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God of War Ragnarok: release date, gameplay, trailers

God of War: Ragnarok Kratos in a cave in front of a fire
(Image credit: Sony)
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God of War: Ragnarok is the sequel to 2018’s God of War and one of the most highly-anticipated PlayStation exclusives of this year. 

Marking the final chapter of the series' Norse storyline, the action of God of War: Ragnarok kicks off a few years after the events of God of War (2018). We’ll be joining Kratos and a now teenage Atreus on a “journey to each of the Nine Realms in search of answers as they prepare for the prophesied battle that will end the world”: Ragnarok. 

Following a period of nail-biting silence around the game, we’re now beginning to see and hear more about it from the team at Santa Monica Studio. We even have a confirmed release date of November 9 2022 and a good overview of the story

It's not long, then, until we finally get to play God of War: Ragnarok.  So, if you're looking to see what to expect, keep reading to see everything we know about God of War: Ragnarok so far, including its release date, all of its trailers, and details about its story. 

God of War: Ragnarok: cut to the chase 

  • What is it? The sequel to the critically-acclaimed God of War (2018)
  • When can I play it? November 9, 2022
  • What can I play it on? PS5 and PS4

God of War: Ragnarok release date and platforms

Close up of hammer with Atreus and Kratos out of focus in the background

(Image credit: Sony)

God of War: Ragnarok launches on November 9, 2022 on PS5 and PS4, following a delay from its initial 2021 release window.

Before this update from PlayStation Blog, Ragnarok had been the subject of much  speculation (opens in new tab). PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst then confirmed the delay in a PlayStation Blog interview in June 2021, stating that the sequel was being pushed into 2022 to give the team at Sony Santa Monica more time following disruption caused by the pandemic.

Following this, many later believed God of War: Ragnarok had been pushed back into 2023 too, but the June 2022 update thankfully revealed otherwise. Assuming there's no last minute delays, the launch is finally in sight for this much anticipated sequel. 

God of War: Ragnarok trailers

Father and Son Cinematic Trailer

Upon revealing Ragnarok's release date, Sony also released a short new trailer. Lasting for only 30 seconds, this gives us a quick look at Kratos and Atreus, fighting alongside each other. You can watch that below: 

Reveal trailer
We finally got a proper trailer for God of War: Ragnarok at the PlayStation Showcase 2021 that gave us gameplay and cinematic footage of what we'll be faced with when it releases. The combat looks just as devastatingly violent as we'd expect, and the new announcement also confirmed that we will indeed be facing Ragnarok – a series of events and catastrophes that ultimately lead to the end of the world according to Norse mythology.

Teaser trailer
Previously we had been shown a brief teaser for God of War: Ragnarok right at the end of Sony's live stream event in September 2020. All it showed was a brief logo and the words "Ragnarok is coming".

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God of War: Ragnarok editions and pre-order bonuses

God of War: Ragnarök pre-orders are now open and PlayStation has confirmed (opens in new tab) that there are four different editions up for grabs so let’s dig into what they are and what they offer below. 

Pre-order bonus

First off, let’s cover the pre-order bonus. If you pre-order any edition of God of War: Ragnarök you’ll receive a voucher code to download two digital bonuses: the Kratos Risen Snow Armor and the Atreus Risen Snow Tunic.

Standard Edition

The Standard Edition, as you’d expect, offers you the full game on PS4 or PS5 and nothing more (unless you pre-order, in which case you’re getting those pre-order bonuses). If you order the PS4 version of the game and decide you want to upgrade to PS5 later, then that’s going to cost an additional $10. 

Digital Deluxe Edition

As a step up from the Standard Edition of the game, there’s the Digital Deluxe Edition which offers a little more in the way of bonuses. These are as follows:

  • Full God of War Ragnarök game on PS4 and PS5
  • Kratos Darkdale Armor
  • Atreus Darkdale Attire 
  • Darkdale Blades Handles for the Blades of Chaos
  • Darkdale Axe Grip for the Leviathan Axe
  • Official God of War Ragnarök Digital Soundtrack
  • Dark Horse Digital Mini Artbook
  • Avatar Set
  • PlayStation 4 Theme

Collector’s Edition

Now we’re starting to get into the truly shiny stuff. The Collector’s Edition of the game comes in a box that represents the Knowledge Keeper’s Shrine and in it you’ll find the following physical items:

  • A printed voucher code for the full God of War Ragnarök game on PS4 and PS5
  • A Steelbook Display Case, though it doesn’t have a game disc included
  • 2” Vanir Twins Carvings – In the same style as Atreus’ wooden toy carvings of the Huldra Brothers from the God of War (2018) Collector’s Edition, therefore completing the set
  • Dwarven Dice Set
  • 16” Mjölnir Replica

It also has the following digital items, with some unlocked via story progression:

  • Kratos Darkdale Armor
  • Atreus Darkdale Attire (cosmetic)
  • Darkdale Blades Handles for the Blades of Chaos
  • Darkdale Axe Grip for the Leviathan Axe
  • Official God of War Ragnarök Digital Soundtrack
  • Dark Horse Digital Mini Artbook
  • Avatar Set
  • PlayStation 4 Theme

Jötnar Edition

Finally, there’s the Jötnar Edition which includes “a premium selection of items designed with care” by the team at Santa Monica Studios. The contents of the box for this edition are as follows:

  • Printed voucher code for the full God of War Ragnarök game PS4 and PS5
  • 7-Inch Vinyl Record with music by Bear McCreary
  • The Falcon, Bear, and Wolf Pin Set
  • The Legendary Draupnir Ring in a red cloth bag
  • Brok’s Dice Set
  • Yggdrasil Cloth Map showing each of the Nine Realms within the branches and roots of Yggdrasil
  • A Steelbook Display Case without a game disc
  • 2” Vanir Twins Carvings
  • 16” Mjölnir Replica

It also comes with the same selection of digital items as the Collector's Edition. You can see an official unboxing of the Collector’s and Jötnar Editions below:

God of War: Ragnarok story and setting

A close up of Atreus standing in the snow

(Image credit: Sony)

God of War: Ragnarok is a sequel to God of War (2018) and the final entry in the series' Norse saga. 

An update to the PlayStation Store in July 2022 has given us our best look yet at the game's plot. “Fimbulwinter is well underway,” the description reads (opens in new tab). “Kratos and Atreus must journey to each of the Nine Realms in search of answers as Asgardian forces prepare for a prophesied battle that will end the world.

“Along the way they will explore stunning, mythical landscapes, and face fearsome enemies in the form of Norse gods and monsters. The threat of Ragnarok grows ever closer. Kratos and Atreus must choose between their own safety and the safety of the realms.”

Elsewhere, the description suggests Ragnarok will pick up the main narrative thread left handing in the first. We’ll be helping Atreus as he “seeks knowledge to help him understand the prophecy of ‘Loki’ and establish his role in Ragnarok”. 

Though the previous game built up trust and understanding in the relationship of Kratos and his son Atreus, Ragnarok will continue to explore the complexity of their interactions, as “Kratos must decide whether he will be chained by the fear of repeating his mistakes or break free of his past to be the father Atreus needs”.

In a September 2021 PlayStation blog post (opens in new tab), Santa Monica Studio said that in the game, "Together, Kratos and Atreus will have to make a choice about which path they will take. Whatever they choose will define the fate of all those living in the Nine Realms as Ragnarök approaches." 

God of War: Ragnarok won't just expand on Atreus and Kratos' relationship, it'll also expand in terms of setting. This time around, players are going to be able to visit all nine realms, including "the previously unreachable Vanaheim, Svartalfheim, and Asgard – as well as to new areas from locations featured in the last game. Exploring the realms will take you everywhere from verdant, otherworldly jungles to intricate subterranean mining networks."

Chief among these new realms is Asgard – the home of the Aesir gods and the seat of power in Norse mythology. In many ways, it's the largest and central realm of them all, where the most well-known Aesir gods live. 

It’s divided into several regions of its own. Valhalla is ruled over by Odin, so we could end up entering the golden hall. Bilskírnir, meanwhile, serves as the seat of Thor, who’s already confirmed to be appearing in the game.

Vanaheim is also important. It’s the homeland of the Vanir gods, a sorcerous pack of deities who were once at war with the Aesir. Freya – who’s set up to be Ragnarok’s chief antagonist – belongs to them. According to God of War’s lore, she was cursed by Odin to prevent her from leaving Midgard, but we might spend a fair bit of time in Vanaheim given its importance in the Aesir-Vanir conflict.

Finally, Svartalfheim is the homeland of the dwarves. Although it received little mention in the first game, Brok and Sindri – the two dwarven blacksmiths who help you – are returning in this next installment. Maybe they’ll let us in.

There are still a lot of questions, including how much of these realms we’ll see. It’s likely we’ll get to explore a new area of Midgard, and maybe even return to Kratos’ woodland home. We're hoping we can delve into Muspelheim and Niflheim more than the first game allowed.

Kratos travelling over the ice on a sled

(Image credit: Sony)

God of War: Ragnarok gameplay

As far as gameplay is concerned, it's pretty natural that God of War: Ragnarok's combat will be of utmost importance to many fans of the series.  

According to a post on the official PlayStation Blog (opens in new tab) in September 2021, combat will be more "visceral" and "spectacular" fights, with "new attack abilities, a new Runic Summon for Atreus, and of course, the return of Kratos’ legendary weapons." Santa Monica Studio says it's taken learnings from 2018's God of War to improve combat, with the aim of creating more player choice:

"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."

Ragnarok will also offer players a little more variety when it comes to the shields that can be used, according to director, Eric Williams, in an interview with God of War YouTuber Jon Ford (opens in new tab)

When Ford pointed out that in the most recent trailer there are moments where it looks like Kratos’ Guardian Shield has a different design and Kratos is using it in different ways, Williams said this was true and that while he didn’t “want to go too deep on it”, the game will have “different shields, and they have different defensive options and abilities.“ 

The reason for this, William explained, is because he and the team at Santa Monica Studio “really want to open up expressive choice to the way that you build your Kratos, like the equipment and loadout and things like that."

This, Williams added, goes “all the way down to the defense, so you can kind of play a little differently and enemies know how to respond to that, or force you into these different situations where you need to use different things. I think it’ll be fun for players to explore that but also we want it to be more expressive, you know, your choices matter when you set him up.”

Santa Monica Studio has also revealed that God of War Ragnarok retains accessibility features from God of War (2018) and adds new ones, allowing for more than 60 ways for players to adjust gameplay. 

"Not only have we redesigned our UI to allow for more flexibility and readability, but we have also rebuilt controller remapping from the ground up and added more customization to our combat and interaction systems," a PlayStation Blog post (opens in new tab) revealed.

Some of the new accessibility features include improvements to subtitles and captions, an abundance of text and icon size options and a new high-color contrast mode.

God of War: Ragnarok news and rumors

Kratos looks out over the landscape from a height

(Image credit: Sony)

Reports of a God of War TV adaptation
A live-action adaptation of God of War could be in the works, according to a recent report from Deadline. The report states that Amazon Prime Video is interested in the idea, which is reportedly being developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, creators and executive producers of The Expanse, along with Rafe Judkins, executive producer and showrunner of The Wheel of Time.

It's expected that the God of War series would act as the latest collaboration between Sony Pictures Television and PlayStation Productions, which are currently working together on HBO's The Last of Us adaptation and Peacock's newly announced Twisted Metal series.

‘No idea’ about PC port, says Cory Barlog 
We’ve seen an increasing number of PlayStation exclusives ported to PC in recent years, including, very recently and very successfully, 2018’s God of War. However, in an interview with Game Informer (opens in new tab),  Sony Santa Monica creative director Cory Barlog was unwilling to commit to the upcoming sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, getting the same treatment in a shorter timeframe than four years. 

“I have no idea,” Barlog said. “Right now, we’re taking it one game at a time, kind of looking at each one and determining, 'Okay, is this the best thing?' And we’ll gauge how it does. Do people enjoy it? Did we do it right? Is there anything we did wrong? What can we do better in the future if we do this again? But at the end of the day, ultimately, it’s Sony’s decision.”

Concluding the Norse saga
Santa Monica Studios creative director, Cory Barlog, has confirmed in an interview (opens in new tab) that Ragnarok will conclude the Norse storyline that started with 2018’s God of War on PS4. Barlog explained that the main reason to conclude the Norse saga in God of War: Ragnarok was because of the long development time involved in making a modern God of War game. Between the five years taken to develop 2018's God of War and the four that will be spent on Ragnarok, the studio would rather the Norse storyline didn't run over nearly 15 years through a third game, as it’ll be “too stretched out.”

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It’s worth noting this could have been in error; Lee could have accidentally added the ‘Ragnarok’ bit while he in actual fact he might be working on God of War PC right now.  Jetpack is the third-party dev in charge of the current God of War port, with Sony’s Santa Monica Studio in the role of overseeing the project, rather than actually doing the port. With that in mind, we feel there’s a possibility this could be a mistake.  

However, with God of War finally getting a port, it does make sense that Ragnarok could get the same treatment. The caveat is, of course, that this would likely happen eventually, way down the line, rather than early in Ragnarok’s life. God of War was, after all, released for the PS4 in 2018, so it’s taken quite some time for the port to come about.

PS4 to PS5 upgrade fee - confirmed
After the player outrage surrounding the confusing upgrade process for Horizon Forbidden West, Sony issued a statement detailing how it will allow players to upgrade from the PS4 version to the PS5 version of future titles.

It specifically named-checked God of War and said that you'll need to pay a $10 digital fee to get the enhanced PS5 version of the game if you already own the PS4 version. Now that the game's editions have been confirmed, we know that the upgrade fee does indeed apply to God of War: Ragnarok. 

Job Listings
As spotted by GamesRadar (opens in new tab), SIE Santa Monica Studio posted job listings in 2020 for a number of roles across its programming, art, design, and tech art teams – with one listing clearly citing the God of War reboot. 

Applicants for Senior Combat Designer (opens in new tab) "Must have knowledge of God of War (2018) and be able to speak in depth about the combat systems, mechanics and enemies".

A listing for Facial Blend Shape Character Artist also specifically mentions "next-gen videogame platform experience" for the role: something that should whittle down prospective applicants to relatively few animators, given that the next generation of consoles have yet to launch.

The waters were muddied slightly with a Senior Gameplay Animator posting, which asks for someone "to help us push the boundaries of action and combat movement and set the bar for gameplay feel on the PS4".

God of War PS4 theme
Back in April 2019, a new dynamic theme appeared on PS4 to celebrate the anniversary of the God of War reboot. The theme showed Kratos and Atreus rowing, however the theme contained a secret message (discovered by eagle-eyed God of War fans on Reddit (opens in new tab)). 

The boat the pair are rowing in has runes etched on its side which translate (in English) to "Ragnarok is coming" – which we now know to be a pretty official slogan for the game.

No God of War DLC
God of War director Corey Barlog had said there were originally plans for DLC for the 2018 reboot, but said they were halted for being "too ambitious". That means the studio can invest resources into an entirely new game as opposed to post-launch content.

God of War (2018) PS5 update
To make the wait for God of War: Ragnarok a little easier, Sony Santa Monica has released a God of War PS5 update that boosts the game's resolution to a checkerboard 4K resolution while maintaining a 60fps target. Hopefully, this means that Ragnarok will continue the pleasing trend of more PS5 games hitting 60fps, even if it means compromising or dropping the resolution slightly to achieve it.

God of War: Ragnarok: what we want to see

Kratos and Atreus push a boat into the water

(Image credit: Sony)

[Warning: spoilers for the ending of God of War ahead.]

Exploring that ending further
At the end of God of War, we found out that Kratos' wife (and Atreus' mother) Faye was actually a Giant called Laufey. That means Atreus is half God and half Giant and, what's more, he has a different name altogether: Loki. You know Loki, the trickster of Norse mythology. 

Hopefully God of War: Ragnarok will explore this further and we'll find out more about Faye's secret past, as well as why she kept it all a secret in the first place. We're also hoping Atreus will embrace the shape-shifting abilities that Loki is notorious for instead of simply standing on the sidelines firing arrows at enemies. 

Atreus isn't a boy anymore
The God of War sequel may continue on directly from the events of the previous game, however we think it would be more interesting to see how a teenage Atreus and grumpy dad Kratos fair on an adventure.  

Vic Hood
Vic Hood

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.