Over three years after its initial release, Sony’s critically acclaimed God of War is finally coming to PC on January 14th, 2022. Developed by SIE Santa Monica for PS4, it will be the first ever title in the series to release for PC via Steam. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before buying, whether you’re a new or returning player.
Story and Setting
Decades after the events of God of War 3, the story sees an older Kratos living a secluded life in Midgard during ancient times. Following the passing and cremation of his wife Faye, Kratos and his son Atreus set out to scatter her ashes at the highest peak of the Nine Realms. Things aren’t quite that simple though – before venturing out, Kratos is accosted by a stranger who possesses the same invulnerability and enhanced strength. Also, along with having an uneasy relationship, Atreus has no idea about his father’s past. Thus, does their long and arduous journey begin.
One Shot Presentation
Compared to previous God of War titles, everything here is presented in one shot. This means that the game plays out without any cuts to other camera angles. This keeps the focus on the characters and increases immersion, giving the impression of actually witnessing events as the cast does while naturally transitioning back to gameplay. It’s not something that’s easy to pull off, especially given the length of the game, which makes it all the more noteworthy.
Midgard serves as one’s main hub area of sorts but various other Realms open up over time. As such, while previous titles offered linear stages to explore, this God of War presents a more open approach to its levels. You can venture off of the beaten path and explore different areas, completing different quests and learning more about the world in the process. It’s more evenly paced while presenting some stunning sights.
Exploring and uncovering different things is a big part of the fun in God of War so we won’t spoil all of the different kinds of side content available. However, you can look forward to optional boss fights, puzzles, challenges, hidden areas, and much more. Who knows, you may even find some worthwhile items that will help on the journey.
God of War‘s combat does away with the fixed camera perspectives and jumping of previous titles to offer a more grounded experience. The camera is over-the-shoulder to emphasize this and many new mechanics have been added into the mix. Kratos is armed with the Leviathan Axe initially, which is capable of light and heavy attacks along with being thrown and recalled at will. This opens up the ability to throw the axe at one enemy and pummel another with his bare fists. In the midst of combat, Atreus can also help, firing arrows at the player’s command. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot to learn and master combat-wise.
Along with upgrading weapons and learning new abilities by leveling up, Kratos and Atreus can equip different Armor Sets. Kratos’ sets provide bonuses for his six core stats – Strength, Runic, Defense, Vitality, Luck and Cooldown – along with different skills. Many also possess Enchantment sockets for equipping and activating unique perks. You also have Talismans which also provide unique skills, like slowing down time on Perfect Dodge or unleashing a shockwave that can stun all affected enemies. There are a number of ways to build out both heroes depending on one’s play-style.
In terms of the amount of gameplay, God of War is a pretty hefty journey. According to HowLongToBeat.com, the main story can be completed in 21 hours on average. If you’re doing extra content on the side, then that can become 33 hours or so in total. And for the completionists, it’ll take roughly 52.5 hours for everything. Long story short, there’s a lot to experience with New Game Plus and higher difficulties also available as options.
Ported by Jetpack Interactive
Though the base game was developed by SIE Santa Monica Studio, the PC port of God of War is actually handled by Jetpack Interactive. The Vancouver-based studio’s work is still being overseen by the original developers though so the overall performance and quality should (hopefully) live up to expectations.
True 4K and Unlocked Framerates
God of War is capable of running in 2160p resolution in either 30 FPS or 60 FPS on PS5. And though the former is locked, the latter still performs very well with minimal dropped frames. However, checkerboard rendering is in effect so it’s not quite native 4K. The PC version offers a true 4K experience along with support for unlocked framerates.
In terms of improvements, the PC version features higher resolution shadows and better screen space reflections. Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion and Screen Space Directional Occlusion are also supported. The former generates occlusion maps for indirect light by using screen space pixel information while the latter considers reflected light generated behind an object and direct light. Overall, this should result in the visuals having much more natural lighting and depth.
Nvidia DLSS and Reflex, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution
For those wanting that extra bit of frame rate performance – along with more responsive gameplay overall – Nvidia DLSS and Reflex are both supported. AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution is also apparently supported according to AMD’s official web page, which should allow for adjusting image quality settings to hit a near-native resolution.
21:9 Widescreen Support
If you’ve ever wanted to see more of Midgard while exploring, or have a much wider view during combat, then there’s good news since God of War on PC supports 21:9 ultra widescreen displays. Whether there will be a field of view slider as well still remains to be confirmed but the game should look stunning regardless.
DualShock 4 and DualSense Support
Naturally, both DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers are supported, which is good news for those who have a PS5 (and also for those who don’t). A “wide range” of other gamepads are also supported as per Sony, so an Xbox controller should work here as well. Mouse and keyboard users can also look forward to fully customizable bindings.
In terms of hardware requirements, God of War‘s can be divided into five categories – Minimum, Recommended, High, Performance and Ultra. Minimum requirements for playing at 720p/30 FPS on Low settings include an Intel Core i5-2500k at 3.3 GHz or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 at 3.1 GHz, 8 GB DDR RAM and either an Nvidia GTX 960 or AMD R9 290X with 4 GB VRAM.
The Recommended requirements include a Core i5-6600k at 3.5 GHz or a Ryzen 5 2400 G at 3.6 GHz with 8 GB DDR RAM and either a GTX 1060 6 GB or AMD RX 570 4 GB. This allows for running the game at 1080p/30 FPS with quality akin to the Original release. For 1080p/60 FPS gameplay at Original settings, a Core i7-4770k 3.5 GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz, 8 GB DDR RAM and a GTX 1070 8 GB or AMD RX 5600XT 6 GB are required. For 1440p/60 FPS gameplay at High settings, a Core i7-7700K 4.2 GHz or Ryzen 7 3700X at 3.6 GHz, 16 GB DDR RAM and an RTX 2070 or AMD RX 5700XT with 8 GB VRAM are required.
Finally, running the game at 4K/60 FPS with Ultra settings requires a Core i9-9900K 3.6GHz or Ryzen 9 3950X 3.5GHz, 16 GB DDR RAM and an RTX 3080 10 GB or RX 6800XT 16 GB. In all cases, 70 GB of installation space is needed with an SSD being recommended.
God of War costs $50 on Steam, which is $10 cheaper than its launch price on PS4. It may not seem like much in terms of a discount but considering the amount of content and free updates along with the visual improvements and PC-specific features, it’s a pretty good price to play one of the best games of all time.