It's been about a year since Sony first said that God of War Ragnarök was officially on its way, and today we're finally getting our first look at the game. As expected, it look like God of War, with the familiar dual-weapon wielding that Kratos excelled at in the 2018 game. His son, Atreus, looks like he's grown up in the last few years, and he's challenging his dear old dad's decisions as well as proving to be a more capable fighter.
As for the game's story, it looks to be setting up a conflict with the Norse pantheon of gods — just as Kratos destroyed all of the Greek gods in the first trilogy of games, he might be on that path again here. But he's definitely fighting it, while Atreus sounds like the one who is more convinced that full-on war is necessary here. As noted in an extensive blog post about the new game, a lot of the conflict seems to come from Atreus trying to understand what his now-dead mother wanted for him, after it was revealed he was part-giant at the end of the first game.
As for the enemies, Freya, an ally-turned-foe, will be a main antagonist, as will Thor. We only saw brief teases of each character, but both characters have lost family to Kratos and Atreus, and they seem about as thirsty for revenge as Kratos used to be when he was a Greek god. Particularly intriguing is the news that veteran actor Richard Schiff (The West Wing) will play Odin, king of the Norse gods.
Unsurprisingly, the game looks fantastic, with a variety of new environments and enemies as well as more ways to use Kratos' Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos. But the familiar boat returns, as does the disembodied head Mimir, so get ready for more story time and cutting remarks about Kratos' perpetually grumpy mood.
Sony unfortunately didn't have a release date to share; a year ago, the company said God of War Ragnarök would arrive in 2021, but the blog post said "see you next year" at its end.
We did learn in a post-show interview that Eric Williams, a longtime Santa Monica Studio veteran will be directing God of War Ragnarök, rather than Cory Barlog, who helmed the 2018 title. Williams has worked on every God of War title so far, so he seems a logical choice for the job. Williams mentioned that each game has historically had a different director, with Barlog the only one doing two installments. "You're really exhausted at the end of finishing one of these things," Barlog said, "so you've gotta con someone else into doing it, like him."