There’s not long to go until we’ll all be able to don our battle garb and war paint for the final game in the Nordic arc of God of War. Director, Cory Barlog (often misspelt: Balrog), has already promised we’ll be saying a teary farewell as we finish our jaunt through popular Norse mythology. Indeed, this will be the last adventure for Kratos and Atreus and by all accounts it looks like we’ll be going out on a blood-spattered high.
There’s a reason this has been one of the most anticipated games released this year. Set aside how spectacular the trailers have been – the return of familiar boss-colossi levels and gorgeous combat rendered in all its new-gen glory – just the fact that this will be the final outing should be enough to make us all sit up at attention.
We caught our first glimpse of Ragnarok (albeit a very brief one) during the 2021 PS5 showcase. Since then, we’ve learned a great deal more about exactly what to expect, with waves of cinematic trailers showing us new enemies, locations and neat ways to dismember our hapless foes.
Kratos and Atreus are back, aged and seemingly wiser since the close of 2018’s God of War, years earlier. Atreus’ giant genes are already kicking in and the hormonal cocktail has fizzed into his vocal cords. It seems fitting that the duo are back even stronger, now that they’re faced with the world-ending events of Ragnarok (the Norse apocalypse). Familiar faces are thrown in to add to the jeopardy, including a vengeful Freya and that brawny lighting-wielder, Thor. Then there’s the arrival of an exciting batch of additional characters, like Angrboda – described as ‘one of the last remaining giants’ – as well as Tyr, son of Odin and Thor’s lumbering half-brother.
This time, players will also travel throughout the Nine Realms – more than the previous six you’ve seen before – with Vanaheim, Svartalfheim and Asgard all being hurled into the dreamscape. Each of the realms will hold secrets and tasks to complete as the forces of Asgard prepare for a final battle that will sunder their world. Expect a far spread tapestry of mythical landscapes and creatures, alongside Norse Gods familiar to any readers of ancient Scandinavian literature, like the Elder Edda – or, Neil Gaiman’s modern retelling of these tales, which have also been popularised by Marvel.
Why Should We Be Excited?
All the evidence suggests this could very well be the best game yet. The recent story trailer, from September’s State of Play, revealed an onslaught of customisable combat options (alternate shields and specific weapon finishers), as well as a rich narrative with Kratos and Atreus at the heart of it. Of course, grappling chains and signature blades will allow you to wade into the fray without much hesitation. Yet one of the more memorable sequences struck a softer note – it was this gorgeous moment when Atreus fires an arrow, which severs the sky and peels the day into night as a magical wolf sets off chasing it into the ether.
So, not only will there be the usual buffet of violence, it looks like our final war dance with Kratos will be a thing of beauty as well.
Developers at Sony Santa Monica studios confirmed that God of War Ragnarok will be released on November 9. The game is a PlayStation exclusive available on both the PS4 and PS5…