Santa Monica Studio's upcoming action-adventure hack-and-slash title God of War Ragnarok is right around the corner, releasing in just a month's time. The highly anticipated sequel to the phenomenal 2018 soft-reboot of the God of War franchise will once again see the Ghost of Sparta, Kratos and his son "Boy" aka Atreus take it up against the tyrannical Aesir gods and the Allfather himself in order to prevent the prophesied cataclysmic event, Ragnarok.
Much like the previous game in the series, God of War Ragnarok will follow a linear narrative, with a few side quests and optional objectives sprinkled in for good measure. Although developer Santa Monica Studios completely overhauled the gameplay experience of the series with the 2018 soft-reboot, the game still retained the core hack-and-slash mechanics and violence the series is known for.
While the eagerly awaited sequel to God of War (2018) is about a month away from release, here are five incredible games that players can play while they wait for God of War Ragnarok.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the author's opinions.
From Assassin's Creed Valhalla to God of War 3, here are five games to try while waiting for God of War Ragnarok
1) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda Softworks' open-world role-playing behemoth, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is a household name at this point. Since its inception in 2011, Skyrim has been ported over to almost every major home console, making sure players irrespective of their preferred gaming platform can enjoy the rich and boundless freedom offered by Skyrim.
While it might not feature a nuanced combat system like God of War Ragnarok, Skyrim offers a similar Norse mythology-inspired setting. Skyrim's biggest feature is the amount of freedom it bestows on the players, from creating their own avatars, to choosing how their stories play out with the choices they make throughout the game's narrative.
Players are at full liberty to choose however they want to play the game, whether they want to pursue the main story quest headfirst, without bothering with any side content or spend countless hours just raiding tombs, hunting legendary beasts and doing side jobs, without ever attempting a single main story quest, apart from the initial tutorial area.
Skyrim can easily keep players busy for multiple months with the countless different quests they can pursue in the game and gameplay systems they can experiment with. Thus, it makes for the best title players can indulge in while they wait for God of War Ragnarok.
2) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Much like Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is touted as one of the best role-playing games ever created, featuring an intriguing narrative, amazing characters and a richly detailed open-world for players to immerse themselves in, for hours on end. The combat system, while lacking the punch and nuance of the God of War series, is still a great addition to the overall experience.
CD PROJEKT RED has created a phenomenal open-world experience which is yet to be replicated by any mainstream AAA title to date. The game's protagonist, Geralt, a witcher who hunts monsters and all manner of menacing creatures in exchange for coins might initially seem like a stoic character that is reviled by the very people he helps. However, as players progress through the story, they slowly but surely start getting attached to the character and his motivations.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also offers a branching narrative that takes into account every single decision players make throughout the game, be it a small dialog option or skipping an entire character quest. One of the best aspects of the game are the side quests, which offer more storytelling depth than most other AAA role-playing games out there.
Players can easily sink hundreds of hours in the world of The Witcher 3, without ever feeling bored, since the game will always have something new and exciting awaiting them, in the form of a new side quest, a hidden treasure, or even a legendary monster to slay.
3) Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Ubisoft's open-world action-adventure role-playing game, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, is the closest title that shares elements with Santa Monica Studio's upcoming God of War Ragnarok, in part due to both the games featuring a Norse setting, complete with some prominent characters from its mythology such as Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freya, Baldur, the Dwarves and even the Dragons.
Assassin's Creed was always known for its grounded gameplay and setting, mixed with some vague sci-fi elements that were basically relegated to the modern-day aspect of the series' overarching narrative. However, with the most recent RPG-focused games of the franchise, Ubisoft has not shied away from introducing a few fantasy-themed elements.
While Assassin's Creed Valhalla might not be the best Assassin's Creed title, given that the story nor the gameplay has much to do with the series' core Assassin vs Templar plot, it is still a great title for players and will help acquaint them with Norse mythology, before delving into God of War Ragnarok.
4) Devil May Cry 5
The original Devil May Cry is what inspired the fast-paced and stylized combat of the God of War series. Capcom's Devil May Cry series is the epitome of traditional hack-and-slash gameplay, which never fails to amaze players with the amount of innovation the developers bring with every other entry in the series.
The fifth mainline entry in the franchise, Devil May Cry 5 is arguably the best game in the series, offering a wide variety of weapons to unlock, skills to use and enemies to fight. The game even offers players a choice of four playable characters (including Vergil, who was later added as a DLC), with each having their own set of demon slaying weapons and tricks.
Devil May Cry 5's nuanced and extremely addictive combat and a really intriguing albeit lighthearted story are its strongest suites, something that is bound to keep players hooked through its roughly seven to eight-hour-long campaign. While the game's campaign might be brief, it offers tremendous replayability, with multiple difficulties, new game+, a plethora of skills and weapon unlocks, hidden secrets within each level, and much more.
5) God of War 3 Remastered
God of War 3, is the final chapter of Kratos' original Greek saga, and the final game to feature fixed camera angles during combat, as well as over-the-top gore and violence, something that is toned down a bit in the Norse saga of the series.
The remastered version of the game, released for the PlayStation 4, complete with all the post-launch DLC, high resolution textures, better lighting and a smooth locked 60fps gameplay experience, is the best way to experience Kratos' uncontrolled rage that resulted in the destruction of the entire Greek pantheon.
God of War 3 Remastered is the perfect game for players to relive the original gameplay and narrative of the series, before once again delving into the Norse saga with God of War Ragnarok, which launches on November 9, 2022 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.