God of War for PC was teased for months, from about halfway through 2021 until the developers finally put players out of their misery and confirmed the PC release in January 2022! It is the PC-friendly version of the 2018 Gods of War, which was initially only available on PlayStation. The game allows PC gamers to enjoy the intense Norse God action-adventure game.
The game is the eighth in the whole cross-platform series and takes place against a background that while not really being open world and more a series of linked locations, is still wide and explorable within those locations. You seldom feel constrained despite the linear game progression.
About God of War
The game’s plot plays out against the background of Norse gods in this iteration, rather than the Ancient Greece of the original games, and it is loosely set in Medieval Scandinavia in the realm of Midgard, which is the Norse equivalent of the lands inhabited by the earliest humans when the world was young.
There are two protagonists in the game, one of whom is playable. Kratos – a former Greek God of War and only playable character – is accompanied by his young son, Atreus, who looks to be anywhere between eight years old and twelve or so. The two of them are on an honour quest, to dispose of Faye’s (Atreus’s mother) ashes according to her deathbed wish, to have her remains scattered on the highest peak of the nine realms.
Of course, there would be no story if everything went smoothly, and so, their quest is disrupted by monsters and gods who have other ideas about who should be able to dispose of their earthly remains on the sacred peak. The monsters start off large and scary and steadily get larger and scarier, giving you plenty of scope to improve your skills and then try them out. The combat is wonderful: bloody, brutal and – thanks to the physics engine – satisfying!
Almost equally satisfying and rare in a game better known for skull-shattering crunches and broken bones, is the arc between Kratos and Atreus. When they set off, they are almost strangers to each other, both feeling that the other expects more of them than they give. This arc progresses along with the game, ending with a much closer, more respectful and loving relationship between the two. And all without impacting the joyous blood-shed!
The Nitty Gritty
Take a moment before you play, to customise your PC settings to suit your CPU to get the best possible results. You will think it well worth the time, when you see the beautiful scenery that makes even the quiet parts a wonderful experience. During the action sequences you will be too busy to notice your surroundings unless it offers a handy cave to hide in, or rock to shelter behind while you catch your breath!
Gameplay is equally fluid with either a PlayStation controller (PS4 or PS5 are recommended) or a gaming keyboard and mouse, depending on your set-up and preferences. To celebrate the PC release, Sony gave out some extra content, a number of new skins and even some free armour for you to try on for size.
Do enjoy the game: the original version won multiple (around 190!) Best Game awards, and for good reason. The action is ‘filmed’ in a continuous shot, the focus of which is always Kratos and his son, making it immediately immersive. The filming style isn’t kitschy or artsy though, it all flows seamlessly, leaving you breathless as you closely accompany your hero.
Atreus is AI at its best, interacting almost naturally, but also obediently following instructions and enabling you to double your strike rate and power if you time your actions with his – something that the pros make look easy to do!
Take your time exploring the worlds and learning about the mythology and hidden secrets of the world, or gallop through to finish quickly and then return to cover the bits you missed. There are at least 20 hours or so of content that is not directly related to the game, just waiting to be enjoyed when you explore the beautifully rendered world to its limits.
What Weapons are There?
The game has used the Norse myths to come up with some fabulous weapons for Kratos and Atreus to try out:
- The Leviathan Axe: Kratos’s axe is something like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, in that it returns when summoned. Time your throws neatly, so you can get two enemies for the price of one – one on the way out, and the other on the way back to you. The Leviathan Axe can be powered up, so keep checking for boosters
- AI Archery: Atreus’s bow and arrow is always with him, and comes in handy as he accompanies you on your battles, taking out enemies while you are otherwise occupied
- Hand combat: Kratos’s ‘Rage of the Gods’ mode gives him a super pummel power that takes a simple punch (albeit already a hugely powerful one) into another dimension
- Retractable Shield: Kratos’s gauntlet holds a sneaky secret. The full size shield pops out and staves off arrows, unwary fists, and spears – as long as you deploy it in time, that is!
- Runic Wolf Spirit Attack – Atreus has various runic attacks, that summon help when he needs it. Such as a giant spectral wolf who attacks enemies three times before vanishing once again
- Armor: Everything that Kratos wears can be customised – and all of it makes a difference! Be wary about making his armour too thick as this can slow him down, for example. With every upgrade, you will have to weigh up various stats: defence over agility, for example, so think about each option and choose wisely!
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