With Santa Monica Studio preparing to unleash the wrath of the end of all things this 9 November with God of War Ragnarok, there is still much we don’t know about when it comes to the next adventure of Kratos and Atreus. However, thanks to a Game Informer feature, we now have a clearer idea of how combat will work in God of War Ragnarok.
Talking to lead combat designers Mihir Sheth and Denny Yeh, the pair ran through some of the guiding principles that made the 2018 soft reboot so fun, and what the team is trying to do in God of War Ragnarok.
“That’s an internal philosophy that we’ve had since back in the day,” Sheth explained. “Kratos plays with his food. We tried to create systems you want to engage with that are fun, very playful, lots of different routes. And when we looked at the combat in the last game, we were like, ‘We can push this further; we can find new toys and ways of playing with enemies and strategies.’ That’s been the guiding principle more than anything else.”
A demo showed off the power that lies in the hands of the dynamic duo, switching between offence and defence at a whim, and crushing the foes that stood in front of them. The combat in God of War Ragnarok is aided by some new additions, including the addition of new techniques called Weapon Signature Moves, which are mapped to the Triangle button.
Utilising it while holding the Leviathan Axe unleashes Frost Awakens, while the Blades of Chaos will ready Whiplash, both elemental attacks that can do extra damage to your foes. It is not only the weapons that are getting a change; with shields going through a revamp of sorts as well.
Yeh demonstrated the new Dauntless and Stonewall shields, with the former designed for those that love to parry, leading to a damaging smash attack that can stun enemies and send them flying into the air. The latter functions best for tanks, taking damage and charging it into a pulse attack that can knock enemies back. Clever use of these new armaments will make combat in God of War Ragnarok more engaging and dynamic, something that will be improved as players unlock more options.
The pair also talked more about the balancing involved in God of War Ragnarok, with enemy aggression and lethality ramped up with increasing difficulty. That said, even at the lowest of settings, players will still need to fight smart. Heading back to previously cleared areas may yield new and more dangerous foes, as will the optional areas found in the game.
Building on the amazing combat that was evident throughout the first game, God of War Ragnarok has much to live up to, yet, if anyone can get to the next level, it’s the folks over at Santa Monica Studio.
God of War Ragnarok will release this 9 November for PS4 and PS5.