Feature Article

God Of War Ragnarok: Everything We Know

Kratos and Atreus will return in the next God of War in 2022; here's what we know about Sony Santa Monica Studios' next game.

God of War Ragnarok is officially set to release in November 2022. The much-anticipated PS4 and PS5 sequel to 2018's God of War--a highly regarded reboot for the PlayStation-exclusive action game series--remains a mystery in many ways, but we have finally learned when it's coming out. There are also a variety of details that developer Sony Santa Monica Studios has shared over the last couple of years, and we've compiled them all here for you.

Revealed during Sony's 2020 PS5 reveal event, the next game will see the return of Kratos and Atreus as they explore more of the ancient Norse realms and encounter more powerful gods looking for retribution. Here's everything we know about the upcoming God of War sequel so far.

Release date: When is God of War Ragnarok coming out?

God of War Ragnarok finally has a release date: November 9, 2022. The news was shared out of the blue in early July, following a stretch in which developers at Sony Santa Monica were harassed due to the lack of a date. It will be available for both PS4 and PS5 on that date, with a $10 upgrade available for owners of the PS4 standard edition.

This release date follows the sequel being delayed to 2022. Sony Santa Monica re-confirmed its 2022 release date repeatedly. Despite those reassurances, fans believed another delay was likely, especially after God of War 2018 director Cory Barlog and Sony Santa Monica celebrated the four-year anniversary of that game's release by not sharing any new or additional footage of Ragnarok.

"We haven't said a lot about this. That's because everybody is heads-down, hard at work," Barlog said in a video tweeted by Sony Santa Monica for the anniversary. "We are perfectionists. Everyone is tightening up the graphics...there is so much going on right now that I just wish we could share with you. But it's just not ready to be shown," he said. "I guarantee you the moment--the very second--that we have something we're ready to share, we're going to share it with you. We don't want to hold any of this back. So please, hold tight--know that something cool is coming and that we--everybody here at Sony Santa Monica--is so incredibly thankful for all the support you've given us."

Sony Santa Monica Studios explained the delay into 2022 via Twitter, asserting the studio's need to "remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners, and families."

We later got a little more context on why Ragnarok was delayed from its 2021 release date. Kratos voice actor Christopher Judge took to Twitter in September to admit that he was at least partially responsible for the game being pushed out of 2021. "To the beloved fandom, Ragnarok was delayed because of me. August 2019, I couldn't walk," Judge wrote. "Had to have back surgery, both hips replaced, and knee surgery. They waited for me to rehab."

Judge also said on Twitter that Sony Santa Monica fully supported him through his recovery and the game's delay. "No threats, no, 'Who do you think you are?' Nothing but love and support. And [Sony Santa Monica] has never said a word about the delay, and what caused it. Studios are assholes, but this company from top to bottom, should give us hope," he wrote.

Will God Of War Ragnarok Be On PS4?

The God of War sequel is planned for PS5, but it's also coming to PS4. The news of a previous generation version was quietly shared via a Q&A with Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios, on the company's blog. At the September PlayStation Showcase, Sony confirmed that Raganrok will be released across PS5 and PS4, though there is no word yet on any differences between the editions that might exist. Sony's God of War Ragnarok website also says that you'll be able to upgrade the PS4 digital or disc version to a PS5 digital version at an additional cost of $10.

Will there be a PC version?

Given Sony's recent track record of slowly bringing some of its biggest PlayStation games to PC, and since 2018's God of War is now available on PC, it seems very likely we'll see a PC version of God of War: Ragnarok. Sony has acquired the PC port specialist Nixxes Software and the publisher has said it intends for half of PlayStation annual releases to be on PC and mobile by 2025. So while a PC edition of Ragnarok hasn't been confirmed yet, we know Sony has big plans for the PC space and is continuing to expand there. However, it's possible it'll be a while before Ragnarok makes its way to the platform, as it took God of War 2018 nearly three years to release on PC. We'll update this article with more details as we learn them.

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The story so far

The trailer for Ragnarok released in September confirms that the game takes place "a few years" after the events of 2018's God of War. "The freezing winds of Fimbulwinter have come to Midgard, making survival for Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir in the Norse wilds even more challenging than before," Sony said in a blog post.

"While the last game built an enormous amount of trust and understanding between father and son, there is still a great deal of complexity in their interactions--especially after the revelation of Atreus' Giant heritage and the hidden prophecy only Kratos saw."

In Ragnarok, Atreus is "desperately curious," according to Sony. "Like most young people, he wants to understand who he is more than anything. In this case, he wants to understand who he could be. The mystery of Loki's role in the upcoming conflict is something that Atreus cannot let go of. He wants to keep his family safe, but Atreus also doesn't want to stand by and do nothing while conflict consumes the Nine Realms."

As for Kratos, Sony says he is intent on helping to spare Atreus from the "bloody lessons he learned from his conflict with gods."

"He wants to keep his son safe, above all, and their confrontation with Baldur has vindicated the belief that only tragedy will come from further entanglements with the Aesir," reads a line from the game's description. "Together, Kratos and Atreus will have to make a choice about which path they will take. Whatever they choose will define the fate of all those living in the Nine Realms as Ragnarök approaches."

Enemies

Two of the main enemies that you'll face in Ragnarok are Freya and Thor. Freya was once Kratos' friend, but after Kratos killed her son, Baldur, Freya sought vengeance.

"We wanted to remind players that Freya isn't just a terrifyingly powerful user of Vanir magic, but also that she's a formidable warrior in her own right. Enraged by Kratos' evasion of justice by her hand, Freya will turn every weapon at her disposal towards her son's killer," Sony said.

Thor is mad at Kratos because his sons and half-brother are dead. "Thor's legendary bloodlust and wrath will be aimed at Kratos and Atreus," Sony said. "Referred to disparagingly by Mimir as the 'Biggest Butchering Bastard in the Nine Realms,' Thor earned his title as one of the most powerful Aesir gods by wiping out nearly all the Giants at Odin's command."

Combat

2018's God of War was praised for its combat mechanics and systems, and Ragnarok appears to carry forward that spirit and tradition.

"As a team we've worked hard to take our learnings from God of War (2018) and improve upon combat to feel fresh, yet familiar. With God of War Ragnarok, one of our main goals was to push player choice in combat. Whether it's through hard hitting combos, a mastery of elements, or clever defensive tactics--you will find plenty of opportunity to fight alongside our duo in a way that feels uniquely expressive," Sony said.

Kratos takes on a new enemy
Kratos takes on a new enemy

The enemies in Ragnarok will be "harsher" and more varied, with Kratos and Atreus set to take on a "host of new creatures" from across Norse mythology. Some of the new enemies revealed so far include the Stalker and the Dreki.

"With an expanded cast of adversaries, we aim to keep each combat encounter memorable from the smallest brawls to the big show-stopper bosses!" Sony said.

The enemies in Ragnarok will be "harsher" and more varied, with Kratos and Atreus set to take on a "host of new creatures" from across Norse mythology. Some of the new enemies revealed so far include the Stalker and the Dreki.

"With an expanded cast of adversaries, we aim to keep each combat encounter memorable from the smallest brawls to the big show-stopper bosses!" Sony said.

To Asgard

Whereas 2018's God of War allowed players to visit six of the Nine Realms, Ragnarok goes further and takes you to all nine. This includes Vanaheim, Svartalfheim, and Asgard, which were not in the first game. New areas from previous locations have been added to Ragnarok as well. "Exploring the realms will take you everywhere from verdant, otherworldly jungles to intricate subterranean mining networks," Sony said. "This next installment in the series will bring you a more diverse, beautiful, and mysterious variety of locations than in any other God of War game."

The end of the Saga

While we don't know much about what the story of Ragnarok will cover or what Sony Santa Monica's post-release plans might be, we do know that this will be Kratos's last outing in the world of Norse mythology. That's according to Cory Barlog, the director of God of War 2018. Barlog said in an interview that Sony Santa Monica decided to cap the story at two games in order to keep it from getting too unwieldy. There are elements of Kratos's relationship with Atreus that can be explored in a second game, but stretching things out too much from there would weaken the tale the studio wants to tell.

"The complexity radiates out, like ripples in a pond. We could make it an ocean, and have those ripples just go for thousands of miles. But is that necessary and is that beneficial, or are we feeling like you know what, it's just spreading it too far apart?" Barlog said. "The ripples get too far apart and you sort of lose the plot a little bit."

So don't expect a third game of Kratos walloping various Norse gods. That's not to say this is necessarily the end of his journey, or the final time we'll follow the adventures of Kratos and BOY, but it does suggest some serious finality at the end of Ragnarok.

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Possible TV adaptation

The recent release of Uncharted, a movie adaptation of developer Naughty Dog's hit action series, also marked the first film released by Sony's new PlayStation Productions movie studio. Adaptations of its game properties seems to be a big push for Sony, and during a May 2022 investor briefing, it announced that God of War would see one of those adaptations as a TV show for Amazon's Prime Video streaming service.

Sony reportedly announced the show, along with adaptations of Guerrilla Games' Horizon series and Sony Interactive Entertainment's Gran Turismo franchise, during the question and answer segment of the call. That follows a Sony announcement from a year earlier that the God of War show was not happening, but appears plans have changed.

Voice cast

Christopher Judge and Sunny Suljic return to voice Kratos and Atreus, respectively, while Ryan Hurst--who played Opie in Sons of Anarchy--has joined the cast as Thor. Laya DeLeon Hayes plays Angrboða, while Ben Prendergast portrays Tyr. Richard Schiff, meanwhile, plays Odin.

Focus on accessibility

While we still don't know much about how God of War: Ragnarok will play in comparison to God of War 2018, we do know that Sony Santa Monica is putting a big emphasis on making the game more accessible for a variety of players. The studio stated in a PS Blog post that it has added 60 more accessibility options and settings to Ragnarok than God of War 2018 included, expanding on areas like subtitles, text readability, captions for audio cues, high-contrast color modes, navigation assistance, and controller button remapping.

The music

Returning from the 2018 game is Bear McCreary to once again compose the music. The new trailer from the PlayStation Showcase includes a tease of the new music, including a "significant new character theme," McCreary said on Twitter. Outside of games, McCreary composed the music for movies Godzilla: King of the Monsters, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Child's Play, and the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead, among a host of other projects.

A new director

Cory Barlog directed 2018's God of War, but he's not directing the sequel. Stepping in is Eric Williams, a veteran of the series, to direct Ragnarok. "It's always been a tradition here at Santa Monica to change the directors across the games. We've had really good success with that. Cory is the only repeat director and rightfully so: He's damn good at what he does," Williams said (via VGC).

Barlog added, "The important thing for us is to be able to get a fresh perspective each time, but also a fresh pair of legs in the sense that you’re really exhausted at the end of finishing one of these things. So you’ve got to con somebody else into doing it."

DLC plans

As of right now, DLC plans haven't been revealed for the game. Looking back at the God of War reboot, it received a set of updates that added in additional content, including new armor, game rebalances, and the option to roll into a new game while keeping your gear and skills. It did not have any paid expansions. It remains to be seen if the next God of War will have any post-launch plans, but we'll be sure to keep you updated on what's to come. We do know there will be digital content available if you preorder or buy certain editions of the game, including alternative armor, cosmetics, and different looks for your weapons.

How to preorder

God of War: Ragnarok has not gone on sale just yet. Ragnarok preorders will begin on July 15 at 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET for those in the United States.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch mainly writes news.

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