Santa Monica Studio’s God of War Ragnarok is available for PS4 and PS5 and lives up to the massive hype with its story, characters, combat, exploration, and much more. It’s worth playing if you enjoyed the first game or action-adventure titles in general.
Of course, while universally beloved among fans and critics, it’s not quite perfect. Oh so close, but there are a few complaints that have emerged. While none of these dulls the overall sheen of the experience (at least, not too heavily), they stand out from time to time. Let’s look at ten things players dislike about God of War Ragnarok.
Major spoilers for the story, ending, and post-game follow, so beware if you still haven’t played the game.
Muspelheim Challenge Requirements
Muspelheim returns, and unlike the first game, it isn’t a straight run of challenges until you fight the Valkyrie at the peak. Instead, you can complete various challenges at three different “swords”, from knocking enemies into the lava to slaying foes within the time limit. Upon completing all of them, each of the swords gains a third challenge to complete.
But the main attraction is the six new challenges in the center. These are much tougher, like surviving against a never-ending onslaught of foes while surrounded by lava or a boss rush against Elite enemies. It’s pretty fun… until you realize that you must redo challenges from the previous swords in different combinations for the center challenge of choice to appear.
Not only is this tedious, but remembering which challenge has been completed – based on whether a pair of Runes is glowing in the center or not – can be initially confusing.
The Final Battle
After several years of waiting, players finally go head-to-head with Odin. The Allfather, the King of the Nine Realms at last. However, the first phase of the fight sees him relying on Bifrost and projectiles, along with a weird area attack that necessitates jumping between sections. The second phase is a bit better with Freya joining Kratos and Atreus, and the spectacle of all three beating down Odin is pretty cool. All in all, however, it’s pretty tame. Dodging his rain of projectiles is easy, and the slow-moving fireballs feel pretty inconsequential. For the final story boss of the Norse Saga and the Allfather himself, something a bit more grandiose was expected.
Lack of Scale in Boss Fights
Odin aside, there are some truly bombastic fights throughout Ragnarok, whether you’re taking on Thor for the first time, fighting against Nidhogg, or going toe-to-toe with the hard-hitting Berserkers. They’re challenging and fun, but unfortunately, in terms of scale, they don’t quite approach the previous games. There’s no Cronos to navigate across and systematically dismantle like in God of War 3, for example. It’s fine since the Norse saga is its own thing. However, we can’t help but miss the scale from some of the previous trilogy’s boss fights.
For all of the incredible action and emotional story-telling moments, some sections suffer from pacing issues. Jotunheim, more specifically Ironwood, where Atreus meets Angrboda for the first time, is perhaps the best example. What feels like a destined meeting and an incredible revelation about the Giants gets stretched out. Granted, it does offer an opportunity to become familiar with Atreus’s abilities and Rage form, so there is that. It would have been nice if there was more to discover in the post-game, though.
After Odin is defeated, Ragnarok shows up. You’d think that this is the real boss fight, but no. Instead, Angrboda appears and helps everyone to escape. Asgard is destroyed, though many residents managed to evacuate. And then it feels like an epilogue of sorts. Atreus goes off with Angrboda to seek more Jotnar while Kratos becomes the new Allfather of the realms. He then ventures across the Nine Realms with Freya and Mimir to help get things back on track. It’s nice to see everyone getting a happy ending (well, almost everyone), but Odin’s downfall and Ragnarok itself feel like they’re over way too soon, especially after all the build-up throughout the game.
Who Blew the Horn?
For all of the things the sequel answers, there are a few things which remain a mystery. Who blew the horn in God of War (2018) and summoned Jormungandr? This occurs after Atreus becomes ill, so it isn’t him. Before the sequel was released, some theorized that it was Angrboda since she spoke the Giants’ language. However, this is left unconfirmed. Perhaps irrelevant in the greater scheme of things, but it’s still a loose end that will nag us for a while.
Freya Makes Peace
When Freya finally breaks her curse in Vanaheim, she arrives at a crossroads concerning Kratos. Ultimately, while not completely letting go of her anger at his killing her son Baldur, she understands that he’s not the one who must die. After all, it was Odin who was responsible for all her suffering.
Kratos isn’t forgiven, and it’s seemingly something that he doesn’t want. Instead, the two come to a mutual understanding. Still, it’s somewhat odd to see them working together without any disagreements or bitter moments, especially after the curse is broken. Things seem oddly chipper. Maybe it’s because the rest of the game needs to happen, but it can feel jarring at times.
Not Wielding Mjolnir
When Ragnarok ends, Thor and Odin are both dead. Thor’s daughter Thrud inherits Mjolnir in the epilogue, and she takes off to make her father proud. While it’s somewhat fitting for Mjolnir to pass to his daughter, it also feels like a missed opportunity to give the weapon to Kratos. You could debate the whole “worthiness” aspect of inheriting it, but since Kratos is to become the new Allfather (and Odin was more than capable of using Mjolnir), it may have been possible. Maybe it would have been far too powerful for the post-game, or there wasn’t enough time to implement it.
Too Many Hints
Throughout the story, your companions provide hints and guidance on where to go next. This can escalate to outright indicating what to do next in some puzzles or even in combat. While the hints can be appreciated, especially when you’re stuck, they may also be annoying for those who want to do things on their own. Similar complaints were levied against Aloy in Horizon Forbidden West when it came to puzzle-solving, especially since there was no way to disable or tone the hints down. It’s more or less the same case in God of War Ragnarok. Your mileage may vary, but it’s been an issue for some players.
Freya as a Companion (Initially)
After Ragnarok is over, Atreus sets out with Angrboda to look for the rest of the Jotnar. He and Kratos say their farewells, and ultimately Freya becomes Kratos’ travelling companion for the rest of the game. While it makes sense, especially given the puzzles in the post-game that require her abilities, she doesn’t initially feel as effective in combat as Atreus. Maybe it’s because it takes some time to get used to her abilities, which can root enemies, inflict poison, and even use her Valkyrie form to cause damage. Maybe we’re just so used to seeing Atreus by our side. Either way, we’ll miss the boy.