After spending most of the past two years shrouded in mystery, the upcoming sequel to 2018’s God of War finally made an appearance at today’s PlayStation Showcase. This is our first look at the game, as a previous teaser trailer with no actual footage was all we had to go on. And—surprise! As fans had long speculated, the game is actually called God of War: Ragnarok.
The trailer shows us Kratos still fathering his now slightly older son Atreus. They ride a brisk dogsled, sail a boat, encounter a few familiar dwarves, and stare down an unseen foe brandishing a magical hammer. My money’s on Thor. (A post-showcase interview confirmed that it is, indeed, Thor.)
That same post-showcase interview also revealed that Eric Williams is handling directing duties on Ragnarok after Cory Barlog directed the 2018 game, in a longstanding studio tradition of changing up directors from game to game on the series.
The sequel continues the narrative arc for Kratos which was first established in Sony Santa Monica’s blockbuster revival of the classic PlayStation franchise. In a bold departure for the series, the 2018 God of War took Kratos out of the realm of Greek mythology where he dwelled for so long, placing him instead in a snowy world of Norse gods and monsters and giving him a son, leading some to give this new incarnation of Kratos the nickname Dad of War.
That game saw Kratos and his son Atreus journeying through Midgard, beset on their travels by Baldur and other figures from Norse myth and folklore. The ending, in which a surprising revelation is made about Atreus, clearly set up a sequel.
We first got confirmation that such a sequel was in the works from a trailer shown at a PlayStation event last year. In that trailer, a number of runes appear, which fans quickly deciphered as spelling “Ragnarok,” a cataclysmic series of events in Norse myth which include global floods, other natural disasters, and the deaths of numerous gods. We then hear Kratos say, “You must prepare yourself,” as the phrase “Ragnarok Is Coming” appears onscreen in plain ol’ English. As a result, the sequel has widely been referred to as God of War: Ragnarok, though until now, no official title had been confirmed.
That teaser also indicated a 2021 release date. However, in June, Sony Santa Monica tweeted a statement which acknowledged the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic and announced that the sequel was delayed.
It read in part, “We remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners, and families. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to shift our release window to 2022.”