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Home » A game with flawless polish and performance: Digital Foundry’s God of War Ragnarok Test for PS5

A game with flawless polish and performance: Digital Foundry’s God of War Ragnarok Test for PS5


Digital Foundry released a detailed technical analysis God of War: Ragnarok for console PlayStation 5. Reviewer John Linneman studied the game on the current generation of the Sony console and delivered his verdict.

  • Like the previous installment, God of War: Ragnarok is made in the technique of one continuous take, but now the game features several playable characters. The transition from Kratos to Atreus and back is implemented seamlessly and occurs through cutscenes.
  • Lighting has undergone a significant update, especially with regard to indirect lighting. It is still calculated in advance, but now it conveys the behavior of light much better.
  • Ragnarok has also increased the resolution of pre-baked lighting, greatly minimizing light leakage and further enhanced by the addition of screen-space directional occlusion, which first appeared in the PC version of the 2018 original.
  • The game relies only on exclusively individual assets created for each specific area of ​​the world.

  • The PlayStation 5 version offers improved tessellation that increases the level of detail on the ground, which, combined with more physically accurate materials, results in a much more detailed result. This also applies to snow deformation, which has improved compared to the previous game.
  • Weak point God of War (2018) there were reflections. Many areas relied solely on low-res cubemaps, and the screen-space implementation felt lacking, especially when it came to water rendering. God of War: Ragnarok still doesn’t have true hardware-accelerated ray tracing reflections, but it uses a solution like Mafia: Definitive Editionas well as significantly improved implementation of reflections in screen space, which creates a much better result compared to the previous game.
  • Overall, visually, Ragnarok feels like a natural evolution. As they progress through, players will revisit some of the old locations where the difference can be seen best. The sequel has undoubtedly become prettier, but in terms of technology, everything looks very familiar.
  • The gap between the PS5 and PS4 versions is not as noticeable as it was in the case of Horizon: Forbidden West, however, the crossgene nature of the game has its advantages. God of War: Ragnarok feels polished like no other release this year. There are practically no slowdowns, bugs, visual glitches or any other oddities.
  • The PS5 version has four graphics modes, two of which are tied to the capabilities of the display. On regular 60Hz TVs, only Enhanced Quality Mode and Performance Mode are available, but if the TV supports 120Hz, the game also allows you to enable 40fps Quality Mode and Ultra High Performance Mode.
  • The default performance mode offers 60fps and dynamic resolutions ranging from 1440p to 2160p with an average of 1872p. The quality mode, in turn, works in native 4K resolution at 30 FPS.

  • Using TAA with upsampling allows you to display the image in 4K even with fewer pixels, resulting in a much better picture quality compared to the previous game.
  • Both modes look very close, but if you look closely, you can see a few key differences. Firstly, these are completely different settings for the level of detail. In quality mode, individual elements have higher detail, but the settings are very well done, so it is unlikely that you will be able to feel the difference without a direct comparison. Additional improvements include fur that renders at a higher quality, as well as shadows and lighting.
  • Of these two modes, DF favors the performance mode. The improvements that the quality mode offers are not commensurate with the lower level of performance and overall image quality remains comparable.
  • In this case, the frame rate in both cases is stable and does not sag.
  • For owners of 60 Hz displays, it is recommended to use the performance mode of 60 frames per second. The frame rate is flat and the graphical compromises compared to the quality mode are minimal.
  • Both modes also support the High Frame Rate option for 120Hz displays. With it, in quality mode, the speed of work increases to 40 frames per second, while the resolution changes to dynamic with zoom ranges from 1800p to 2160p, although it is very difficult to notice the difference, and temporal upscaling makes the result much better.


  • There is no difference in graphics overall, as is the case with performance mode, so as long as you have a compatible display, there is no reason not to use HFR.
  • As for the performance mode, at 120 Hz it removes the 60 FPS limit, and the resolution drops to 1440p, which allows you to reach 120 frames per second. In reality, in most scenarios, the frame rate is in the range of 80-90 FPS with a decrease or increase in this bar in some individual cases.

  • If you have a 120Hz monitor or TV with HDMI 2.1 and VRR, the performance mode with HFR seems to be the best choice. If your display does not support VRR, then it is recommended to stay in 60Hz performance mode in order to play without judder.
  • The 40 fps quality mode is less interesting in terms of its results, but there are no problems with it in terms of performance either. Its frame rate stays the same, so this can be a great option for those who prefer visual settings in quality mode, but at the same time want a slight boost in smoothness.
  • Remarkably, this mode works great even on non-VRR displays because the 120Hz refresh rate distribution is even.
  • God of War: Ragnarok is one of the most stable 60fps games on consoles.
  • The main complaint is that the quality mode doesn’t provide as much of a visual jump as we’d like. It feels like there’s still some headroom left that could go into something like ray-traced shadows.
  • Exploiting Opportunities DualSense in the form of tactile feedback and adaptive triggers, it is implemented well and does not distract. It doesn’t change the game drastically, but it definitely gives a better result than the DualShock 4 on the PlayStation 4.
  • Saveloads take about 10 seconds on PS5, which is about 20 seconds faster than on PS5. PS4 Pro.

Conclusion: God of War Ragnarok is a game without a shadow of embarrassment for PlayStation 4which was improved for the PlayStation 5. Thanks to the crossgen release, the developers managed to achieve an extremely high level of performance and polish. In fact, the project feels like the most verified PC port of a modern multi-platform title. There is no generational difference in it, as was the case with the previous part, and all changes are rather a natural evolution of what was achieved before.


Read also: The creators of Until Dawn and The Quarry are working on a new survival horror IP.

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