God of War Ragnarök will not include a photo mode at launch. In a tweet, developer Santa Monica Studio confirmed that the in-game photo capture mode for the hotly-anticipated action sequel will be introduced as part of a post-release patch. Present-day PlayStation-exclusives — from Spider-Man: Miles Morales to The Last of Us Part I — are notorious for including an extensive photo mode, letting players mess around with several editing tools, and admire and examine details with added flair. But budding virtual photographers will have to wait longer with God of War Ragnarök.

That said, the absence of a photo mode at launch isn’t out of the ordinary for the Santa Monica Studio-helmed GoW reboot series. Even 2018’s God of War received the mode about a month after its launch on PS4, as part of a version 1.20 update, which included some UI tweaks for the game. The photo mode at the time included filters, custom borders, logo watermarks, camera pan, and exposure and focus levels, to name just a few. Hopefully, the upcoming God of War Ragnarök improves upon the feature set to deliver a better photo capture and sharing experience.

Earlier this week, the studio dropped a development-focused video, highlighting combat animations and enemy design in God of War Ragnarök. The 2018 version saw Kratos and young Atreus journeying to the Mountaintops of the Giants, with the latter being quite dependent on your skillset, both in terms of traversal and fight sequences. Amidst Fimbulwinter — a prelude to the titular apocalypse — three years have passed now, with a now teenaged Atreus showing changes in personality and combat styles, serving more as a partner than a liability. “For this game, you will see Atreus moving more independently, on his own, as a companion,” said Grace Pan, gameplay animator, in the dev diary.

“So as Kratos gets more powerful, he’s gonna have access to newer combos and newer abilities that will increase the combat depth of each weapon,” explains Steven Oyarijivbie, combat designer, God of War Ragnarök. The grapple is a new feature, allowing Kratos to wield his Blades of Chaos, and use its sharp tips to latch onto elevated ledges and pull himself up, akin to the Batman: Arkham games. Shield loadout also sees an expansion, catering to both parry and blocking experts.

For instance, the new Dauntless is smaller in size, allowing for last-second parries or deflects that build up the ability to toss enemies and stagger them. Meanwhile, the Stonewall is the more brutish choice — slower in motion and absorbs a ton of damage from incoming monsters. Santa Monica Studio has also mapped a new ability to the triangle button, which was intended to call back the Leviathan Axe, via a tap in the 2018 version. Holding it in God of War Ragnarök activates a signature move assigned to the armament, inflicting heavy damage. This is in addition to pre-fall attacks and decapitations, the latter of which is triggered by building up the stun meter.

God of War: Ragnarök is out November 9 on PS4 and PS5.


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