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GOD OF WAR (Ragnarök), Bear McCreary.

Arrangement for cello octet, Manuel Santapau.


God of War Ragnarök is an action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released worldwide on November 9, 2022, for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, marking the first cross-gen release in the God of War series. It is the ninth installment in the series, the ninth chronologically, and the sequel to 2018's God of War. Loosely based on Norse mythology, the game is set in ancient Scandinavia and features series protagonist Kratos and his teenage son Atreus. Concluding the Norse era of the series, the game covers Ragnarök, the eschatological event which is central to Norse mythology and was foretold to happen in the previous game after Kratos killed the Aesir god Baldur. The gameplay is similar to the previous 2018 installment. It features combo-based combat, as well as puzzle and role-playing elements. The gameplay has been revamped from the previous game: in addition to Kratos' main weapons, a magical battle axe and his double-chained blades, he also acquires a magical spear and his shield has become more versatile, with different types of shields that have differing offensive and defensive abilities. His son Atreus, as well as some other characters, provide assistance in combat and can be passively controlled. Additionally, and for the first time in the series, there are some story missions where the player takes full control of Atreus; his gameplay is similar to Kratos, but he uses his magical bow as his weapon. There are also more enemy types and mini-bosses than in the previous game. Originally slated for a 2021 release, the game was delayed in part due to Kratos actor Christopher Judge's health problems in August 2019, and later, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on development. Ragnarök garnered universal acclaim from critics and was praised for its storytelling, characters, visuals, level design, and overall improvements to the gameplay over its predecessor. It won Game of the Year at the Titanium Awards and was a nominee for the same award at The Game Awards 2022, where it won Best Narrative, Best Action/Adventure, and Innovation in Accessibility, among other awards and nominations. The game was a commercial success, selling 5.1 million units in its first week, becoming the fastest-selling first-party game in PlayStation history.

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