God of War Ragnarok: In (partial) defense of automatic puzzle hints

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God of War Ragnarok is making headlines these days, as one might expect. The Santa Monica Studio game has just been released and worldwide reviews are overwhelmingly positive. However, it is above all the fact that the game does not have much patience, in a sense, when it comes to solve puzzles.

Like the previous chapter, in God of War Ragnarok there are a series of sections in which it is necessary solve small puzzles, basically related to the use of Kratos’ weapons. We are not talking about particularly complex puzzles on average, but they are never too direct either. You need to notice a number of elements in the environment, understand how to interact with them and do it. This takes more than a few moments, maybe even a minute or two especially in those sections that are a bit more elaborate or require a solution that you haven’t used for a while.

The problem, for many, is that at this stage God of War Ragnarok is far too quick to make a suggestion to his player. The characters along with Kratos will quickly start making suggestions, not always too direct, but relevant enough nonetheless.

Between fights the God of War Ragnarok ax is at the service of the mind and not the arm

Why does this happen? Assuming Santa Monica Studio doesn’t think it’s normal to solve any puzzle in seconds, our guess is that their priority is to don’t block the player. Finding yourself in an area, clearly seeing that there is something to be done and not understanding how can be very frustrating, especially considering that those who buy God of War Ragnarok don’t do it to hit bells with an ax and move cranes, but to fight .

The average God of War Ragnarok player it’s not the user who comments online and answers surveys about how invasive aids are, but it’s the consumer who has seen the trailer in which Kratos cuts a draugr to pieces and can’t wait to do the same. The aids are for that type of user and the others simply stay in the middle.

Let’s take a first-person example: the writer plays ai for fun puzzle games and he has no problem spending 15 minutes in a Portal-like room of the moment, with the controller leaning next to him while he thinks about the solution, perhaps even with the game paused.

In God of War Ragnarok though, after a couple of minutes it turns out easily annoyed in not understanding what to do, because the experience you are looking for is another. The game has to move forward, it has to be fluid and you can’t stand too much in the same spot. Of course, perhaps we would have liked, for example, the possibility of activating the help manually, instead of receiving the explanation from the game, even if only to feel in control.

On the right a player who has not had time to think about the God of War Ragnarok puzzle

On the right a player who has not had time to think about the God of War Ragnarok puzzle

The truth, however, is that i tips are helpful for most people and enhance the experience even when it feels like they spoiled the puzzle phase a bit. Not for everyone, maybe, but for the most part it is. The point, however, is that a game like God of War Ragnarok should really try to please everyone.

The solution is therefore very clear: for situations of this type, there should be some accessibility options very thorough. God of War Ragnarok, among other things, does not design accessibility options and offers various very interesting ones even for those without disabilities. An example is the ability to automatically collect resources out of combat, so you don’t have to press the key every single time: we found it very pleasant.

Having more control over the hints would have been just as nice, but we admit that once we go beyond the puzzle we don’t really care if we solved it ourselves or with a hint from the game; the priorities in God of War Ragnarok are different.

Let’s talk about it is a daily opinion column that offers a starting point for discussion around the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial staff but which is not necessarily representative of the editorial line of Multiplayer.it.

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