Santa Monica Studio has detailed the biggest combat differences between God of War Ragnarok and its predecessor, including improved player's mobility and much greater enemy variety.
In a new Ragnarok footage 'Combat and Enemies Elevated,' the devs addressed all the changes they implemented during the last four years. According to lead combat designer Stephen Oyarijivbie, one of the biggest issues the players had with the 2018's game was a pretty limited choice of enemies to slay. "After our last game, we've heard the community cry out for more mini-bosses, bigger creatures and enemy variety, and this time we really leaned into that," he said. As a result, players will be traveling to all the Nine Realms in a sequel, with each space having its own selection of unique foes.
Combat is definitely the "meat and potatoes" of a God of War game, and the Ragnarok team is already excited for players to experience the diversity of creatures it has to offer. Kratos will be fighting everything from small little creatures to things that will take up the entire screen. "Each one looks so much different from the next one and each of them has their own play style. If you are really into Norse mythology, you'll be very interested to see how [the studio] has taken some of these creatures and interpreted them," senior animator Kim Nguyen said.
Unlike FromSoftware's approach to combat and boss fights, God of War Ragnarok devs do not want players to feel frustrated when fighting enemies as Kratos. Senior combat animator Roberto Clemente said that "it feels rewarding when you win not because it was impossible, but because it was fun and engaging."
At the same time, players have to think strategically and use the environment to overcome their foes. Santa Monica's design philosophy for creating new and memorable enemies is "basically making them a combat puzzle similar to chess," Oyarijivbie said. So you have to think of them as chess pieces with their own theme, use, and weaknesses.
Based on Ragnarok's previews, Santa Monica got rid of the multicolored trolls inhabiting the original. According to Eric Switzer, there are already "as many different kinds of monsters in the first six hours" as there were in the entirety of the previous installment.
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