God of War: A Man, His Ax and His Son

After more than 16 years of PlayStation exclusivity (barring a few mobile gaming escapades), the series God of War made a successful entry into the PC scene.

* A copy of this game was provided to us for free a few days before its official release.

Originally released in 2018 on PS4, God of War is the eighth installment in the series of the same name, to which its success has not failed to breathe new life. He was able to modernize the series on all levels to establish itself as a reference among action-adventure games, whether in its mechanics or its sense of spectacle.

And while PS5 owners will soon be able to cut their teeth on its sequel, captioned Ragnarök, God of War lands on PC for some bicep curls.

An idea from Sony to push players to get the sequel…and the console? Likely. But it would be crazy to complain about it, because the offering is superb.

Graphically, God of War benefits from notable improvements on PC, with the addition of two higher quality levels applicable to various variables. Shadows, reflections and small particles, in particular, gain in detail and clarity.

It will be necessary to have a powerful enough graphics card to take full advantage of it, but it nevertheless remains a luxury more than a necessity, God of War being one of the best looking games of 2018. It can hardly be said that it has aged badly yet.

This port does not suffer more from stability problems or other notable technical pitfalls. In short, it was carried out with the necessary seriousness.

The only notable artifact from his console gaming past: God of War is designed for the controller and much less for the keyboard and mouse, which do not allow a very natural grip during combat.

Conversely, it cleverly exploits the configuration of most controllers to deliver exciting and highly responsive combat.

The basics are classic: fast attacks, powerful attacks, special attacks, parries, dodges or even ranged attacks. But the sequences are spectacular and the combinations are well thought out, easy to remember and pleasantly daunting. By using the combos well, we discover one of the best combat systems of its kind.

God of War has a relatively accessible basic level of difficulty. It will offer a challenge to newcomers to the genre while regulars will probably want to step it up. There are, at this level, options for all tastes. Since this is not a punishing game, a difficulty level where death is a threat without being excessively frequent will probably be ideal for most players, regardless of that level.

Single parent in spite of himself

Series God of War needs no introduction, but it doesn’t matter, because having played it is not at all necessary to embark on this new adventure.

It embodies Kratos, a Greek god with a warrior pedigree and a conflicting family history. Tired of beating up relatives and falling in love with a mortal, Kratos exiled himself far from Olympus, in the Scandinavian lands of Midgard, to found a family there, completed by a son named Atreus.

But Greek mythology gives pride of place to tragedies… and Scandinavian mythology too. After a few years, death robs Kratos of his love and fate exposes his secrets, attracting the gaze of the local deities, who quickly turn hostile.

Kratos and Atreus, whose dysfunctional relationship is made up of paternal silences and grunts, are then thrown into an adventure that will lead them to the nine worlds of Scandinavian mythology.

They will meet allies and charismatic enemies there in sometimes grandiose environments, but will also learn to know each other and to communicate with each other. It is this relationship which constitutes, in fact, the real breadcrumb trail of a story pushed forward by their common desire to accomplish the last will of the deceased.

The presence of his son alongside Kratos makes it possible to fill downtime with dialogues and Atreus helps him to solve puzzles as well as during fights without ever becoming a drag.

But above all, the company of this child he used to call “Boy” creates a contrast that enriches the protagonist. We find on the one hand Kratos the warrior god, almost invincible, austere and disciplined, while on the other hand we discover Kratos the father, vulnerable and less in control of his emotions when his son is threatened.

We come to care more about this relationship than their mission or the machinations of the Asgardian gods, even to appreciate the moments when Kratos, fearful or tender, lets slip from between his powerful jaws the name of Atreus.

Add to that a scenario with a worked staging well served by exciting cutscenes and dantesque confrontations in a universe larger than life and it is reasonable to say that the adventure offered by God of War is worthy of its action sequences.

The PS4 flagship game of 2018 might just be one of the best PC games of 2022.

9/10

God of War

Developer : Santa Monica Studio (filiale de Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Editor : PlayStation Studios

Platform : PlayStation 4 and 5, Windows (tested on Windows / Steam)

Game available in French

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