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God of War Ragnarök on the PS5 is an epic fighting game with an immense story

Two weeks and two wonderful games.

After the successful top-tier new Call of Duty landed last week we’re now blessed with another cracking hit on the Playstation 5.

This Sony exclusive doubles down on the firm’s amazing couple of years when it comes to PS5-only blockbuster games.

Four years on from 2018’s much-loved God of War reboot we return to the nine realms to meet up again with flagship hero Kratos, the God of War, and his growing son Atreus.

The makers at Santa Monica Studios went up against the covid pandemic to produce Ragnarök, and their determination to deliver an epic follow-up has worked wonders.

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Here we see the father-son dynamic stretch into the teenage years and a feisty Atreus, keen on becoming his own man, butting heads with dad in a back-and-forth most parents will recognise.

It’s delivered deftly and with excellent script writing, very comparable to the finest work Naughty Dog has to offer with its The Last Of Us games.

The cut scenes tell a story of action, secrets and intrigue, pushed along at pace by the power struggle between our two protagonists as they battle each other mentally for control of their combined destiny while working together mechanically to defeat ever more impressive baddies.

There’s a lot of Norse myth going on in the game and it’s difficult to say much without ruining plot points.

We can say a deep set-in Fimbulwinter is well underway and Kratos and Atreus journey to each of the Nine Realms in search of answers as Asgardian forces prepare for a prophesied battle that will end the world.

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Suffice to say, the storytelling here sits alongside the very best Playstation has to offer.

And you’ll find yourself battling very big, very familiar names from the off as Kratos returns to battle to save the planet and protect his son.

The nine realms are all varied in both design and look, packed with Norse Gods and monsters.

There’s a lot of verticality to the landscapes as, Tomb Raider style, you’re tasked with traversing spaces and solving puzzle areas to get onto the next part of the tale.

Playing as Kratos, with Atreus as a computer controlled side-help in battle, you have access to more upgrades and tweaks to your weaponry than before.

For example your defensive shield is increasingly vital and can be changed depending on how you want to fight, whether offensively or defensively.

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The Leviathan Axe, Blades of Chaos and Guardian Shield return and they’re a joy to fight with as excellent DualSense controls see you thrash and smash your way through gangs of minor baddies on the way to regular boss fights.

Those boss fights are the star of the show, and coming up across giant beasties and rival gods is a true highlight.

Each battle is about working out their weaknesses and fighting loops, finding the chink in their armour so the speak, before delivering those devastating killer combos to win.

It’s all incredibly slick and the next-gen graphics and booming battle sounds stand-out on the console.

The animations are second to none and we must give a shout-out to the voice actors here because the conversation is film-like, atmosphere building and really helps the story pop from the screen.

God of War Ragnarök sits in the Playstation library alongside other great exclusive games like Marvel’s Spider-Man, Returnal, The Last Of Us and Ghost of Tsushima.

It continues to plunder that wonderful rich vein they’ve been tapping of a brilliant single-player story combined with first-rate gameplay and graphics.

This is a must-buy for PS5 owners this winter.

VERDICT 5/5

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