God Of War: Ragnarök (PS4) – A Review

When I played God Of War (2018), I was blown away by the stunning world and the blossoming relationship between Kratos, the titular God Of War, and his young son, Atreus. Then, over a month ago, along came God Of War: Ragnarök. Let’s dive in.

And, in case you did not anticipate that: There WILL be SPOILERS.

Thor and Odin pay Kratos a visit.

The Story

God Of War: Ragnarök offers a nice little summary of the previous game, in case you need to refresh your memory, which I had to, actually. So, after the past adventure Kratos and Atreus have settled down in Midgard’s woods again, though Fimbulwinter has come and turned the realm into an icy wasteland. Unfortunately, there’s no rest for the wicked. The Aesir, namely Odin and his son Thor, do have a bone to pick with Kratos. And, yeah, of course it’s cute how expectations are being subverted here, but why does Odin have to talk like some shady mob boss?

Goddess Freya does not play around.

While violence can be averted – this time, apart form a little duel between Thor and Kratos – it’s clear who the villain is and who a potential ally. While Atreus is seeking the truth of his greatest fear – losing against destiny – , Kratos finds new allies that could potentially assist in what is coming: Ragnarök, the end of the world. Among them is the vengeful Vanir goddess Freya, who already played a major part in the previous game.

Atreus is making friends in Jötunheim.

Father and son travel all over the nine realms, most which had been locked in the previous game. So, we get to explore a whole bunch of news locations, friends and foes. And, off on separate adventures, both Kratos and Atreus, who now is a teenager, are allowed to grow.Yep, Atreus gets to go on his own adventures and discover a whole lot about his family and his heritage as a giant. Don’t worry, though, there’s a fight waiting around pracitclly every corner, to test your combat skills and new abilities.

The Characters

Kratos no longer wishes to be known as a god killer. Unfortunately, there are those who seek vengeance against him for his past deeds. Also, Kratos will infrequently revisit memories of his late wife, the giant Laufey, nicknamed Faye. And while progessing in the story he and his son will uncover a huge secret she kept from them.

Faye offers guidance from beyond the grave.

Meanwhile, Atreus gets acquainted with the giant Angrboda, who invites him to Jötunheim. Soon, though, he heads off to Asgard, where he is introduced to a whole host of Aesir characters and will go off adventuring with the God Of Thunder himself and his daughter, Thrud.

Thor’s daughter Thrud does not trust giant Loki aka Atreus.

Mimir, the smartest man alive, is back and his friendship with father and son is endearing indeed. Also back are Brok and Sindri, the dwarven blacksmiths who supply the duo with armor and weapons upgrades.

As for foes, those come as no surprise. Which is actually smart when you know that your greatest foe probably knows your every step before you do. Such are the perils of trying to escape your destiny. Speaking of: Freya joins the father-and-son duo. First in an uneasy alliance, later as part of their family.

The wonders of travelling throughout the realms: The Spark Of The World.

The World

Simply put: the world is gorgeous. Able to travel the nine realms you will revisit Midgard, Helheim, Muspelheim and Alfheim, discover Svartalfheim, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Jötunheim and Asgard.

A giant immortal squirrel. Who would have thought?

Some realms feature different regions and therefore allow you to discover more of the map. Vanaheim – home to Freya’s people – is by far the most intriguing realm that will change once you destroy a dam and discover how to manipulate day and night, since some parts of the realm become available only at nighttime.

Svartalfheim, home of the dwarves, also features a lot of regions that you can get to by boat. Midgard is another realm that invites you to explore it fully.

Also, as you progress in the story you will be able to reach more locations throughout the realms.

Upgrading your gear is key!

New Weapons And Abilities

You will be able to upgrade the Leviathan Axe, the Blades Of Chaos, your shield and armor, yet the most important new ability that Kratos gains is the Draupnir spear. That is a fearsome wepon indeed, and also a tool for opening up new passageways.

Kratos and Brok witness the making of the Draupnir spear.

Atreus will remain true to his bow, but gain a new, shapeshifting ability that is very useful in battle, especially in Helheim. As for Freya, she is a Valkyrie, swordswoman and archer. Literally nothing can touch her in combat. Also, I love that you can customise Mimir into a weapon and make his eyes spew Bifrost beams to destroy the enemy.


There are enemies aplenty, some familiar, some new. Among the latter especially the Stalkers and Nokken present a fine addition to the bestiary. Stalkers are Centaur-like creatures that will ambush Kratos and party. They are pretty tough to kill in the beginning, but once you maxed out your armor, weapons and skills, taking them down becomes pretty easy.

Nokken are vulnerable themseleves, but they enchant more powerful creatures with their song to make them attack you. Which is why taking out the Nokken as fast as possible is key to winning against their cohorts.

This good boy will turn from enemy to friend.

The boss fights with the Aesir are tough, even when playing on the easiest “difficulty”. Also, the Berserkers are no joke and the new Valkyrie queen named Gna I have yet to best.

The Soundtrack

I am a sucker for good soundtracks and they can really make even the cheesiest, most non-sensical line sound better. Which happened quite a lot in God Of War: Ragnarök. Meaning, the soundtrack is masterfully crafted to complement the dialogue and action pieces.

The Verdict

God Of War: Ragnarök is a beautiful game, visually. It is an epic game, when it comes to set-pieces, boss-fights and music. I, for one, would have wished for more linear story-telling. Because, just as with its predecessor, I got lost in the side quests and, once I returned to the The Path, I felt little to no investment in the story itself. The frequent jumps between worlds and companion characters also disrupt the flow of the story, at least it did so for me. And Atreus aka Loki’s reality-check at the end of the second act was a little too on-your-nose.

Did I enjoy it? Idid indeed. Right now I am mopping up the realms after the big event, which is fun. Will I play it again? As with it’s predecessor: probably not.

Instead I will be diving back in Star Wars Squadrons (VR) and the Big Bad Wolf-escalation of HITMAN 3, which I have been enjoying very much so far.

Until then, keep on playing!