Santa Monica Studio had one of the most exciting trailers of the September PlayStation 5 Showcase, offering up our most extensive look at God of War: Ragnarok yet. At three minutes and 16 seconds it was a little more than three times as long as Insomniac’s Wolverine teaser. And all of that length was used to detail interesting things about the story and character design which have inspired anticipation, as well as a character reveal that has unwittingly courted controversy.
The trailer opens with Kratos’s son Atreus bringing a deer carcass into a cave while Kratos sharpens arrows, before the two of them discuss Ragnarok, a conversation which turns into narration for much of the rest of the video. The video shows both in-game cinematics and apparent actual gameplay footage, including Kratos using both his axe from the 2018 God of War and the Blades of Chaos he wielded in the PS2/PSP/PS3-era games fighting his way across Greek myth. Plus he fights someone while driving a sled through snow.
The game feels set on dealing with the tension between Kratos trying to change who he used to be while his son leads him on a path back toward war, continuing some themes from the reboot from three years ago. According to the trailer above, Kratos and Atreus are also going to free and ally with Tyr, the long-thought-dead Norse God of War, in their effort to prevent Ragnarok.
The trailer also includes a very enticing limited-shot of the Ryan Hurst-voiced Thor, who Atreus foretold would confront them in the secret ending to the first game. After full images of the character were released, some people took to the internet to complain about Thor having a belly, with all sorts of strange implications and invocations, and some lay scholars of Greek myth getting involved to try to set the record straight on how Thor’s physical presence is more accurate in this game than the MCU depiction is. Regardless, as you can see above, Ryan Hurst’s threatening introduction was pretty fun.
Another interesting character reveal soiled by the worst fans on the internet, with amateur and professional scholars of mythology interceding to defend the work, was one that ended the trailer, after the title screen. Angrboda, the giant that is Loki’s future wife in Norse myth, is depicted here as a dark-skinned woman with wonderfully-textured locks and voiced by Laya De Leon Hayes. People were upset for stupid, racist reasons, as Stacey Henley gets into here. Regardless of their stupidity, this promotion for the finale of God of War’s Norse era is splendid.