God Of War: Ragnarok is incoming for the PlayStation 5… but you can’t play it yet. You can however whet your appetite for mythically soaked superviolence with other games in the series.
There’s a bit of a tradition of having “one last thing” at product launches – you can blame Apple, even though it’s a tactic it largely abandoned more than a decade ago – and for today’s PlayStation 5 Event, that one last thing was the reveal trailer for God of War: Ragnarok.
It was brief, it was shiny, and it didn’t really say much about the next game in Sony’s long-running series.
Sure, “the time draws near” according to the trailer narration, and “you must prepare yourself”, but this is for a game that won’t see actual light of day until some unspecified time in 2021.
Other games in Sony’s showcase at least had quarterly dates attached to them, but as far as we know, God Of War: Ragnarok could drop on the 1st of January 2020 – or the 31st of December.
If I was a betting man, I’d be sliding my money towards the latter end of the year, in that traditional October-December glut period rather than earlier in the year, but only the presumably-already-crunching code slaves in Sony’s Santa Monica Studios know for sure.
None of this does you any good at all if what you want is some hacky-slashy-bending-mythology-in-weird-ways-action right now, but then it’s not as though God of War is an entirely new game franchise.
There’s a grand total of ten games in the God Of War franchise including God Of War Ragnarok, and depending on how far you’re prepared to go, you could fill your days with mass slaughtering of mythical beasts from now until whenever Ragnarok finally drops.
God of War Ragnarok, that is – if the actual Norse myth eventuates we’ll all be a bit busy with that whole end of the world thing to worry about PlayStation 5 games, I suspect.
The easy approach: God Of War (2018)
The single easiest way to get your God of War fix on would be to pick up a copy of 2018’s PS4-exclusive God Of War, a highly story-driven game that plays strongly with the dynamics of father-son relationships. You can read Kotaku’s review of God of War here and if you’re stuck, we’ve got tips for playing here.
God of War (2018) is now part of the PlayStation Hits collection, which means you can pick it up for as little as $22.95 from Amazon.
It’s also going to be part of the PlayStation Plus Collection for PS5 when that launches as well.
Step back in time: God Of War 3 Remastered
The prior game in the main God of War series actually came out in 2010, which meant it was originally a PlayStation 3 title. However it saw a remaster in 2015 for the PS4, and won plaudits from Kotaku Australia for being very, very pretty.
It’s also part of the PlayStation Hits line, which means you can grab it quite cheaply; at the time of writing Amazon has it for just $19.95.
What about the older games?
Kratos has history, man, but it’s not always easy to delve back into that history.
Well, at least not until Sony announces the God Of War All Stars Collection (*name subject to change), hoovering up his earlier entries on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP into one easy to play compilation.
Not that I’m suggesting what Sony should do in any way, of course, except that this is TOTALLY what Sony should do.
Lacking such a mythical compilation, if you want a fix of the older God of War games, you’re going to have to dust off an older Sony machine in order to play them.
Some titles, such as the PS3 God of War Origins Collection can be had on disc.
At this stage you might be better off picking up the Playstation Store versions of the PS3-playable versions of games such as God of War: Ascension and the HD PS3 remasters of God of War and God of War II via digital download.
All of this does presume of course that you haven’t kept your PS3, PS2, PSP or PS Vita — which saw its own remaster collection — up and running, because if you have and if you did, you’re pretty much good to go to slip into Kratos’ sandals and get to hacking and slashing.
If you were insanely keen, you could try to resurrect the mobile-only 2D God of War: Betrayal, although by all accounts there’s almost no reason to bother beyond sheer masochism.
So I’ll leave this with a rather open question: If you were starting somebody off on the God of War series today, which of the games (or which of the versions) would you introduce them with, and why?