It’s been a long and excruciating wait for Santa Monica Studios’ next installment in the series, but a couple of months ahead of its launch, new details regarding God of War Ragnarok’s combat have surfaced.
The information comes by way of an exclusive reveal from Game Informer, where the outfit got to spend time with God of War Ragnarok lead combat designers Mihir Sheth and Denny Yeh to discuss what players can expect in a few months.
Both combat designers floated the idea of “Playing with your food,” and it was this philosophy that the team used to approach the game with.
“That’s an internal philosophy that we’ve had since back in the day. Kratos plays with his food. We tried to create systems you want to engage with that are fun, very playful, lots of different routes,” says Sheth. “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 short gameplay video of God of War Ragnarok was shown, which revealed a new feature called “Weapon Signature Moves.”
“In the last game, if you pressed Triangle, you recalled the axe. But if you already had the axe, nothing happened. If you had the Blades of Chaos and you pressed Triangle, you just went back to the axe,” Sheth says. “We looked at that concept and wondered, ‘What if you could do something a little bit different with that button – a whole new suite of moves.’”
Kratos will now have new moves depending on what weapon you have equipped. As an example, Kratos will gain access to “Frost Awaken” and “Whiplash” for the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos respectively, which will do extra elemental damage.
God of War Ragnarok will also see a rework of the shield, making it more useful this time around.
Two types of shields were described – Dauntless and Stonewall. The Dauntless shield will cater to players that center their playstyle around parries, allowing Kratos to attack via a smash that tosses and stuns opponents when parrying at the last moment.
The Stonewall shield, on the other hand, will allow players to soak up damage and then release it once it’s fully charged for a pulse blast.
Balance is also an important part of God of War Ragnarok, especially with higher difficulties carrying more lethal enemies. Areas that have been previously cleared will be “periodically repopulated” with more powerful foes, meaning players will need to keep on their toes to survive the journey.
God of War is scheduled for release on November 9, 2022 for the PS4 and PS5.