Play-by-Play: God of War: Ragnarök gameplay trailer breakdown

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
The PlayStation Showcase highlight was, for us at least, the God of War: Ragnarök trailer that showed the first glimpses of story and gameplay. The TT team are going to break some of the most interesting bits down for you, so strap on the axe and enjoy!


Santa Monica is back! The team put together this wonderful trailer that shows combat, returning characters, environment and more than enough to last us until the end times (just joking, we want this game now). If you have a favourite moment, make sure to leave a comment and we will be sure to get involved in the debates! Now, what did the TT team pick out for themselves? Turns out, we are all simps.

Sean

Sean — Teenage Atreus [0:33]

God of War ragnarok trailer gameplay breakdown

Shortly after the trailer’s opening, we’re greeted with a moody, adolescent Atreus, who has grown significantly from the first game. I’m not going to lie; I was immediately turned off at the thought of having to deal with a whinging teenager by my side for what will surely be another 25-hour-long game. Thankfully, big daddy Kratos shuts down Atreus with a firm “NO” later on in the trailer, which made me happy. In all fairness, Atreus clearly wants some answers about his destiny and who he really is, which is understandable, so I can’t really blame him for being a bit angsty (especially when his dad is a bit of a prick, too). I’m really looking forward to seeing see what Atreus and his angry old man’s relationship is like in Ragnarök and how their story unfolds.

Luke

Luke — ”As I was saying…” [1:06]

god of war ragnarok playstation exclusive trailer breakdown gameplay

Good ol’ Memir. Having a chatty severed head for a friend is just so Kratos, and wearing him as an accessory is even more Kratos. Memir was a highlight of the original game for me, a brilliantly written character able to deliver lore dumps and exposition while you went about your business — why stand around waiting for an NPC to finish talking when you can just attach them to your belt and get on with life while they say their piece? It all just felt so natural, too, with Angry Dad shushing poor Memir when something more important came up, only for everyone’s favourite bodyless old dude to pick up his tale where he left off once things quietened down a little. Welcome back, old friend...

Kes

Kes — Village [1.29]

God of War ragnarok trailer gameplay breakdown

The boat of God of War (2018) was a fun little vessel, allowing you to row your way into little nooks and crannies. If anything, though, this little village is full of more nooks and crannies than I could dream of! The initial moments see characters at the dock walking baskets of fishes around, but later it appears that Kratos and Atreus are scrapping with some trolls there. As a country boy, fond of walking around until I find cool chapels and winding rivers, this looks like something from my daydreams. The architecture is magnificently higgledy-piggledy, with each plank of wood seeping stuffed into whatever exposed section of wall it that was needed. That makes me happy in the simplest of ways, while speaking to the ability of Santa Monica's environmental artists' to create something fantastical without the grandiose epicness of high-fantasy. In addition, part of the attraction is that there were rarely populated areas in the first game, so I am pumped to see more of the people of the nine realms. Get me in one of those houses — I want to look at how nookie those crannies are!

Sean

Sean — Big Boi Tyr [2.45]

God of War ragnarok trailer gameplay breakdown

Now, here’s a big lad! The towering Tyr, the Norse God of War, appears towards the end of the trailer, and I definitely didn’t think Santa Monica Studio would go down this route with the story. What happens when two God of Wars meet? Is Tyr friendly? Are we going to fight him in some epic punch up that lasts for a good ten minutes or so with the pair beating the living snot out of each other? I bloody well hope so! The revelation of Kratos meeting the 8’5 Tyr (Santa Monica Studio confirmed his height, though he’s still not as tall as Lady Dimitrescu…) has made me immensely excited.

Kes

Kes — Potential Secrets

God of War ragnarok trailer gameplay breakdown

This young woman is Angrboða, a very important figure in Norse mythology who has close ties to Loki. Indeed, the pair of them are linked to Ragnarok in a very specific way that I don't want to spoil, just in case. I think what is interesting here is that that twist related to these two characters could be tied directly into the very different aesthetic of the Angrboða scene compared to the rest of the trailer. The music changes to the jangle of reed pipes, and the colour palette is full of reds and yellows compared to the colder blues and whites of the rest. In addition, Angrboða is the first black character amongst the predominantly caucasian Norse characters. A comment suggested that there is something Egyptian about all these little bits when put together, and I am inclined to agree (especially given one of the easter eggs in the last game). For certain, her hairpiece looks very much like the staff the Egyptian gods are drawn with. It could be nothing, but when tied into the rest of the culturally distinct ambience and her words — "You'll get your answers soon enough!" — there is definitely something more than meets the eye here. Perhaps it suggests we are about to find out what was going on under the Rainbow Bridge once and for all, and maybe even the future of the series!

If that wasn't enough for you, there was a PlayStation Blog post with more details, interview aftershow and some extra character art that was tweeted out. Now, get in those comments!
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Hey, I'm Kes! I'm a Staff Writer, and I've been here since 2021. What do I like? The Outer Wilds is top notch. The Witcher 3 blew my mind over the course of five years completing it. I want Burnout back — I really miss crunching mechanical wonders into walls to the sound of Guns N' Roses. Cool, now we are acquainted, I'll see you around.