In most video games it’s just expected that the main character will run around breaking pots and ransacking every locked chest in the never-ending pursuit of more loot. This has been a running joke among gamers for as long as I can remember, and most of the time the people in the game don’t comment on your extremely antisocial behavior. However, in God of War Ragnarök, nearly every character at one point or another has choice comments to share about all the looting Kratos gets up to.
God of War Ragnarök, out now on PS5 and PS4, is a very good game, mixing heavy, satisfying combat with a story that always remains focused on the relationships between its various characters. Sometimes it does this in big, epic moments when characters clash physically or verbally. Other times it’s through smaller, quieter cutscenes. But Ragnarök also loves to sprinkle in some character interactions during gameplay and exploration, and a great example of this occurs whenever Kratos goes off on a side path to grab some loot. Often when you do, other characters with you will react in funny ways. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything below.)
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Early on, while I was exploring part of Midgard with Atreus, I noticed a shiny chest, likely filled with loot, was hiding in an out-of-reach cave. So I ceased moving forward and found a path up onto a cliff that let me swing across and drop down to the previously unreachable loot. As I cracked open the chest, Atreus excitedly asked, “How do you always find stuff like that?” Boy, I’ve played a lot of third-person action-adventure games, that’s how.
Later on, though, other characters don’t react as positively. While exploring a different realm and solving a puzzle that would allow my party to cross large gaps, I noticed a treasure chest off in the distance. So I did what anyone would: I stopped solving the puzzle and scouted around for ages. Eventually I was able to backtrack and solve a different puzzle to gain access to a path that led me to the chest. One member of my party, who will remain nameless to protect you all from nasty spoilers, questioned what I was doing. They even asked if I was lost or okay. Atreus was like, “This is just what my dad does.”
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Further into the mission, I once again got distracted by loot and the same character again expressed mild frustration with my detours. Atreus again spoke up, telling the group that, “My dad really likes loot.” It’s true, I really do! A different character much further into the game straight-up scolds Kratos for his obsession with loot and how he keeps going the wrong way to grab trinkets and bobbles.
But it’s not just Kratos who gets called out. While playing as Atreus, I was invited into a secure place and right in front of me was some loot. I of course had Atreus run over and pick it up. The person guiding me through this invite-only area of the nine realms sarcastically replied, “Yes, take everything that’s not nailed down…” Which honestly, did make me feel a tad embarrassed. I mean, I still looted some later spots and kept everything I found, but I felt a little bad about it. That’s something right?
These interactions between characters are plentiful throughout Ragnarök. Even better, once you beat the game you can keep playing past the credits, and the devs made sure to create a ton of new dialogue and interactions that only happen post-credits. All of this goes a long way toward making me care about these characters and is yet one more thing I loved about God of War Ragnarök. Well, that and all the looting!