incredible tiny details in God of War Ragnarok

10 Incredible, Tiny Details in God of War Ragnarok You Might Have Missed

All the immense details that make God of War Ragnarok such a treat for your eyes!

God of War Ragnarok truly pushes the PS4 to its limits, and provides us a mere glimpse of what’s possible on PlayStation 5. The Nine Realms, sprinkled in all of their wondrous magic are a real treat to explore, not just in terms of their intricate level design that compel you to venture off the beaten path, but visually, too. It’d be remiss of us to only compliment the visual fidelity of the realms, though, as Kratos, Atreus, Mimir and the colorful cast of characters that join them along the way all equally look spectacular, too.

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To really highlight just how far Sony Santa Monica Studios have gone in bringing God of War Ragnarok’s world and characters to life, we’ve put together this list of incredible, tiny details you’d probably miss if you didn’t take the time to really go searching for them. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.

Kratos’ Scratchy Beard

incredible tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

The screenshot above is from the very first cutscene in God of War Ragnarok, and it really goes to showcase just how beautiful and intricately detailed the character models for Kratos and Atreus are.

But it’s the God of War himself that we’re focused on here, and it’s all about that big bushy beard of his. During this cutscene, it’s possible to make out the individual hairs that make up Kratos’ beard, and you can even see the variation in color, with some greys coming through.

But what’s particularly impressive about Kratos’ beard is just how scratchy it looks. That might sound bizarre, but bearded people — or those who just like stroking people’s beards (we’re not here to judge) — will know what I mean. The wiry, wrinkled look of Kratos’ facial hair looks like its dry, weathered, and has that oddly satisfying scratchy feel to it.

The opening cutscene also gives us some other insane details. Just look at his fingernails! You can literally make out the crescents at the bottom of the nail. Very impressive indeed.

The Grain of the Wood of the Leviathan Axe Handle

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

The Leviathan Axe is Kratos’ trusty, frost-imbued weapon, and it certainly looks the part in God of War Ragnarok. Complete with intricate detailing on the lethal metal blade itself, it’s actually the wooden handle or ‘stem’ of the axe that’s so impressive in our eyes.

Look at the very top of the axe, above the blade and you’ll see the rough edge, the graining of the wood, and even little dents and notches in it. Further down the ‘stem’ you can see the grain in the wood, and even some little scratches and scuffs of wear and tear. Is anyone really going to notice if all these tiny marks weren’t there? Probably not, but it goes to show Sony Santa Monica’s dedication to bringing their uncompromised vision for Ragnarok to our screens.

Insects Scuttling on Walls

Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

I’m not going to lie, I was adamant these glowing, colorful bugs had some sort of gameplay use. I mean, look at them, they’re big, colorful and demand your attention. They scuttle around on walls, providing a suitably creepy and dank vibe to caverns and other dark and dingy corners of the Nine Realms.

Alas, despite killing all 10 of the little blighters in the first area I encountered them, they had no use whatsoever. I at least expected health or rage pickups but nope, nothing.

The fact that Santa Monica has even thought about adding these large, detailed critters to the creepy crannies of the Nine Realms just goes to show their dedication to bringing the world of God of War Ragnarok to life. It adds that additional, skin-crawling component to these parts of the world and helps immerse you within the world. These aren’t pristine caves Kratos is exploring. These have been largely untouched by humans, left for nature to takeover, and that’s exactly the feel that these bugs bring to the table.

Floating Particles

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

Unfortunately, this is a detail that’s quite difficult to capture on a screenshot as it’s so tiny and intricate, but it really does add a sense of magic and wonder to the Nine Realms you’ll be exploring. In most places you explore, when the lighting hits just right, you’ll see particles hanging lazily in the air, glowing or shimmering as light refracts off them.

The particles appear to vary depending on where you go. In the jungle-y area of Vanaheim’s southern regions, you’ll see fireflies floating around vegetation. In musty, old caves, you’ll see dust particles floating around.

It’s a really tiny detail, but it’s one that really does help to elevate the world and add a little bit of ambiance to your adventure. There are few games whose environments look quite as polished and lavishly detailed as God of War Ragnarok, and these certainly help add to that.

Animals in the Trees

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

More evident in some realms than others, but it becomes very clear from just observing Kratos’ surroundings that he’s not alone. No, no it’s not enemies baying for Kratos’ blood, but various wildlife screeching in trees, scuttling around, or taking flight from a tree branch as you wander past.

Just look in the screenshot above and you can see some mystical creature chilling in the top right-hand branch. These creatures can be seen scuttling up tree trunks as you approach, while birds take to the skies or perch in trees naturally. It’s just another instance of Sony Santa Monica spending the time to make the realms feel lived in as if they’d continue to live and breathe after Kratos had departed to explore another far stretch of this magical world. In an era where game environments can feel so devoid and lifeless (we’re looking at you, Gotham Knights), it’s a refreshing change to explore worlds that feel so lovingly crafted to be teeming with life.

Atreus’ Tattoos and Their Meanings

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

We’ve already got a whole explainer on Atreus’ tattoos and what they mean, but we think they’re such a neat little ‘Easter Egg’ so to speak that we’d include them.

You see, it’s not just how intricately detailed and clear the tattoos are themselves, but what they actually mean. As noted in our explainer, these tattoos are written in Elder Futhark, or Old Futhark, which is a Scandinavian runic text. Atreus has three of these tattoos, one on his neck — shown in the screenshot above — one on his right arm, and one on the back of his hand.

These roughly translate as ‘steady mind’ or ‘calm mind’ on his neck, ‘fortune to strike’ or ‘lucky shot’ on his right arm, and ‘quick hand’ on the back of his hand. They’re all nods to Atreus’ prowess with the bow, and while you could go the whole game without knowing what they mean, or even noticing them, they’re a really nice, little detail that adds to the Nordic vibe of the duo’s adventure, and of course, Atreus’ background within the Norse setting.

Kratos’ Wrinkly Elbow Skin & Chaos Blade Chain Marks

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

Look, don’t ask us how we even managed to spot this, but we did and it’s awesome! In certain cutscenes, where the camera pans around Kratos, it’s actually possible to make out the wrinkles in the skin on his elbow. He may be the God of War, but he has the same weird elbow skin as you and me! Doesn’t that make you feel better about yourself?

But it’s not just that. If you look a little closer, further down his arm, you can actually make out the imprint of the Chaos Blades’ chain that’s been wrapped around his forearm for so long. It’s a neat little detail, one that really hammers home just how much toil Kratos’ body takes, not just from enemies, but from having to lug all of this equipment around with him!

Snow Disruption

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

Just look at how glorious this snow is! I went wandering around Kratos and Atreus’ hut as soon as I could and pointed the camera down, appreciating how realistically the snow is disrupted by a character moving through it. The two separate trails for each foot, the way chunks of the stuff can be seen, evidently displaced around the sides. The way it piles up, and the way you can almost feel the snow through your screen just by looking at it. It’s rather spectacular.

It’s not just Kratos and Atreus that cause this to happen. Every character or object that interacts with the snow causes this realistic disruption on its surface. Even the way you can see the odd particle sparkling in the light — truly fantastic stuff. Snow in games has just reached a new pinnacle of visual fidelity — we are truly living in the renaissance period of video game visuals, ladies and gentlemen.

Mealtimes at Sindri’s House

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

Kratos and Atreus do a lot of exploring and adventure in God of War Ragnarok. They’ll venture into some realm, slay a ton of baddies and beasties, grab a load of loot, and uncover some revelatory discovery that sends them hurtling to the other side of the Nine Realms.

But just like you and I, Kratos and Atreus need time to decompress. To fuel up for whatever’s lurking around the next corner for them. They also need to return to Sindri’s house to discuss their findings with the duo of master crafters, and Tyr, too.

Rather than have a generic cutscene where all the characters awkwardly stand around in a circle barking things at one another, Sony Santa Monica instead managed to craft these beautifully intimate moments, where the whole gang sits around the table, enjoys a hearty meal, and outlines their next steps.

So what? I hear you ask. So just look at the animations of the characters eating! I offer up in response. Each character looks so natural holding bowls and cutlery, chewing food realistically. Gone are the times of awkward dinnertime animations, long-lived extended cutscenes of characters eating!

These moments of calm are so delicately placed in between hectic moments that they’re a real joy to sit back and witness. It’s as if you’re sitting around the table with your mates, catching up on the bizarre escapade one of you got up to.

But that’s what makes God of War Ragnarok so special, the way the game is shown from a ‘one-cut-camera’ angle for its entirety makes for a super sleek, cinematic experience that really drags you into the experience and demands your attention.

Detailed Finishing Blows

tiny details in God of War Ragnarok
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment via Twinfinite

As you’ll soon come to learn, trying to get a screenshot of Kratos’ finishing blows that really do them justice is actually pretty tricky. The God of War slices and dices his enemies with such swift efficiency that they’re difficult to capture in a still image.

But next time you press in that right analog stick, just take a moment to appreciate all the gory detail that Santa Monica Studios has managed to pack into these. A personal favorite sees Kratos literally tearing a creature in half from its mouth.

Regardless of what finishing move you’re watching, though, you’ll notice a deadly level of precision in all of Kratos’ strikes. There’s no clumsy, tech-fueled misplacement of animations. The hit lands on the point of impact, and the animation plays out accurately. It’s nice to see that Sony Santa Monica was just as intent on packing God of War Ragnarok with plenty of gory details as it was the calm moments of beauty that can be spotted throughout the Nine Realms. I mean, this is a God of War game, after all.

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Chris Jecks
Chris Jecks has been covering the games industry for over eight years. He typically covers new releases, FIFA, Fortnite, any good shooters, and loves nothing more than a good Pro Clubs session with the lads. Chris has a History degree from the University of Central Lancashire. He spends his days eagerly awaiting the release of BioShock 4.