God of War Ragnarök on PS5 - The Digital Foundry Tech Review

Represent.

Member
As per usual, I will ignore these guys and use my own eyes. I will try out all 4 modes. And stick to either 30fps or 40fps on the C1. The bigger the scree, the more resolution I need/want. They also said SpiderMan: Miles Morales looked better in the performance mode and that was a blatant lie. So going to check this out for myself before I dive too deep into it.
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
No, all the lighting and detail upgrades are applied to all consoles including last gen.

The ps5 only upgrades are in both modes with the quality mode having slightly almost imperceptible upgrades over the performance version.
Tesselation is upgraded on the PS5 and makes for more detailed terrain and snow deformation.

Also better AO, shadows, cube maps, 4K textures, etc.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
A dude on reee said tht even just listening to this thing can give away a huge spoiler (probably depends on how perceptive you are), so unless you are dying for a tech review, avoid this video entirely.

Just an heads up.
Pretty sure I read it in the text review as well. I did a double take because it didnt make sense until it did. Such a weird thing to mention too. It has fuck all to do with graphics and tech discussion. John is losing it.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
Buy is that only in fidelity mode??
Here are all the differences:

The two modes look very, very close. If you look very closely, however, you may spot one of several key differences. Firstly, the two modes feature completely different LOD settings - distant detail exhibits additional detail in the quality mode. The implementation is very smart, however, as you're unlikely to perceive any sort of difference without direct comparisons - it isn't as simple as culling objects from view, the entire scene is carefully adjusted based on the selected setting. Additional adjustments include fur, which is rendered at higher quality, and shadows. Quality mode also features contact hardened shadows which produce a variable width penumbra in shadow-casting scenes. The quality mode also features additional lights in certain scenes and enhanced sky lighting.
But then he says he would pick the 60 fps option anyway.
Between the two, I'd have to give the nod to the 60 frames per second mode. The boost in image quality in the quality mode doesn't make up for the lower level of performance and visual quality is still comparable overall. The only real issue I could raise centres on motion blur - the shutter speed isn't adjusted to match the higher frame-rate options so, the higher you go, the less pronounced the effect becomes. Still, performance in the 60Hz modes is exceptionally solid: the 30 fps quality mode delivers a stable 30 frames per second and it's completely locked, with no visible stutters and the frame-pacing is flawless. The 60fps performance mode? Even in the most stressful scenes I could find, frame-rate never wavered from a full 60fps lock.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Thanks for the summary, don't want spoilers.

I don't have a TV that supports 120hz or VRR yet, so regular performance mode for me I suppose. Don't want to sacrifice 30 frames for a minor increase in quality.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
Man with 4k, 60/120fps we are never going to see games that look anything significantly better than remastered looking ps4/xbox one games.
Never say never but yeah, this is one game where 4k, 60/120fps are being sold as a positive when in fact they are holding back the scope of the game.

At least John mentions this, but imo he's not harsh enough.

And that brings us back to the topic of cross-gen - God of War: Ragnarök is unabashedly a PlayStation 4 game that has received an enhanced release on PS5 and, overall, it does work out, but my feelings are slightly mixed. The benefits of this approach include extremely high levels of performance and polish. I'm fairly certain that a 'from the ground-up PS5 God of War' game would not deliver a completely locked 60fps let alone the 80-90fps you get in high performance mode. In a sense, playing this on PS5 feels like playing any other multi-platform game on a gaming PC. It's the same experience but improved and that is a good thing.

Yet, when examining the overall game structure, I can't help but consider the other possibilities. I wouldn't want to see God of War become an open world game, mind you, but there is a sense that all the little animations, crawl spaces and tight squeezes slow the overall pace down. Could the developers push the world design out further if it had been an exclusive? Maybe, maybe not. When it comes to visuals though, I do feel that Ragnarök is a triumph overall. Yes, the experience is similar between all three consoles but it's still one of the better-looking games of its ilk on the market and does take advantage of PS5. It's not a generational leap over the prior game, mind you, but a natural evolution of what was previously achieved.

I really dont like how these tech reviewers almost feel apologetic about criticizing these games. Umm, thats your job. He also brings up Horizon FW a couple of times to show that GOW feels held back even compared to other cross gen games. So if this game doesnt look next gen, and it doesnt look as good as games that are cross gen then surely you can be a little more critical than that.

I dont expect it from gamespot or IGN, but NX Gamer, DF and other tech critics need to be the one who put graphics and tech above story and gameplay in their reviews. Literally saying that its the same experience as playing a PS4 game on PC and trying to pass it off as a GOOD THING is absolutely ridiculous. It's NOT a good thing lol. So many qualifiers in those two paragraphs. Be a man and do your job. Be critical. Hold these guys accountable. You might lose access to Sony devs but you will gain some respect from your viewers for doing your job.
 

ABnormal

Member
Never say never but yeah, this is one game where 4k, 60/120fps are being sold as a positive when in fact they are holding back the scope of the game.

At least John mentions this, but imo he's not harsh enough.





I really dont like how these tech reviewers almost feel apologetic about criticizing these games. Umm, thats your job. He also brings up Horizon FW a couple of times to show that GOW feels held back even compared to other cross gen games. So if this game doesnt look next gen, and it doesnt look as good as games that are cross gen then surely you can be a little more critical than that.

I dont expect it from gamespot or IGN, but NX Gamer, DF and other tech critics need to be the one who put graphics and tech above story and gameplay in their reviews. Literally saying that its the same experience as playing a PS4 game on PC and trying to pass it off as a GOOD THING is absolutely ridiculous. It's NOT a good thing lol. So many qualifiers in those two paragraphs. Be a man and do your job. Be critical. Hold these guys accountable. You might lose access to Sony devs but you will gain some respect from your viewers for doing your job.
That would be a load of bull, since almost every review poits out that the game has is among the very best graphics on console. Some even stated that it's the most impressive cross gen out there. Some that it's the graphically most impressive game on console right now.
Either way, it's AT LEAST among the best ones, on that regard.
Even without mentioning that on ps5 the game has four times the number of pixels of ps4, even the assets (models, objects, textures) and effects (tesselation, shaders, lighting, post, particles, reflections, etc.) are on their own league, in addition to an incredibli polished image and flawless performance among all modes.
Now the question is: since the game is graphically unmatched bar VERY few ones on console, what sense has to rant about it not being "next gen enough". Then what are the other games? Pure rubbish?
Even from a compressed youtube video at 4k it's possible to see that it's gorgeous. How many other console games do even get close to it? Aside UE5 ones, who will play on another league thanks to the revolutionary efficience of the engine, very few.
 

ABnormal

Member
Do they say anything about audio? Im thinking of getting a new sound bar for this game (and beyond obviously)
There are many mentions about great music score and also about sound design and sound effects (this last thing is rarely pointed out, so they have to be particularly impressive).
 

solidus12

Member
Never say never but yeah, this is one game where 4k, 60/120fps are being sold as a positive when in fact they are holding back the scope of the game.

At least John mentions this, but imo he's not harsh enough.





I really dont like how these tech reviewers almost feel apologetic about criticizing these games. Umm, thats your job. He also brings up Horizon FW a couple of times to show that GOW feels held back even compared to other cross gen games. So if this game doesnt look next gen, and it doesnt look as good as games that are cross gen then surely you can be a little more critical than that.

I dont expect it from gamespot or IGN, but NX Gamer, DF and other tech critics need to be the one who put graphics and tech above story and gameplay in their reviews. Literally saying that its the same experience as playing a PS4 game on PC and trying to pass it off as a GOOD THING is absolutely ridiculous. It's NOT a good thing lol. So many qualifiers in those two paragraphs. Be a man and do your job. Be critical. Hold these guys accountable. You might lose access to Sony devs but you will gain some respect from your viewers for doing your job.

No big complaints about the game being crossgen :messenger_winking_tongue:
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
That would be a load of bull, since almost every review poits out that the game has is among the very best graphics on console. Some even stated that it's the most impressive cross gen out there. Some that it's the graphically most impressive game on console right now.
Either way, it's AT LEAST among the best ones, on that regard.
Even without mentioning that on ps5 the game has four times the number of pixels of ps4, even the assets (models, objects, textures) and effects (tesselation, shaders, lighting, post, particles, reflections, etc.) are on their own league, in addition to an incredibli polished image and flawless performance among all modes.
Now the question is: since the game is graphically unmatched bar VERY few ones on console, what sense has to rant about it not being "next gen enough". Then what are the other games? Pure rubbish?
Even from a compressed youtube video at 4k it's possible to see that it's gorgeous. How many other console games do even get close to it? Aside UE5 ones, who will play on another league thanks to the revolutionary efficience of the engine, very few.
I am not talking about every other reviewer. I even said i excuse gamespot, ign and other critics who typically only concern themselves with the story and gameplay. My concern is with the guy who reviews the graphics, and the guy who admitted that it looks fairly PS4 quality compared to other PS5 exclusives and cross gen games that look better.

Thats why my comments are in this thread and not in the review thread.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian

No big complaints about the game being crossgen :messenger_winking_tongue:
This is exactly my problem with DF. they fawn over these cross gen games like they are the second coming. One of the Forza Horizon 5 videos had Richard absolutely losing it comparing the base xbox one version to the xbox series x version's mud. one had tire tracks in mud, the other did not. you know stuff thats been in video games since motorstorm in 2006. And he literally went HERE IS THE GENERATIONAL DIFFERNCE FOLKS. I didnt know whether to laugh or cry.

John is now having second thoughts which is great to see, but literally two months ago, he had a 50 minute long orgasm while reviewing TLOU1. Did that game have a HZD to HFW leap over TLOU2? No. But he compared it to the PS3 version for 50 minutes acting like it was a true next gen game he wants GOW to be. Maybe GOW is the straw that broke the camel's back but they definitely have a shoddy record about this cross gen stuff.
 
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ABnormal

Member
I am not talking about every other reviewer. I even said i excuse gamespot, ign and other critics who typically only concern themselves with the story and gameplay. My concern is with the guy who reviews the graphics, and the guy who admitted that it looks fairly PS4 quality compared to other PS5 exclusives and cross gen games that look better.

Thats why my comments are in this thread and not in the review thread.
Yes, that was clear. But there's something strange about that and he didn't use those words. The most strange thing is that if you use your own eyes, the ps5 version is clearly on the pinnacle of ps5 graphics. So it would not make sense. He said a vague thing, not supporting it with technical details, so it's hard to understand what he meant. But it's not by any means hard to look at the game with your own eyes. It would be quite absurd to pay more attention to (vague) the vague words of someone than to the actual reality in front of your eys, don't you think?
I'd like to see him elaborate that opinion, because looking at the game and comparing it to the others, it doesn't make much sense.
 
This is exactly my problem with DF. they fawn over these cross gen games like they are the second coming. One of the Forza Horizon 5 videos had Richard absolutely losing it comparing the base xbox one version to the xbox series x version's mud. one had tire trucks in mud, the other did not. you know stuff thats been in video games since motorstorm in 2006. And he literally went HERE IS THE GENERATIONAL DIFFERNCE FOLKS. I didnt know whether to laugh or cry.

John is now having second thoughts which is great to see, but literally two months ago, he had a 50 minute long orgasm while reviewing TLOU1. Did that game have a HZD to HFW leap over TLOU2? No. But he compared it to the PS3 version for 50 minutes acting like it was a true next gen game he wants GOW to be. Maybe GOW is the straw that broke the camel's back but they definitely have a shoddy record about this cross gen stuff.
This is the dichotomy of "tech" isolated in a vacuum and "tech" applied on reality.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
Yes, that was clear. But there's something strange about that and he didn't use those words. The most strange thing is that if you use your own eyes, the ps5 version is clearly on the pinnacle of ps5 graphics. So it would not make sense. He said a vague thing, not supporting it with technical details, so it's hard to understand what he meant. But it's not by any means hard to look at the game with your own eyes. It would be quite absurd to pay more attention to (vague) the vague words of someone than to the actual reality in front of your eys, don't you think?
I'd like to see him elaborate that opinion, because looking at the game and comparing it to the others, it doesn't make much sense.
I have been looking at the game with my own eyes for over a year, contacts in just to be sure, on my 4k OLED while not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and i can safely say this looks like a PS4 game that looks far worse than Demon Souls, Ratchet, Horizon Forbidden West and yes, even The Last of Us Part 1.

You're gonna have to lend me your eyes one day because you're seeing things i simply cant. It's a good looking PS4 game, but falls short in comparison to Sonys own exclusives. Good for you though. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

ABnormal

Member
I like the way they are NOW saying oh its a PS4 game first "total excuse" because lets face it, it doesnt look spectacular.
It doesn't look spectacular? You are either an xbot fanboy trying to catch this desperate chance to try to downplay it, or you are comparing it to some magic games that I don't know.
I'm curious: since by definition something spectacular is much above average and rare, which games do you find graphically spectacular on console?
Reviewers are almost unanimously on agreement about it being graphically stunning and some of the absolute best out now, and you, that have only saw the game in compressed images and (maybe) youtube videos, think that you know better? Don't you find it a little absurd?
 
It doesn't look spectacular? You are either an xbot fanboy trying to catch this desperate chance to try to downplay it, or you are comparing it to some magic games that I don't know.
I'm curious: since by definition something spectacular is much above average and rare, which games do you find graphically spectacular on console?
Reviewers are almost unanimously on agreement about it being graphically stunning and some of the absolute best out now, and you, that have only saw the game in compressed images and (maybe) youtube videos, think that you know better? Don't you find it a little absurd?
It’s a beautiful game but on a technical level it’s clear they could’ve gone beyond 4k textures, tesselation and AO improvements if they built it entirely for ps5 - like imagine if a crew that can do this with a ps4 built from the ground up for ps5, it’d be mind blowing
 
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A dude on reee said tht even just listening to this thing can give away a huge spoiler (probably depends on how perceptive you are), so unless you are dying for a tech review, avoid this video entirely.

Just an heads up.
Uh yeah actually I did notice something from just listening to the audio. Not a huge spoiler, but it is something I did not expect. I have been on complete media blackout for this game though so maybe it was something that was already revealed.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
Yup, Got to push those resolutions boyo! And as DF got this so soon I'm right in saying people like them are the reason we get 4k ipad looking games instead of 1440p more visuals type games.
I think DF is guilting of 4k 4k 4k and PERFECT 60 fps nonsense, but the fault lies primarily on the developers. This was greenlit by SSM and likely Shu Yoshida before Jimbo and Herman even took over. The buck stops with Cory, Shu, Shannon and Shawn Layden who was in charge of SCEA back then. I think Jimbo took over in late 2018 so he couldve forced them to change course, but thats another story.

DF slagging off their favorite Sony and MS devs isnt the cause here though I do agree that a more forceful rebuke of Miles, Halo and Forza might have convinced SSM to perhaps take the HFW route and upgrade the game's visuals a lot more instead of simply upgrading the resolution to 4k and framerate to 60 fps with PC max settings. They did it because its easy to do than completely overhauling the lighting engine and character models like GG did with HFW, not because DF wanted native 4k.
 

ABnormal

Member
I have been looking at the game with my own eyes for over a year, contacts in just to be sure, on my 4k OLED while not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and i can safely say this looks like a PS4 game that looks far worse than Demon Souls, Ratchet, Horizon Forbidden West and yes, even The Last of Us Part 1.

You're gonna have to lend me your eyes one day because you're seeing things i simply cant. It's a good looking PS4 game, but falls short in comparison to Sonys own exclusives. Good for you though. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I see. When I read tipical phrases like "far worse" or "much better", a kind of exaggeration that it's used when there is a sudden need to twist reality trying to hold up an, than it's clear that there's nothing objective here. Just trying to rant for the sake of ranting.
You would have been far more believable if you said that you did find those games a bit better. But no, "far worse".
Many times it's just a color palette which is not photorealistic, to make things seem more or less "great". While on the technical side they have the same quality os shaders, same resolution of texture, effects, etc. Often even the quality of animations is mistakingly perceived as "better visuals", inconsciously.
All those games have different aspects that they do better, as this one (just looking at the last official video about character creation, on the part where they inspect the lizard corpse, or anywhere there is a bright light showing the detail of the dwarfs village, gives a feeling of cg, at times).
 

ABnormal

Member
It’s a beautiful game but on a technical level it’s clear they could’ve gone beyond 4k textures, tesselation and AO improvements if they built it entirely for ps5 - like imagine if a crew that can do this with a ps4 built from the ground up for ps5, it’d be mind blowing
Of course. The games till now have just started to tap into current gen power. We will really see what these hardware can do towards the end of the generation. For now, we are comparing the first current gen games to the last last gen ones. And limited by last gen itself, moreover. Still, saying that looks like the ps4 version is the usual bullshit that every time comes out. Game's structure is the same, but rendering quality is on another level.
Just hope that from 2023 we will have only first party games built around current gen. Very curious about Spiderman 2, for example.
 
Of course. The games till now have just started to tap into current gen power. We will really see what these hardware can do towards the end of the generation. For now, we are comparing the first current gen games to the last last gen ones. And limited by last gen itself, moreover. Still, saying that looks like the ps4 version is the usual bullshit that every time comes out. Game's structure is the same, but rendering quality is on another level.
Just hope that from 2023 we will have only first party games built around current gen. Very curious about Spiderman 2, for example.
Yeah I mean look it looks to me very similar to the ps4 game, I don’t know what’s going on underneath the hood, maybe I’m expecting too much - at a certain point these like zoom ins to tiny details don’t give me the wow factor I expect from next gen - - just annoyed we’re still waiting, it’s been 2 years - ssm is so talented I wanna see their true next gen output. As with Naughty dog and insomniac

Like the jump from uncharted 3 to 4 was insane - I’m waiting for that moment
 
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Rykan

Gold Member
Never say never but yeah, this is one game where 4k, 60/120fps are being sold as a positive when in fact they are holding back the scope of the game.
Umm...No. Those are not holding back the scope of the game. The "scope" of the game is being held back by the fact that it is a cross generation game. High framerate mode is the result of it being cross generation, it's not a goal in itself.
 

SlimySnake

The Contrarian
So HFW is overall still better than this. They did not compare with it ?
Did. Briefly.

Going back and forth between the two games [GOW 2018 and Ragnorak], I walked away with mixed feelings - on one hand, it doesn't necessarily feel like a gigantic leap forward from a pure technology standpoint but the deeper you dive into the world, you'll begin to appreciate the assortment of enhancements included this time around. Ultimately, my feeling is that the gap between PS4 and PS5 is less pronounced than in, say, Horizon Forbidden West - and we'll have follow-up coverage on that on launch day.
 
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