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Is God of War Ragnarok Free Roam? A Deep Dive into the Open World Elements and Post-Game Content

The short answer is: yes and no. God of War Ragnarok has open world gameplay elements, but is not a fully contiguous open world like Grand Theft Auto or Elder Scrolls. There are large explorable hub areas connected by more linear story missions. However, you do have freedom to journey off the critical path and explore at your own pace.

As an avid gamer myself, I know an immersive open world is key to keeping players engaged for the long haul. With some single player games, once you finish the main story, there is little incentive to keep playing. Thankfully, God of War Ragnarok does not suffer from this issue. There are ample things to do after the credits roll to satisfy even the most hardcore completionist.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll give you a deep dive into Ragnarok‘s open world elements, post-game content, and overall structure. Consider this your insider‘s look at how free roam friendly the latest God of War installment really is.

Does God of War Ragnarok Have Open World Gameplay?

According to Santa Monica Studio, the developers behind the critically acclaimed franchise reboot, Ragnarok is "open, but not an open world." What does this mean for us gamers in practical terms?

The game locks you into more focused linear story sequences at certain points in the narrative. For example, the opening hours serve as an extended tutorial section to get you acquainted with Kratos‘ axe throwing and shield bashing skills. You‘ll need to complete several of these dedicated story missions before the world opens up into a more free roam friendly format.

However, in between these mandatory story gates are large, immersive hub zones ripe for exploration. Some of the realms you can freely journey through include:

  • Midgard – Contains forested regions and the central hub of Svartalfheim. This acts as the gateway between realms.
  • Svartalfheim – Home of the dwarves, with sprawling mines and tunnels perfect for delving.
  • Vanaheim – A lush wilderness realm with varied biomes including jungle, desert, and coastline areas.

Rather than one huge contiguous open world like Skyrim, God of War Ragnarok opts for a hybrid approach. The scope of the explorable hub areas is extremely impressive while still providing a focused narrative throughline. There are lots of optional activities and side content scattered throughout for those who want to go off script.

As a fellow gamer, I appreciate this balanced design. It prevents the bloat and repetition common in bloated open world games nowadays while still allowing freedom to take adventures at your own pace. You get the cinematic storytelling without sacrificing the ability to go on tangents.

What Is There To Do After Beating The Main Story?

A common question new players have is whether you can keep exploring after the credits roll. I‘m happy to report that Ragnarok does not lock you into the main campaign. You can continue to freely roam the realms and complete side content even after Kratos‘ journey comes to an epic conclusion.

Here are some of the key things you can do to keep playing after finishing the story:

  • Complete any unfinished side quests – Ragnarok features a variety of robust optional adventures. From aiding dwarven brothers stop a mineral theft to helping a soul-trapped king find peace, these optional tales add depth and personality.
  • Open up previously unreachable areas – New abilities unlocked as part of the main story may give you access to areas blocked off before. Go back and explore to find hidden collectibles and loot.
  • Hunt for Odin‘s Ravens – Keep an eye out while exploring for these well-hidden birds that offer in-game bonuses when destroyed. Finding all the collectible ravens takes thorough searching.
  • Challenge optional bosses – Mighty mythic opponents like the Berserker provide intense, rewarding combat encounters for those seeking a challenge beyond the main story.
  • Complete favors for characters – Help familiar faces like Brok and Sindri by taking on monster extermination and resource collection tasks.
  • Max out equipment and goals – Don‘t stop playing until you‘ve fully upgraded all of Kratos‘ gear and closed out any lingering goal trackers. Gotta catch ‘em all!

With massive new realms like Vanaheim, Svartalfheim, and Asgard introduced in Ragnarok, there‘s ample new ground to cover after the credits. Based on my experience, the game does not lack for engaging post-game content to satiate even the most dedicated gamers.

How Long Does It Take To Complete God of War Ragnarok?

The length of Ragnarok‘s campaign varies widely depending on your playstyle and how much optional content you take on. According to the thorough researchers at HowLongToBeat, here are the main story durations players have reported:

Main Story Only25.5 hours
Main Story + Extras52.5 hours
Completionist80.5 hours

So if you stick to just the critical path and ignore side content, you‘re looking at around 25 hours of gameplay. But take the time to explore off the beaten trail and you can almost double your playtime.

By my estimation, there are 30-40 hours of core narrative content, with the rest being optional challenges and collectibles. Compared to the previous God of War, Ragnarok offers a meatier experience while retaining the same level of polish throughout.

As a fellow gamer, I appreciate the breadth of content available. Ragnarok offers outstanding value in terms of sheer gameplay hours. The varied side content keeps the experience feeling fresh rather than repetitive.

How Does Exploration Work in God of War Ragnarok?

A major point of praise for the God of War reboot was how it seamlessly transitioned from cinematic storytelling into open world exploration without any loading. Ragnarok continues that tradition beautifully, with even larger and more immersive environments to get lost in.

The realms contain sprawling hub zones with plenty of room for unguided exploration. Whether paddling across misty lakes or climbing frozen mountain peaks, there is a true sense of embarking on an epic Norse legend. Waypoints and magical gateways make traversing these large spaces fast and fluid.

One fun new mobility feature in Ragnarok is Kratos‘ shield which doubles as a sled for grinding along tracks and ropes. This, combined with Atreus‘ grappling arrows, allows access to previously hard-to-reach places and adds in some delightful platforming challenges.

As a fellow gamer, I can say the world design, while not fully contiguous like say Horizon Forbidden West, still captures that magical sense of freedom and discovery that makes open world exploration so satisfying. God of War Ragnarok strikes a harmonious balance between storytelling and free roaming gameplay.

Who Are The Main Characters in God of War Ragnarok?

A cast of wonderfully written characters joins Kratos and Atreus on their journey through the Norse realms:

  • Kratos – The legendary Spartan warrior and Greek God of War turned father. Older and wiser in his ways, but no less fierce.
  • Atreus – Kratos‘ young son and a key figure of Loki in Norse myth. Struggles with the dual nature of his godhood and mortality.
  • Mimir – The smartest man alive and advisor to the pair. His severed but still quite chatty head provides wisdom and wit.
  • Freya – Former Vanir goddess and now a vengeful mother searching for her son‘s killer (Kratos).
  • Thor – Odinson and God of Thunder. His hammer Mjölnir makes him one of Kratos‘ most dangerous foes yet.
  • Odin – Unstable ruler of Asgard who goes to disturbing lengths to prevent Ragnarök and his foreseen death.

This core cast is supplemented by memorable side characters like the bickering Huldra brothers, the mysterious Angrboda, and more. Ragnarok expands on the strong character writing that made the previous game so impactful. Their personal journeys drive the larger-than-life narrative forward.

My Verdict: Should You Play God of War Ragnarok?

In my opinion as a gaming enthusiast, God of War Ragnarok delivers a masterful culmination to Kratos and Atreus‘ Norse saga. It perfects the franchise formula with visceral combat, jaw-dropping visuals, and intimate character-driven storytelling.

With its strong open world gameplay elements and wealth of meaningful post-game content, Ragnarok offers outstanding value for a single-player focused experience. The hybrid level design strikes a great balance, preventing the boring bloat so common in bloated open world titles nowadays.

After the first game revitalized the series to wide acclaim, this sequel expertly capitalizes on that foundation. While not completely revolutionary, God of War Ragnarok brings a satisfying sense of closure few franchises ever achieve. I highly recommend joining Kratos on this unforgettable father-son journey and witnessing the impactful conclusion.

So in summary: Is God of War Ragnarok free roam friendly? Yes, albeit with some linear story gates. After the credits, can you keep playing? Absolutely. Ragnarok offers one of the most compelling post-game experiences in recent memory. As a fellow gamer, I can‘t recommend this incredible single-player adventure enough.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.