The year has just begun, and already PC gamers are being treated with the release of another former PlayStation exclusive videogame! After Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War has found its way over to PC. The PC version promises better image quality and support for ultrawide and high refresh rate displays. However, does this port make good on its promises? Or is this another cash-grab?
The original version of God of War got released in 2018 for PlayStation 4 and received critical acclaim. The media praised how the franchise reinvented itself by placing the protagonist in a new environment and incorporating new camera techniques. Additionally, the videogame featured stunning graphics and a complex, layered narrative.
God of War was one of my personal favorites back in 2018. I’ve always been a big fan of story-driven videogames and God of War fully delivers. Its plot focussed on Kratos and his son, Atreus, their bond, and their travels towards the highest mountain peak in the realm. Once arrived, Atreus has to scatter the ashes of his late mother, Kratos’s wife. Later this year, Atreus and Kratos’s story will continue in God of War Ragnarok. The timing of this release gives PC players a chance to experience everything that has happened so far before the sequel arrives. Graphical improvements aside, God of War on PC is identical to the version released on the PS4. No additional or cut content was added to this version.
God of War already featured steller graphics on the PlayStation 4. Character models and environments were heavily detailed and featured complex lighting and animation. However, the game got capped at 30 frames per second. A patch for the PlayStation 5 upped this towards a stable 60 frames per second, but the PC version supports even higher refresh rates. On paper, that doesn’t sound like a big deal. However, let’s not forget that God of War features no camera cuts or loading screens, resulting in the illusion everything got shot in one take. The support for higher refresh rates makes sure the experience feels even smoother. That said, you still need the hardware to support such frame rates, of course.
God of War seems to run just fine on mid-end hardware specs. Ironically, the game even calls the graphical option in this scenario ‘original’ aiming to deliver an experience more akin to the PlayStation 4. However, the PC version shines when you can push the settings further. That, of course, will also depend on your system specifications. To enable all bells and whistles at 4K, you’ll need one of the latest (and more expensive) Nvidia or AMD powerhouses. However, at 1080p my RTX 2080Ti delivered just fine. Yet, it hurts to see that card no longer performing at the top. If you can enable Nvidia’s DLSS, you should. It immensely increased performance across the board. When comparing the graphical fidelity between modes, it’s easy to see a difference in texture and shadow detail. However, with a game already looking so superb by default, it quickly comes down to how much more polish you want to put on an already shiny car. But I can understand the gist for PC Gamers.
It will not surprise you the game will work perfectly with a DualSense controller. But controlling the game with mouse and keyboard also worked just fine. Though I’m not a pc gamer by default, the controller quickly gained my favor. However, the game does not utilize any of the new features of the DualSense controller, which felt a bit like missed potential. The mouse and keyboard will be the choice of many PC players anyway. With all tribute paid to the PC platform (by including so many improvements specifically for the platform), that’s easily forgiven.
Although you could consider this a review of the PC version, I chose not to score this release. I did not write a review of the PlayStation 4 version, and with this article, I wanted to shine a light on the PC improvements, not necessarily the game itself. God of War is still a masterpiece. If you’re reading this, chances are high you already know that, but you’re wondering if these improvements make it worthwhile to experience the game (again) on PC. For that question, I have one conclusive answer. Yes, they are. God of War on PC is now the best platform to experience this story. That sentence is perhaps a bit odd to say about a title designed for PlayStation. Even though you will need (pricey) hardware to enable these features, the game will deliver on its promises.