Atreus’ growth in God of War Ragnarok is subtly hinted at that early game players will recognize.
The recent God of War stories have focused a lot on Atreus as if he was the real main character. After the death of his mother Laufey, Atreus was pressured to become a warrior capable of fulfilling his mother’s wish to scatter her ashes on the highest peak of the nine Nordic realms. At the same time, he also had to deal with his half-god, half-giant nature. With the help of his father and friends, Atreus found balance and became a worthy warrior standing by Kratos’ side. Now that he’s at an adult stage in God of War Ragnarok, Atreus is slowly stepping out of his father’s shadow.
No longer the clumsy boy of the previous game, he was now a capable young man who could offer the same strength, abilities, and opinions as Kratos. God of War Ragnarok once again focuses on the father-son conflict between Kratos and Atreus. And while the plot focuses on the larger nuances of their relationship, the gameplay also makes subtle hints about how Atreus has changed over the past few years.
Atreus is no longer a “kid”
The most memorable line from 2018’s God of War is Kratos calling his son “Boy”. Kratos called Atreus so many times that everyone couldn’t help but notice this catchphrase. Whether it was to reprimand or order Atreus, Kratos often used the simple phrase “Child” in place of Atreus’ real name.
But as the years passed and Atreus grew, Kratos finally stopped seeing his son as a child, but more like a man. In addition to Atreus’s age, Kratos has also learned to respect his son and what he says. Kratos barely uses the word “Boy” in God of War Ragnarok anymore and calls Atreus by name.
Atreus no longer depends
Those who’ve played God of War before will remember how Atreus used to jump on Kratos’ back whenever the duo needed to pass something. From climbing craggy cliffs to sliding down chains and ropes, Atreus’ size and stature make him unable to move as efficiently as Kratos. To remedy this, Kratos would do all the hard work while Atreus relaxed and chatted with him on his back.
Over time, Atreus developed a love for rock climbing and was therefore no longer reliant on Kratos when it came to exploration. He can now climb much faster than his father, even sometimes being asked by Kratos to scout ahead. Kratos’ newly added movement methods also don’t slow Atreus. For example, when Kratos used the Blades of Chaos to reach distant cliffs, Atreus would use a string arrow to quickly pull himself towards his father.
A brand new Atreus
While not quite on par with Kratos’ physical strength, Atreus has certainly become stronger. He was able to carry a deer carcass himself and heal his body by focusing his mind on his wound like Kratos could. As the player takes control of Atreus will be able to realize that he can also open chests like Kratos although it seems he needs more strenuous physical activity to do so.
Regarding the fighting abilities of God of War Ragnarok, Atreus has added some new close range attacks to his power. He was able to damage enemies with a series of attacks involving his bow and legs. These eventually unleash stun attacks on opponents making them easy targets for finishing or archery. When he is with his father, Atreus has a higher fighting ability. Atreus is still an expert at ranged, but his new moves make him a more complete fighter than before.
Players will see Atreus’ gameplay changes as a natural progression of the character. While some elements of his old fighting style and movement mechanics still exist, they have been changed just enough to make him a more capable ally. Atreus was no longer a boy, and Atreus was still able to fight enemies by his father’s side for good.
See also: Rare racing game can fill the absence of Midnight Club from Rockstar Games at the moment