One big change deals with the triangle button
So combat and mechanical changes are always on the table for an action sequel, but lead combat designers Mihir Sheth and Denny Yeh had a chance to shed some light on what that actually means for God of War Ragnarok recently. “Playing with your food” is still a staple concept, which stems from an old adage from God of War creators, where Kratos enjoys crushing his opponents and often revels in it. Atreus will also step things up now, and is referred to as a “powerhouse.”
But the biggest alterations clearly deal with Kratos, who will have access to his classic chains [Blades of Chaos] and the relatively recent battle axe [Leviathan Axe]. In what is called a “misleadingly small change” according to Sheth, the God of War combat system will give the triangle button more to do. As they remind us, pressing triangle in the last God of War entry while the axe was already in your hand did nothing (its chief purpose is recalling the axe when thrown); and using it while wielding the chains swapped to the axe. Now, the triangle button has been wholly shifted to “weapon signature moves,” which conjure up elemental attacks.
Fire and ice are talked about out of the gate, with two specific examples, “frost awaken and whiplash,” which have the typical fire and ice properties of immolation and frost. Shields are also touched up, with a parrying mechanic at the forefront and a red glow that showcases the right moment to strike for the Dauntless Shield, and a Stonewall Shield that doesn’t have that same parrying capability (but offers better protection, at the cost of becoming “increasingly unstable” after blocking numerous attacks).
In all, the team really didn’t need to change much. God of War mostly nailed everything already, so some tweaks to the action to “plus things up” in Ragnarok so to speak are ideal.