God of War: Ragnarok showcases much-needed diversity and should be applauded, not criticised

With fresh gameplay shown at the PlayStation Showcase, God of War: Ragnarok is showing some much needed diversity.

Of course, some corners of the internet aren’t happy about it.

The game will follow the 2018 PS4 title set in the world of Norse mythology. As the second and final part of the story, Ragnarok is set to include some of the more commonly known gods from mythology like Odin and Freya.

That also includes Thor.

Now, contrary to popular belief, Thor is not a buff and impossibly good looking Avenger. Thor is the god of thunder. He has great strength. He’s quick tempered. He’s almost always portrayed with long red hair and a beard. And he loves a drink.

It’s this depiction of the character that the Sony Santa Monica team are basing their version of Thor on, though likely with a few twists.

And so, when they revealed the character design for Thor following the PlayStation Showcase – with his long red hair and great belly – it shouldn’t have been met by surprise.

Artist Raf Graffeti shared the design on Twitter, but while some responses praised his – let’s be honest – hot dad design, some responses were overly critical.

My boy! pic.twitter.com/5hPocTewBJ

— Raf Grassetti (@rafagrassetti) September 9, 2021

dying at this culture pic.twitter.com/YjS1qqgzbv

— Jack Saint (@lackingsaint) September 10, 2021

These responses are not only unnecessarily fatphobic, they show a disregard for both the original source material and the allowance for the Sony team to reinterpret the character. Marvel has a lot to answer for.

Then there’s Angrboda. She’s one of the last remaining giants, or Jotun, in the world of God of War: Ragnarok and again, her character stems from the original mythology as Loki’s love interest and the mother of monsters.

And here in the game, she’s Black. 

Happy to join the cast of #GodOfWarRagnarok #Angrboda https://t.co/FcsV3ddcIy

— Laya DeLeon Hayes (@layahayes) September 10, 2021

This deserves to be celebrated. Not only is the character beautifully crafted, offers great representation, and has wonderfully realistic hair, why shouldn’t she be Black? This is an interpretation of mythology after all.

My Angrboda is Black and gets her locs twisted like me. Guess I’m a jotunn today. Folks gonna be big mad. pic.twitter.com/ppbnSGj7cG

— Zaire (@Zlanier21) September 9, 2021

Thankfully responses to actress Laya DeLeon Hayes are positive. But there are sadly racist reactions to the character, for example in the replies to artist Jeryce Dianingana’s celebration of the character.

Bless her #GodOfWarRagnarok pic.twitter.com/YsnMzCcZAw

— Jeryce Dianingana | Rocksteady (@JeryceDia) September 9, 2021

In a more positive way, fans of the series have fallen for another very tall character: this time Tyr, the Norse god of war.

Tyr has officially been confirmed as 8’5. Because it’s 2021 and after Lady Dimitrescu and Destiny 2’s Witch Queen, it’s now standard practice to ask these things.

OK for those of you asking, @SonySantaMonica have confirmed Tyr is 8’5. pic.twitter.com/v2aZOj8wiW

— PlayStation UK (@PlayStationUK) September 10, 2021

Still, God of War: Ragnarok should be celebrated for its diverse character designs in what’s shaping up to be another outstanding adventure for Kratos.

But gamers have to complain about something. Remember when they moaned about Aloy’s cheeks? Yeah, right.

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