God of War (PC) Review: PlayStation's Ports Keep Improving

God of War is one of the best PlayStation games of all-time. That's a statement that has become pretty widely accepted by most people since the newest iteration of the long-running franchise first arrived back in 2018. As such, it seemed like only a matter of time until Sony brought its highest-selling first-party PS4 title to PC as part of the company's recent initiative to port games to the non-PlayStation platform. While PlayStation ports to PC have been a bit hit-and-miss up to this point, God of War is the best that we have seen so far and is a must-play for those who still haven't tried the game themselves. 

As a whole, God of War on PC is virtually the exact same as the PS4 title that was released back in 2018. No additional gameplay features, DLC, or other content has been included with this iteration of the title, which means that this is just a direct port and nothing more. Even though this might be a hard sell for fans who have played it, for those that haven't, God of War easily remains one of the best games that I have ever played. In the roughly four years since first releasing, God of War remains an achievement of the gaming medium when it comes to writing, storytelling, performances, and music. Even outside of its presentation and narrative, the game's combat also remains some of the best that the action genre has ever produced. So while it's easy to downplay God of War's arrival on PC as just another version of the title that's now available, it cannot be understated all of these years later just how good this game is on all fronts. 

(Photo: PlayStation)

Likely the biggest selling point of God of War coming to PC, especially for those who have played it in the past, is that it now can perform at a much higher level than ever before. Even though developer Santa Monica Studio released a PS5 optimization patch for God of War last year that allowed it to perform better on the latest PlayStation hardware, this PC version is able to hit frame rates that haven't been possible before. In addition, the graphics can also now be fine-tuned to your liking, meaning that you can choose to customize your own fidelity of textures, shadows, reflections, and other visual aspects. This results in the best possible way to date to play God of War simply when it comes to graphics and performance. 

It's worth noting that in my own experience, though, I wasn't able to comfortably play God of War with max settings turned-on. Although my own PC rig is definitely capable of performing at a fair level, I don't have a GPU that allows me to play at Ultra settings while retaining a high frame rate, so I can't speak to what the game looks like at its peak. Despite this, even when playing at High or Original settings, the game still looks excellent and is able to easily match what was seen in its original form on PS4. 

The PC version of God of War also happens to boast a few additional settings that weren't found in the PS4 iteration. Notably, there's a lot more customization options that allow you to change controls and alter some of the aforementioned graphical settings. Accessibility has also become a growing initiative in the gaming industry over the past few years and Sony has definitely taken that into consideration with many of its previous releases. Despite this, accessibility options in God of War on PC aren't any deeper when compared to the PS4 version, which feels like a bit of an oversight for this release. 

(Photo: PlayStation)

One thing I'm surprised about with God of War on PC is that the mouse and keyboard controls didn't feel awful. Typically, the idea of playing an action game on PC with a mouse and keyboard is something that I would never go for, but the layout here with God of War actually felt relatively comfortable. While I still quickly reverted to playing with a gamepad (using an Xbox controller, to be specific), those mouse and keyboard purists should find that the game feels more than adequate to play in this manner. 

At the end of the day, God of War on PC is, well, God of War on PC. That might sound like a trite way to describe this port, but the fact that I found no major drawbacks or issues with this version of the game is basically all that you can hope for when publishers bring a console game to PC. The end product here shows that PlayStation is becoming much more experienced with this PC porting process, which isn't just a great thing for God of War, but it bodes well for the company's future plans in this space. If you somehow haven't played God of War already, now is the time to rectify that mistake and prepare for the arrival of Ragnarok later in 2022. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

God of War is coming to PC this week on January 14th. A review code for Steam was provided by PlayStation for the purpose of this review.