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God Of War (PC): Accessibility Review


The copy of the game used in this review was provided at no cost by PlayStation UK.


God Of War. For me, those 3 words have a special place in my heart. Personally, they bring back memories not of the PlayStation 2 games where the series originated back in the early 2000s, but of the PS4 game that brought a new interpretation of Kratos to a younger generation, less fuelled by rage and more by narrative and worldbuilding.

Having played the game briefly during a visit to Guerrilla Games, the makers of Horizon: Zero Dawn in 2018, I was hooked. Receiving the game as a gift later that year, I played through the main story and even went so far as to earn the platinum at the beginning of 2021 as shown in the linked playlist, all thanks to sighted assistance. I also co-founded the #TranscribingGames project, starting with a series of videos featuring audio described versions of key story beats, with assistance from the community and voiced by Jennissary, a sighted collaborator and great fan of the reboot. In short, this game has been huge for me, even if I needed assistance to get anywhere in it and I look forward to re-running it again before the sequel releases.

After the announcement of this acclaimed game coming to Steam, I was curious to see what a PC version of this game might be like. The stereotypical focus of PC games is apparently on graphical fidelity and cranking your computer to push out the highest frame rates possible, but I'm always interested to see how much extra can be added to these ports of existing titles, including in terms of accessibility.

Let's see how the upgraded version of this title runs outside of the direct PlayStation ecosystem.

First boot

After booting the game and not hearing the logo for a while, I decided to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to interpret the screen and found that I was in brightness calibration. Given I'd started this review without sighted assistance to see what I could achieve on my own, I was pleased to see that the text on screen was relatively clear with OCR, stating that "HDR is not detected".

Pressing enter to confirm and move to the next screen then hit me with a rather odd sounding version of the Sony Studios logo, after which the standard God Of War intro score played.

From there, I received the following (with the text being taken directly from OCR):

Help us build the best PlayStation experience! If you agree, we may collect certain data about your use of God of War. This includes data about your interaction with God of War and any errors that occur. This data will be used as explained in our privacy policy. You can change your setting at any time. LEARN MORE ACCEPT DECLINE
Unfortunately, due to a lack of menu narration (as might be expected from a port of a game that never had it in the first place), I could not tell what option I was on, so was forced to just press enter.

Finally, I was in the main menu, with similarly clean (i.e. easy to OCR) text. Selecting "new game" and "Give Me Story" (just for testing purposes), the opening cutscene loaded pretty much instantaneously, which was no surprise given the game was running on an SSD, but was of course welcome nonetheless.

Given I'd started the game using PC controls, I was curious to see what the tutorial prompts would appear as, hoping they would actually show the inputs as text rather than images.

However, seeing "Press to swing the Leviathan Axe.", I was sorely disappointed, switching to a controller to continue instead.

Does an Xbox Controller Work With God Of War on PC?

it turns out yes, you can use an Xbox controller with the game (I used a Series X controller during my tests). The haptic feedback was just as well timed as I remembered, with the audio syncing up perfectly, sounding just as crisp and cinematic as I recalled from my numerous hours on both PS4 and 5 with the original version.

Though I'd gone into the options before starting the game to see if there were any new features I'd not seen mentioned in the various small accessibility discussions from Sony around this new port that might assist me directly, I unfortunately found nothing. Thus, I was forced to just hope that the game was facing me towards the objectives I needed to navigate to and, as it happens, it actually does this for the first couple of instances.

However, after a long cutscene, you are actually put facing the opposite way to where you'd want to go, meaning that you'd need sighted assistance to reliably find your next location, much like the first time I played this title a few years back. Consequently, I enlisted sighted assistance.

Getting Sighted assistance

When you're getting sighted assistance with a game, regardless of platform, I've found it's usually more of a fluid and enjoyable experience when you and your co-pilot (for lack of a better term) both have control of the character. Achieving this on PC was usually straightforward thanks to having a Titan 2, a piece of equipment that I used to play God Of War on PlayStation 4 as a part of the original review of the unit.

Unfortunately, the review build did have some issues with controller inputs and it turned out that the Titan 2 was not immune to this. Hopefully this is patched as a part of the final build, but it did mean that we had to play on a single controller, something that isn't exactly idea.

Looking through the options together, what I'd seen earlier was correct, in that there were no additional options that would directly allow me to experience more of the game. As much as this was frustrating, I hate to say that it wasn't a surprise. As much as keyboard remapping, reticules and sprinting options will help gamers with a varying range of disabilities, as well as me at times (to prevent repetitive strain injury for instance), they do not allow me to move around independently, know where I am in the menus, tell if attacks are blockable or unblockable or any number of other things that would be useful.



  • The game we all know and love
  • Clean text that can be relatively easily read with OCR
  • Additional accessibility options like full keyboard and mouse remapping to assist gamers with various disabilities
  • Cons

  • No extra elements that would assist gamers without sight
  • Conclusions

    With the dedication that Sony has had to accessibility over the past few years, I hope that as more of their games evolve to include accessibility for gamers without sight on the heels of The Last Of Us Part II's success, the PC ports or versions of those games will do the same. Only time will tell if that actually does occur.

    Playing through the introductory section of the game again, one of Kratos' lines hit home with relevance to accessibility: "Do not be sorry, be better." Universally, from an accessibility standpoint, the primary goal is to improve. God Of war's PC port has, in essence, achieved that over the original version, even if it does still exclude gamers without sight.

    Moving forward though, the rise in recognition of accessibility as a subject of massive importance definitely leaves the upcoming sequel, God Of War: Ragnarok with a higher bar to reach and surpass when it launches, even if the title doesn't come to PC until much later, in a similar manner to the first entry in this rebooted series.

    Accessibility aside, God Of War's PC version is definitely a worthwhile investment if you've never played it. The story draws you in and the combat, fluid but deep, is solid and impactful. Going for 100% completion, though it takes time, was an experience like nothing else I'd been able to undertake in a game before or since due to the close-range nature of the battles and some of the challenges.

    While it doesn't offer anything that benefits gamers without sight directly, the PC version of this title is still just as worth playing if you have the sighted assistance to make it happen.

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