When you hear names like "God of War" and "Leviathan Axe" come out of someone's mouth, you would be forgiven in assuming that the person being discussed is an unstoppable force of nature. Kratos can be, in the right hands. But he's not invincible, and he can easily be taken down by all manner of creatures if you're not careful.
The PS4 game God of War rewards those who work hard and play smart. And of the many realms that Kratos can visit, Muspelheim is the most challenging. It will test the mettle of seasoned gamers. You have to be ready for anything. With that in mind, here are some tips to transform you from mindless button mashing to mindful strategist.
10 Defensive Measures
Kratos can mete out an enormous amount of damage, but he can't withstand a barrage of attacks unscathed. While there are ways to augment his defense with armor and upgrades, the real tactic lies in evasion. You want to lash out and strike your enemies, but you want to avoid succumbing to the same attacks.
That's where parries and dodges come into play. They're the bread and butter of Kratos's evasion, and you need to skillfully understand when to employ them during battle. Muspelheim increasingly heightens the difficulty of encounters. Make sure you know the basics.
9 Runic Attacks
Playing through the game will introduce the special runic power of your weaponry. There are light runic attacks and heavy runic attacks, for both the Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos. Also, the Talon Bow used by Atreus can use runic summons.
The key, however, is determining which runic attacks to use in a particular fight. Muspelheim will throw everything from Draugr to Valkyrie at Kratos, and relying on one combination of Light Runic and Heavy Runic attacks will not suffice. Recognize what opponents you'll be facing and customize your runic attacks accordingly.
8 Upgraded Equipment
Quests and treasure throughout the game will provide you with the items necessary to enhance the weapons, armor, and items that Kratos uses in battle. Do not underestimate the value of a fully-upgraded, well-balanced arsenal.
The best armor comes equipped with enchantment sockets and can be modified to higher levels. The right enchantments set in the right armor alongside the right weapon can give Kratos an incredible advantage. Niflheim grants access to some great gear, but there's plenty to be found around the realms.
7 Using Atreus
NPC allies are nothing new to games, but God of War did a phenomenal job in making Atreus a viable part of your gameplay. He's far from the useless dreck that you must endure in other adventures. Atreus can launch ranged attacks with his bow and summon runic powers to assist his father.
He can even grapple or interfere with enemies as they press in close to engage Kratos. A poorly skilled fighter might let Atreus do his thing without coordinating attacks, but the prepared scrapper will learn how to leverage the abilities Atreus brings to the fight.
6 Spartan Rage
Possibly one of the most satisfying fight mechanics to exist. When Kratos has accumulated enough rage, he can enter into the terrifying state and bludgeon foes to death. Forgoing the Leviathan Axe or the Blades of Chaos, Kratos will launch at enemies and hammer them with his fists.
For Muspelheim, though, the trick is not in using Spartan Rage. That's easy enough. You must learn when to use it. You never want to exhaust that potential on low-tier enemies unless it's necessary. And if you're facing a time trial, using it at the right moment could help finish the fight with speed.
5 Training Across The Realms
Every trial you face in Muspelheim possesses a similar environment or group of enemies as other fights out in the other realms. Which means if you're unaccustomed to the fight, Kratos will be able to find comparable enemies elsewhere. Go practice.
The more you practice, the better you'll become. Muspelheim contains some of the toughest fights in the game, but other quests and encounters can be just as difficult. Harder adversaries will force you to rise to the challenge. Go take on the Queen of the Valkyries, and you'll come back brimming with confidence.
4 Study The Enemy Attacks
Like every good fighting game, the enemies in God of War are tough. That's half the fun. But they also telegraph their moves. The onslaught doesn't bear down on Kratos willy-nilly. Each enemy has a certain set of moves, and these moves can be identified by a quick eye. They can be dodged with even quicker fingers.
Muspelheim presents a number of challenges before you. After you beat them, it resets them and raises the difficulty. So eventually, luck and brute force are not enough. You need the awareness to see attacks incoming, and you need the understanding to implement counter-attacks and parries.
Players can navigate the skill trees specific to Kratos and Atreus and find a playstyle that works for them. The best players, though, study the moves they've purchased or upgraded. That way, you can discover the most effective ways to chain your attacks.
Combos are important because they layer strike after strike in a way that both protects Kratos from retaliation and builds his meter for Spartan Rage. Whether you're transitioning from a weapon to unarmed combat or finishing up a flurry of blows with a runic attack, the order in which you attack can greatly affect the course of the battle.
2 Use The Environment
Muspelheim is a volcanic realm with not a lot going for it. And the trials take place on the way to the summit of the mountain Kratos hikes up. That environment is daunting, but it's equally treacherous for the enemies that you face. Use whatever you have at your disposal to win. Slam enemies up against walls to stun them and induce Spartan Rage.
Lure them to the edge of a cliff before kicking them off. Your weapons and powers are something to behold. Just don't forget that you can be wily and cunning as well. Why whittle down an opponent's health when you can just Spartan-kick them off the mountain?
1 Take A Break
The trials on Muspelheim reset if you fail them. That's a good thing because the odds of you running the gauntlet without messing up are slim. It also sets up the possibility of a player trying, again and again, to overcome an obstacle and failing.
To prevent a controller flying across the room to break against the wall (or a stream of profanity flowing out into the aether), consider taking a break. Go finish that side quest that you keeping putting off or stop playing altogether and relax for a bit. Come back when you're fresh and try again. It will probably help you escape the rut in which you've been stuck.