God of War was great when it came to PS4 in 2018 and, like Kratos himself, it appears to have only gotten better with age. According to the initial reviews, the previous Game of the Year winner is even more stunning on PC, where it’s set to land later this week on January 14.
Sony Santa Monica’s pivot from Greek to Norse mythology breathed new life into the aging PlayStation franchise, and high-end PC hardware is breathing new life into the three-year old former PS4-exclusive. It currently has a 93 on Metacritic, where even critics who are disappointed in the game itself are impressed by the quality of the PC port co-developed by Jetpack Interactive.
GameSpot put together a helpful side-by-side comparison that shows just how ramped up the shadows and contrasts are on the PC version, even compared to God of War running on the PS5. While the game apparently “sings” on top-of-the-line PCs, according to Kinda Funny Games’ Andy Cortez, reviewers also report that it runs quite well even on recommended and minimum required settings. The one big drawback is that the game still isn’t optimized for PC controls, so it might be a skip if you don’t want to play it with a gamepad.
Here’s a quick round-up of what some folks are saying:
When comparing the maxed-out PC version to the PS4 Pro code running on the PS5, the differences can range from subtle to striking. The biggest difference comes from a large boost to shadow resolution and quality, whether in the form of higher-res shadow maps, more objects casting significant shadows, or a fuller, richer pass of ambient occlusion across more surfaces. Volumetric effects like dust clouds, shattering structures, and magical effects also benefit from higher settings on PC.
Rock Paper Shotgun
Like previous marquee Sony port Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a game that already looked lovely on console, and the extra muscle of even a modest PC rig can deliver sizeable boosts to both visual quality and frames-per-second.
With this PC release, Sony has not only brought an excellent game to masses of PC players; it has also given God of War a second life as a visual feast. The original release looked great in 2018 on PlayStation 4, and in 2021 on PlayStation 5. But in 2022, God of War looks downright gorgeous on PC.
The game also natively supports the PS5s DualSense controller, bringing with it impactful force feedback, however, it would have been nice if it took slightly more advantage of the new controller tech. The feeling of your axe soaring through the air and returning to your hand is still unmatched.
Sony’s latest angry dad game is evidence that the PC is the ultimate videogame unifier, and a great reminder of how the platform can bring out the best in games. I’ve killed my way across Midgard at 30 fps on a PS4 and 4K on PS5, but I don’t think I can go back to either after 24 hours of buttery smooth monster chopping at 90+ fps. This is a damn good port, at least on my higher-end PC.
If you already own it on a PS4 or–heck–PS5, it’s probably not worth it shellin’ out that extra cash to buy it at full price. Maybe on a sale. That said, if you haven’t played God of War and don’t own it on PS4 or PS5, it’s definitely worth owning on PC even if you don’t have the latest or greatest specs.
In addition to uncapped framerates, the ability to play in both 4K and 60FPS, and ultrawide support, God of War on PC also supports Nvidia’s deep learning super sampling (DLSS) technology, which is part of why it looks so good. The only thing that hasn’t gotten an unabashed upgrade seems to be Kratos’ beard, which Ars Technica reports the Nvidia DLSS has a hard time upscaling. A minor quibble compared to the issues some recent PS4 ports have had.