Why are you reading this? Not seriously. If you played God of War, you liked it and you are interested God of War Ragnarok, I’m sure you already have it reserved or you’re going to buy it at launch. Why read on then? What do you hope to find in these first impressions that you don’t already know? Because at the level of history, I can already tell you that I am not going to be able to tell you much, between embargoes and what embargoes are… And if you have seen the trailers, you already know that the game looks like balls.
Still here? Perfect, you’re one of mine. Those who have left are very good people, I am sure of that, I guess they must have less time to be here reading something that is not going to change their opinion or, perhaps, after reading the first paragraph, they have thought “bah, there you stay, clown.” I consider myself quite a clown, in general, so all good. If you’re still here, she said, I’m quite glad and I’ll see if I can make the trip worthwhile.
God of War Ragnarök is a very tricky game.
I’ve played about nine hours, but for embargo reasons I can only talk about the first eight, more or less. If I had gone faster (not by endlessly sprinting Kratos, but by leaving aside the wonderful side quests), I could only speak for the first six and a half or seven hours or so. That’s because the embargo says something like “you can only talk about what’s happening until I don’t know what happens. After that, if you say anything, your oven will explode.” And I don’t want that to happen. The rest of the hours until those almost nine that I have played, that part that I cannot speak about, is where there is a twist that… well, you will have time to check in due course.
He said that the game is misleading, but not for that reason alone. Shortly after starting there is a sequence that we have already seen in a trailer and that is intended to be a declaration of intent about what we can expect at the action level, but the truth is that it is nothing more than a little scare. Yesterday, speaking with a colleague from another Webedia outlet who is also analyzing it, I told him that God of War is a game that lives on its epic moments. Not exclusively, because the exploration, the story and everything else is very well planned, but it is undeniable that moments like the fight against Baldur in the first installment (which also comes very soon), or the appearance of Jörmungandr, the Serpent of the World, are peaks of fun and adrenaline. In them you see yourself shouting “TAKE IT NOW, THIS YES, FUCK”.
I want to dwell a little more on the appearance of Jörmungandr. At the time he was part of the trailers of the first God of War, with which one might think that later, with the command in hand, there would be no room for emotion. However, when I was able to experience it for myself in-game, my hair stood up like spikes. It is not the typical moment of Kratos smashing the head of a giant and then opening it in half from top to bottom and drinking its blood by seas, but as the encounter with the Serpent is planned, how father and son get there, the atmosphere and the previous dialogues, how everything is resolved until the bicharraco returns to his chores, is one of those peaks that I was talking about before.
And of those, as far as I can count without having my hands, nose and feet cut off, God of War Ragnarok has few.
He tries, obviously. In these first hours there are several confrontations against strong enemies that seek to lay some foundations and break the rhythm of exploration and combats against putties, but there is something in them that makes me think of things like “this in the first game was better resolved”. They are not bad fights, they are not without spectacularity, and there is one in particular against a key character that raises the bar, but if I compare it with the Baldur moment of the first, it falls a tad below me. I would say that on a dramatic level these two meetings are equivalent, but the impact of the new one, against all odds, is less.
The main enemy of God of War Ragnarök is God of War
The previous installment blew our minds for many reasons, with the move to a sequence shot for the entire game as the main claim and drastic change within the saga. The sequel can no longer surprise us on that side and even in the first hours it can be understood as what could have been a huge expansion of the first. What happens is that Sony has been very smart and, right where the embargo threatens to burn my kitchen if I go off the tongue, is where the game seems to tell me: “shut up, silly, silly, what you’ve seen so far It was just a distraction. You’re going to find out.” What I told you: misleading. But a misleading good.
You see, I still have a lot to tell, but since this text is about first impressions, I will have to save something for the final analysis, right? Are you going to make me talk about the story, the characters and the menus now? I can do it (the menus, really?), but you know that I’m going to reserve things for the analysis that I could count now. Things like what [redacted, muy redacted y a lo mejor no es tan redacted pero a ver si el día de escribir el análisis lo he dicho todo ya aquí y me quedo bloqueado].
Atreus is a kid.
The relationship between Kratos and his son has changed, I believe so. In the first game, Atreus was the typical eleven-year-old boy that his father still could/believed he could mold, train, and prepare for what has come to be the day-to-day life of the son of a god of war. The boy was a bit of a knocker, but in general I think that Kratos, without becoming father of the year, came out with flying colors.
Now Atreus is 14 years old and is the typical teenager who does a little what he really wants and talks back to Kratos whenever he can, when he does not directly throw poisoned taunts at him. It’s a response. One would think that, living in some beautiful frozen mountains miles from any civilization, and having as a father a tattooed weightlifter who during his youthful years killed several gods and titans, the character of the boy would be different from that of your neighbor, that who runs down the stairs with sneakers that I say will have reinforced concrete inside judging by how his footsteps echo in the building and slams doors as if he wanted to invoke a Bifröst. But no: adolescence has hit Atreus like Miguelito from the third. And you eat it with potatoes.
Do you see where the game is going at the plot level in terms of the relationship between the two main characters? Better, because I won’t say more here, I want to see how things evolve in the tens of hours that remain ahead of me. The same Atreus ends up becoming a lawyer or a doctor as surely his parents would have wanted at some point in their past and busy lives.
By the way, are you still here? Wonderful. You won’t complain, I hope. I’m doing my best to make a different first impression and reward your time for reading something about a game you’ve probably had in store for weeks. I don’t know if at some point I’ve been funny. As I said at the beginning, in general I am quite a clown. If so, you can tell me in the comments, although the truth is that I think so much solemnity is also a bit tiring, right? Especially when we write about such huge and anticipated games. But let’s see, we’re actually talking about a title starring a mashed turkey that could crush the Hulk with his thumb. We’re not going to get too transcendental, I think. Of course, I don’t know what I’m going to write in the analysis if I continue down this path. I’m going to run out of jokes, ideas. Before starting this text I thought that with a thousand words I would have to cover everything. But I have 1,400 and I could be doing this all day.
The battles? Fine thanks.
I actually wanted to talk to you about the game’s menus. Those that come out when you press the touchpad of the controller. It sounds boring, but I’ll try to go fast: they are worse than the ones in the first game. Or not?
I have the two installments installed and I jump between them to compare some things, which is quite boring, but I do it for you and those who have stayed with you to read. The thing is that the management of weapons, armor, improvements and abilities was somewhat confusing in the original, but at least the interface had been worked on so that everything was very visual. There’s nothing worse than having to navigate cumbersome menus to figure out what you’re equipped with, what you’re not, and if that new bracelet your funny dwarf friend is selling you in his shop is better than the one you’re wearing. The thing is that that more visual part that we had in God of War and now it’s all about menus with submenus that open lists of objects and that are a bit lazy.
My feeling is that I haven’t fully understood the change yet because I haven’t seen enough of the game to appreciate it and, to be honest, I’m not sure which system I like better, if the old one, with the options in the top bar and the visual display of weapons, runes, abilities and such, or the current one with all the options located in a lower bar and pulling more dropdowns within dropdowns.
Which reminds me that I don’t know what the hell they’ve done with the map. The one from the previous one God of War It almost looks like a work of art because of how beautiful and large it is compared to the miniaturization that they have opted for this time. Again, I don’t know if I am hours away from that point where its rationale becomes apparent or if it is simply a decision based on other parameters (part of the development of God of War Ragnarok was carried out with people working from home). And how fun would it be if there was an option to change it that I haven’t seen?
Well, I think it’s time to close the text. More to end up somewhere than because I don’t have more things to say, but do you really want me to explain everything that these first eight hours with the game hide?
I already said.
God of War Ragnarok Standard Edition PS5
PS: I like the game. It has things that could be improved and I’m afraid that the surprise factor will come later, but it seems like a fantastic experience to me. It is one of those games that you put them on and, as they say from Sony Santa Monica in the letter where the embargoes appear, they are like a warm blanket. Ideal to curl up on the sofa and enjoy that comforting feeling of knowing that you have a handful of hours ahead of you during which you will feel protected.
PD2: the images that accompany this text are not own captures because Sony does not allow them for these impressions, so they are the ones that the company has sent us.
PD3: I look like Marvel with the post credits. Look how little I like them. If the movie or the chapter has already finished, leave it there still. But in the end, what God of War Ragnarok It comes out on November 9.