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How God of War Ragnarok’s Hardest Difficulty Compares to Elden Ring and Dark Souls

How hard can it be?
Kratos vs Thro in god of war ragnarok screen grab
Image Via Santa Monica Studios

Let’s be honest for a minute, difficulty can, and will always be subjective. Yes, the gaming culture today is obsessed with how hard can a game be to beat. Many gamers will obsess over gaming difficulty as a way to prove to themselves and their peers that their set of gaming skills is superior. Some just want a harsh challenge and the thrill of brutal challenging combat. Other players really just want to experience the story. Regardless of how difficult you’d like a game, the inevitable debate of “which is harder” will come to light. This year, as soon as both games were announced for release, we all saw it coming, God of War and Elden Ring being compared. So then, how does God of War Ragnarok’s hardest difficulty compare to Elden Ring?

Comparing Difficulties

God of War has always been known for its difficulty settings, however, so has a series of hack-and-slash games that have grown right beside the GoW franchise, The Souls games. Fromsoftware’s newest release Elden Ring has been steeped in controversy about its lack of choice on difficulty. While God of War has done the exact opposite, going as far as offering a whopping 5 difficulties for Ragnarok when the old format for games was usually 3 at most and a secret hidden 4th ultra difficulty when completed the game once.

Related: Is God of War Ragnarok Open World?

How Hard is Ragnarok’s Hardest Difficulty?

What we are looking at though of course is comparing regular Elden Ring and other Souls gameplay to Ragnarok’s hardest gameplay difficulty. “Give me God Of War” difficulty mode is back from its first version in the 2018 God of War game. The mode is very reminiscent of Fromsoftware games in the fact that this is the only difficulty mode where you can’t change to easier modes during gameplay. It warns you if you play this mode, you cant switch ever during gameplay. Additionally, enemies can grow stronger over time if you run away from them instead of killing them.

People praised the difficulty in the 2018 game and it is very much why the comparison to Souls games is felt needed now with Ragnarok’s release.

Comparing to Elden Ring and Souls Games

Elden Ring on the other hand, depending on which Souls game veteran you talk to, is considered easier than most other Souls games. The idea of the much-desiered jump mechanic that eluded Souls games for so long finally coming to Elden Ring made many fans joke they were now unbeatable. The open world of Eldren Ring is also gave many to argue that a difficulty setting wasn’t needed because if one area was too hard you could just run off and grind in another area.

(Related: What’s the Hardest Boss in Elden Ring? )

The tedium of Elde Ring’s difficulty mixed with the open-world aspect is still up for debate. The much more linear structure of other Souls games like Dark Souls III or BloodBourne are probably more comparable to God of War, however.

The Decision is in the Death

Ultimately the deciding factor on which game is more difficult could come down to how you die. In Souls Games, you practically start over and lose the points you needed to help level your character and weapons. You must get back to the point where you died and retrieve them before you die a second time or the whole experience is wasted and you lose those points forever.

Alternatively in God of War, if you die, you just start where the game autosaved for you last. You can die a thousand times and still just start over right at the enemy that killed you. There is also no real punishment for dying in God Of War.

So it’s really going to be up to you what you find more difficult and annoying. Starting over from a simple mistake in a Souls Game, or playing a difficulty so intense you may have to repeat the same enemy a few dozen times again and again in God of War Ragnarok. Either game is going to be immensely challenging and take you hours to play even if you are a veteran hardcore gamer for these types of games.

Regardless of your choice of Game of the Year, you’re sure going to have a hard time not dying whatever poison you choose.

(Related: All God of War: Ragnarok Bosses: Full Boss Order Explained)

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