God of War gameplay showcases more aggressive, faster combat

As part of Game Informer‘s exclusive coverage of God of War Ragnarök, the magazine has released a brief video showing Kratos in combat. It’s our best look yet at how the game will actually play—though be warned that’s it’s still just a brief taste.

The video, narrated by GI associate editor Jason Guisao, clocks in at just 99 seconds, but there’s actually less than a minute of gameplay footage here. (Some of it repeats.) Still, the combination of the video and voice over does offer a fair amount of new info on how combat has evolved in the sequel.

For starters, we learned that Kratos will be able to infuse his equipped weapon with an elemental charge by holding down the triangle button. Fittingly, the Leviathan Axe does frost damage, and the Blade of Chaos do fire damage. Elemental damage, as you might expect, lets you deal out more damage to enemies.

Kratos will also have access to two new arm shields, the Dauntless and Stonewall shields. In addition to defending against attacks, he’ll be able to use these to launch opponents through the air with a slam attack.

The footage also shows some new weapon finishers, and a grapple ability for the Blades of Chaos that allows you to quickly close the distance to your enemies. Overall, the vibe is a bit faster paced and more aggressive than the 2018 God of War, while still keeping many familiar elements in place.

The combat footage also shows Kratos taking on a new enemy type, reptilian creatures known as Grims. (They’re apparently inspired by the Fossegrim from Scandinavian folklore.) The look very much like fodder enemies in the vein of the Draugr from the first game, so they don’t really do anything impressive. But watching Kratos smash them around does highlight a combat design philosophy that GI quotes in the video: It should feel like Kratos is “playing with his food.”

God of War Ragnarök launches November 9th on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

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