The God of War franchise has undergone a pretty significant sea change in recent years.
While it began as an ultra-violent “spectacle fighter” (otherwise known as a “character action” game) back in 2005 and stayed that way for many years, the 2018 reboot recast the franchise as a sort of chunky action-RPG with a renewed emphasis on storytelling and character drama rather than the ultra-violent visual spectacle for which it was previously known.
2022’s God of War Ragnarok serves as a sequel to that reboot, continuing as it does the 2018 God of War’s gameplay style, over-the-shoulder camera, and focus on Norse mythology.
In our opinion, the God of War Ragnarok PS5 experience is significantly superior to the PS4 game, but it’s also just a must-play all around. Here’s why you simply have to play God of War Ragnarok on PS5 if you haven’t already.
It looks gorgeous
Naturally, the PS5 version of God of War Ragnarok is a visual feast. Whether you’re playing on the Favour Resolution or Favour Performance modes, you’ll get a different treat.
Favour Resolution ensures that God of War Ragnarok can hit 4K, creating absolutely beautiful scenes that you’ll stop and look at just to soak in the graphical fidelity on offer.
Favour Performance, meanwhile, delivers a silky-smooth framerate that feels like poetry in motion to watch, and since the resolution dips to 1440p (upscaling to 4K), you’re not even sacrificing visual fidelity too much.
All of this is presented alongside pin-sharp textures and incredible art design, combining to create what is almost inarguably the PS5’s most visually appealing game. There’s a lot of competition, too, so Kratos should feel special.
It’s got a mature, arresting narrative
While the original God of War games absolutely had their merits, they couldn’t be said to be particularly compelling from a narrative perspective.
The 2005 God of War presented a perfectly absorbing Greek tragedy, but it was mostly about watching the combat unfold and participating in massive and epic boss battles rather than following the story of Kratos.
Subsequent games became more and more ridiculous and over-the-top, so when the 2018 reboot brought things back down to earth, it was a much-needed and much-appreciated move among both God of War fans and neophytes.
As you’d probably expect, God of War Ragnarok delivers another masterclass in storytelling that combines subtle character work with grand, melodramatic emotional themes, creating a story that you’ll follow with bated breath.
The voice work is incredible
One area in which God of War 2018 inarguably shone was its voice acting, and God of War Ragnarok has arguably somehow improved on its predecessor in this respect as well.
Christopher Judge puts in yet another endearingly gruff performance as Kratos, but the real star this time around is Sunny Suljic, who voices Kratos’ teenage son Atreus.
The mischievous boy’s role is expanded greatly in Ragnarok; he gets whole sections of the game entirely to himself, and his voice acting portrays him as mature but insecure, enriching his character and making him feel three-dimensional.
The supporting cast for God of War Ragnarok is also excellent, especially Adam John Harrington, who plays the brittle genius dwarf Sindri. We won’t spoil that character’s journey, but it’s something special indeed.
The combat feels great
For many, God of War 2018’s combat was a highlight of the experience, but for others, it somewhat lacked in variation and impact, especially when compared to the 2005 original.
These are arguably not criticisms you can throw at the God of War Ragnarok PS5 experience. The combat is varied, brutal, and satisfying, full of crunching blows and nimble movement abilities.
Kratos has access to the Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos at the game’s outset, and without wishing to spoil, he gains access to other weapons later on that not only grant additional movement abilities but also create new combat opportunities.
Whether you prefer Kratos to be a slow-moving monster or an agile warrior, you’ll find plenty of ways to specialise as you see fit, and you’ll also find skill trees that support the kind of play style you want to build.
The Nine Realms are full of diversions
God of War 2018 had plenty of sidequests and extra things to do outside the main story, but God of War Ragnarok has its predecessor easily beat on this front.
Whether you’re hunting down Odin’s ravens throughout the realm, taking part in combat trials in Muspelheim, or finding and slaying special enemies to gain access to unique resources, God of War Ragnarok is packed with side content.
You’ll even find that entire areas of each semi-open world environment are essentially given over entirely to side content, so there may be whole swathes of God of War Ragnarok’s world that you don’t explore on a first playthrough.
Some of this content is, of course, just an excuse to engage in more combat (no bad thing given how great God of War Ragnarok’s combat feels), but elsewhere, you’ll find multi-layered puzzles and even story content you might have missed.
There won’t be a third game in the trilogy
We’re absolutely expecting another God of War game to arrive at some point, and it’ll presumably pit Kratos against the pantheon of another culture. Kratos versus the Egyptian gods, anyone?
However, we know for a fact that the Norse storyline is over, and that we’re only getting two games in this particular saga. This is because lead creative Cory Barlog didn’t want to drag the story out over too long a period of time.
That’s another reason you simply must experience God of War Ragnarok on PS5; it’s the climactic culmination of a two-game saga, and you won’t feel like you’re simply playing the middle child of a trilogy that’s yet to be concluded.