Game news After God of War Ragnarok, 10 games to discover Norse mythology (Assassin’s Creed, Hellblade…)
Published on 16/11/2022 at 07:20
After Greek mythology, it was on the side of Thor, Freya, Loki and Odin that the God of War license leaned. With the release of God of War: Ragnarok, you were able to immerse yourself in the nine kingdoms of Yggdrasil and perhaps this epic made you want to discover a little more. Do not move because we have concocted a small selection of ten games to quench your thirst for Norse mythology.
For those who are interested, note that Laurent di Filippo, lecturer at the University of Lorraine, has written in particular on Nordic mythology in video games (Video games and Nordic myths, Barbarian Nordicity in contemporary games: between otherness and ludic identification, Nordic myths between sources and contemporary ludic uses…)
Impossible to talk about Norse mythology without talking about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. If the license (which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this weekend) is known for highlighting history, it has been interested in depth in mythology since Assassin’s Creed Origins. After Egyptian and Greek mythology, it is naturally at the heart of the stories of Odin, Loki and the others that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla plunged us. If Nordic mythology is present throughout the game, the peoples of the North being very religious, certain passages where Eivor takes the place of Odin allow us to discover in depth the myths of the time. A DLC (playable in stand-alone) centered on the events leading up to Ragnarok has even been developed: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla : L’Aube du Ragnarök. Difficult to do better as an immersion in Norse mythology.
Another evidence: God of War. Indeed, Ragnarok is not the first adventure of Kratos taking place in the domain of the Norse Gods. If you haven’t done the 2018 soft reboot, we can only advise you to dive into it. First of all, because it would be a shame to discover the continuation of the epic of Kratos and Atreus without having followed their first steps in the Kingdoms of Yggdrasil. And secondly, because mythology has a particularly important place in it. From Midgard to Helheim, via Alfheim, Jötunheim, Niflheim and Muspelheim, the Nordic worlds will hold no secrets for you. Especially since you will come across many deities there and you can count on Mimir to explain their stories to you. Not to mention that the final outcome gives the mythological epic of Kratos and Atreus a completely different scope.
Let’s go back a little in time to 1992. It was this year that Heimdall, a role-playing game based on Norse mythology, was released. Just like the game Loki, Heimdall offers you to embody a Nordic deity, although it is less known. Heimdall is indeed the god of light and the moon and the guardian of the Bifröst, the bridge separating Asgard from the lower worlds. It is he who also has the mission of blowing into Gjallarhorn (a lure) to announce the beginning of Ragnarök. If things are a little different in the game of The 8th day and Core Design, it still offers you to travel through Midgard, Utgard and Asgard in the footsteps of certain myths, and this at a time when Norse mythology had no not so much with the wind in its sails. Indeed, he must notably recover Gungnir and Mjolnir, stolen and hidden by the vile Loki.
If players who enjoyed Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are eagerly awaiting news of its sequel, there is still time for others to discover this experience a little apart. A real dive into the heart of madness, Hellblade exploits Celtic myths and Nordic mythology to offer us a fantastic world as dark as it is fascinating. The pitch openly anchors itself in the traditions of the Nine Kingdoms. Indeed, the Pictish warrior Senua seeks to reach Helheim in order to save the soul of the one she loves. To do this, she will notably have to bring down the fire giant Surt, but also take up Odin’s four challenges to get her hands on Gramr, the legendary sword carried by Sigmund in Norse mythology. We are already curious to see if the sequel, entitled Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, will immerse us a little more in the Norse myths or if it will deviate from it.
We continue with a heroine who must also compete with the Nordic Gods: the viking Torah in Jotun. The latter faced the greatest misfortune for any good self-respecting Viking: not dying gloriously in battle and therefore being denied access to Valhalla. It is indeed there that the warriors who died in battle are taken to feast for eternity with the Gods. To earn her place among them, Thora will have to prove her worth to the Nordic deities. To do this, she must overcome the five colossal jötunn. In Norse mythology, jötunn (or jötnar) are giant creatures representing the forces of nature. Additionally, the game references other parts of Norse mythology such as the wonder apples of Idunn that Thora can harvest throughout her journey.
If we often talk about Odin and the other Gods of Norse mythology, there are other important characters who are absent from most titles that have chosen it as their playground. But there are always exceptions to the rule and Munin is one of them. As its name suggests, this independent title offers to put yourself in the shoes of Munin, the messenger raven of Odin. However, it’s not really a raven that you will embody since Munin has been transformed into a little girl by Loki. Your goal? Find your feathers in the four corners of the Nine Kingdoms in order to recover your initial form and your powers. Everything takes place in a horizontal scrolling game with rotating elements where you will have to work your brains but also your reflexes. Note that in Norse mythology Odin has two messenger ravens: Munin, but also Hugin.
To detect a game that speaks of Norse mythology, everything often happens in the title. Unsurprisingly, Ragnarok Online allows you to delve into the heart of the myths that rocked the lives of the peoples of the North centuries ago. In this MMORPG, you can indeed explore the realms of Midgard, Jötunheim, Asgard, Alfheim and Niflheim, all with a manga-inspired style. It is also an adaptation of the Korean manwha Ragnarök by Lee Myung-jin. “I’ve always been very interested in myths, both Korean and Greco-Roman. Through this, I came to Norse mythologies which I quickly found very interesting. So I started to do research and studies and, with this culture, I wanted to create a comic strip in which I could implant gods and events taking up these characters and these myths” he told us a year ago. Fifteen years.
We change genre with a point’n’click adventure inspired by Norse mythology: The Frostrune. Very cryptic, this game takes you to an island full of abandoned dwellings. In the shoes of a thirteen-year-old toddler on his own, your goal is to find out what could have happened. Very refined and clearly not made for all types of players, The Frostrune is full of references to Norse myths. Whether through the runes or the various books explaining parts of Norse mythology, the title of Grimnir Media proposes to cultivate us a little through an adventure as cryptic as it is beautiful to see. As you go, you will play a role in one of the major (and well-known) moments of this mythology, or rather its consequences. This island on which you were stranded hides many mysteries and we can only encourage you to discover them if the calm and strange poin’t’clicks do not scare you.
This example is a bit special. Too Human is undeniably inspired by the stories of Norse mythology but proposes to rewrite it with science fiction sauce. In the Silicon Knights and Microsoft Studios game, the gods are actually cybernetic soldiers who must watch over men. And the task is not easy since a war between men and machines is raging, and the former are struggling to measure up. Baldur, the soldier/god you play as, is tasked with helping them survive despite everything. If you will learn a few things about the Nordic deities, the myths here are only a source of inspiration and have been completely rewritten. But the proposal is so improbable that it deserves its place in this selection. Note that the game is particularly known for its chaotic development. Repeatedly postponed, Too Human was finally released in 2008, nine years after its announcement (and the feedback was rather mixed).
The Valkyries are well-known minor deities of Norse mythology. These winged warriors have several important roles. They must lead the battles, distribute the death and also take the fallen warriors to the famous Valhalla. They are also the ones who are destined to accompany Odin during the battle when Ragnarök comes. As its name suggests, Valkyrie Profile invites you to put yourself in the shoes of one of these minor deities. The context is as follows: Asgard is plunged into chaos because of the struggle between the Aesir (Odin, Thor, Loki…) and the Vanes (Freyja, Njörd, Freyr…). Odin therefore decides to summon the Valkyrie Lenneth to assemble an army and manage to defeat Surt’s forces. Note that this conflict did exist in Norse mythology and ended in a truce concluded in exchange for several deities. This is how Njörd, Freyr and Freyja joined the Aesir.
But also :
I propose the God of War : Ragnarok