'God of War' is glorious on PC


Kratos is back, not in a sequel, but on the PC: now able to bring God of War's latest iteration to its fullest potential, assuming you have a PC with enough muscle to match. — Santa Monica Studio/dpa

Kratos has never looked better than he does right now.

"God of War" is a 4-year-old game, one that was released in 2018, way back in the PlayStation 4 era. And boy, was it magical at the time. It pushed the bounds of Sony’s then-ultra-powerful console as it told a story of a different Kratos, an older man and an emotionally distant father to a son, Atreus, a man who seemed to, at times, be leaving his anger behind.

Four years later, that same game finds a new visual ceiling on the PC. "God of War" always ran solidly on PlayStation 4, and the PS5 pushed its visuals to true 4K.

On a high-end PC, things get beefed up even further. Think of an easy 60fps, making Kratos’ movements that much smoother and elegant.

The latest "God of War" thus becomes the definitive way to play through one of the finest and most emotionally charged action games in recent memory. Even four years later, "God of War" stands out not just for its visuals but for its story — and its storytelling.

The early "God of War" games were all about ultra-intense action. But this PS4 title channels something else: Emotional tension.

"God of War" capitalises on what you know about Kratos to show a different side of him. He’s no longer in Greece, now living in Midgard, no longer a ball of rage, even though he still has that in moments. His wife has just died and he’s struggling to be a father to his son, and she’s tasked husband and son with one final mission: Spread her ashes from a mountain.

It’s a more personal story than other God of War games, and it’s told in strong fashion. Previous "God of War" games jumped you right into explosive action; here, the title gets off to a slower start, as Kratos and Atreus mourn the loss of Kratos’ wife.

Kratos’ appetite for violence and aggression, meanwhile, is consistently muted in this game as he tries to be a father to Atreus. In one scene that will remind plenty of sons of the sternness of their fathers, Atreus fails to properly shoot a deer, and Kratos gives him an ultra-swift edict to be better.

Such terrain is harder to negotiate in video games than you may think: Action and violence drive these titles, and often, there’s a dissonance between touching cutscene moment and gameplay killing.

That’s no such issue in "God of War," which forces you to channel more than anger by rebalancing its gameplay to involve more exploration.

It’s here too that you appreciate the power of a high-end PC; Midgard was always a visual feast, but now it’s moreso, with the details of trees and snow that much more noticeable.

It all adds up to the most definitive version of one of the finest adventures the "God of War" has ever taken. If you’re thinking of diving into God of War, this is the best, most elegant way to play it. Opt for the PC version over the PlayStation 4 title — and enjoy a splendid ride. – dpa

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