With each new entry in the God of War series, it seems more and more evident that no deity can stand in Kratos’ path. From the Greek gods to the Norse ones, the God of War has proved his mythical superiority against all kinds of divine foes. That said, there’s a clear divide between the Kratos that fought against the Greek pantheon and the one who now faces Ragnarok. In the latest entry in Santa Monica Studios’ epic saga, God of War Ragnarok, Kratos seems weaker than he used to be. Not only is the Ghost of Sparta a bit easier to pummel this time around, but it seems like the other gods are having a much easier time standing up to him than their Greek counterparts.
Since the 2018 revival, it’s clear that this is a very different Kratos from the one we remember from games like God of War III. The matter of Kratos’ waning power is not merely a fan theory or some sort of speculation: it’s one of the core aspects of God of War 2018’s plot.
Following the defeat of Zeus and his cohorts, Kratos’ quest for revenge was finally complete, and his desire for battle was gone with it. It was time for the God of War to embark on yet another adventure: trying to live like a “normal” human — not something that one can do that easily after decimating an entire pantheon.
By the time we see Kratos in the series reboot, the man who once fought against gods and monsters on a daily basis was more of a nomad than a warrior. Fatherhood and losing a second wife have also taken a toll on Kratos, limiting his once-legendary strength to a fraction of its potential.
Some minor spoilers ahead for God of War Ragnarok: the story takes place years after the events of the previous game. By then, Kratos has been fighting even less than before, pretty much dedicating his life to Atreus and surviving the Fimbulwinter — the eternal winter that precedes Ragnarok.
The harsh winter and the lack of real motivation for combat might be some of the reasons why this new Kratos feels a bit less powerful than the one from the Greek days — even if he’s still more than capable of beating the daylights out of a god or two.
From a game design perspective, there’s also another pivotal reason why Kratos has to feel weaker in this entry, and that’s because Ragnarok isn’t just another Kratos story — Atreus is much more central to the plot than the God of War this time around.
This is also the first time that players will get to play as Kratos’ son, and the developers had to make sure that the experience felt almost equal. In many aspects, Atreus feels even stronger than Kratos, but that might have been done on purpose to make players feel more at ease in the Atreus sequences.
So, while Kratos has been getting progressively weaker with each new entry, this is only part of the series’ plot progression. It might be about time for Kratos to retire, something that the ending of Ragnarok unequivocally confirms. Still, we might have to wait and see if Atreus becomes the next “God of War.” After all, the Egyptian gods aren’t going to beat themselves.
Tell us, do you think Kratos is weaker in God of War Ragnarok?