God of War on the PC is every bit as divine as we remember

Posted on January 13, 2022

Leaving a godly impact when it first launched for PS4 back in 2018, God of War has finally made its way to the PC platform. Following a trend of iconic Sony games to be ported to the PC, God of War now boasts enhanced visuals, true 4K resolution, unlocked framerates, new graphical options, ultra-wide monitor support and much more. Whether you’re new to the game or a diehard fan looking for an excuse to revisit Kratos and Atreus’ journey, God of War on PC packs a divine punch.

Overwhelmingly celebrated as an incredible title back when it first released, God of War received huge praise and acclaim from many a gamer and publication, including our own. A chance for non-PlayStation players to jump in and see where this epic started can only be a good thing.

God of War as a game

To the uninitiated, there’s a good reason God of War has stood out as a monumental release for the PS4 generation and revisiting the game 4 years after the fact doesn’t change that whatsoever. It’s a masterful blend of thoughtful storytelling and engaging gameplay that culminates in a very impressive package even for Sony’s already high standards. The ‘third-person action-adventure game with a strong narrative’ may be well-tread ground at this point for Sony first-party games, yet God of War still feels uniquely fresh and vivid. A big part of this can be attributed to the game’s cinematic flow and lack of hard cuts that simply make for an awe-inspiring adventure in motion. Bombastic fight scenes play out with the expertise and elegant locomotion of an action movie with Kratos’ signature fighting prowess allowing the player to feel every inch of the power fantasy.

“…a masterful blend of thoughtful storytelling and engaging gameplay that culminates in a very impressive package even for Sony’s already high standards”

Learning from its predecessors and the advancement of the hack ‘n’ slash genre, God of War distances itself from its button-mashy roots and moves into a more precision and reaction driven experience. With Kratos’ son Atreus providing support with his bow from a distance, combat largely involves dodging enemy attacks, blocking and countering incoming blows, and slicing through your enemies with either heavy or light attacks.

The starring weapon in this title is the Leviathan Axe which Kratos swings with unyielding force. Playing with a controller is definitely recommended, even on PC, with the DualSense controller allowing you to feel the weight of every swing and impact. The game just feels meaty and satisfying to play, with the Leviathan Axe’s frost and returning properties facilitating a more nuanced and varied gameplay experience. Throw your axe at a foe and watch as the enemy freezes in place, allowing you to wail with your fists on a secondary opponent before recalling your axe to continue the carnage. These actions are always met with a satisfying thud that contributes nicely to the power fantasy of controlling the God of War.

The Leviathan axe can also be used in puzzle solving as you explore a limited open world that’s rich with exploration potential. You’ll move through different realms as climb, puzzle, loot, and fight your way through an intelligently designed and varied gameplay experience. However, it’s the marriage of that gameplay with genuinely heartfelt storytelling that really allows God of War to showcase its strengths.

The game deals with loss, identity, paternity, coming-of-age, and many more personal themes whilst taking part in a much grander mythology. You get to experience the depth of the Norse-inspired universe and the godly battles within it whilst witnessing an incredibly human narrative. After the death of Atreus’ mother, the boy and his father go on a journey to fulfil her dying wish of having her ashes spread upon the highest peak of the realms. What follows is a genuinely epic tale where the complicated relationship of our two main characters takes centre stage. Side characters provide comic relief and support, but it’s in this father-son relationship where we get to explore an admittedly difficult companionship unfold between two flawed characters.

The game intelligently leans into its past with warm nostalgia and references whilst pushing not just the franchise but the entire genre forward. God of War truly excels on multiple fronts and it’s why it’s considered a must-play title. It’s also why the hype for the game’s follow-up, God of War Ragnarök, is so strong right now, with the sequel’s release still expected later this year. Perhaps this is the perfect time to check out God of War?


God of War on the PC

So we know the game is good, but how about the PC port? In a few words, God of War on the PC feels expected. This is not a bad thing. When a port works well you mostly don’t notice it at all. I’m happy to report that largely God of War on the PC runs smoothly and the added power behind the hardware helps too. When God of War was updated for the PS5, it jumped from facilitating 30 to 60 frames per second and on the PC it jumps again to an unlocked framerate for an even smoother feel. Likewise, loading screens are appropriately brief, an absolute blessing compared to the original PS4 speeds. Minor graphical improvements can be found too, but honestly, it’s rather minimal. It would be fairly easy to boot up the game side by side without seeing a noticeable difference. Textures and models haven’t been upgraded, so Kratos himself and the world will look largely the same. Where you can notice the difference, at least to my eye, is in the reflections on surfaces, particle effects, and lighting. You can see in the below image how Ultra graphics gave a slight bump in visual fidelity in the aforementioned areas but you’ll have to look rather closely.

DualSense features such as haptic feedback can be utilised on the PC as well with full DualSense controller support available. Once again though, don’t expect anything crazy out of this PS4 game. It wasn’t originally built with those features in mind, and so the work understandably hasn’t been done to make it feel like a fresh PS5 game. The PC I played the game on comes with 16 GB of RAM, an i7 Intel processor, and an RTX 3060 graphics card. With these specs, I found I was able to sustain Ultra graphics maintaining above 60FPS using Ultra Wide resolution for the majority of the experience, with the exception often occurring when I was around the World Tree. It was a slight shame to see those frames noticeably dip in this area, but it was nothing a slight tinker with the graphical settings wasn’t able to fix. As with all PC games, your experience may differ depending on your hardware. But from my perspective, I couldn’t see any major issues with the way this port was optimised.

“The game intelligently leans into its past with warm nostalgia and references whilst pushing not just the franchise but the entire genre forward.”

There’s no new content found in the PC port, which once again feels expected. It does however mean that the PC version of the game is a hard sell for those who’ve already experienced it on either PS4 or PS5. For the cost of an almost full-priced game, the minor visual upgrade doesn’t quite feel like enough to draw you back in. I respect the fact that the game got next to nothing in the way of post-release content, instead ensuring the base game was as fully featured and densely packed as possible. Though with that said, it did take away an opportunity to chuck in some DLC or expansion for PC players to make the port a more compelling purchase.

God of War on PC might be a tough sell for those who’ve already played, but for those who have waited for the PC version or who may not have access to a modern PlayStation console, the game is absolutely worth every cent and then some. It’s an iconic release for good reason, one that feels every bit as incredible as it looks and sounds. Take the journey and find out why God of War won our Game of the Year back in 2018.