God of War Ragnarok: 10 Big Changes From Prequel

Change in Locations, Directors, Story, Gameplay, Traversal and a lot more!

God of War 4 was one of the best critically acclaimed games that graced our screens in the last generation. The visuals are still ever so crisp, and the storytelling is remarkable that it does indeed stand the test of time, but the series isn’t stopping right there as Santa Monica Studios has teased another installment to the franchise by the name of God of War: Ragnarok. There have been a fair number of changes from the first game and the newest one. So here are the biggest changes from the prequel of God of War!

A Change in Directors

God of War Biggest Changes from Prequel
God of War – Directors

God of War was originally your typical hack n slash videogame with not a lot under its sleeve if looked at through the lens of 2022. But God of war 4 was a tremendous leap in the right direction. It was basically reinvented from the ground up, and it couldn’t be possible without the help of the lead director of the game Cory Barlog.

But it seems unfortunate to say that Barlog won’t be leading the show in the development of Ragnarok this time around. He might be working on smaller projects within the development of the game, but he has officially been replaced as director by the esteemed Eric Williams.

Eric Williams is also a veteran when it comes to video games and has been at the SIE Santa Monica Studio ever since 2004. He’s mainly worked on designing artwork, video game assets, and character models, among many other things, and has served various roles on practically every mainline game in the series, which is nothing to scoff at.

Even though Cory Barlog is out of the limelight, it still seems like God of War Ragnarok is in good hands, considering that Eric Williams has a formidable resume of his own.

The Story So Far

God of War Changes in Story
God of War – Kratos and Atreus in Battle

It seems that the Young Atreus has grown a bit and started to hit puberty. He’s asking a lot of questions this time around and has started to master the basics of survival in the Wilderness.

Kratos seems hesitant to change. He still seeks to hide in the Wilderness, but Atreus wants answers. It appears that Fimbulwinter has wreaked havoc on Midgard, and everything has turned to ice.

Yet, Atreus and Kratos are experts at survival and have done their very best to make it through the winter. It is quite apparent that at the end of Fimbulwinter, Ragnarok will consume the world.

Father and Son seem to have opposing views on the matter. Kratos wants to do his very best to protect his son, but Atreus is growing out of his shell and demands answers that might lead to an all-out war.

Atreus asks him to think like a general, which Kratos refuses as this reminds him of his bitter past mistakes. The story has been stated to become quite dear to the players’ hearts as they navigate through the weakening bond between Kratos and Atreus and how it will play a pivotal role in their attempts to mitigate Ragnarok. That is definitely a big change in God of War, considering the strong bond the two had in the prequel.

There Will be No Trilogy

If you were expecting a third edition to God of War: Ragnarok, then we have bad news for you. Santa Monica Studios is already pretty tired of working on their latest installment of God of War. It’s gonna be pretty good, that’s for sure, and they want to make a befitting ending to the series as well. That is for the Norse Saga of the Series.

We don’t know what God of War holds for us in the future in terms of other realms of mythology, but Santa Monica Studios has made it absolutely clear that the Nordic Mythological Storyline of the game is officially going to come to an end with the second and final installment.

Ragnarok is going to be pretty much a nail in the coffin to the God of War, Norse Saga, and it does seem to make sense. Ragnarok is meant to be the end of Norse Mythology, and there are hardly many tales you can tell after it.

But don’t worry, as even the upcoming God of War is going to be amazing. Santa Monica Studios and Playstation have made sure to integrate some good story elements, twists, and turns into the game, and it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

Eric Williams made sure to issue a statement as well where he said that Ragnarok is indeed going to happen in God of War Ragnarok, and we’re going to end off the Norse Saga with it.

Characters

God of War Biggest Changes in Characters
God of War – Atreus and Sindri 

In regard to the character roster, it’s going to be a memorable journey. We get to see Kratos and Atreus back in action with their very own father and son dialogues and moments. Let’s not forget the headless Mimir, who has his very own words of wisdom for the traveling duo.

Things also got a bit interesting as we got to see a peek at the blacksmith and hardworking dwarven brothers, Brok and Sindri, who’d been crafting armor and resources for us in the prequel. They seemed happy to see Atreus and Kratos back in action. We also saw a new face along with the dwarven brothers, and he seemed to have an octopus, or a squid suctioned right onto his arm, which was not explained whatsoever.

Freya is back and seems to be on the hunt for revenge for Kratos’s head for putting an end to her son. Freya did have some deep issues, and we hope she sorts them out this time around, though.

Anyways, the duo is in search of the Norse God of War, Tyr, who has been presumed dead by Odin, but to our surprise, he’s alive and well, and Kratos and Atreus need his help. We might also get to witness Thor, God of Thunder, in Action as well. Let’s not forget Odin, King of Asgard, and Angarboda, the Last Giant. There are plenty of characters to go around!

Traversal System

God of War Biggest Change in Traversal
God of War – Sledges

The traversal system is one of the biggest changes in God of War from its prequel, and it’s all because of Fimbulwinter. Gone are the days of rowing your boats gently through the waters while Father and Son have a quick chat and share a story or two. This time, traversal is going to be faster than before as all the waters and lakes in Midgard are frozen solid, so what’s the only option left to navigate Midgard and the Nine Realms? Sleds and wild creatures.

Kratos will be riding on a sled to navigate Midgard to various points, which might be a bit faster than the traversal system of the prequel. That’s not to say that the boat is entirely being removed from the game. We’ll still get to see a bit of boating action from time to time. But in the Fimbulwiter of Midgard, Kratos will mostly rely on a sled of wolves on a frozen Lake of Nine.

Locations

New Locations
God of War – Svartalfheim

We all remember back in God of War that players only got access to a few of the total 9 realms that were stated in the game. It was certainly disappointing. We expected a DLC to access the additional realms but to no avail.

Well, it looks like players can access all of the 9 realms in the new installment of God of War. It seems that God of War: Ragnorak will leave no stone unturned when it comes to the density and diversity of the geographic locations on the map. You could only visit about 6 of the 9 realms back in the prequel, but now you’ll be able to visit all 9 of them.

Meaning that the realms of Vanaheim, Asgard, and Svartalfheim will finally be accessible as the story progresses in Ragnarok. But that’s not to say that they’re scrapping old locations. You’ll still be able to explore them, and hopefully, a lot more content and side quests will be added this time around to captivate the players all the more.

Gameplay

God of War 4 pretty much nailed it with its sweet, crispt, and satisfying gameplay mechanics. The game wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a hack n slash, and it was just the right amount of challenge that you could ask for.

But just like all developers, Santa Monica Studios is looking to one-up their previous title and create big changes in combat from the God of War prequel. They want to improve and build the combat system and gameplay from the ground up once again and incorporate better weapons, assets, movements, combos, and move sets so that players can go on a combo frenzy of their own.

We got to witness this first hand in God of War 4, which played combos somewhat similar to DMC 5. The game focuses the players to either choose defensive options and hard-hitting tactics or to use strategy and stealth to sneak up on enemies and give another breath of fresh air to God of War in the form of Ragnarok.

The game is said to feature a lot of verticalities as it did in the original God of War games, so expect to launch enemies and yourself into the air!

Enemy Variety

New Enemies
God of War – New Enemies

God of War did a lot of things right, but it was lacking in one aspect that bothered many players; the variety of enemies that we got to fight in the prequel of the game. It got pretty tiring fighting hordes of repetitive enemies and using the same old tactics to defeat them.

Despite the amazing combat system, it just kind of got stale halfway into the game simply due to repetition. We’re sure you must’ve found it tedious to take on Draugrs over and over again!

But luckily, there is going to be a big change in the prequel from the previous God of War! It seems like a lot of the enemy types that didn’t make it into the original cut of the prequel are going to make their debut in the new game.

That’s not to say that Santa Monica didn’t whip up newer enemies for their next installment, which shows in the trailer, that is if we’re to entirely believe the trailers that are intended to create hype in the first place. Will we get new enemies? Yes, but will there be a lot more variety? We can only hope so far.

PS4 and PS5 Ports

We know for sure that God of War Ragnarok is supposed to be a Playstation 5 exclusive title. That’s all fine and dandy because that’s been a long tradition with console-exclusive titles. We know that the game will be running at a solid smooth 60 FPS at 4k with all the settings cranked up to the max for the PS5.

Optimization will be spot on for sure, but there’s still one question lingering around that we can’t seem to answer. Will it come to the PS4? We hope Sony doesn’t start leaving out its older consoles like they did with the PS2-PS3 era with terrible and distinctively different ports. But we think there’s a silver lining to behold as the Playstation Studios blog finally confirmed that the game will, in fact, come to the PS4, albeit with a few noticeable downgrades in terms of the character models, textures, framerate, and the resolution.

PC Port?

Okay, we are getting a PS4 port. That was pretty much expected, but what about a PC port of God of War? It’s a really debatable question, considering we got a PC port for the 2018 God of War nearly 4 years after it was released, which is a really long time. Many players had already finished the game on the PS4 by then, so there was no use for the PC Port except for the amazing graphics.

But PS5s are kind of expensive this time around, and it’s not so economically feasible to enjoy God of War Ragnarok on a 1000-dollar console. Therefore, there’s always the faster and cheaper alternative which is a gaming PC. But then again, we don’t know when we’ll see a pc port of Ragnarok.

There’s still some good news lingering in the shadows. Sony made sure to acquire a PC Port specialist by the name of Nixxes Software that specializes in porting many Playstations Titles over to the PC in order to capitalize on the PC side of things.

It’s clear that a release date for Ragnarok hasn’t been confirmed for either the PS5 or PC. It just might happen, considering Sony has big plans for the PC Gaming space in the near future.

And those are all the biggest changes God of War changes from the prequel that we know of so far! From different locations and enemies to a new director! There certainly are quite the changes. But the game is looking promising, and we can only hope that these changes will be for the best!

Next: God of War Ragnarok Release Date Announcement Delayed 

Huzaifa Khan


From writing short stories in my room to finding my true enthusiasm in video game and computer hardware journalism, I play video games and write about them, covering up-to-date video game news.