One of the most surprising announcements during the PlayStation 5 event in September 2020 was the reveal of the next God of War game, which would later be officially named Ragnarok. This will be the follow-up to 2018’s God of War, developed by Santa Monica Studio — the team responsible for most games in the series. Ragnarok’s showing was brief, but following a new trailer during a PlayStation Showcase event in September 2021, there’s a lot more we know about the game.
We’ve scoured the internet to gather as much as we could about the sequel to 2018’s God of War. Here’s everything we know about God of War: Ragnarok, including its trailer, release window, and more. (Note that we will be spoiling the plot of 2018’s God of War, so do not read ahead if you’re concerned about spoilers.)
Initially, God of War: Ragnarok was supposed to launch in 2021. That’s the release window that was given during the game’s announcement trailer in 2020. But the game was then delayed to 2022. As part of the September 2021 PlayStation Showcase, many expected Sony to announce the game’s official release date, but that wasn’t the case. As it stands, the game may be ready to go sometime in the spring or summer of 2022.
In terms of the development timeline, this release window isn’t totally outlandish. Cory Barlog, creative director of 2018’s God of War, teased the sequel back in April 2019 via a clever Twitter thread. Disguised as a post about his time working on God of War, the first letter of each post spells out “Ragnarok is coming.” So, even assuming the studio started working on the sequel as late as April 2019, having it ready to go by summer 2022 isn’t out of the question — especially since the team could reuse some of the assets and animations from the first game.
Check out Barlog’s tweets teasing Ragnarok below.
However, as game developers have shifted to working from home throughout 2020 and into 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, complications have risen and have caused delays across the industry. Even before the pandemic, game delays were common, and the pandemic has made it harder for developers, so Ragnarok might not be ready until much later in 2022.
We know God of War Ragnarok will be coming to PS5, but it’s also coming to PS4, as confirmed via a PlayStation Blogpost. It makes sense to launch for both platforms, at least from a business perspective. The tricky thing is that a game like Ragnarok is expensive to make, and surely Sony wants as many players as possible to buy a copy when it releases — even if that means the overall product is held back to accommodate for the less powerful hardware.
With that in mind, it will likely be lucrative to put it on PS4, just as Horizon Forbidden West — yet another PlayStation exclusive — will be a cross-generational game. With Ragnarok’s expected 2022 release window, it would make sense for it to launch on both systems, so long as the previous generation version doesn’t hold back the PS5 edition. With over 115 million PS4s in the wild, the install base is plentiful, guaranteeing sales on previous-generation hardware.
A teaser trailer above was shown during the PS5 event in 2020, and in terms of official information about the project, that was all we knew about for a whole year. It didn’t show off any gameplay or much of anything aside from a logo and an expected release window. It didn’t even feature the game’s official name, other than including the text “Ragnarok is coming 2021.”
Then, in September 2021, Sony unveiled a three-minute trailer showing off new and familiar characters from the series. Most notably, we got a look at Mimir, Freya, Tyr, and Thor, along with an older version of Atreus. But it also featured our first look at gameplay, which harkens back to the first game, though it seems like it will have new features, as well. Atreus is seen riding a magical stag, while Kratos wields Blades of Chaos.
The trailer itself has a lot of gameplay footage without spoiling Ragnarok‘s story or twists. Given the leap forward in the 2018 game, it’s likely Ragnarok will have its fair share of surprises, as well. At the end of the trailer, we get a look at a new character named Angrboda, a young girl who may play a large role in the overall narrative.
The September 2021 PlayStation Showcase gave us a first look at God of War: Ragnarok gameplay, and while there were a couple of new inclusions (such as the Runic Summon for Atreus), Santa Monica Studios likely still has a lot more to show. Much of the trailer focused on returning aspects like the famous boat riding sequences, exploration, and fast-paced action.
“As a team, we’ve worked hard to take our learnings from God of War (2018) and improve upon combat to feel fresh, yet familiar,” said Grace Orlady, senior community manager at Santa Monica Studio.
“With God of War: Ragnarok, one of our main goals was to push player choice in combat. Whether it’s through hard-hitting combos, a mastery of elements, or clever defensive tactics – you will find plenty of opportunity to fight alongside our duo in a way that feels uniquely expressive.”
We’ll likely get a more in-depth look at gameplay later on, but what we do know is that Ragnarok will feature even more locations to explore than its predecessor, such as “otherworldly jungles” and “intricate subterranean mining networks.”
One, unbroken shot like 2018.
— Matt Sophos (@mattsophos) September 9, 2021
Tying the entire game together will be yet another single camera shot, just like the first installment. This was one of the best features of God of War, giving the entire adventure a more personal, intimate feeling. Given the premise of telling a heartfelt story of a father and son, the uninterrupted camera shot adds to the entire experience.
While the God of War series has featured multiplayer before (specifically in 2013’s God of War: Ascension), it’s highly unlikely Ragnarok will be anything but a single-player adventure. The first game was a masterpiece, particularly because the Santa Monica team focused on the narrative without any other distractions like the addition of an arbitrary multiplayer mode. And given the time frame of supposedly launching this year, there simply isn’t enough time for the team to have implemented a robust online multiplayer segment.
It’s certainly not out of the question, but highly unlikely. If anything, an asynchronous online component could be implemented, similar to the notes in the Dark Souls series or something like that. But in terms of playing side by side with others — whether it’s cooperatively or competitively — we don’t expect to see anything like that.
It is possible we’ll see some kind of DLC with Ragnarok, though considering we don’t know much about the game itself, it’s still too early to say for sure. God of War 2018 actually did get additional content after it was released, including some extra weapons and a New Game+ mode. As far as extra story content or major expansions, we wouldn’t bet on it. The God of War series is not known for featuring major DLC additions, and we wouldn’t expect that to change with Ragnarok.
Finally, you might be wondering about pre-ordering the next God of War game. Unfortunately, it’s not quite ready to be pre-ordered yet, but once we get confirmation of the official release date, pre-orders will probably go live.