God of War Ragnarok PS4 1
Image: Push Square

What's God of War Ragnarok like on PS4? Sony revived God of War on PS4 with the excellent 2018 release, and now, the sequel is about to become one of the last first-party titles on the last-gen console. God of War Ragnarok is one of several cross-gen releases from the platform holder, tapping into the hundreds of millions of black boxes across the globe while also taking advantage of the PS5's extra grunt. It means that, whether you've acquired the newer hardware or not, you get to play Santa Monica Studio's brilliant follow-up — but how does it shape up on PS4? As part of our God of War Ragnarok guide, we're here to tell you.

We've been playing a few hours of the early stages of Ragnarok on PS4 — our trusty, non-Pro console we've had since day one — and the important thing is that it handles the game perfectly fine. If you haven't upgraded to a PS5 yet, you needn't worry; while there are inevitably one or two compromises, the PS4 version is still a real looker, and runs with no trouble at all.

After spending dozens of hours getting accustomed to the game's performance mode on PS5, it is a little jarring to suddenly be playing at half the frame rate. The standard PS4 runs Ragnarok at 1080p and a targeted 30 frames-per-second, which is a far cry from the silky smooth 60fps we've been enjoying. However, once you're playing and in the thick of the action, you forget about the performance — from our experience, it's able to maintain 30fps just fine, and it's more than playable.

Visually, the game definitely isn't as crisp as it is on PS5, but that's not to say it looks bad — far from it. With such wonderful art direction, animation, and character models, the graphical hit is surprisingly minimal. It's a pretty amazing achievement to have the game looking as good as it does on what is now nine-year-old hardware.

Loading times are perhaps the most noticeable difference. When you die, the game will reload the last checkpoint, and it's never more than a couple of seconds on PS5. On the older console, it's of course a fair bit longer before you're back in the fray. You'll also notice the loads when Kratos traverses the World Tree as he moves between realms. These jaunts are definitely longer on PS4. However, the inflated load times are far from deal-breaking; we're surprised they aren't a little longer, if anything.

So, God of War Ragnarok looks good and performs well on PS4, then. Santa Monica Studio hasn't sacrificed this version in favour of the PS5, so those still rocking the older console can rest easy. No matter which version of the game you play, you'll be in for a treat — both are identical in terms of content, so you can enjoy the epic story and fantastic combat either way. It will make your PS4's cooling fans go crazy, but if you can put up with that, you'll be in for just as wild a ride as your smug, PS5-owning mates. The cherry on top is your save data can be carried over to the current-gen release once you do take the plunge, so no need to worry about starting over, either.

Will you be playing God of War Ragnarok on PS4? Let us know in the comments section below, and check out our God of War Ragnarok guide for much more.