The brilliant God of War has finally arrived on PC as part of the PlayStation team’s recent (and surprising) push to expand some of their services to that platform, which also means that PC gamers ready to experience one of the best games of the last 20 years are suddenly wondering which of God of War‘s difficulty settings they should choose.
While it may not seem that hard to choose a difficulty setting (and the choice obviously comes down to personal preference), the odd names for God of War‘s various difficulty modes combined with the fact that the game doesn’t exactly do the best job of telling you about the differences between them mean that many people boot up the game with more than a few questions about which one is the right one for them.
That being the case, here’s a brief look at God of War‘s various difficulty settings and how they change the core game.
God of War: “Give Me a Story” Difficulty Is For Those Who Just Want to Experience the World and Plot
As the name suggests “Give Me a Story” is really as close as God of War comes to giving you a mode that basically allows you to breeze through those annoying “gameplay sections” and just experience the game’s incredible plot as quickly as possible.
Having said that, please keep in mind that this isn’t the equivalent of similar modes in other games that basically make you invincible. While this mode is specifically designed to make combat sections significantly easier, you can still die in while playing, and you will still need to figure out the basic combat mechanics at some point.
God of War: “Give Me A Balanced Experience” Is Basically Normal Mode With a Couple of Twists
Again, the name kind of gives this one away, but “Give Me a Balanced Experience” is God of War‘s version of a “normal mode” and is generally considered to be the “intended” way to play the game for those looking for a little more of a challenge (although there’s a debate about that subject that we’ll dive into in a bit).
You’re certainly much more vulnerable in this mode than you are in “Give Me a Story,” but the big twist here is that you will need to be a little more mindful of your resources and upgrades when you’re playing on this setting. If that’s another part of the game you’d rather not deal with at all, consider bumping the difficulty down a notch.
God of War: “Give Me A Challenge” Is Intended For God of War Veterans and Second Playthroughs
Right, so this is definitely where we get into “hard” territory. This is ideally the mode you’d pick if you consider yourself to be a God of War veteran, but because this God of War is so different from its predecessors, it’s more often considered to be an ideal second playthrough setting. Basic enemies on this mode boast massive health pools and are significantly stronger, while boss fights will really push you to your limits (and, in some cases, far beyond your limits).
As mentioned above, the other thing you have to consider when you’re playing on this mode is that you’ll need to spend significantly more time acquiring resources and managing upgrades. While you may be mechanically talented enough to subvert the grinder elements of the game while playing on this setting, this is certainly the difficulty setting that will really make you start to appreciate how important God of War‘s RPG elements really are.
God of War: “Give Me God of War” Is an Absolute Nightmare That Few Will Ever Beat
I really can’t overstate how difficult the “Give Me God of War” setting is. Basic enemies essentially become boss fights, boss fights will take you hours (maybe days) to overcome, and you’re so dependent on resources that you’ll essentially need to 100% the game in order to acquire every possible upgrade and increase your odds of surviving.
This difficulty setting is somewhere between a meme and a gimmick. It’s a truly unique setting that I’d only recommend to those who have beaten “Give Me A Challenge” at least once or anyone who looks for gaming’s greatest challenges.
God of War: What is the Best Difficulty Setting to Play On?
Truth be told, “Give Me a Story” will probably be an ideal setting for a surprising number of people. It lets you experience some of the best parts of this incredible game and is still difficult enough to ensure you need to stay engaged with what’s happening.
Between “Give Me A Balanced Experience” and “Give Me A Challenge,” I actually tend to recommend the latter to anyone who loves the challenge of previous God of War games or really wants this game’s hardest sections to feel as difficult as they should. “Balanced Experience” is obviously pretty close to how the developers intended the game to be played for most people, but I find “Give Me a Challenge” is great for those who expect to die multiple times on bosses and really want to explore some of the game’s deeper upgrade mechanics.
And for those in the back, “Give Me God of War” is the equivalent of that deep red bottle of hot sauce your crazy uncle is always asking you to try. It’s a gag that tastes like pain, and while I respect the craft of the thing itself, it’s obviously not meant for anyone.