God of War has found a new home on PC. The critically acclaimed PlayStation exclusive is now available on Steam and the Epic Games Store. Now on PC, God of War shines thanks to some excellent graphical enhancements, including sharper shadows, more detailed textures, improved atmospherics, and enhanced ambient occlusion.
A welcome inclusion to the PC version of God of War is a defined “Original” graphics settings option to tailor the visuals on par with the original graphics of the 2018 release.
However, complete visual parity with console counterparts is often not the case on PC. Consoles typically make more sacrifices behind the scenes, which PC generally does not have to make. Moreover, Sony Santa Monica has stated that the PC port of God of War is full of PC exclusive goodies and graphical tech. Do any of these improvements enhance the original settings option on PC?
Here we will look at a PC running God of War at the original graphics settings compared to a PS5 running God of War at 4K. God of War on PS5 has not yet received a native PS5 port.
So far, the only PS5 enhancements are an unlocked framerate to 60 fps with checkerboard rendering up to 4K. Visually, the God of War on PS5 is the same as the PS4 version in terms of overall graphical fidelity.
PS4 Original vs PC Original Showdown
One of the most appreciable differences between PS4 and PC is how PC releases God of War from its previous shackles of checkerboard rendering on PlayStation.
Foliage dense areas throughout the game are now more visually crisp thanks to the native rendering options featured on PC.
The grass looks less blurry in motion, and you can make out finer details within environments at longer distances. Along with more defined scenes in visually noisy areas, PS4’s original textures are now able to shine as you can more clearly make out the textures on distant geometry.
Take a close look at Krato’s character model, the multiple clumps of grass, and distant textures in the following comparison.
In my full breakdown of God of War’s PC port, I noted that the ambient occlusion techniques present in the PC version are a marked improvement compared to the PS4 release. Ambient occlusion-based shadows on character models and environments now pop and look less flat than on PS4.
Thanks to the inclusion of GTAO and SSDO ambient occlusion techniques, even when set to the “Original” value, God of War has an improved image over PS4.
In the following image, you can see the PC’s ambient occlusion setting at “Original” surpassing the PlayStation’s visuals, particularly within Kratos’ muscles and arm guards. Note the with better ambient occlusion in background environments as well.
Lastly, God of War on PC has a leg up on the PlayStation versions with better lighting and atmospheric rendering implementation at original settings.
While far more subtle at the original values than ultra settings, light-emitting sources at original settings cast a slightly broader glow than the PS4 version. Its effects on overall image quality are improved as global illumination now creates a slightly brighter and less flat image when at original settings.
Notably, fog and god rays are also more defined when the “atmospherics” setting is set to “Original.”
Looking at the background of this shot, the light-emitting sources in the scene cast slightly more light while the god rays and fog in the back are thicker and more defined. In the foreground, you can see better shadows and ambient occlusion.
Overall, when set to the “Original” graphics value, God of War on PC looks very similar to the PS4 release, with some marked improvements in certain areas.
The PC original settings and PS4 versions are similar in anti-aliasing implementation, texture quality, render distance, and tesselation. Character model quality on both versions is also equal with each other.
Where you’ll find the most significant differences are in native rendering, ambient occlusion, lighting, and atmospherics.
Regardless of your platform of choice, this is a visual treat worthy of your time. God of War is still one of the best-looking games on PlayStation almost three years later, and now on PC, it can go beyond its original look.
For a more in-depth look at God of War on PC, check out our article here at Sirus Gaming.