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God of War is now on Steam and runs out of the box on Linux with Proton

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Something that still doesn't quite feel right somehow is seeing the likes of a PlayStation logo on Linux. Anyway, the smash hit God of War is now on Steam and works right away on Linux. You can thank Steam Play Proton for that.

It's hard to believe the changing face of gaming sometimes. Previously console exclusive games now coming to PC more often. A trend I hope to see continue for years to come. Of course the new release comes with the kinds of things you would expect like enhanced graphics, ultra-wide support, NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR and so on.

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Enter the Norse realm
His vengeance against the Gods of Olympus years behind him, Kratos now lives as a man in the realm of Norse Gods and monsters. It is in this harsh, unforgiving world that he must fight to survive… and teach his son to do the same.

Grasp a second chance
Kratos is a father again. As mentor and protector to Atreus, a son determined to earn his respect, he is forced to deal with and control the rage that has long defined him while out in a very dangerous world with his son.

Journey to a dark, elemental world of fearsome creatures
From the marble and columns of ornate Olympus to the gritty forests, mountains and caves of pre-Viking Norse lore, this is a distinctly new realm with its own pantheon of creatures, monsters and gods.

Engage in visceral, physical combat
With an over the shoulder camera that brings the player closer to the action than ever before, fights in God of War™ mirror the pantheon of Norse creatures Kratos will face: grand, gritty and grueling. A new main weapon and new abilities retain the defining spirit of the God of War series while presenting a vision of conflict that forges new ground in the genre.

There's some really heavy stuttering though with an NVIDIA GPU. As always with more graphically intense games built for Windows and run through Proton, they need time to build up a shader cache. Once that is done, eventually Steam will have it to give out while the game downloads for your machine to sort it ahead of time. So, if you want a smooth experience, it usually pays to wait a week or so. That said, if you want to put up with the stuttering for a bit, don't let us stop you as outside of that, it seems to play quite brilliantly.

Like me, you might find that the lip-syncing voice audio is completely off though. It's possible you can fix that by adding this as a Steam launch option:

PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 %command%
In my own testing, that made it match up much better but not always.

One possible way to improve day-1 performance in this and other single-player games is to use the community built  Proton-GE, which you can get easily with ProtonUp-Qt. Proton-GE has DXVK_ASYNC, which can help reduce stutter but is not recommended for multiplayer titles as it can trip up anti-cheat. In my own testing, it made God of War massively smoother. If you choose to try that out it's this launch option: DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%

Since I'm not much of a console gamer, even though I do own multiple consoles, I completely missed this and had no idea that Christopher Judge was the voice actor for Kratos so if you'll excuse me I have some fanboying to do.

You can buy it on Humble Store and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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51 comments
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Spyker 6 days ago
I can't wait to see a video of this game running on the Steam Deck :)
damarrin 6 days ago
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It’s a good game. It ran fine on the PS4 at 30 fps, which is presumably what the Steam Deck will offer, but the 60 that PS5 does is quite transformative here.


Last edited by damarrin on 14 January 2022 at 8:24 pm UTC
BlackBloodRum 6 days ago
Oh.. noo!

I always try to avoid buying non-linux games.. but.. but.. but.. but.. it's.. it's.. god of war!

aahh..! I used to love this game on the PS!

What to do?!

PS: Regarding the pulse latency environment variable: Have you tried the game with pipewire? does the issue persist? It might be something pipewire can fix - it solves a ton of other old pulseaudio issues. In my experience - sound stuttering and audio sync issues were almost always something caused by pulseaudio itself.


Last edited by BlackBloodRum on 14 January 2022 at 8:26 pm UTC
damarrin 6 days ago
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I’ll just delete that, then ;-)
d10sfan 6 days ago
Runs pretty bad with nvidia 1070, so refunded it for now.
chowder 6 days ago
I'll wait a week for the cache, but this is a must buy for me. Since I can't find a playstation anywhere lol! Uncharted is coming next. :)
CFWhitman 6 days ago
I just started Horizon Zero Dawn, which I picked up on sale. I feel like this is somewhat similar territory. Maybe by the time I get around to considering this, it will be on sale.
F.Ultra 6 days ago
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Quoting: BlackBloodRumOh.. noo!

I always try to avoid buying non-linux games.. but.. but.. but.. but.. it's.. it's.. god of war!

aahh..! I used to love this game on the PS!

What to do?!

PS: Regarding the pulse latency environment variable: Have you tried the game with pipewire? does the issue persist? It might be something pipewire can fix - it solves a ton of other old pulseaudio issues. In my experience - sound stuttering and audio sync issues were almost always something caused by pulseaudio itself.

The sound issues in games are not really due to Pulse but down to WINE (hence why they also had to implement a PIPEWIRE_LATENCY env variable) or rather that it's still not clear exactly how the Windows sound system handles buffers, the wine wiki points to this bug https://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=39814 as reference as "known bug in wine for sound issues" and reading it gives me the impression that games asks for a specific sized buffer but then tries to overwrite it before its consumed in full so there are bugs (in that they don't follow the written spec for the API) in lots of games that the Windows audio system somehow have workarounds for.
einherjar 6 days ago
Quoting: d10sfanRuns pretty bad with nvidia 1070, so refunded it for now.

Oh, sad, I am on a 1070TI@1440p - that may be not enough for good gameplay :-(
CatKiller 6 days ago
Quoting: BlackBloodRumWhat to do?!
What I do is to wait for a sufficient discount: the developer gets some money by virtue of their game not being broken on Linux, but they'd get more money if they'd made a properly-supported game.
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