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Why God of War Ragnarok’s Reused Assets and Animations Is a Good Thing

By Natalie Schmidt

September 16, 2021

God of War Ragnarok reused some assets and animations, but these old God of War animations actually strengthen the game as a whole.

Last week’s 2021 Playstation Showcase premiered the first trailer for PS5 game God of War Ragnarok, bringing back beloved protagonists to continue the 2018 God of War game. While fans were eager to see Kratos and Atreus return, some were disappointed to see that Ragnarok reused some assets and animations.

In the trailer, Kratos pushed a canoe into a river, an animation that a fan had tweeted was a near-direct copy from God of War (2018). Most of the responses to the tweet, however, are negative even though many noted that reusing assets and animations are common within game development, particularly for large triple-A games.

God Of War Ragnarok | PlayStation Showcase 2021 Reveal Trailer

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God Of War Ragnarok | PlayStation Showcase 2021 Reveal Trailer
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Reusing past assets benefits both the developers and the players, helping to better divert attention to more exciting mechanics.

God of War Animations Refocuses Resources

Re-doing basic movements cost valuable time and money, which can ultimately delay a game from its release. However, by transferring common movement animations, the studio can pay more attention to refining the real star animations of the game.

Instead, developers can improve upon the textures of the environment itself, or on the fluidity of the chain whips seen in the trailer. This eventually leads to stronger designs and interactions for the player, and thus a stronger game.

Additionally, the game industry is already largely criticized for its overly fast-paced “crunch” production. This method improves labor practices for developers, loosening their already too-tight deadlines.

The Animations Provide Continuity

From a design standpoint, reused assets also establish a stronger sense of visual continuity. Ragnarok is a massive game that introduces a whole host of new environments, characters, and interactions for players. By keeping some elements the same as previous games, developers can maintain a visual language throughout the franchise.

Given that it’s been three years since the sequel God of War, this also helps players get back into the rhythm of the world. Recognizable features lessen the burden of re-learning visual information. Players can instead focus on the exciting new action in Ragnarok without being slowed down by a learning curve.

Ultimately, familiar assets and animations benefit the game as a whole. It’s a common labor practice that simultaneously takes care of developers and the player experience for stronger gameplay.

God of War Ragnarok is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022 for the PS4 and also the PS5.

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Natalie Schmidt
@bynatalies

Natalie (She/Her) is a writer and game design enthusiast hailing from way-too-sunny Los Angeles. She loves to dissect game narrative and analyze mechanics, but she doesn’t even want to think about how many hours she’s spent playing D&D or The Witcher 3. Aside from triple-A adventures, she’s passionate about RPGs of all kinds and meaningful representation in games

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