God of War Ragnarök’s AI Makes Puzzles Too Easy

God of War Ragnarök is the blockbuster sequel to 2018’s God of War. It’s been nominated for 10 Game of the Year Awards — more than any other title — and is already massively outpacing its predecessor in terms of sales. Its emotional storylines, innovative combat and gorgeous graphics, all set against the dramatic backdrop of Norse mythology, have received high praise from both fans and critics alike.

Despite its brilliant reviews, God of War Ragnarök is not perfect. Fans have highlighted one particularly irritating issue that has also recently crept into several other games. The problem lies with the fact that the AI are overly keen to immediately point players in the right direction when encountering puzzles. This issue is becoming a worrying trend that developers need to be wary of.

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Overly Eager AI Ruins the Fun and Challenge of Puzzles

Most fans enjoy figuring things out themselves, so it’s natural that they’d be unhappy when the solution is frequently spelled out for them by overly eager AI. God of War Ragnarök is not the only culprit, however. It seems Sony’s first-party IPs are the worst offenders as fans also called out another sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, for the same irritating issue. The success of these hugely popular sequels could inspire other games to follow suit, which is a major concern as practically telling players the answer to a puzzle before giving them time to solve it themselves is not enjoyable for anyone.

In Horizon Forbidden West, for example, after standing on a floor switch, Aloy will say “I should look for something to hold this down,” immediately followed by “I bet I can move that crate.” Such hand-holding is unnecessary — there is no point to there being a puzzle if the solution is immediately said out loud.

God of War Ragnarök‘s AI are at least self-aware and almost jokingly point players toward the solution, but this humor doesn’t negate the player’s frustration. Not only does it ruin the satisfaction of solving a problem, but it’s also a little insulting to suggest that the player can’t figure it out for themselves, especially as most puzzles in these games are relatively straightforward and just require a bit of exploration.

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How Players and Game Developers Can Fix This Issue

God of War Ragnarök puzzle assist

Some players have reported that changing God of War Ragnarök‘s in-game accessibility options to Puzzle Timing Extended + can help with this annoying problem, as it potentially slows down the AI suggestions, giving players more time to figure it out themselves. However, this mode is primarily for making the puzzles physically easier to solve — by giving players more time to complete them or making the moving parts slower, for example — so it’s not ideal for fans who want the default experience and challenge, only with less input from the AI.

Of course, accessibility is essential, but there are many ways of making a game’s puzzles more accessible without spoiling the challenge. God of War Ragnarök includes numerous accessibility options to help those who need or want them, so forcing these AI prompts on players is not only annoying but also unnecessary. Going forward, developers need to be wary of how they approach puzzles, as players are already growing tired of being walked through them. A better solution would be to include options that directly address this major concern.

For example, there could be an option to extend how long the characters wait before offering their advice. Alternatively, a button or prompt could initiate a more natural hint system, where players can actively choose to ask the protagonist or their companions for their thoughts. This could resolve the issue seamlessly by putting the control directly in the hands of the player. Some of the highest-rated games of all time, such as Elden Ring and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, have proven that blockbuster games don’t need to be oversimplified with hand-holding, so it’s a shame that otherwise brilliant games, such as God of War Ragnarök and Horizon Forbidden West, are being let down by such a simple issue.

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