Sony's Santa Monica Studio called it an oversight.
A squirrel wearing an eyepatch talks to a bald, muscular, bearded man.

Developers working at Sony's Santa Monica Studio didn't realize that backseating companions would be annoying to players. None is the issue of backseating companions more evident than in Santa Monica's own God of War Ragnarök. Want a moment to look at a puzzle before attempting to solve it? Too bad because here comes Mimir or Atreus with an unsolicited hint.

Earlier this week, MinnMax conducted an interview with God of War Ragnarök's narrative director Matt Sophos and story lead Richard Gaubert. When asked why companions in the game spoil puzzle solutions as quickly and as repeatedly as they do, the two said that they just had no idea that this would be a problem for players.

Sophos says that the team did not get any feedback about the excessive backseating until after Ragnarök was released. At that point, the people annoyed by the backseating were plentiful and loud across social media, gaming news sites, and even on Twitch where at least one God-tier Swedish streamer, Elajjaz, lashed out violently when the backseating got to be a bit too much to handle. Unnecessary disclosure: I am an avid viewer of Elajjaz and have been subscribed to him for 79 months now. I am, of course, joking about him being God-tier at games. He really needs all the backseating he can get.

Both Sophos and Gaubert say that the excessive backseating was an oversight on their part. The two say that the time to first hint was far too aggressive and they should have given more time before that first hint was offered to players. Gaubert even flatly admits that he wasn't able to play the game fully until he got his hands on a retail copy. Once he did, he says that he also started to be bothered by the speed and frequency of hints. Both also say that there wasn't much they could do about it and even cast doubt if Sony Santa Monica could even adjust the frequency of puzzle hints and solutions in a post-launch update.

With how long it's been now since the release of God of War Ragnarök, it's looking less and less likely that these hints will ever be toned down via a patch. So far the only reliable solution is to mute the game once you encounter a puzzle. Many have often cited the in-game accessibility option for "Puzzle Timing" does not reduce or eliminate the speed nor frequency of the NPC backseating. Setting this option to Extended or Extended+ merely slows some puzzle components that are time sensitive (such as how long water spouts stay active, or how fast a platform moves).

The full segment talking about the backseating issue begins at around the 36:22 mark of the above video.

This news goes hand in hand with our latest poll of the month that asks if you like or dislike the constant backseating in games. I swear I didn't even see this interview until after that poll was published.