God of War Ragnarök is known for having excellent combat, a simultaneously epic and intimate story, great accessibility features, and a billion puzzles to solve. For many players, it wasn’t the puzzles’ difficulty that frustrated them the most. It was the frequency with which Atreus would provide hints at how to solve them. It turns out, even his own voice actor feels similarly.
Atreus is the son to the war god Kratos, and he often accompanies his father during lengthy segments of the main quest. Normally, this is fine. He’s a good kid, and Sunny Suljic puts on a solid performance as one of the co-protagonists of Ragnarök. The problem is that I don’t want puzzle hints shoved into my face while I’m trying to solve them. Atreus often gives you advice if you don’t solve a given puzzle almost immediately, which I found obnoxious. So many players felt similarly frustrated, and gaming websites even posted guides on whether or not you could turn off these hints. Unfortunately, you can’t. Everyone who played through this action-adventure game is forced to endure unsolicited nudges from Atreus telling you exactly how to progress.
And as it happens, not even Suljic appreciates the mechanic. When IGN asked him whether he enjoyed giving hints to himself, the voice actor started smiling awkwardly. “Actually, for me, no!” Suljic told his interviewer. “Because I’m trying to do the puzzles, and then I hear myself giving myself the hints and I just…I get so sick of hearing my own voice sometimes.” Poor dude. I imagine it must feel like he’s talking to himself while solving these puzzles.
The hint system wouldn’t be so frustrating if it was optional or togglable. Horizon Forbidden West had a similar system where Aloy could voice thoughts to herself that might be helpful, but the timing was a little more forgiving Atreus is much chattier, which may make you wonder if bringing him along is really worth the toll his “help” can take on your goodwill towards him. In most cases, yes—but barely.