With 2018’s God of War moving away from the Greek mythology that it played with in the past three games and further north to the Norse lands, it makes sense that the setting will inevitably take place in the Nine Realms. However, the first game only explored six of the Nine Realms, namely Midgard, Alfheim, Helheim, Jötunheim, Niflheim, and Muspelheim, leaving three notable ones out.
The changes in the sequel, however, as confirmed by game director Eric Williams, is that God of War Ragnarok will explore all of Norse mythology’s Nine Realms, in addition to detailing how Atreus will perform in combat.
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Here’s what Williams had to say about going to the Nine realms (via IGN):
“Going to all the Nine Realms, that was big for me making the old new again. Any realm you’ve been to before, because Fimbulwinter has struck, they’re changed in some way. It doesn’t mean that every realm is effected by snow, by the way. I think that’s a misnomer…Fimbulwinter is an event that changes the realms in different ways. Midgard is the cataclysmic epicenter, so it got permafrost, almost if you will.”
In case players are not aware, the three remaining Realms left to be explored will be Asgard, home of the Aesir gods; Vanaheim, home of Vanir gods; and Svartalfheim, home of the Dwarves. We know what happened when Kratos last visited the home of the gods in God of War 3, and it was not a pretty sight. It will be exciting to see how his journey will play out in these new Realms.
As for Atreus, Williams emphasized that Kratos’ son will play a larger role in the sequel gameplay-wise, as you can read in his quote below.
“The way [he and Kratos] link up, he’s grown up a little bit, so he’s got a lot more follow-ups and setups for Kratos. Creatures then obviously need to have tools to go against that, otherwise you’re going to destroy them. So creatures have new things that you’re going to need to think, ‘Oh, I might need to break them down with Atreus first, or do this with Kratos.”
In another interview (via GamesRadar), Williams talked about how Ragnarok will give us a different perspective from the last game — namely, Atreus’, and how it’s not just a kid watching adults talking.
“Last time, it was one kid with a lot of adults talking. This is like, well, there are some different perspectives. We’re gonna see it from a kid’s perspective in the world, figuring things out that they thought were black and white, or maybe much more gray, and a lot more family dynamics.”
God of War Ragnarok is releasing for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 sometime in 2022.