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God of War Ragnarok


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Thing is, the game is so beautiful to look at, so well-written and acted, so fascinating as a creation, it's easy to overlook the fact that the gameplay is good. Just 'good', nothing more. 

 

I appreciate the fact it still has the core of the classic GOW gameplay in there, but those games were just slightly more evolved versions of Rastan, Black Tiger and the like.

 

Making a 30 hour+ epic journey out of what's essentially just a glorified arcade game - designed to be done with in 2 to 4 hours - just has diminishing returns. It worked for the first game, but people aren't stupid and the more you play, the more you see it for what it is at its core: just a polished, solid game within a heavily curated world that happens to be stunning to look at. 

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imo, but the combat gameplay in both these games can be pretty good, even really good at times. It's held back by its camera (again, fixable on the PC version with UW, or will be with Ragnarok when there is one), but it's got a nice methodical RPS* flow to it. Stun that guy with the green arrow, parry the yellow attack, use the stocked up parry as a guard break to interrupt somebody's super-armoured attack. Set that bloke on fire with the hook grab attack on chains, swap across to Leviathan to get the damage buff. It's a satisfying flow chart that asks for a bit more than a lot of AAA, not at a DMC level or anything like that but more than what you usually get

 

*rock paper scissors

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Post-Norn Spoilers

 

Spoiler

Really like the "There's no such thing as Destiny" talk.

Daupnir!

Tyr is still 100% definitely going to be betray us. There has to be one in every "build a crew" game and he's acting shifty AF.

 

Really like their presentation of Odin.

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58 minutes ago, Treble said:

Thing is, the game is so beautiful to look at, so well-written and acted, so fascinating as a creation, it's easy to overlook the fact that the gameplay is good. Just 'good', nothing more. 

 

I appreciate the fact it still has the core of the classic GOW gameplay in there, but those games were just slightly more evolved versions of Rastan, Black Tiger and the like.

 

Making a 30 hour+ epic journey out of what's essentially just a glorified arcade game - designed to be done with in 2 to 4 hours - just has diminishing returns. It worked for the first game, but people aren't stupid and the more you play, the more you see it for what it is at its core: just a polished, solid game within a heavily curated world that happens to be stunning to look at. 


Perhaps the most reductive of takes imaginable! 
 

Now do Outrun! 
 

“After a few minutes it’s apparent that all you’re really doing is holding the trigger and moving left or right a bit the entire time, you don’t even need to use the brake! 
After a couple of attempts it’s so obviously that you’re not really going anywhere

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Given

 

Spoiler

They introduce an entirely different gameplay/combat system that feels fun, fast, furious and distinct from Kratos, and somehow feels "better" to play than recent Forbidden West

 

I don't think Treble's played the game, or if he has - not very much,

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Question about Svartalheim: how do I return to the Applecore? Evidently I've been there before - the map shows items picked up - and seemingly I've missed a portal in a place called Svard Sands (south west). I need to return to that general area (Pitmines, Applecore, Shard) yet am completely unable to find any path.

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8 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:


Perhaps the most reductive of takes imaginable! 
 

Now do Outrun! 
 

“After a few minutes it’s apparent that all you’re really doing is holding the trigger and moving left or right a bit the entire time, you don’t even need to use the brake! 
After a couple of attempts it’s so obviously that you’re not really going anywhere

 

Possibly. I'm about 6 hours in, and I really enjoy how we flow between story and game, but the combat arenas don't do justice to the moveset, nor do the variety or enemies or their abilities. Solid and fun, but unexceptional. That said.... 

 

6 minutes ago, Hexx said:

Given

 

  Hide contents

They introduce an entirely different gameplay/combat system that feels fun, fast, furious and distinct from Kratos, and somehow feels "better" to play than recent Forbidden West

 

I don't think Treble's played the game, or if he has - not very much,

 

...looks like I've not reached a point of significant change? In that case, looking forward to it! Although I wouldn't say 6 hours in an action game is 'not very much' :D

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I'm having a great time playing this. I'm still not 100% sold on the combat, but it's a pleasure just to look at, the story and characters are fantastic, and the pacing between mainline story sections and faff to be done at your leisure is fantastic. It just feels so generous, from the little quips between characters as they comment on your actions to the sheer amount of stuff to do everywhere, it's a real banquet of a game.

 

I've upgraded the axe and the blades to level 4. Spoilers for plot events up to that point.

 

Spoiler

I'm really enjoying the Atreus stuff. He very enjoyably nimble and the parry on his shield coupled with all his time slow nonsense is very fun. I like his more story driven sections to vary the pacing of the game, and really love the assist characters he gets to fight with. Your companion for your brief jaunt in Muspelheim is great fun.

 

Additionally, the companion who joins the fray with Kratos feels like a real treat. I thought it was very cool how they teased the possibility before it happened. They do feel a bit underpowered when they join though!

 

I have the feeling I'm almost there with the combat, but whenever I seem to get on a roll, there'll be another fight where I get two or three-shot by chained enemy attacks (the amount of invincibility you get on hit feels low) and feel like maybe I still have no idea how to actually play effectively. I think in general I would prefer if you could interrupt enemy attacks with your basic combo a bit more often, I feel like I'm forced to play very defensively and reactively in almost every fight, whereas I'd like a few more where I could just go a bit ham. I think part of my problem is that I've charged into a couple of optional bits under-levelled as I've been a bit stingy with my upgrades till now. I'm playing on hard and despite some dabbling with other options find myself stuck on the dauntless shield for better or worse. I just found a mod for it that bumps up the parry window though, and am feeling much more comfortable with the blades of chaos, so maybe it'll all click soon. I've also decided to just max the gauntlet/loin set that gives you the Bayonetta time-slow for a last minute dodge, which is great fun.

 

So far my only other real complaints are that structurally it's not nearly as impressive as the first game, where the changing water level in the Lake of the Nine gave rise to further wonders after each major plot beat. I know it would've felt a bit lame if they tried to do the same thing twice, and I'm sure there's more stuff to see and do overall, but it doesn't have the same satisfying simplicity as the first game. Also, characters are all a bit too keen to say the right thing to each other in moments of quiet, which feels a bit too on board with the gen z media trend of disliking tension between characters you see in a lot of shows these days. This is possibly the smallest quibble anyone's ever had with anything though.

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I’m of the opinion that you can only get the fullest out of the combat system in a game like this by playing it on the hardest difficulty. Lower difficulties give a less stressful experience but also streamline how you play. Obviously there is a barrier to entry on higher difficulties that will mean the majority of players will never get to experience the full depth but I’ve found that also applies to a lot of arcade-style games and anything else that is designed to reward mastery.

 

Makes me think of Ninja Gaiden Black and how that was ridiculously hard by default. Not many can enjoy it easily. Those who can manage get to enjoy an incredibly deep and stellar gameplay experience.

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26 minutes ago, Dig Dug said:

I’m of the opinion that you can only get the fullest out of the combat system in a game like this by playing it on the hardest difficulty. Lower difficulties give a less stressful experience but also streamline how you play. Obviously there is a barrier to entry on higher difficulties that will mean the majority of players will never get to experience the full depth but I’ve found that also applies to a lot of arcade-style games and anything else that is designed to reward mastery.

 

Makes me think of Ninja Gaiden Black and how that was ridiculously hard by default. Not many can enjoy it easily. Those who can manage get to enjoy an incredibly deep and stellar gameplay experience.

Horizon Zero Dawn has this too. At higher difficulties the combat is exceptional once you're into it. 

 

As for this game. I'm playing on the second easiest mode, because my time is limited and I want to enjoy the story. Even so, I've still come up against purple bar enemies and mini-bosses that I need to come back to. I am loving the story, arguably more so than the first. 

 

1 hour ago, Treble said:

...looks like I've not reached a point of significant change? In that case, looking forward to it! Although I wouldn't say 6 hours in an action game is 'not very much' :D

I said earlier in the thread that game feels too overly familiar for too long in the opening hours. I can absolutely understand this criticism because I played 13 hours of Fallout 3 back in the day, but lost interest, I kept being told by many on here that it gets much better, and to stick with it. But come on, thirteen fucking hours

 

2 hours ago, Uncle Nasty said:

I knew that this one would be an Emperor's New Clothes game. Saw it a mile off and glad I didn't fall for the hype. Just a basic, 5/10 game tarted up with expensive graphics.

 

Vampire Survivors is a better game than this.

Yeah, you really dodged a fucking bullet mate. 🙄

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3 hours ago, stir fry said:

For off screen attacks I mainly rely on the callouts from your companion, I struggle a lot more with the on screen hazards tho (poison puddles on grass for example). When this comes out on PC I'll be playing it with the ultrawide setting I think. (No Mercy mode btw, tho started on balance to learn the game a bit)

 

The callouts from the companions are really helpful. I find it hard to keep my eye on the attack direction arrows with so much going on. Had a very tough battle in the second Draugerhold which took many deaths to beat, but was so satisfying when I got there. It forced me to learn a bunch of the moves I'd unlocked. It's getting better fun as it goes on. The characters are great:

 

Spoiler

Just met Tyr and finished off Atreus' side quest to meet the giant worm and Freya. Was really cool to see the first game's main area all hit by the winter. Freya, like in the first game is performed and mo-capped brilliantly, the improved animation is definitely noticeable with her. She's a great character. Not sure about this squirrel though, its like they accidentally opened a portal to Disney! Playing as Atreus was a cool change of pace and Cindri wrecking shop with his giant jars, love it! I'm assuming Atreus will eventually get access to his bear form too, maybe as his rage mode.

 

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I’m enjoying this but it feels like a bit of a 2018 reskin at the moment. The early boss fight felt like the Baldur fight but not as good, and now I’m pootling around Svartelheim and it feels way, way too similar to when you first get to the big lake in Midgard, even down to the banter when you’re in the boat. 
 

My main complaint is that Atreus is way too helpful. Like didn’t even give me a second to figure out the geyser puzzle before ruining it for me. In a game with so much accessibility customisation it’s weird they don’t let you tell him to cool it with the hints. 

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The long and short of this is, if you loved GOW 2018, then you’ll almost certainly love this as it’s another big slice of the same thing. It’s a very direct sequel to that game. 
 

If you didn’t like GOW 2018, you’ll almost certainly not like this and your interests are better served elsewhere. They are very similar with this being a distinct “part 2”

 

If you’ve never played any, you’re almost certainly best off starting with the first game. 

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1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

I’m enjoying this but it feels like a bit of a 2018 reskin at the moment. The early boss fight felt like the Baldur fight but not as good, and now I’m pootling around Svartelheim and it feels way, way too similar to when you first get to the big lake in Midgard, even down to the banter when you’re in the boat. 
 

My main complaint is that Atreus is way too helpful. Like didn’t even give me a second to figure out the geyser puzzle before ruining it for me. In a game with so much accessibility customisation it’s weird they don’t let you tell him to cool it with the hints. 


Your still in the tutorial zone when it comes to the puzzles. 

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1 hour ago, MansizeRooster said:

Does anyone else think that Atreus's character model looks a bit off? Especially around the mouth? A bit disappointing, given that all of the other character models are utterly superb.

On 11/11/2022 at 23:56, Hitcher said:

Is it just me or is there something wrong with Atreus' eyes?

 

On 12/11/2022 at 00:14, Thor said:

No, for me his eyes sometime look 'off' compared to other characters. It does seem to improve as the game goes on mind you. 

 

 

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There’s a fair bit of stuff in this that I find  puzzling. For example, there are so many amazing little details and fantastic touches such as Atreus’ hair blowing in the wind yet, Atreus’ running animation is laughably bad. Looks like he’s had some kind of terrible underpants malfunction. 


Been busy as fuck all weekend so, only just got chance to play. All I’ve been thinking about is getting back in and continuing the adventure. Sat with a massive coffee and a bumper bar of Old Jamaica, taking my time and savouring every last minute. This is a sign that the game’s a bit good. Last time I did this was with BOTW and maybe Returnal which speaks volumes. 
 

Absolutely loving it! I’m playing on hard and finding the combat to be brilliant. Dodging, parrying, various attacks, move sets and skills are all great and it’s action packed as all fuck. One thing I find in these kind of games, is it’s often quite easy to just end up spamming the same moves. I really like how this gives you targets for using them so that you can level them up. I’ve found that it’s led to me actually using everything at my disposal and made the combat even more fun. Still dying a fair bit on encounters now and then, which is great for me, as I get a lot of satisfaction from beating a good challenge. In fact that’s a huge part of what I’ve always loved about games. The combat never feels unfair though. I can always see how I can improve and tackle things better. This all compliments the slower pace of exploration and puzzling perfectly, which I’m also really enjoying. Particularly like bagging the Ravens.

 

I enjoyed God of War 2018. Thought it was an 8/10. Atm this is an easy 9/10 for me. It’s going to be a late one tonight! 😁

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