"God of War: Ragnarök" now has a New Game Plus update. With 14 nominations for the Bafta Games Awards and 6 game awards won, this update has had fans on the edge of their seats.
The fifth game in its series, "God of War: Ragnarök" shows immense character development for our protagonist Kratos (voiced by Christopher Judge) and supporting characters (Atreus, Freya, and Sindri most notably). Kratos (inspired by Cratus in Greek Mythology) has been out of the Greek pantheon for two games now and has found himself in ancient Scandinavia. He has been widowed and has become a father (again) to Atreus or "Loki," as the jötunns (giants) refer to him. After defeating Baldur in the fourth title "God of War," Kratos and Atreus find themselves in the middle of Fimbulwinter before Ragnarök. The characters go between if Ragnarök should be resisted or encouraged based on their actions.
Once installing the free update, and after finishing the main quest of the base game, players can choose to play NG+ in which they restart the game with all of the gear. The player can now unlock new gear, new loot to be found, as well as The Nifleheim Sparring Arena where you can train against different types of enemies and their variations. Here only, you can change your companion to anyone who would be your companion in the base game, with the exception of Heimdall (good).
Almost every cinematic scene can be skipped now, which is great because I don't want to cry twice within the first hour of gameplay again-- I'm not kidding, the writing is great enough early on to move you to tears, especially if you're an animal lover like me. More so, Kratos has an increased level cap. You won't need to be fully leveled to complete the game, but if you're a completionist, this will provide a new challenge.
To our knowledge, less than a month after the NG+ release, Atreus does not receive any additional upgrades. This will make his levels more difficult, so keep that in mind. He will also begin the story wearing whatever he had equipped at the end of the original game's save file. You will need to unlock the ability to change this (same with Freya). Mystic Gateways and abilities need to be earned once again, which is strange because you're able to keep the Draupnir Spear, even though there's an entire quest in the base game devoted to unlocking it. Getting to fight side-by-side with Brok again will be worth this quest, but it's redundant.
While some levels will be more difficult, the beginning levels will be incredibly easy. I didn't get close to dying in the Bjorn fight, and Thor only killed me the one canon time at the beginning of the game.
A filter was added that changes the display of the game to mostly black and white. While some will enjoy this, I do not. The amount of time that it took to get the game as breathtaking as possible negates my desire to see it in monochrome. It also appears to be the only filter-- I would've much rather had the rainbow filter from "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" than this silent movie filter.
New Game Plus definitely makes this quotable game more replayable. However, this should've been released with the game, in my opinion. Santa Monica Studio is no exception to releasing unfinished games that have "service" to complete the game. When I paid $60 for the game in November, I should've been buying a completed game. For this reason, I am giving New Game Plus an 8/10 rating.
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