God of War: Ragnarök Brings Epic Franchise to the PS5 | Video Games

“Ragnarök” opens three years after the end of the phenomenal 2018 game, which was just titled “God of War”. It has been “Fimbulwinter” for three summers, a great ice age whose end foretells the beginning of Ragnarök. So much of this game builds on what happens in the last one that the menu screen allows for a recap to be viewed to catch players up on the essential details. Thor seeks revenge for the deaths of his half-brother Baldur and his two sons Modi and Magni. Thor’s papa Odin, wonderfully voiced by Richard Schiff, gets involved in the action, and, of course, there’s the little fact that Atreus is also known as Loki to contend with.

After an explosive prologue, the action of “Ragnarök” kicks off with Kratos and Atreus traversing the nine realms to basically gather their own God-like Avengers to battle the end of the world, reuniting them with characters the franchise has incorporated before and introducing some new ones. They are forced to rescue, Tyr, the Norse God of War, and convince Freya to return to the fold. Along the way, the combat mechanics grow with the intensity of the game. However, “Ragnarök” gives players a remarkable set of tools right from the very beginning, perhaps recognizing that most will have played the last game and don’t want to take hours before they get their favorite toys back in the sandbox. So, from the beginning, Kratos is throwing his Leviathan Axe and unleashing his Blades of Chaos. However, this game incorporates a great deal more action outside of Kratos too, including playable chapters as Atreus, who becomes a more richly drawn character in this game than the last one.

In fact, it’s through the eyes of Atreus that a lot of the action of “Ragnarök” unfolds as he’s the one torn between his father and Odin as the end of the world looms. He’s heard the stories of what’s to come but refuses to believe that these things are outside of his control. He also has a deeper conscience than his grunting father, but the entire game plays with issues of regret that the franchise hasn’t really seen before. Mimir, the talking head that accompanies Kratos and imparts knowledge and wisdom, plays more like a conscience to Kratos too, even asking the big question about what they’re actually trying to save by killing so many enemies. When does it stop being worth saving if it requires so much carnage?

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