We’re after the most impressive premiere of the year. It wasn’t without controversy, just like Horizon Forbidden West, whose update was to be pushed from PS4 to PS5. God of War: Ragnarok doesn’t have a problem on a global scale, but Poles can feel quite deprived after not receiving the original dubbing – by the way, excellent – when buying the boxed version. It remains to keep your fingers crossed for the fact that a solution to the situation will be found in a matter of days.
However, God of War Ragnarok has almost every fan of the game electrified. The game is being talked about everywhere – game forums like ResetEra are filled with threads related to Kratos’ new adventure, and the God of War subreddit on Reddit has received a second life. This is without a doubt the biggest premiere of the year and I think even the upcoming Callisto Protocol or Need for Speed Unbound won’t change that.
Clash of giants with PS4 and PS5
With God of War Ragnarok debuting on store shelves, we must not forget that Sony also had a very good first half of the year. When Horizon Forbidden West debuted on PlayStation systems, there were many votes that it is currently considered the best game on PS5 and a sure candidate for GOTY 2022.. In fact – Aloy’s story stood out for its quality, and the developers were praised primarily for eliminating or completely updating various elements or mechanics that were weak in Horizon Zero Dawn.
It’s already been six months since the premiere of Horizon Forbidden West and it’s a good time to compare the most important elements of both games and consider whether the latest production from Guerrilla Games has a chance at GOTY 2022, when it feels like God of War’s breath of Ragnarok on the back of Santa Monica Studios. Before moving on to this point, I’d like to add that I’ve marked aspects in favor of God of War Ragnarok in blue, and items in favor of Horizon Forbidden West in green.
In terms of plot, I was most intrigued by Kratos’ story. It’s full of twists and turns made of egg and savagery. Of course, there’s not as much bloodshed here as in the early parts of God of War, but it’s still a more mature, and more heart-touched story than Horizon Forbidden West, which in this respect seems more accessible, and thus quieter and can predict it.
Despite the fact that the side stories in Horizon Forbidden West were a level or two higher than Horizon Zero Dawn, the writers from Guerrilla Games are still far from optional quests at the level of The Witcher 3 or God of War Ragnarok. In Kratos’ adventure, we receive not dozens of quests, but several for each land (only the Vanaheim world comes from this plot) – the vast majority of them expand the main plot, and allow us to like or dislike the most important characters. You just want to do these tasks. This motivation was definitely missing in Horizon Forbidden West.
Both God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West have mined a lot of PS5 systems. Products look great not only in graphic modes, but also in performance modes, allowing you to play at 60 frames per second. However, in terms of pure visuals, Horizon Forbidden West is the leader, which in my opinion looks a bit better than God of War Ragnarok.
The design of the world is one of the most difficult sub-points to read, because a lot depends on whether we like northern myths or whether we like post-apocalyptic climates more. Personally, I’m a fan of both categories, even more so, I’d say I’m interested in Norse mythology, but I’d still visit a ruined world full of scenery that would force you to your seat would make a bigger impression on me than a visit for example. Ice-covered Niflheim, Vanaheim or Alfheim sandy plant.
Both games feature a powerful combat system, full of abilities and challenging big bosses. However, in my opinion, God of War Ragnarok is the leader in this aspect, as these battles are not quite as much in Horizon Forbidden West. Due to the fact that in every mission in HFW we meet new opponents, killing them over time becomes a bit monotonous. GoW focuses on fewer engagements, but is therefore more effective.
Variety of opponents
Despite the fact that the creators of God of War Ragnarok introduced a lot of changes in the behavior of well-known opponents from God of War (2018), Horizon Forbidden West is the leader in terms of the diversity of enemies. Clashing with mumakieem or other huge machines is a unique and unforgettable thing.
Adjust the sound
God of War from 2018 has already shown how much can be done by hiring the right composers. It’s no different in God of War Ragnarok – the songs prepared can evoke anxiety, joy and at other times emphasize a situation in which the whole story is turned upside down. With Horizon Forbidden West there were no such tracks.
Explore the world
Despite the fact that Horizon Forbidden West has a nicer world than God of War Ragnarok, Santa Monica Studio’s adventure is the leader in terms of environmental puzzles or pure exploration. Discovering new locations by opening chests, destroying obstacles or killing wanted monsters is much more fun than in Horizon Forbidden West, where not only are there a lot of discoveries, but they don’t affect the gameplay as in GoW Ragnarok.
The very high quality of the graphics in Horizon Forbidden West also translated into well-refined character models. The face of Varla, Zo, Erenda, and above all Aloy, more precisely, its detail is a master level – just remember the scandal related to her “hair” on her cheeks. In this category, Guerrilla Games left the competition far behind.
Speaking of the level of animation, facial expressions in God of War Ragnarok should be distinguished, which allows you to understand how the main character or his companions feel. Disgust, joy, dissatisfaction, anger … The animation in this Sony title is at a high level, certainly above Horizon Forbidden West, where Aloy took the persistent smiling attitude. In terms of hits, God of War Ragnarok also excels.
to summarise: Despite the fact that Horizon Forbidden West is bravely defending itself against God of War Ragnarok, if GOTY 2022 will win a Sony game, in my opinion it will be the new God of War.
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