NOTE: This article contains MINOR spoilers for God of War Ragnarok. Proceed at your own risk.Important for everyone god of war the game is its combat, whether it’s one of Kratos’ hack-n’-slash adventures in the Greek pantheon or one of his more recent over-the-shoulder epics in Norse mythology. There’s a respected lineage within the franchise for various weapons and boss fight spectacles, and each game’s set pieces provide memorable sequences in combat and platforming. The god of war franchise has moved away from traditional platforming featured in previous installments, but its set pieces and battle arenas have been greatly maintained and improved since, especially in God of War Ragnarok.
Moving away from traditional hack-n’-slash combat, god of war retains much of its genetic makeup while implementing thoughtful combat with dedicated parries and evasive maneuvers. god of war‘s Leviathan Ax was a significant change, introducing the satisfying mechanic of being able to retrieve it back to Kratos’ hand from wherever it was thrown. Still, the specific areas where players engaged in combat god of war paled in comparison to the match itself. God of War Ragnarok corrects this by turning each battle arena into a playground for creative environmental interaction.
God of War 2018 combat was much more Mano-a-Mano
In last god of warcombat was oriented around toe-to-toe combat, often with many creatures in one area. god of war‘s Realm Tear encounters were particularly troublesome for this reason, with one instance on the Shores of Nine presenting two Wulves in a narrow bottleneck. This approach emphasized a mastery of combat in terms of learning Leviathan Axe’s core mechanics and then integrating Blades of Chaos’ mechanics into combat later. With no other resources to use aside from runic abilities and Atreus as an NPC companion, combat is orchestrated in tight arenas or corridors with only the player’s skill to rely on. If players are able to maintain a safe distance throughout a fight, they can likely fall back on ranged attacks with the ax to chip away at enemy health.
Sooner or later, however, players will want to telegraph enemy attacks to learn when it’s best to dodge, block, or parry incoming attacks, as there are few other options available to them. There are many changes that the sequel makes to combat, such as God of War Ragnarokcharacter switching, but the most effective improvement is its environmental interactivity.
God of War Ragnarok Combat encourages environmental creativity
Now that returning players would be incredibly familiar with the Leviathan Ax and Blades of Chaos combat, God of War Ragnarok implements environmental diversity to help make combat more dynamic. This iteration results in battle stages that offer much more creativity in terms of how players can navigate a horde of enemies. In a given battle arena, players may have access to red fire pots, huge rocks, tree stumps or slender tree trunks, and monoliths.
Red Fire Pots are effective when players have kited a group of enemies near it, before landing a well-timed ax throw on it to cause it to explode and burn those near it. Large rocks can sit dormant in the environment that players can throw at an enemy, but if enemies are far away or out of frame, the rock has a good chance of being thrown at nothing.
Tree stumps can be hit with the ax to create a frost AoE, and tree trunks and monoliths can be swung to knock an enemy back. Similarly, almost all battle arenas have verticality that players should consider, as reaching higher ground will allow them to jump and slam down with an attack that can secure the upper hand. This slam attack from a jump can also be performed after a grab, which can also appear in many battle arenas.
To be fair, many God of War RagnarokThe hardest fights are in tight, round arenas in an attempt to enhance that mano-a-mano satisfaction. Berserkers are incredibly difficult, for example, and without being able to use ledges for slam attacks or fire pots for explosive damage, the player’s abilities are really put to the test. But this diversity ensures that no matter how the battle goes down, players can channel their inner God of War.
God of War Ragnarok is available now for PS4 and PS5.
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