God of War Ragnarok has been underwhelming so far
I am in the early stages of God of War Ragnarok. The first game was a brilliant revitalisation of a game series which had had its origins and gameplay strip-mined by a succession of inferior sequels during the 2000s and early 2010s.
This game, after playing for 5 hours or so of the ~35 hours I expect to play, feels like it is making the same mistakes. It feels like the exact same game as 2018’s God of War, but with a less compelling story and no changes to the gameplay. My wife walking past me playing it said the graphics look better than the first one, but when they’re mostly reduced to so much window dressing rather than being part of the game – so what?
I have obviously been spoiled by multiple open-world games in the last few years like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Horizon Zero Dawn, Fenyx Immortals Rising and of course Breath of the Wild. God of War is not an open-world game, but it covers itself in their trappings, and even old RPGs from the early 2000s allow more exploration and interaction with the background world than this does. The first bore these restrictions well – they were there to funnel you through the good story, to explore the new gameplay and to set a basis for a new series in this franchise. This sequel (so far) has so far done nothing to expand on that new, high, baseline, instead just providing more of the same.
I look forward to being able to write a new post in a few weeks’ time that declares an incredible opening-up of the world and gameplay once a certain stage in the game is reached, but I think it’s unlikely.