What just happened? Sony's 'one more thing' at its recent PS5 showcase was the briefest of teasers for its highly-anticipated follow-up to Santa Monica's God of War 2018 reboot. It's called God of War: Ragnarok, which isn't surprising given that the world-ending event, according to Norse mythology, had been teased previously as an easter egg in GoW's official PS4 dynamic theme. Fans of the franchise, especially the 2018 reboot, will just have to wait till next year to find out what becomes of Kratos and Atreus as they come across Thor and many other Norse characters in their next big adventure.
Hailed as a masterpiece, 2018's God of War arguably became a system seller for Sony, who finally confirmed rumors around a sequel at the end of their PS5 showcase yesterday. Expected to carry on the story of Kratos and Atreus after they've returned Faye's ashes to Jotunheim, God of War: Ragnarok will see the father-son duo face-off against Thor and his Mjolnir, as teased during the post-credit scene of the 2018 reboot.
Developer Santa Monica's brief teaser only revealed the arrival of Ragnarok with a frosty white God of War logo and Kratos speaking in the background (likely to Atreus) to prepare for the world-ending event.
While the 2018 reboot took five years to develop, with Santa Monica facing additional challenges of relocating to their new office in Playa Vista, LA, the game's director, Cory Barlog assured fans that a sequel won't take half a decade to release. That's because the team completely rebuilt their game engine for 2018's GoW, with the sequel building upon the same core tech.
Like Naughty Dog, Santa Monica went to great lengths to mask God of War's load times on the PS4 with clever level design such as having Kratos and Atreus walk on the World Tree until the magic door appeared for teleporting between the realms, traveling by boat with Mimir and his enchanting stories or crouching through the many caves in the game's semi-open world. It also featured an industry-first "Single-Shot Effect," a painstaking effort to make God of War fully immersive and void of any cuts or loading screens.
With the much more powerful PS5 and its speedy SSD, it'll be interesting to see how Santa Monica shapes the world of God of War: Ragnarok, while also taking advantage of the adaptive triggers and haptics in the new DualSense controller.
Although Sony didn't mention if the sequel will arrive on the PS4, it's unlikely to miss out on the 100 million+ userbase even with soaring demand for its next-gen console. The company could also release a PC version of 2018's GoW in a bid to attract more audience towards the PS5, that's likely going to fly off the shelves even quicker once God of War: Ragnarok arrives in 2021.