God of War: Ragnorok is building on the last game’s combat system, adding elemental attacks tied to the Triangle button, which went relatively underused in the 2018 entry.
Speaking to Game Informer, Ragnarok’s lead combat designer Mihir Sheth explained how the Triangle button has been reimplemented to do far more than just recall Kratos’s Leviathan Axe.
“In the last game, if you pressed Triangle you recalled the axe, but if you already had the axe, nothing happened,” Sheth said. “If you had the Blades of Chaos and you pressed Triangle, you just went back to the axe. We looked at that concept and wondered: ‘What if you could do something a little bit different with that button?'”
Sony Santa Monica therefore introduced a whole new style of attack that’s activated through the Triangle button’s previously unused state. These will be called Weapon Signature Moves and infuse either the Leviathan Ax or Blades of Chaos with elemental damage (ice and fire respectively) known as Frost Awaken and Whiplash.
It’s part of a wider revamp for combat in Ragnarok, which runs along the philosophy of ‘playing with your food’. “Kratos plays with his food,” Sheth said. “We tried to create systems you want to engage with that are fun, very playful, lots of different routes. And when we looked at the fight in the last game, we were like, ‘We can push this further; we can find new toys and ways of playing with enemies and strategies.’ That’s been the guiding principle more than anything else.”
The new ideas at work don’t just focus on Kratos’ expected weaponry. Game Informer also saw two new arm shields – Dauntless and Stonewall – which can offer a damaging bonus move for last-second parrying, or a kinetic blast after absorbing damage respectively.
These attacks will join several other new gameplay additions, as Ragnarok’s trailers have already shown off a variety of new combat options and abilities. Players can discover them all when the game is finally released on November 9, but in the meantime can catch up on lore with a recap of the original God of War or by reading Ragnarok’s plot synopsis.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.