Test God of War Ragnarök: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

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After a masterful and stunning episode on PS4 in 2018, Kratos and Atreus are back on PS5 (and PS4) with the highly anticipated God of War Ragnarök. Our complete test!

God of War Ragnarök test: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

In 2018, Santa Monica Studios brilliantly revisited the God of War formula, swapping Greek mythology for Nordic beliefs, while also turning the original formula upside down. A “New” God of War which has stuck more than one player (and which has sold more than 23 million copies), with a resolutely epic dimension, an enormous lifespan and a succession of monumental slaps inflicted on the player's face. Suffice to say that its sequel, subtitled Ragnarök, is one of the most anticipated games of the PS5. Arrived a few weeks ago already at the editorial staff of Presse-citron, it is high time to deliver our complete verdict on this God of War Ragnarök.

Buy God of War Ragnarök on PS5

God of War Ragnarök, a very (highly) awaited sequel

Taking place three years after God of War, this new opus starts with a Fimbulvetr already well underway. And as the forces of Asgard prepare for the prophesied clash that will destroy the world, Kratos and his son Atreus (not forgetting Mimir) are forced to explore the nine realms in search of answers. If Kratos still and always seeks to protect his son, Atreus aims to learn more about Loki's prophecy, even if it means risking his life and that of his parent. The latter still has his Leviathan axe, with the power of ice, but also the Blades of Chaos, which have the power of flames.

Test God of War Ragnarök : un (almost) masterpiece on PS5

In this new opus, we will obviously visit various kingdoms, some already known (but totally revisited), and others unpublished. This is the case of Svartalfheim, the native land of the handyman dwarves Brok and Sindri, two very charismatic characters, who are entitled to a place of choice in this God of War Ragnarök. Both are also responsible for often bringing a small dose of humor here, not to mention a Kratos who reveals on his side a tad more “human ” than before.

It's no surprise, God of War Ragnarök is the direct sequel to the opus launched on PS4. The game therefore resumes the (brilliant) initial formula, but the developers wanted to optimize the latter, with many new features and other adjustments. We will not detail everything here of course, but in addition to being able to juggle from the start between the Leviathan ax and the Blades of Chaos, Kratos can also benefit from different shields, but also new rune attacks… There are many new features, with sometimes an escalation of information on the screen and objects to recover, but the RPG side has been greatly expanded, and we can only rejoice.

 Test God of War Ragnarök: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

In addition to a solid main plot, God of War Ragnarök also offers its share of side quests, sometimes with whole sections of kingdom to discover. Obviously, some areas will be inaccessible during a first pass, and it will be necessary to come back a little later to unlock this or that access. It's classic, but still just as effective, with the added bonus here of certain side missions which turn out to be more exciting than certain missions in the main plot… Also, the game has a Codex allowing each encounter to be contextualized, and we have to admit that it is often indispensable and exciting.

 Test God of War Ragnarök: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

As for the lifespan, easily count around thirty’ hours to complete the game, while searching the surroundings as little as possible. To this, you will add a few extra hours to reach 100% completion in each realm, which will not be easy…

Technically speaking, the game signed Santa Monica Studios is a demonstration of mastery, with very dense, very imposing, very rich sets, teeming with details. Outdoor environments display an undeniable contemplative side, and it is not uncommon to stop to “admire” the landscape. In the more compartmentalized sections, the game is also very impressive, sometimes more than outdoors, thanks to even higher details, but also remarkable visual effects, in particular in terms of light, but not only. Note that the Blades of Chaos bring something new in combat, but also something new in terms of the verticality of the game, with the added bonus of “puzzles” using all the faculties of Kratos and his partner.

God of War Ragnarök test: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

On the fighting side, again, God of War Ragnarök will not upset the situation, and the player who has completed the previous opus will quickly regain his reflexes. Of course, you will have to get used to some new subtleties, with always the RPG side which allows you to shape your hero in your image and the possibility of creating devastating combos, but the formula remains globally the same as before… and that's so much the better. Too bad, however, that the interface has not been retouched, and is still as messy, even after several long hours of play.

Some flaws, and a little God of War 1.5 side all the same&nbsp ;?

However, if the visual perfection, the excessiveness of the clashes and the palpable general intensity that emerges from this sequel are beyond doubt, God of War Ragnarök also suffers from a few flaws, starting with a very (very) interventionist side. Indeed, the game constantly takes care of guiding the player to his next destination, but also of indicating to him, sometimes very roughly, the possibility of climbing a ledge, destroying an obstacle… This notably involves runes present on the elements with which we can interact, a bit like other large narrative solo games “made in PlayStation  like Uncharted or Horizon. A system aimed at making the game more accessible, and which is the exact opposite of Elden Ring finally.

This grip on the part of the player also manifests itself on the side of the partner, who will often be responsible for telling the player the solution to a puzzle, when the latter stumbles in an environment for more than a few seconds. We feel more than ever this desire never to frustrate the player, even if it means sometimes (often) shooting down the interest of an enigma or a puzzle. A point that will make more than one tick. The game offers five difficulty levels and extensive customization on the accessibility side, but by default, the game remains very assisted, with no doubt this desire never to lose the player.

Test God of War Ragnarök: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

Also, if God of War Ragnarök is full of absolutely monumental game phases of power and mastery, you will also have to go through some much less thrilling phases… Without spoiler whatsoever, some game sequences turn out to be very (very) long, without much interest in terms of video games, except probably to extend a lifespan that does not need it. Also, it will happen that boredom, or even a certain form of discouragement, comes to point its nose during certain phases of play. , which come to be inserted between two other sequences, on the contrary, of a colossal intensity. A way to “break the beat” sure, but that won't stop some players from sighing in boredom at times.

On the rhythm side, if the previous opus started very strong, this sequel is a little less impactful in its first moments, despite events that are nevertheless intense. It must be said that the new direction taken by God of War in 2018 and the fight against Baldur were enough to shock his audience. Here, we find our bearings very quickly, with the added bonus of a soft start, a bit shy, so that the first moments can have a little something “disappointing”. Do not panic though, if the start is not a theater of wonder like the first episode was, the game gradually ramps up to be full of epic moments and environments thereafter, but we have to admit that the first steps are a little less engaging than you might expect.

Finally, as technically solid as this God of War Ragnarök is, if the majority of the places visited are of stunning beauty (but really), it happens that certain places display less detail, just like certain NPCs who are far from benefiting from the same care than the main protagonists, which is irremediably obvious. Similarly, some movements in snowy environments clearly lack flexibility, and it feels controller in hand. Nothing “awkward” in absolute terms, but if certain areas literally break the retina, certain phases are clearly modeled on a 2018 game, giving at times a side “God of War 1.5” to this new opus, it’s undeniable.

All this does not prevent this God of War Ragnarök from being a major game, even exceptional, in the same way as the previous opus. The basics remain the same, and if a little God of War 1.5 side is sometimes felt, this sequel pushes the cursor even further, with some titanic clashes, exciting side quests (but really), a richer combat system, a deeper narrative side, and even many surprises, some particularly unexpected…

So yes, we will tick on certain details, on certain phases of the game that are not essential in our eyes, on a somewhat cluttered inventory and an overdose of loot, but the general feeling remains more than positive, and God of War Ragnarök imposes itself as an exceptional title, provided of course that you enjoy a minimum of course this type of solo experience with a (very) strong narrative tendency, and that you are not allergic to the “guided” side of the thing.

Our opinion on God of War Ragnarök on PS5

Don't be fooled by its somewhat laborious start and its sometimes false airs of God of War 1.5, God of War Ragnarök is an exceptional and generous title, which increases in power over the course of the adventure, to end up on a globally breathtaking in mastery, gigantism, power… and even emotions. Admittedly, we will pester on a few details and on two or three less inspired sequences (even downright boring), but nothing that can prevent you from spending dozens of just unforgettable hours in the company of Kratos, Atreus, Mimir and the others, at chain moments of bravery and intense contemplation. One (second) titanic slap!

God of War Ragnarök

God of War Ragnarök test: an (almost) masterpiece on PS5

9

Overall Rating

9.0/10 < ul class="cwpr_clearfix wppr-very-good">

  • We love

    • Technically sumptuous
    • Intense/epic fights
    • That ramp-up!
    • Mastered and thrilling storytelling
    • Monstrous lifespan< /li>

    We like it less

    • A bit slow to start
    • Some long and boring passages
    • Interface not very clear
    • A small side of God of War 1.5 q anyway…
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