Santa Monica Studio have revealed that their critically acclaimed God of War reboot will be able to shoot for 60fps gaming through the PlayStation 5’s Boost Mode, and that you’ll be able to carry on exactly where you left off by copying your save files over from PlayStation 4.
That’s great to see confirmed, but… it’s not exactly surprising and does come with some standard caveats to consider.
Whether you’re picking up the game for the first time or looking to finish that NG+ save, God of War (2018) on the #PS5 will offer:
🎞️ Up to 60 FPS using the ‘Favor Performance’ video option
🎮 Save Transfers – start right where you left off on the PS4!
— Santa Monica Studio Is Hiring (@SonySantaMonica) October 26, 2020
First off the point about save transfers. Carrying your progression from current to next-gen has been fumbled by Sony, with cross-gen titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla seeing Ubisoft and others have to create a bespoke cloud storage with which they can let you transfer your progress across. Meanwhile, the developers of other games such as Dirt 5 and Yakuza Like a Dragon do not have such an infrastructure behind them on PlayStation, leaning on standard Smart Delivery on Xbox to allow you to take all your progression with you from one version of the game to the next. Unless you want to start over, it’s a bit of a minefield for cross-gen games.
God of War is not a cross-gen game though, and the standard backward compatibility rules apply. You can copy all your PlayStation 4 save files over to PlayStation 5 via USB storage, the system data transfer tool or the PS+ cloud storage. A good reminder, but that’s the default behaviour
And so too is what Santa Monica Studio tout the game’s performance. They not “up to” 60fps performance for one thing, and also state that you need to be using the ‘Favor Performance’ mode in the video options. In other words, this isn’t an update to the game, but rather applying the PS5 Boost Mode to the existing performance mode found on PlayStation 4 Pro.
The PS4 Pro has two options available, with a checkerboarded 4K resolution that targets 30fps, and the ‘Favor Performance’ mode that drops the game resolution to 1080p and unlocks the frame rate. On PS4 Pro, as per Digital Foundry’s God of War analysis, this typically saw the frame rate in the “mid to upper 40s” during battles. The expectation is that the PS5 can power through to a solid 60fps in the vast majority of situations while playing at 1080p. Honestly, we’d expect the PS5 to be able to do much more than this.
By contrast, Ghost of Tsushima has a PS5-specific performance mode that will let it target 60fps, going beyond what the PS4 Pro is able to offer. The PS4 Pro still has a performance mode, but this drops the resolution from 1800p to 1080p while maintaining the same 30fps target. We’ll have to wait and see what the PS5 mode is able to offer in terms of resolution, but again, we’d hope
So, all in all, good to have confirmed, and good for those who’d like to play this game at a high and steady frame rate, but this is what we can expect as the minimum across all backward compatible titles on PS5.