God of War Ragnorok – One to Watch for 2022

The highly anticipated release of God of War Ragnorok is due in November 2022. There is a lot to live up to for the sequel, given God of War was regarded as one of the best games from 2018, and one of the best games of the last generation. Sony Santa Monica Studios were holding back the release date until very recently, and if it can stick to that date then it could be Elden Ring finally has some competition when it comes to Game of the Year 2022.

God of War Ragnorok was revealed to the public during the PlayStation State of Play in 2020, although we would have to wait until Summer 2021 to get a first look at gameplay. Kratos and Atreus are back, with Atreus now bigger, older and looks to be going through his moody teenage years.

God of War Ragnorok is set a few years after the reboot of God of War. “The freezing winds of Fimbulwinter have come to Midgard, making survival for Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir in the Norse wilds even more challenging than before,” Sony said on their blog.

“While the last game built an enormous amount of trust and understanding between father and son, there is still a great deal of complexity in their interactions–especially after the revelation of Atreus’ Giant heritage and the hidden prophecy only Kratos saw.”

“Like most young people, he wants to understand who he is more than anything. In this case, he wants to understand who he could be. The mystery of Loki’s role in the upcoming conflict is something that Atreus cannot let go of. He wants to keep his family safe, but Atreus also doesn’t want to stand by and do nothing while conflict consumes the Nine Realms.” Sony said about Atreus.

Regarding Kratos “He wants to keep his son safe, above all, and their confrontation with Baldur has vindicated the belief that only tragedy will come from further entanglements with the Aesir,” reads the game’s description. “Together, Kratos and Atreus will have to make a choice about which path they will take. Whatever they choose will define the fate of all those living in the Nine Realms as Ragnarok approaches.”

We see some familiar characters returning in Ragnorok. Freya is back, once a friend of Kratos, now an angry enemy.

“We wanted to remind players that Freya isn’t just a terrifyingly powerful user of Vanir magic, but also that she’s a formidable warrior in her own right. Enraged by Kratos’ evasion of justice by her hand, Freya will turn every weapon at her disposal towards her son’s killer,” Sony said.

Also, Thor, who showed up at the end of God of War, is no doubt angry that Kratos has killed his sons and half-brother

“Thor’s legendary bloodlust and wrath will be aimed at Kratos and Atreus. Referred to disparagingly by Mimir as the ‘Biggest Butchering Bastard in the Nine Realms,’ Thor earned his title as one of the most powerful Aesir gods by wiping out nearly all the Giants at Odin’s command.”

Regarding the gameplay God of War Ragnorok looks to build on the success of 2018’s God of War with a familiar feel.

“As a team, we’ve worked hard to take our learnings from God of War (2018) and improve upon combat to feel fresh, yet familiar. With God of War Ragnarok, one of our main goals was to push player choice in combat. Whether it’s through hard-hitting combos, a mastery of elements, or clever defensive tactics–you will find plenty of opportunities to fight alongside our duo in a way that feels uniquely expressive,” Sony said.

The enemies in God of War Ragnorok are set to be harsher and more varied Sony has said. Kratos and Atreus will take on new enemies, including the Stalker and Dreki.

“With an expanded cast of adversaries, we aim to keep each combat encounter memorable from the smallest brawls to the big show-stopper bosses!” Sony said.

Back in God of War in 2018, we go to visit six of the Nine Realms, and Ragnorok is finally going to let us visit all nine. This includes the three that were not in the original, including Vanaheim, Svartalfheim, and Asgard. New areas from previous locations will also be added to the game “Exploring the realms will take you everywhere from verdant, otherworldly jungles to intricate subterranean mining networks. This next instalment in the series will bring you a more diverse, beautiful, and mysterious variety of locations than in any other God of War game.” said Sony. If you were planning on catching up on God of War 2018, now is a great time to do so.

God of War Ragnorok had a journey to get to its current release date of 9th November 2022. Sony Santa Monica Studios repeatedly stated it would make its 2022 release date, without actually revealing the date before Summer 2022. Fans were vocal, protesting it wasn’t likely to make 2022, even going so far as to harass and threaten members of the studio. It’s a hard watch and sometimes, frankly embarrassing being a video game fan watching how some fans behave, and its miracle video games come out at all sometimes. We should be praising and supporting these developers for creating the world we love and spend so much time in, but a small minority seems to ruin it for everyone.

Regarding the release date, members of the studio said:

“We haven’t said a lot about this. That’s because everybody is heads-down, hard at work. We are perfectionists. Everyone is tightening up the graphics…there is so much going on right now that I just wish we could share with you. But it’s just not ready to be shown. I guarantee you the moment–the very second–that we have something we’re ready to share, we’re going to share it with you. We don’t want to hold any of this back. So please, hold tight–know that something cool is coming and that we–everybody here at Sony Santa Monica–is so incredibly thankful for all the support you’ve given us.” said Cory Barlog.

It’s fair for fans to speculate regarding the release date, in a sensible manner (without threats!). It was originally set for 2021 but was pushed back to 2022, with one of the reasons being Kratos’ voice actor having major surgery. Christopher Judge said via Twitter “To the beloved fandom, Ragnarok was delayed because of me. In August 2019, I couldn’t walk. Had to have back surgery, both hips replaced, and knee surgery. They waited for me to rehab.” Fair enough, that sounds pretty major and it’s good that Sony Santa Monica Studios is supporting their actors. Judge even complimented the studio by saying “No threats, no, ‘Who do you think you are?’ Nothing but love and support. And [Sony Santa Monica] has never said a word about the delay, and what caused it. Studios are assholes, but this company from top to bottom should give us hope”.

While God of War Ragnorok is planned for PS5, it’s also coming out on PS4. We don’t know yet the differences between the versions, although we’re likely to get news of that closer to the release. I imagine we’ll have the deep-dive Sony State of Play in September or October, where we go into more detail related to Ragnorok. You will also be able to upgrade the PS4 version for $10 to get the PS5 upgraded digital version.

God of War did come to PC earlier in 2022, but there are no plans to release God of War Ragnorok on PC day and date. This is likely to be a major reason for fans to buy a PlayStation 5, and by releasing it on PC on the same day, Sony would likely make more money, but they would be restricting a potential audience buying into the PlayStation eco-system. This is further complicated by the difficulty of getting a PS5 at the moment, it’s still not readily available in the shops and online, nearly 2 years after the console launch. Given Sony has released former PlayStation exclusives on PC this year including God of War and Spider-man, it’s likely that God Of War Ragnorok will appear in the future on PC, but I would imagine 2025 or 2026 is a realistic date.

Sony Santa Monica Studios have said this is going to be the conclusion to the Norse Mythology story for Kratos. That’s according to Cory Barlog, director of the first game (although he’s handed over the reins of director to Eric Williams). Barlog said they decided to stop at two games, otherwise, they would end up working on this story for twenty years. Barlog also said it could get too complex if the story is drawn out, so they want to conclude it with two entries.

“The complexity radiates out, like ripples in a pond. We could make it an ocean, and have those ripples just go for thousands of miles. But is that necessary and is that beneficial, or are we feeling like you know what, it’s just spreading it too far apart?” Barlog said. “The ripples get too far apart and you sort of lose the plot a little bit.”

That’s it for God of War Ragnorok for now, I think it’s going to be one of 2022’s best games and hopefully will give Elden Ring a run for it’s money.