God of War Ragnarok was the protagonist in the last few hours of the first previews, but the PlayStation Blog also considered it appropriate to dedicate some space to the title of Santa Monica Studio, with a post in which some details are fights, scenarios and enemies that we will find in the game.
If you have read our tried God of War Ragnarok, you will already have an idea of the prerogatives behind the new adventure of Kratos and Atreus in the northern lands, with Ragnarok now imminent: the legendary twilight of the Norse gods, which will bring death and destruction to Asgard.
“The world of Midgard shines with 4K graphics and smooth frame sequencing,” wrote Content Communications Manager Tim Turi. “The Fimbulwinter is sneaking across the lands, including the property of Kratos and Atreus.”
“The snow melts and separates as the characters grind and the light illuminates tiny ice crystals on the surface. Frozen waterfalls resemble intricate, towering works of art. The atmosphere of this snow-covered Midgard perfectly renders the serene atmosphere of a winter walk in the woods. ”
“Santa Monica Studio took full advantage of the haptic feedback of the DualSense wireless controller. A sequence that allows you to travel on a dog sled to escape a violent avalanche. The haptic feedback of the DualSense controller vibrated in my hands, transmitting both a deep vibration of the earth but also making the tumbling snow clouds feel softer. “
“In combat, the Leviathan ax has extra strength and, as the weapon swings back like a boomerang, the haptic feedback gradually builds up until the ax lands in your hand with a heavy thud. Also, the variety of the haptic feedback also adds texture to subtler moments, such as when Kratos lays his tired body down on the cot to sleep. “
I admit that I had to wait until the second half of God of War (2018) to feel well versed in the new combat mechanics. The intimate location of the chamber, the Leviathan ax from near and far, and the many combat options overwhelmed me a little.
Conversely, taking back Kratos’ ax and Blades of Chaos at the beginning of God of War Ragnarök filled me with confidence and a desire for battle. Wielding both weapons from the start encouraged me to make fuller use of Kratos’ arsenal and it was pure fun.
God of War Ragnarok, Kratos and Atreus
Death from above
Kratos can now take a running jump off a cliff and crash into enemies below – a fiery entry into group combat that paralyzes enemies. The new combat option is a powerful example of God of War Ragnarök’s increased focus on verticality in the environment.
The triangle button, used to equip and summon the Leviathan ax, can be pressed to apply the Frost Awaken effect to your next melee or ranged attack. Pressing R1 during Frost Awaken causes Frozen Spike to execute, a quick Leviathan ax throw that creates a Frost explosion on impact. Kratos’ expanded range of attacks brings new options to each encounter.
Flaming Blades of Chaos
Similar to the Frost Awaken of the Leviathan ax, you can press the triangle button when you have the Blades of Chaos equipped to perform a Flame Whiplash. This charges Kratos’ chained tools with fire, excellent for melting the icy defenses of enemies. Above all, Kratos is absolutely fantastic as he spins the blade chain to feed the flames.
Kratos and Atreus visit Brok and Sindi’s shop and house to arm themselves. While there, I upgraded my Leviathan ax to level 2, significantly increasing damage and unlocking a new skill level on the skill tree. Atreus also got new armor. My favorite detail was the inclusion of a chest containing the lost loot, where the Huldra brothers store any resources accidentally lost by players on the battlefield.
God of War Ragnarok, Kratos contro Thor
Customize the equipment
Once again, you can customize weapons and armor, including gems for Kratos’ Leviathan Ax. After a battle with a ferocious stalker called The Huntress, I acquired Winter’s Bite, a light runic attack that forms a mass of ice around Kratos’ ax for extra damage. Another applies a flaming, uppercut-like attack to the Blades of Chaos. I’ve found both moves to be useful for evading enemies when surrounded. Just pay attention to the cooldown timer.
The favorite shield
Kratos’ Guardian’s Shield is damaged during the battle, and Brok offers to create an additional defense as he works on repairs. Players can choose between two new shields to start with: the Stone Wall Shield, which specializes in absorbing attacks and repelling them, and the Dauntless Shield, which focuses on high-risk, high-reward blocks. Eventually players will be able to scrape together enough resources to craft all of the shields.
Prova del Dauntless Shield
I opted for a Dauntless Shield, hoping my experience in mastering limited parry times in action games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice would be useful. It was! Pressing L1 at the right time against an incoming shot parries attacks and produces a flash of light that stuns enemies for a substantial amount of time. I have found it immensely useful for crowd management and am happy with the incentive to better study enemy attack patterns.
Clash with Thor
If you loved the pompous encounter with Baldur at the start of God of War (2018), get ready to cross ax and hammer with Thor in a similarly spectacular battle. Thor unleashes a combo of grappling, lightning-infused Mjölnir explosions, area-of-effect blasts, and more.
The two deities fight and fly through the air as the battle unfolds across tons of icy landscapes. Thor’s assault is ongoing, including occasionally sharp insults to Kratos’ parenting skills when he’s not directly attacking. It’s a memorable encounter that has left me hungry for another fight against the God of Thunder.
God of War Ragnarok, Kratos in a fight sequence
Brawl with the Raiders
Strong and violent raiders roam the Wildwoods, attacking Kratos because they know he is guilty of giving birth to the fimbulwinter. These melee or ranged enemies are an easy target to practice your melee skills as well as being satisfying test dummies …
A mighty bear attacks in one of the first boss fights. The mighty animal starts with shots that are easy to predict and parry for Kratos, but also introduces additional clues, such as yellow circles indicating that Kratos can block but will still receive damage and red circles indicating attacks that cannot be blocked. The bear’s attack pattern is fierce yet still permissive, indicating that tougher battles are ahead.
Fight with the Dreki
One of my favorite fights from this part of the game pits our duo against the Dreki, a crocodile-like dragon beast. The quadruped attacks with its huge jaws, strikes with its scale tail, and dispenses electrical attacks that force players to stay on the move. Using the Dauntless Shield to stop a series of attacks while avoiding discharges is natural and satisfying – a refined combat that perfectly tests players’ growing skills with hard, but fair intensity.
Towards the end of the preview session, a new bloodthirsty enemy type emerges to protect something deep in a dwarf mine. The pale and tattooed Einherjar unleashes ferocious attacks that inflict Bifröst damage on Kratos, represented by a purple section in the HP bar. Bifröst damage is harmless at first, but when these enemies hit a second time it detonates suffering and takes out a good portion of your HP. Watch your back, dodge promptly and be ready to parry to survive the Bifröst used as a weapon.
God of War Ragnarok, Kratos e Atreus in barca
Odin sealed off the realms upon sending God of War Ragnarök, so Kratos cannot use the Bifröst to travel. Thankfully Brok and Sindri have reconfigured the mystical gates as an alternative means of transportation.
Spend the winter in Svartalfheim
While Fimbulwinter shrouded Midgard in cold and snow, the same had a different effect on the other realms. In Svartalfheim, for example, underground pressure has increased, filling the country with powerful geysers. Mimir, the wise talking head attached to Kratos’ belt, also mentions that a powerful scent has spread across the country.
Navigating the realms requires clever use of Kratos’ tools. In one case I had to move a pillar that blocked the path. This required that I first throw the Leviathan ax to tear apart a log blocking the pillar and then wield the Blades of Chaos to drag the pillar off the path. Another example involves the creative use of the Leviathan ax properties to manipulate water obstacles in the kingdom of Svartalfheim … but I’ll let you find out for yourself.
In the dwarf city of Niðavellir, Sindri equips Atreus’ bow with a new sonic string. This upgrade is suitable for detonating objects that pulsate with a blue-green light in the environment, such as passages that lead to new areas and alcoves that hide chests full of Silver. Atreus’ ability to destroy this luminescent material adds a deeper level of solving environmental puzzles coupled with navigation for the couple.
God of War Ragnarok, Kratos prepares to face an enemy
Exploration and side missions
Fans who love to turn every stone in the kingdom can be sure the exploration is extensive and rewarded in this sequel. As we venture through a fascinating yet inhospitable city of dwarves, Kratos and Atreus come across a dwarf who has a history with Mimir. The dwarf mentions that the mining drills Mimir once promoted have wreaked havoc in these lands.
If players choose to pursue this favor, they can correct Mimir’s past mistakes in exchange for a reward. Later, while taking a canoe across a vast, bright blue lake, I spotted pillars of black smoke from these mines. I chose to continue with the main quest, but was reassured when Atreus mentioned that we could return to complete the favor later.
Compass of the dwarves
Sindri gives a “beautiful gift” to Kratos, a compass that allows players to plot goals on the map and continue following the compass at the top of the screen to their destination. Perfect for tracking items like favors and other side quests effectively.
The opening hours of God of War Ragnarök are filled with exciting narrative moments and high-level combat. These are just a few initial moments and details that look forward to diving deeper into combat, exploring realms, and discovering what fates have in store for our heroes.