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These Are The Games That Inspired God Of War Ragnarok

"God of War Ragnarok" hasn't even been out for a week, but it has already picked up 10 Game Awards nominations – including the coveted game of the year nomination. And it's no wonder, considering most final thoughts on "God of War Ragnarok" are that it's nearly perfect. But the development of this highly-anticipated sequel wasn't exactly smooth sailing (per GQ magazine). When creating a game as intricate as "God of War Ragnarok," developers must find a unique way to combine narrative, combat, and environments to create an overall compelling experience. This can be as daunting a task as it sounds, so developers often find inspiration for these elements via meaningful titles from the past.


Recently, the Game Director for "God of Ragnarok" at Santa Monico Studios, Eric Williams, shared some inspiration that helped define the new title. Williams took over the role from Cory Balrog after 2018's "God of War" and, in doing so, had the opportunity to implement some of his own favorite game mechanics and principles of the past. Williams revealed that five games helped shape "God of War Ragnarok" and also how he approaches game development as a whole.

The Legend of Zelda is among the most influential

Although Eric Williams Told IGN that "the Atari 2600 was the console that made me want to be a game designer," another system had a lasting impact on the future "God of War Ragnarok" Game Director — The Nintendo Entertainment System or NES. And the list of his top five most influential games features titles that will no doubt be familiar to old-school gamers.


Like many gamers growing up in the '80s, "The Legend of Zelda" significantly influenced Williams. He explained that the game "felt so familiar and fantastical all at the same time." Williams also stated that "Castlevania 2" Simons Quest" influenced him, particularly regarding its presentation of monster mythology and in-game secrets.

In terms of combat, Williams told IGN that "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!" gameplay "informed all of my early notions of what a 'good' combat system should be." Additionally, a game that influenced how Williams views upgrade mechanics work was "Baseball Stars." He explained that the title taught him how in-game economies worked.

Lastly, Williams noted that "River City Ransom" helped define how he creates a game's theme. He mentioned that the title strengthened the notion of being a kid by showcasing things like playground gangs and comic books that taught abilities.


While some may never have guessed that gems from the past would play such an instrumental role in high-profile titles today, "God of War Ragnarok" proves that some gaming elements are timeless.