25th February 2024 10:54 am
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God of War PC review – You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll change your life

This review contains spoilers for God of War.

By now – given that the game launched in 2018 – you will be well aware that God of War’s rebirth was incredibly well received at launch.

Now, four years later the game has launched on PC and we have completed the game for what is now the third time since the game released.

This review will contain spoilers for God of War, but we will discussing the performance on PC before we tread into the story.

Deity roleplay on a budget

The rig we played God of War on features:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • 16GB DDR4 3200
  • AMD Radeon RX5600 XT
  • NVMe SSD.

At minimum our rig is two years old and at a maximum three thanks to the cascading nature in which we purchase hardware. Truth be told, we were concerned that this port would push our PC to the brink much like Horizon Zero Dawn did at launch.

Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised.

Over the course of our 21 hour playthrough we played the game on Ultra settings with AMD Fidelity FX set to the “Quality” setting. We averaged 63.9 frames per second at 1920 x 1080 resolution over the course of the play through. Our temperatures also never went above 70 degrees Celsius although your mileage will vary depending on your setup.

The good news is that if you turn your graphics settings down or enable Nvidia DLSS or AMD FidelityFX, you’re likely to have a great time with this game.

However, while that figure is impressive for our ageing rig, it wasn’t without dips here and there.

For example, in two major fights we experienced massive frame drops and while exploring the Lake of Nine we often ran into frame drops as low as 20 frames per second.

For the majority of the game however these weren’t a concern and the game ran swimmingly in all other instances. Frankly speaking, our experience was slightly better from a graphical stand point than when we played the game on a PlayStation 4 all those years ago.

Jetpack Interactive and Santa Monica Studios have done a stellar job here and we constantly had to remind ourselves that God of War debuted on a PlayStation three years ago and yet it looks better than many games released in the last two years.

The only thing we would like is a field of view slider. Perhaps we’ll see that in a future update once the bugs have been ironed out.

Spoilers follow, turn back now

Norse mythology is a fascinating subject thanks to how little we know about it. Much of what is known about Norse mythology can be linked back to the Eddas (namely the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda).

The team at Santa Monica Studio have used the mythos but have also re-written much of Norse mythology to create a story here. While it may alienate hardcore mythology fans, we believe that the liberties taken are taken with care and executed well.

This isn’t as egregious as you may think considering the God of War series has, you know, destroyed Olympus in the past. In fact, the liberties this game takes with the mythology are much more subtle than in the past.

Heavyweights from the mythos such as Freyja and Baldr are woven into the story as are Thor and Odin and other figures make appearances in stories or tapestries you discover while exploring. This helps to create a sense of exploration and pushes you to explore every area fully before moving on, just in case you miss an interesting piece of lore.

Santa Monica Studio uses many of the main characters to create a sort of mirror for Kratos and his history. For players who have never met the Ghost of Sparta, this is a great way to show players that not only has Kratos lived this tale before, but that he is actively trying to avoid repeating his mistakes this time around.

Even the way Kratos trains Atreus through the journey stands in stark contrast to his life as a Spartan warrior although at times we wondered whether the boy could benefit from a harsher hand.

When God of War throws exposition at you, it does it well.

It’s an interesting take on the character but it is also clear that Kratos has never learned to cope with his emotions besides rage. Instead we are presented with a broken man who hides his past while trying to be better.

The theme of the lust for revenge is a plot that runs deep throughout this game as it did in past games but with a fresh twist. Kratos is well aware that vengeance doesn’t bring relief but he is constantly surrounded by characters baying for the blood of those who wronged them.

It’s a clever way to throw back to past games painful exposition. There are moments where exposition is piled on but it’s in moments where this is needed.

If this is all sounding too serious, that’s because it is, until you meet the dwarves Brok and Sindri and the smartest man alive Mimir.

Not only does Mimir provide comic relief when it’s needed most but he also provides much needed background about Norse mythology. This works because we know that Kratos and Atreus have lived sheltered lives while in Midgard and don’t seem to know much about their surroundings.

It serves as great way to dive into Norse mythology and the dwarves help fill in the moments before Fey’s death.

So much room for activities

Moving at a casual pace, God of War should take you about 21 hours to complete, if all you care about is the main story. We urge you to take your time with this game however.

Once you unlock the Blades of Chaos, the story accelerates quickly and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of reaching the final pay-off.

At this point in the game the entire map is explorable and completing the side quests, or Favors as they are referred to, will net you some great gear. There are even several secrets to uncover for those chasing a 100 percent completion.

Save the dragons, save the world.

There are also challenges in the realms of Muspelheim and Nifelheim that will unlock the ability to craft new gear but also give you something to brag about. Seriously, we sat down to run two challenges in Muspelheim one day and before we knew it we were two hours into a play session.

There are also Valkyries to free around the map and these are perhaps our favourite challenge in the game. These boss fights will have you sweating and cheering once they’re over.

Buy now, wait for a sale or skip?

Look, we understand that it is January and there is still one month week before payday for many of us.

With that in mind we don’t want to tug on your FOMO and have you making a purchase you shouldn’t but, this game is worth every cent you will spend on it.

We have completed this game three times already and we cannot wait to dive back into New Game+ and complete it again.

The performance is fantastic and the game is the best we’ve ever played. The only problem here is that God of War: Ragnarok won’t launch on PC. We support we can wait a few years though, especially if the port of that game is as great as this.

A Steam code for God of War PC was provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the purposes of this review.

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