but my jaw drops at every sweeping shot of the realms. Svartalfheim’s bustling towns and beautiful lakes, Midgard’s frozen-over woodlands, and don’t get me started on Yggdrasil’s fluorescent forest. I don’t know how Santa Monica does it, but I believe they have created the most stunning game of all time. I’m a sucker for world-building, and I can’t think of a single flaw within the many beautiful locations of this game.

“God of War Ragnarök” is an amazing game that I can confidently put in my top three, and I still have a lot of the game left to play. Santa Monica somehow fulfilled the massive expectations created from the last game and then some. My opinion is shared by The Game Awards, as they recently nominated the game for 10 categories, two more than the previous installment. One category being the esteemed “Game of The Year” category, and I wholeheartedly believed that “God of War Ragnarök” should’ve won the award, but it was narrowly beaten by “Elden Ring”. I recommend this game to anyone who likes adventure games with immersive worlds and lore.