God of War Ascension
The God of
War series is easily one of the best action games by Sony which features
an awesome and angry protagonist as he takes on ancient gods and
monsters in order to fulfill his justice and revenge. And as gamers are
taken back to the world of Kratos, the game once again features those
over the top boss battles, our heroes deadly weapons and more Greek
myths and gods than you can poke a stick at.
several years before the previous games, Kratos must find a way to break
his bond from Ares after being duped by this god to murder his wife and
child. It doesn't help that he has been chained by the Furies for
breaking his oath to Ares.
Besides the cinematics, the first thing that you notice in Ascension is
the scope of the game. At times you feel like an ant due to the towering
structures and massive boss battles as you make your way through ancient
Greece. Sony's Santa Monica Studios should be commended in successfully
creating a living breathing world for Kratos to explore and kill.
you explore the areas, Kratos will engage in a variety of enemies in
order to "level-up" and solve puzzles in order to progress through the
world. Puzzles can sometimes be a mixture of attacks but fortunately
there is no controller rage yet... combat on the other hand... It's
classic God of War gameplay, especially with the quick-time events and
finishing maneuvers of our yet to be God of War.
Combat is still the highlight of Ascension as Kratos chains his attacks
together and performs a variety of special maneuvers as he takes on the
ancient Greece pantheon. Even with the small tweaks to combat, the
controls feel quite fluid on the PS3, especially as Kratos swings his
deadly blades of chaos which you can upgrade as the game progresses. My
favourite upgrade for the blades was the lightning of Zeus which allows
you to shoot electricity into your foes.
of all, these upgrades to your weapons actually add an element of
strategy into your gaming but in classic God of War fashion, most
players will find their favourite and stick with it. The targeting
system has been improved and the grappling feels more fluid. You do have
access to some secondary weapons that include the Javelin and the shield
but these feel a little too forced and fiddle some to use. Orbs still
play a key component to your health, magic and upgrade and at times it
is a mad rush to gather them up after defeating your enemies. The rage
meter is still around and can sometimes mean the difference between life
and death as it is your most powerful attack.
Apart from your standard enemies such as harpies, Kratos does go up
against some strong boss battles that definitely ramp up the controller
rage of this game. Once you manage to dodge, parry their attacks and get
their health down to a certain level, a quick-time event is usually the
only way to finish these monstering villains. Needless to say
when you finally do get the end boss, it almost makes Shadow of the
Colossus pale in comparison. In terms of completion, Ascension will take
most seasoned gamers around 10 or so hours to successfully complete but
once completed, Ascension has another trick up its sleeve called
Multiplayer adds a unique element to the God of War franchise which
definitely increases the longevity of the franchise. Before engaging in
your online conquering, you first need to align yourself to a God such
as Zeus or Poseidon which shapes your character and gives you certain
abilities to your "class". Online offers both cooperative and player
versus player options such as Capture the Flag or Death Match.
Fortunately combat is not as fast paced in multiplayer which definitely
makes things considerably fairer to all involved. Also, unlike certain
other games that "force" a multiplayer experience on you, God of War is
quite a sturdy element that I'm sure we'll be playing for months to
come. A special mention should be made about the Trial of the Gods
mode which is like a hoard mode and allows you and a friend to fight off
a never ending army of enemies.
Graphically, God of War Ascension is easily the best looking God of War
game to grace the PlayStation 3. The attention to detail is amazing from
the realistic animation, perfectly sculptured texture details on the
characters and stunning special effects. Battles like the previous God
of War games are quite bloody and gruesome, especially those finishing
maneuvers which almost made my stomach turn on occasion such as tearing
out of the heart of a Medusa or cleaving in your enemies skull. However
the highlight of the game in terms of graphics is that last boss, wow...
wow is definitely an understatement.
of War Ascension contains all the bigger than Ben Hur gameplay from the
series and is another enjoyable Kratos experience. However as this game
happens before many key elements of Kratos story, it does feel a little
smaller in terms of scope. This is not to say that God of War Ascension
is a bad game but it does feel a little limited opposed to Kratos with
all his godlike powers. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the gameplay and
was wooed by the enjoyable and addictive multiplayer fun which adds the
next chapter (pre-chapter) of Kratos, the God of War!