God of War: Ragnorok is based on the combat system of the previous game, adding spontaneous attacks tied to the Triangle button, which was used relatively rarely in the 2018 game.
In a conversation with Game Informer, Ragnarok’s lead combat designer Mihir Sheth explained how the Triangle button was redesigned to do much more than just summon the axe of Leviathan Kratos.
“In the last game, if you pressed the triangle, you withdrew the axe, but if you already had the axe, nothing happened,” Sheth said. “If you had the Blades of Chaos and you pressed the Triangle, you just went back to the axe. We looked at this concept and wondered, “What if you could do something a little different with this button?”
Therefore, Sony Santa Monica has introduced a completely new attack style that is activated through the previously unused state of the “Triangle” button. They will be called branded weapon techniques and endow Leviathan Axe or Chaos Blades with elemental damage (ice and fire, respectively), known as Frost Awakening and Whip.
This is part of a larger reworking of the battle in Ragnarok, based on the philosophy of “playing with food”. “Kratos is playing with his food,” Sheth said. — We tried to create systems that you want to engage with, which would be fun, very playful, with a lot of different routes. And when we looked at the fight in the last game, we thought: “We can move on; we can find new toys and ways to play with enemies and strategies.” It was a guiding principle more than anything else.”
New ideas in action are focused not only on the expected Kratos weapon. Game Informer also saw two new wrist shields — Dauntless and Stonewall—that can offer extra damage for parrying at the last second or kinetic explosion after absorbing damage, respectively.
These attacks will join several other new gameplay additions, as the Ragnarok trailers have already demonstrated many new combat capabilities and abilities. Players will be able to open them all when the game finally comes out on November 9, but in the meantime, you can catch up by retelling the original God of War or reading the synopsis of the plot of Ragnarok.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll be talking about the Witcher all day.