God of War Ragnarök Preview: Prepare to Have Your Emotions Pummeled

God of War Ragnarök players can expect an even stronger emotional shock from a blow from Kratos’ fist. Sony is letting outlets give their impressions of this God of War series in the first few hours ahead of its November 9 release on PS5. If there’s one thing I can say about Ragnarok for sure, it’s that it gets to the point quickly.

The game rebounds three years after the end of God of War 2018, giving you a stark reminder of the consequences of the murder of Kratos, Baldur, Odin’s son. Odin, the godfather of the Norse gods, has a heavy presence in the game’s opening hours. Without revealing too much about the story, I’ll say the first hour is crucial, and developer Sony Santa Monica wants you to speed up with minimal fuzz. He’s also emotional, and I can’t help but think of Pixar Up how he experienced many emotions early on.

Kratos raises his shield as the monster is about to attack

Kratos has new enemies to fight in Ragnarok.


No embarrassing tutorial tries to give the impression that Kratos, once the actual Greek god of war, has somehow forgotten how to swing his axe, requiring some boring parts that define what light and powerful attacks are. Instead, an on-screen message will remind players which buttons to press to launch certain attacks while Kratos battles some weak enemies in the game’s story. Early boss fights were just as exciting as they were in the early parts of God of War, but these battles have greater maximal effects than those in the previous game.

Fighting in Ragnarok feels the same, with a few additions. Kratos could use the Blades of Chaos early on in Ragnarök, which is in contrast to picking them up later in the first match. The blades work in conjunction with the Leviathan Axe. The ax uses ice magic to damage enemies while blades use fire, which can remove the enemy’s ice protection allowing them to inflict damage. Outside of battle, both can be used to manipulate the environment and overcome obstacles. Kratos also has some new moves – the most impressive I’ve seen involved using trees and poles as giant sticks to defeat enemies.

However, the enclosed areas are a bit tired. As in the previous game, the spaces that Kratos cuts are completely linear, with the exception of the side areas where chests and other resources can be found with a bit of exploration. It seems unacceptable to talk about a major release in 2022 that doesn’t have a more open space to play in. It’s not the worst thing, but it evokes feelings of restriction – at least that’s early on in his gameplay.

The first hours of God of War Ragnarök draw players into the world as fluidly as possible while teasing them with enough new narrative detail. Fans of the previous God of War game will be happy to jump into the fray but should be prepared to wreck their emotions.

Kratos and Atreus look at the dwarf Brok, who puts his hands on a table in front of them

The dwarves are back to craft new weapons and armor for Kratos and Atreus.


God of War Ragnarök goes live on November 9 for $70 at PS5 And $60 on PS4.