God of War Ascension review: Representing the old guard
29 August 2013
Excerpt: When Sony held a big event in New York City last month to show off the new PlayStation 4 console it trotted out a handful of games that were the “future of gaming.” They should have waited until after God of War: Ascension’s release, as Kratos’ latest journey is not only a testament to the power of the current generation of consoles, but a trump card in the fact that we don’t need to rush the next-gen.
Summary: God of War: Ascension might deliver a grander experience than comparable action titles, but that is largely due to the robust foundation created by previous releases, on which Ascension rests rather than builds upon. A rocky first half and litany of annoying glitches makes this one of the more disappointing God of War titles to date.
Excerpt: God of War: Ascension starts off a little slow compared to the other entries in the series but it ultimately does ramp up to something you’d expect from Santa Monica studios. This entry takes you through Kratos’ past, revealing more of what happened before the first game. You progress through a good portion of it, and then suddenly back track to a few weeks before, after which you pick up where you left off. With the items you got in the past.
Pros: + Gorgeous graphics, wonderful cutscenes., + The same sense of beautiful destruction you have come to expect., + Deep elemental combat system despite lack of new weapons in single player., + Incredibly unique and interesting multiplayer.
Cons: - Secondary weapons are useful but feel rigid and kind of forced., - Non-linearity of the story takes away from the total package., - Slow start compared to the rest of the series.
Excerpt: Ancient Greece was the center of Western science, philosophy, drama, sculpture, and architecture for centuries. Today, the gods of Mount Olympus have little influence, the Wonders are all but gone, and "rocky ruins" describes not only the remaining ancient sites, but also the Greek economy. What happened? Having played through four God of War games, I know the answer. It was Kratos. Clearly, only a rage as powerful as his could have torn down all that cultural majesty.
Conclusion: This review keeps coming back to the phrase “previous games in the series”. If God of War: Ascension had any other three words preceding its subtitle, it would probably be deserving of a much more positive review: it’s not a bad game by any means, and the mark below should reflect that. But if it didn’t have those three words preceding it, then it wouldn’t have benefitted from the strengths established by previous games in the series which are all carried over here.
Excerpt: Violence in video games is not a recent phenomenon. From savagely tearing out an opponent’s spinal column in Mortal Kombat to callously beating prostitutes to death in Grand Theft Auto, gaming brutality has been prevalent for many years. If anything, a growing trend is present with new releases becoming even more extreme.
Excerpt: After God of War III 's failure to commit to a true conclusion for its troubled antihero, it only seems logical that the story should continue. Well, it might, but no time soon: this PlayStation 3 exclusive is a prequel that pretty much leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the impossibly eventful and bloodsoaked past of the Spartan known as Kratos.
Conclusion: In a lot of ways, Ascension feels like a test fire to see what they want to do on the next generation. And for that it’s hard to say it’s as successful as its predecessors. The single player is solid but doesn’t try a ton of new things, and the multiplayer is brand new but has plenty of room to grow.