By Clay Thompson | Intern
When God of War was originally released on PlayStation 4 the gaming world was collectively shocked, as this sequel to the original franchise, which initially ended in 2013, was very different from the brutal hack and slash, action-adventure games of the early 2000s and 2010s. Released as a more subdued, yet equally thrilling action role-playing game, it was a hit in 2018, winning multiple gaming awards and the hearts of die-hard fans as well, but one market was initially left out of the game’s release: PC gamers.
Now the wait has finally ended, as the port for God of War was released for PC on Jan. 14 to its eagerly awaiting PC fans, myself included. I pre-ordered the game on Steam back in 2021, and I was just as excited as anyone else to see how the game fared on computers — I was not disappointed.
In terms of how well the game played on PC, it is one of the best PC ports of a game I have ever played, and I have played many. The controls for movement and combat are incredibly responsive, and the camera movements usually follow the titular character Kratos and his son Atreus on their journey of grief and understanding. I was not aware of this when the game came out, but surprisingly the gameplay and story are masterfully done in one continuous shot, meaning no tedious load screens or breaks from the story, which helps engage players more in the experience of the game. Personally, I found myself putting in around 13 hours of gameplay the night it was released before realizing I needed some rest and finally closing my laptop. The gaming power of PCs actually elevates the engaging experience of the game, as game latency and frame drops were almost nonexistent when I was playing. I could keep a consistent 60 frames per second, not losing a moment of game time.
Aside from the separate PC experience of gameplay, what made God of War truly special was its story and characters, and nothing has changed in that regard on PC. Kratos and his son Atreus’s journey around the nine realms to fulfill their final promise to Kratos’ wife to spread her ashes from the highest peak of the nine realms takes a dangerous turn. Soon, the father and son must learn to survive, adapt and better understand each other to make the journey together in a world full of gods and monsters who want them dead.
Unlike the previous God of War games, which were more straightforward, rage-filled hack and slash games, this iteration of God of War chooses to take a step back, with the father-and-son duo facing moments of challenges, arguments and bonding experiences that help them to better understand how the other operates and how to each grieve the loss of the one person they thought they cared about. The mixture of combat and character development is what arguably sets God of War apart from other action games, and the new PC port helps to remind gamers of the 2018 masterpiece with much faster frame rates, better graphics and perfect controls.