With just two months to go until the highly-anticipated release of God of War: Ragnarok, Santa Monica Studio has now offered fans of the franchise a closer look at how its combat system has evolved for the latest installment. Speaking to Game Informer, lead combat designers Mihir Sheth and Denny Yeh explained that a key part of developing the new title involved looking back at how Kratos fought in its predecessor and figuring out ways to improve his combat style in order to make it more engaging for players.
“That’s an internal philosophy that we’ve had since back in the day,” Sheth says. “Kratos plays with his food. We tried to create systems you want to engage with that are fun, very playful, lots of different routes. And when we looked at the combat in the last game, we were like, ‘We can push this further; we can find new toys and ways of playing with enemies and strategies.’ That’s been the guiding principle more than anything else.”
One of the key differences in Ragnarok will be the attack move when you hit the Triangle button. Now allocated as the key for Weapon Signature Moves, the top button will allow Kratos to infuse either his Leviathan Axe or Blades of Chaos with ice or fire, which then allows him to throw out elemental moves called “Frost Awaken” and “Whiplash.”
Weapons aside, the Olympian’s shields will also offer a new gameplay experience. The Dauntless Shield now focuses on what the outlet calls “twitch reactions,” allowing you to parry attacks and harness that energy to then smash and stun your enemies when the shield turns blinking red, while the Stonewall Shield focuses on prolonged combat, giving him the ability to absorb more damage over time and release all of it back outwards once the shield is done charging.
“Maybe don’t play with all your food,” Yeh warned at the end, “because there will be food that can eat you pretty easily.” God of War: Ragnarok arrives November 9.
Elsewhere in gaming, Ubisoft has officially announced Assassin’s Creed Mirage.