HOW GOD OF WAR WORKS ON AVERAGE PC
Testing a new product on the most powerful PC is boring, and in the era of a shortage of video cards, this looks like a mockery, because not everyone can afford top-end hardware. So I played God of War on a medium PC that could easily handle other Sony ports and Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, at maximum graphics settings. On a GTX 1650, a 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-10400H, and 16GB of RAM, the game runs even better than the reference Days Gone PC version in places, although the God of War port does have a couple of issues.
On PC at home
The first thing that catches your eye in the PC version is the detailed screen settings. After the not-so-successful port of Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s especially nice to see a frame rate cap slider that can be set from 30 to 120, and the ability to simply remove the cap. On PC, God of War also features two upscaling technologies – NVIDIA’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR – and a fixed scaling option. Widescreen resolutions are also supported in the port.
But in terms of richness of graphics settings, God of War is much inferior to other Sony ports – Only basic parameters are available here, such as the quality of shadows and textures.
I played the first half of the game at medium graphics settings without upscaling, and God of War gave out a stable 45-55 FPS. And with FSR in maximum quality mode – 50-60 FPS at high settings with a limit of 60 frames per second. In Days Gone and Death Stranding, the frame rate without upscaling was more stable and higher, but they also looked simpler. At the same time, the processor in God of War is usually more heavily loaded than in other ports.
How God of War works on the average PC
In cut scenes, the reduced resolution of the original image is difficult to notice, as well as in battle.
The God of War port works best in Svartalfheim – and this is with constant battles with several opponents and high-detailed environments. FPS does not drop below 55 there, neither in fights, nor during puzzles with a lot of effects. In the PC version, the developers have also improved the reflections in the screen space, and in the world of dark elves this is very noticeable.
Another important aspect of the port is keyboard and mouse control. God of War has no problems with it – all the functions are logically arranged, as if the game was originally made for computers. There were no strange decisions in the spirit of Final Fantasy VII Remake, where the menu opens on M, and the map on N. The PC version also recognizes gamepads, including DualSense and Xbox controllers.
In addition, God of War supports NVIDIA Reflex technology, which makes the controls a little more responsive.
The frame rate during the battle does not drop even with a large concentration of opponents.
Optimization and bugs
Although the port was stable most of the time, there were a few mishaps during the passage. For example, God of War reacts unpredictably to minimization – Alt + Tab from the skill leveling menu ended twice with a blue screen of death and a PC restart.
How God of War works on the average PC
After changing the graphics settings, it sometimes takes time for the textures to load, but it only takes a couple of seconds. But when moving on a boat, some surfaces look like this all the time.
In terms of performance and optimization, God of War is frustrating with frame drops in cutscenes and when using NVIDIA ShadowPlay. And the most unpleasant place in the PC version was Brock’s forge – there FPS sometimes dropped below 35 even with upscaling turned on. Frame rate drops also occur when transferring crystals.
After the console versions, it is unusual to see very long level loading while moving in the branches of the World Tree. At the same time, starting the game itself from the SSD from the menu takes 5-7 seconds versus 15-20 in the PS5 version.
With the exception of a couple of shortcomings like death screens, which will probably be fixed at release, the PC version of God of War turned out to be a decent port, close in quality to Days Gone. The graphics settings here are not as flexible, but you can increase the FPS using resolution scaling. FSR upscaling works especially well, which, unlike DLSS, does not require RTX-series graphics cards. At the same time, the frame rate on non-top-end hardware and high settings rarely reaches the one set in the options, but the picture in God of War is much more advanced than in previous ports. The closest thing to it is perhaps Horizon: Zero Dawn, the port of which is inferior in all respects to the adventures of Kratos and Atreus on the PC.