119 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2013
I want to start off by saying that I am a huge God of War fan. I've played almost all the installments (didn't play the PSP releases) of the series on all the difficulties and had a lot of fun. So when this game came out I knew I had to buy it (after it dropped in price)...but I have to say that this game was kind of a let down. It isn't a bad game but there are some changes that were made that ended up hindering the game. I'll do a quick rundown:
STORY: A fairly interesting prequel about how Kratos begins his quest for revenge but still kinda forgettable. I also felt that some of the characters in the game were just added for the sake of it or to add in a boss fight. These characters are never really fleshed out or anything, they're just....there.
PRESENTATION: This game looks fantastic, but for some reason I feel that GOW III looked better. While running there was never any dip in framerate, even when there were a large number of enemies on screen. The environments look great and many areas are grand in presentation. Musical score is epic, as expected for any game in the God of War series.
GAMEPLAY: This is where my rating for the game took a big hit and where I will write the most in this review. I don't think I suck at the GOW games, I've played the other games in the series on the hardest difficulties and while I have had trouble, I've managed to beat the most difficult parts in those games. On the other hand, when I'm playing Ascension I'm kicking everyone's ass 90% of the time and then the other 10% consists of me having my own ass handed to me. Seriously, there are some severely weird difficulty spikes in the game (Trial of Archimedes anyone?). While the combat still feels like God of War, they changed certain mechanics in the combat that just didn't make any sense to me:
-Dodging no longer has that short window of where you are invincible. If an enemy hits you midroll, you will stop and be stunned and then continue to be bitc*slapped by other enemies who will continue to stun you. This happened numerous times and was one of the most frustrating aspects of combat. Maybe because it was a prequel they wanted Kratos to feel more vulnerable so he doesn't emit as much badassery to make himself invincible when hes rolling, I dunno.
-Parrying has been changed so that instead of pressing one button at the last second before being hit, you now need to press two. Kinda weird that when I DO manage to press both buttons, it sometimes just doesn't work. Oh, and when I can manage to actually parry, my counter completely misses my target or doesn't register as a hit at all. So wtf was the point of that? I ended up rolling or blocking for almost the entire game since it seemed to be more effective unless I was fighting an enemy 1-on-1, and even then I ran and blocked. Maybe a bug? I think they changed it to a two button mechanic due to the inclusion of multiplayer.
-Hit-and-run seems to be the main focus for many of the battles, especially when you're fighting a large number of enemies, which happens a lot. Seriously, no other GOW game has had this many swarm battles. Sometimes I will actually lose sight of Kratos for a few seconds because there are so many enemies crowding around me and it gets confusing. And after a while, I began feeling like an absolute bitc* because I was rolling so much and then slapping an enemy occasionally.
-The Rage meter now empties outside of combat and begins to deplete itself when you are in combat and don't manage to land an hit on an enemy within a certain time frame (~5 seconds or so after you land the first blow). They also designed it so that if you're grabbed by an enemy and it requires a QTE to get out of the grab, by the time you get out of it, your Rage meter is now fully depleted and you are now back to square one. Might not have been as problematic were it also not for the fact that certain moves cannot be used unless the meter if full... the same moves which were usable as long as you upgraded the weapons to the right levels in the previous games.
-They included a multipayer mode now, which I am not going to really cover. I played a few matches but lost interest pretty quick. It just didn't really capture my attention.
Final verdict: The game itself isn't bad but it has its flaws. I know I spent a lot of time basically complaining and most people will probably not agree with me but I still think these changes should be noted. Pick it up if you're a big God of War fan or just wait until its really cheap and then buy it. Not a bad game but probably the weakest game in the series.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2013
First off, I played the first three games in the series and absolutely loved them. I was a bit skeptical about this one, but preordered this a few days before its release. I think this game is clearly the weakest of the four in the playstation series. I also think that if this game were the first of the series it would have better reviews (which is why I gave it 4 stars as opposed to 3). The first few games set the bar so high and this game didn't meet that standard.
(1) The fighting and puzzles are still fun
(2) Final battle
(3) Sound/Music is great like in the previous games and keeps you in the mood of the game
(4) Cool killing cinematics
(1) The entire game is based around killing the Furys, which clearly is not as epic as fighting Ares or Zeus
(2) Story is weak compared to the prior games
(3) Weapon upgrades are a nice change, but I really only used one of them frequently other than the blades of chaos
(4) I beat the game about 3 weeks ago and really the only part that I remember being pretty exciting/cool was final battle
I can't comment on the multiplayer because I traded in the game before I tried it (I got more money by trading it with the multiplayer passcode in tact). If you're a huge fan and played the previous games, you should get it just to play through the story. If you're hesitant on this game, I would wait for the price to drop to $20-$30 to give it a try.
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2013
God of War has always been one of my all time favorite gaming experiences for two generations, and we have one more huge adventure upon us before the 7th generation closes. God of War 3 was one of the best games on PS3, with a scale unprecedented and a well realized sense of epic (hopefully you know I mean that in the dignified sense) storytelling. Not to mention one of the all time best game play models in the action genre. Ascension follow in the first PS3 entree's footsteps, and it's a fitting coda for Kratos on the PS3. At the end of the day, Ascension is simply another great game that sheds even more light on Kratos and his long journey throughout the series. That's pretty much what I wanted from this release. If you are a God of War fan, you'll want to pick up the next chapter in Krato's saga.
Story wise, Ascension is the first game chronology. What's new this time around is Ascension's attempt to give Kratos a much more human side, instead of the downright off-putting, and downright scary at times, Kratos of the later series that most certainly polarizes people (and one that certainly causes debate amongst gamers, but I'll refrain from ranting regarding that notion. Indeed, Ascension is pretty much marked by Kratos as he was during the early days of service to Ares and the others, and Kratos is certainly more of a mortal than a man; you can just tell he is at this particular state. This time around, The Furies are to blame for his troubles, and, as you might expect, Kratos is on another journey to track them down. I won't spoil the story, but what follows is what you would expect from a God of War game, with a more human Kratos being the point of the story. He suffers, suffers, and suffers some more. It's a really interesting thing to see, and it's easily the most well rounded and sympathetic portrayal of Kratos, one we haven't seen since the first game.
Despite all of this new chance for character development, God of War, for better or for worse, follows the same classic story formula. The ultra-violence, the Mount Everest sense of scale, the overblown, larger than life dramatic tone, the appropriately bombastic score; it's all here. The performances in God of War are A-grade World of Ham, and dialogue is as over the top as usual, but God of War simply wouldn't be God of War without that. It takes a certain sort of taste to enjoy God of War's brand of storytelling, and if you hate the series, Ascension probably won't change your mind. Personally, I've always felt that the series benefits from never holding anything back. It's because of this reason why the God of War series is such an entertaining ride, why the series is arguably, in the end, so memorable. Once again, if you don't like God of War, this probably won't change your mind, but fans of the series will be utterly pleased with the single player this time around.
There have been a few people out there who think Ascension's story doesn't have some of the memorability of the previous main games, and its pacing to be rather spotty. While these people are no doubt entitled to their own personal views, I have to disagree. I found the pacing of the campaign for me to be excellent, and there were plenty of awesome moments from start to finish. Aside from a couple of difficulty spikes, I really didn't find myself pressing myself to go on due to pacing issues. I rather enjoyed the somewhat subdued sections in the beginning, as it definitely had a much more relaxing pace that I rather enjoyed. Besides, I never found myself bored, whether it was traversing an Ice mountain, roaming my way through ancient Greek Cities, and plenty more. So I personally had no problem with the campaign at all.
Game play wise, Ascension keeps the same basic formula that defines the series. As someone who's been playing the series since the beginning, I had absolutely no problem jumping in. Using an arsenal of weapons and powers, Kratos will, as always, battle through hordes of soldiers, the undead, mythical beasts, and just about everything else that happens to get in his way. The same God of War game play interventions remain as well, including puzzles (including some that revolve around time manipulation) and platform sections. As usual, you collect orbs to replenish your character, as well as items that improve your overall character maximums. Combat is fluid as ever, and as rooted in the God of War series as you would expect. If you're into the series and understand the core combat concepts, there is little to nothing else that can be said here. Once you get your hands on the controller and start playing as Kratos, you'll be slinging combos together in no time.
Much like the other games in the series, there are some new things the games do that are different from previous games before it. Tweaked moves such as the new chain tethering move make for some welcome additions to the combat. One thing that particularly stood out was the inclusion of a new game plus, which lets you start the game over with the weapons and magic you unlocked in a previous game. However, the best addition for m was the implementation of new power and weapons. Once again, you get the chance to develop and unlock new moves, but there are also enemy weapons strewn out amongst the adventure. You can pick them up after they are dropped from enemies, and you have the chance to use weapons such as Spears, Javelins, and Swords. It makes combat all the more exciting, knowing that they're might just be another interesting weapon to use right around the corner.
You still have the Blades of Chaos at all times, along with supplementary weapons, dropped from certain characters. I particularly found the Blades of Chaos system to be the best it has ever been in the series. You still certainly will be using them with the same familiarity that you do in every other game, being able to use them to perform devastating . In this game, however, the Blades of Chaos now house elemental magic. The magic at hand can be used in various ways to enhance combat, and they all feel useful; being able to an addition of magic in the heat of battle works wonders for you as a player. Each of the elements contain awesome powers, such as The Fires of Ares (which let's you stun enemies with fire) and The Lighting Of Zeus (which let's you electrify enemies with electricity). Finally, while minor, I found it to be useful to use one of the acquirable items (Oath Stone of Orkos) in battle, although I wouldn't use it all the time.
Despite all of the satisfaction the single player game has given me, there are some slight misgivings with the game. For one, sound occasionally drops out in strange and unusual ways. Apparently I wasn't the only one who ran into this, either. Granted, they don't really detract from the game, but they are still sort of annoying. I also ended up having the camera get in the way, which was strange because the fixed camera angles usually work well for the series. Be aware of how to beat the sometimes awkward camera angles. Also, and while this last one is more subjective, some of the puzzles in the campaign are sort of cheap (remember that conveyor belt block puzzle from the first game? Yeah, there's a couple of equivalents), and there are a few points in the game where they're are some atrocious difficulty spikes. Other than that, I can't really think of any shortcomings that were noticeable.
Now, the newest feature is obviously the MP. I played a lot of Beta, and I've given the final MP mode plenty of time, and I have to say that I found what I played to be quite fun, if a bit decent instead of mind blowing. (in other words, don't expect the MP component to lead to a Tf2 style boom of popularity and staying power), I also can't help but think it's a tad wonky when it comes to longetivity (I'll get to that later). The game certainly follows many MP standards, including experience points, teams, leveling up, and so forth. Much like a standard MP, you will be able to participate in a variety of modes, such as death match and capture the flag. With God of War's stellar combat being the crux of the ways to battle against one another, Ascension's MP ends up being pretty interesting, to say the least.
Basically, all you really need to know is that combat is very fluid, with an excellent mix of the various modes of attack you would expect (light, grappling, heavy, etc.). You'll need to fight with tact though, or else matches probably won't end up being fun for you. You basically select one of four distinct character classes (each with their own unique statistics, strengths, weaknesses, etc), and once you do so, you can start racking up experience points. In addition, be sure to be aware of Labors, which are essentially specific challenges that will give you extra XP upon completion. You can use those experience points in order to level up, as usual, and once you do, you'll end up getting new weapons and perks. The perk system, as you might expect, gives you passive abilities, so use them wisely. The use of weapons, the extremely fast and fluid combat system; it all works. Finally, here is a quick rundown the modes available. Their most basic overall design are familiar, but they suit the game play and lay the ground work for some MP fun.
Favour of the Gods: Basically, a simple free-for all death match. Whoever gets the most kills wins the match.
Team Favour of the Gods: Two teams of four are basically given objectives throughout the mode (I won't spoil them, but they are all challenging and fun to accomplish). The team that hits 8000 points first hits the match.
Team Capture the Flag: Basically, much like you would expect, each time must work with one another to capture a group's flag and bring it to their own empty base. The group that collects the most flags wins the match.
Trial of the Gods: While this can also be played solo, this mode is also a free for all mode. Together with a group of people, everyone must fight against waves and waves of enemies until both cannot go on. This is the only mode where you don't fight against one another.
However, despite all of this, I do want to address my concern on the longetivity of the MP mode. As of writing this review, I really have to wonder: will the MP of this game last? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but given how so many games sadly end up losing much of the MP audience, I have to wonder if this will happen to Ascension as well. I immensely enjoy the MP, personally, but I think the consumer should have ever right to be concerned. I find it a tad hard to predict, given how many MP modes from various games have been shut down because nobody plays them not long after the launch of the MP servers. If you were thinking about buying this game strictly for MP, I'd probably think twice if I were you, due to this.
Regardless, anybody who's a fan of the franchise will want to pick up Ascension. I know that there were sneaks around the gaming community about GoW's supposed series fatigue, and some gamers think Ascension is not worth buying because its the 7th game in the series. I am not one of those people. Yes, Ascension may not appeal to a casual God of War player, but as someone who's played every single game in the franchise and hasn't been let down yet, the streak continues with Ascension for me. It's another exciting adventure into the world of Kratos and Greek Mythology, and an excellent send up for Kratos as the 7th generation comes to an end. Even if the MP may not last (though it is very enjoyable, so I hope it does last for a while), the campaign is long enough to be a single player along the same line as the other games in the series. Regardless, if your a fan of the series, I highly recommend Ascension
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
This game is awesome, no it is not as good as GOW3 in relation to its storytelling. However some of the game mechanics have been tweaked making the actual game as good as 3 if not better in some regards. It's definitely not as challenging as 3 but play it on hard and you will have your moments for sure.I base my experience with this game on how much fun I have playing it. In that regard Ascension is awesome, the story is engrossing the puzzles challenging and the action addicting. My only complaint would be that there are battles where the screen zooms out so far and coupled with the amount of action and visuals on screen you can lose sight of your character which has costed me to lose combos. The game is a challenge but if you pay attention and learn, it is very rewarding. Bottom-line, if your a fan of GOW you gotta get this and please keep the GOW games coming.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
When i think about what i want first out of any game, i think how fun is it? GOW Ascension despite what other critics have claimed about it, is without a doubt an extremely fun video game. Graphics are incredible, you will find yourself staring off into the beautiful backdrops while in the middle of an epic battle, trying to remember to continually pick your jaw off the floor.Yea it looks that good! The gameplay has been tweaked perfectly. kratos is much more versatile then before. you can pick up weapons off enemy's now, rage meter dishes faster sweeter combos, you can punch and kick the hell out of everything! Magic has quicktime events added to dish out and extra amount of damage (if timed correctly). The boss battles are as epic as ever! Ive spent some time with the multiplayer, So far i'm loving it. I dont see whats wrong with it really. No lag whatsoever, the gameplay is balanced, and all the classes and upgrades make complete sense. I cant find a reason to knock it. I can definitely see myself putting a lot of time into the MP, and i think most fans will! GOW ascension is to me, A masterpiece!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
The Good: Battles of massive scale, excellent graphics, highly detailed backgrounds, intense action sequences, and exciting enemy and boss battles in line with its predecessors.
The Bad: Overuse of certain enemy types becomes highly repetitive, too easy to get locked into subsequent areas and having to restart the chapter to return, storyline lacks intensity as well as Kratos who is mostly silent throughout, too many cheap deaths due to failing to follow button sequences and frustrating camera angles, large amount of bugs and glitches, little for new gameplay brought to the table.
Following the heels of success of God of War III comes God of War Ascension. While Ascension provides an overall entertaining experience, its shortcomings prevent it from living up to its predecessor.
Graphics: As has come to be expected from the God of War series, Ascension is a beauty to behold with many boss fights and action sequences of mass proportion. From riding a giant mechanized snake around Mount Olympus to journeying through the colossal statue of Apollo and watching the wave's crash below, Ascension provides eye candy throughout.
Gameplay: The fighting mechanics of Ascension stays true to the series. The heart of this game are the intense battles that keep you on the edge of your seat and bosses that are as entertaining to fight as they are to watch. Many fights on higher difficulties will not be won by simple button mashing but rather by careful blocking, evasion, and counters. Beating bosses and stronger enemies requires learning their weaknesses and how to avoid their various attacks. There are also various puzzles, plat-forming, and action sequences thrown into the mix to break-up the fighting.
The various weapons and abilities Kratos obtains add to the overall depth of this game. Kratos' main weapons, the Blades of Chaos, come in four forms, lightning, ice, fire, and dark. Initially, the differences between the elemental weapons is only aesthetic, however, as you upgrade, his attacks become different making the weapons a bit more unique and adding new strategies. Notwithstanding, it is disappointing each elemental sword does not have different attack combinations. Perhaps compensating for this are the new abilities Kratos gains during the game to use in battle such as reversing time, creating a doppleganger, etc.
While certainly entertaining, Ascension is not without its flaws. There is overuse of certain enemies, specifically the goat warriors, who unfortunately are rather irritating to fight and appear constantly throughout the game. Many of the hidden treasure chests involve simply choosing to go left rather than right. The problem with this linear progression is that there is generally no indication that you are on the main path, leading to the frustrating situation of becoming unexpectedly locked into the next area. Returning to missed chests usually requires restarting the chapter (those familiar with the series will notice that this is the replacement for save points) as returning to the previous checkpoint does not work. Dying in the same hard battles, completing the same puzzles, plat-forming, etc., to get a feather, eye of gorgon, or red orbs, serves to be more repetitive and frustrating rather than rewarding many times. There are no shortage of glitches in Ascension, including not being able to move an object that is required for a puzzle, enemies that disappear off the screen preventing access to the next area, freezing, etc. Ascension also has a variety of cheap ways to die. Failing to press button sequences, frustrating camera angles in which the camera zooms far out during a battle, falling off cliffs due to awkward plat-forming, and being stuck in extremely close quarters where you can't roll to evade with a pack of annoying goat enemies who are rarely interrupted by Kratos' attacks.
Various puzzles are spread throughout Ascension, some easy and some relatively difficult. As the game progresses they become more enjoyable as Kratos gains new toys and abilities. Ascension also takes a large leap into plat-forming arena. Unfortunately however, awkward movement and shifting camera angles lessen the experience as it is all too easy to suddenly fall off a ledge or miss a jump.
Sound: The orchestral score greatly adds to intensity of the fights. The voice overs are well done as well as the sound of buildings crashing, swords clanging, etc. Although the makers want to show a calmer Kratos before he became the God of War, his voice is too somber considering he is constantly fighting for his life against giant monsters, swinging across vast chasms, etc.
Controls: The controls are friendly and easy to learn if you have not already played the series. However, counters do not seem to be as responsive or work as smoothly as the prior games which is irritating on higher difficulty levels.
Story Line: The intensity of God of War III is long gone in Ascension, focusing on the humane, thoughtful side of Kratos. Kratos spends much of his journey in silence as he battles against the Furies Sisters and seeks to regain his memory of what happened to his family. Sadly there is nothing memorable or inspiring in the storyline and it is just not as fun playing as a docile Kratos as compared to conquer and destroy everything Kratos of GOW III.
God of War Ascension is a good game and a fun experience. While its flaws prevent it from being a great game, the positives provide a rewarding experience nevertheless. 8/10.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2013
First off, I'm a huge God of War fan. I've loved every game and God of War 3 is still my favorite PS3 console game. So needless to say I was excited when I heard a brand new GOW game was in the works. Trailers and teasers for Ascension promised big things, although the highlighting of multi-player didn't really do anything for me (for me, God of War is just fine as a single player hack & slash), and on launch day I went to my nearest store and bought the game. My thoughts? It's typical God of War, which is both a good and a bad thing. The graphics are just a smidgen better than its predecessor GOW3 and the game opens with the typically epic God of War boss battle. I must admit my jaw dropped several times playing the first boss, but found it eerily reminiscent of the Poseidon battle when you're placed on a slant trying to slay and avoid getting hit by gigantic claws. From that point onward, Ascension became less and less enthralling and I began to see the cracks so many critics have pointed out in their reviews, cracks that could've been tweaked to be less glaring and made playing the game more enjoyable. The gameplay is similar to any in the GOW canon and it's great to see Kratos' blades swinging all around his head, but I found so many small flaws during gameplay such as dropped frame rates, a first for me to experience in a GOW game, and odd camera angles, that it slowly began to get on my nerves. For me, I was disappointed Sony Santa Monica chose to do another prequel, since they've been there done that already (Ghost of Sparta anybody?), and it would've been nice to have continued where God of War 3 left Kratos off. We know Kratos is pissed and we know he's constantly been searching to forget killing his wife and daughter - you'd think they could've gone before that since we're just back to the Kratos we know and love, but one that brings nothing new to the table. Is Ascension bad? No, it's perfectly serviceable and looks amazing in true 1080 HD, but it's also the first God of War game in the series that I didn't look forward to coming back to every day. It plays as if it was rushed to release, rather than given some extra TLC that could've done a world of good to it. Interestingly, it follows suit to a couple #4 prequels that have followed in the footsteps of critically acclaimed best-selling trilogies, but haven't been able to deliver similarly themselves (Gears of War Judgement?). Maybe going in a completely different direction is the best way to avoid this hump (here's looking at you, Halo 4, which continued the original trilogy in an equally epic manner). Overall, God of War Ascension is most definitely good, but not great.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
This is the prequel to all the previous GOW games and I admit that its pretty damn good. Kratos has broken a blood oath with Ares cause he wants to be a free man. He lost a battle so now he is put in the worse prison ever guarded by the sisters known as "The Furies". The game pretty much takes place from there (Im not gonna spoil much for you).
Graphics: 5/5 - They use the same engine as "GOW 3" of course. The detail and movements are top gun and will blow you away like in the previous.
Controls 5/5 - This game takes SKILL (I REPEAT--SKILL). If you have play all the others im pretty sure you noticed that you can get by without using magic 85% of the game. NOT IN THIS ONE, BUDDY! It can get so hectic you have no choice but to do so. All you have are your blades. The magic comes from elements: Fire, ice, electricity, and soul (Powers from hades). as you level them up you unlock more moves of course.
Story 4/5 - I had to go through it a second time to get the point unfortunately. But the simple fact that it "GOW" made me not care at all. Any die hard fan of the series just wants to kick ass and take names (Correct me if im wrong). The final fight is the best outta the whole series I will say. Plus all the other bosses are very and i mean VERY CRAFTY so don't get careless.
Verdict 4.5/5 - This is "GOW" the best action game of all time. No others can top this at all. Not "DMC" not the horriffic "Metel Gear Rising" Ninja Gaiden, nothing... This is the pinnacle of the action game with immortal replay value and always will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you have the others, gets this as well to complete your collection.
VERY important side notes: Parry system - In this GOW you can't just time an attack with a block and then counter. You have to hold block and press "X" to do so (This is the only thing I don't like bout this game). Once you time it, it will do the slow motion thing of course, then you can hit the attack button. This only hits ONE ENEMY (not a group like in the others) so if another is coming you have to repeat the process over and over. Like i said, THIS GAME TAKES SKILL.
Blades of chaos, rage meter, and grapple system - You can power up you regular blades but you can only use the extra abilities when your "rage meter" is full. Example: the "square, ,triangle, triangle, triangle" combo, which in others you had to get up to level 3 to do so ONLY CAN BE DONE WITH FULL RAGE METER. This presents and new found difficulty in the game.So if you wanna get big damage done you have to kick butt and get that meter up. There have been "Faqs" on the internet saying that you can't use the abilities of the blades of chaos, only the element powers (WRONG, as you can see we have ppl who don't pay attention to detail in some games). In "GOW 3" you had to hold block and press "O" to grab. In this one you simply press "R1" (here is one on my fav improvments). Once you grab an enemy you can hang on to them and attack other surrounding foes (love it). By pressing "square" you perform a horizontal slash, by pressing "triangle" you perform a slam attack on the enemy you have in your grasp (which also mean you can slam them on enemies to knock back and give yourself some space). And lastly the "O" button can kill weaker foes. Plus the grapple starts off the world famous mini game kills that we all love.
I hope this is helpful to you and will make you give this game a go. DON'T LISTEN TO IGN, those guys are full of crap! They have given too many horrible games such as "Metal Gear Rising" praise while putting this cult classic in the burner. This is not better than "GOW 3" but is worth every penny. GO GET IT!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2013
I have played every God of War out so far except for God of War: Ghost of Sparta, and I have loved them all. I was definitely eager for this addition and even though the game was fun it is sadly lacking and nothing awe inspiring.
STORY: The story follows Kratos shortly after he killed his wife and child and his imprisonment by the Furies for breaking his oath to Ares. The game actually starts in the present with Kratos imprisoned for breaking his oath to Ares then switches to a couple weeks earlier before he actually breaks his oath, back to present, back another couple weeks, then back to present. The constant switching from present to past made the story feel clunky and a bit hard to follow. And despite the potential for great emotion and character development on Kratos' part, I didn't feel the game pulled it off. I LOVED the story of GoW 3, it was full of emotion and depth which only made Ascension feel like a cheap knock-off. Don't get me wrong, the story was still good, it just didn't hold that wow factor of the previous 2 games.
GAMEPLAY: The game definitely follows the same formula used in all the other GoW games. Lots of hack and slash, platforming, puzzle solving, and women. Some may not like that this game doesn't really do anything different from the previous installments, but I personally enjoyed that Ascension kept to the same basic formula. No sex mini-game though.
The game itself is pretty easy. I did my 1st play-through on normal and I rarely died from enemies but I did die A LOT from the platforming or mini-games until I figured out what the hell I was supposed to do. Once I figured it out they would be easy but the game threw out so many different types of mini-games that you don't know what you have to do until it's to late. Am I smashing O here? Pressing R1? Am I attacking? Doing a quick-time event? Pressing X? It is fun once you know what to do, but it does require a lot of trial and error and Kratos' death. On my 2nd playthrough I did it on Hard and once again the enemies weren't very hard and now that I knew what to do I died even less on Hard then Normal. However, the game does have a couple sudden difficulty spikes, something I don't think most players will notice on normal but I noticed on Hard. Once you get past those particular sections it is easy again, but a couple of sections were getting a bit frustrating on Hard, like when you receive Poseidon's Power (Took me about 4 times) and the Trials of Archimedes (Took me about 6 times when I didn't die at all on Normal).
I both liked and dislike the new magic set-up. The powers are now granted to you pretty early in the game, except for a couple story related items that you get as the game progresses. The main powers are `elemental' powers of Fire, Lightning, Ice, and Soul. You have a passive ability and a magic attack with each elemental power. However, except for the fire element you don't actually get any of the other elements magic attacks until you fully upgrade each power, which means unless you are ignoring all other upgrade options you wont unlock any of these actual magic attacks until later in the game. Each elemental magic attack is also pretty basic and not that impressive. The passive power for each element is pretty fun, which equips and adds an additional elemental bonus to your chaos blades. It is pretty easy to choose between the elements by using the D-pad. You can also give the passive powers a boost by simply doing what Kratos does best, attacking enemies. You have a rage meter the fills up as you successfully attack, and once full your chaos blades will do additional elemental damage with some pretty cool special attacks. The only problem with this power is it can be hard to get your rage meter maxed out. You cannot be hit or it will knock your rage meter down, with some attacks completely depleting your meter. Your meter also drains if you don't attack for a little bit or completely drains after a battle. What makes this hard is a lot of enemies have long ranges to their attacks that makes it hard to dodge or distance attacks that can be hard to notice in a group of enemies. Also, if you are in a part that requires heavy blocking it makes it hard to keep your rage meter up or max it out. However, some of the power items are pretty cool. They don't require any magic to use but do have a cool-down time. One of the powers allows you to suspend enemies in time, which can take the burden off of you in an intense fight, and another power creates a shadow of Kratos that can help you fight for a short period of time (I named him Mini Me).
Nothing much has changed with the combat. However, you really only have 1 weapon to use and upgrade which are the chaos blades. You can pick-up weapons lying around the world but except for the javelin I didn't really use them very much. All the same moves are in this game which makes it easy to get right into the fighting. You have the parry option again but it's a bit clunkier in this game then in the 3rd game. I was awesome at using it in the 2nd and 3rd games and spammed the s*** out of it, but in this game I didn't even realize I had it until I was about ¾ of the way through my first play-through. And instead of simply blocking attacks at the right moment you now need to block then press X at the right moment. Some may like the change but I personally didn't care for it and very rarely use it. Sadly, no gliding function in Ascension.
ENEMIES: A lot of the same enemies show up in Ascension that were in the previous games. You have a couple new additions like the Elephantaur (Elephant man), Empusa (Poison women with spikes for limbs), and Delos warriors (Amazon-like women). The bosses were intense to play, but the Furies and other bosses seemed watered down and uninteresting. They aren't as impressive as Zeus or Ares or Hades. One thing I did notice about the enemies is there are a LOT of naked breasts. I mean, wow. I personally like breasts but almost every enemy that wasn't some animal-like creature was a naked breasted woman. This didn't impact my enjoyment but other women may not like this.
GRAPHICS: Amazing and breathtaking. `Nuff said!
MULTIPLAYER: I haven't played it and I'm not really interested to, so I don't have anything to say on this.
GLITCHES? I have seen a lot of reviews mentioning glitches but I only encountered a small amount. I did have my sound drop out a couple of times for a minute or so and once my FPS dropped drastically for a short time. The only big glitches I encountered was when I once used the Amulet of Uroborus it wouldn't drop out of the screen after I finished using it and once on the Trials of Archimedes it wouldn't register I had finished one of the waves (on Hard!), so I just restarted from the previous checkpoints. Other then those small glitches the game ran smoothly.
CONCLUSION: I personally did like this game but it wasn't as good as GoW 3, which was AMAZING, or GoW 2 which was GREAT. I was not awed by the story, I wasn't overly impressed with the various weapons and powers and the enemies and bosses felt a little flat. I would definitely suggest this game to others as it was fun to play, but unfortunately it wont be the memorable and amazing game I was hoping for.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
With Kratos revenge fulfilled in the God of War 3, I was curious to see what type of story and experience Santa Monica (the developers) would bring to God of War: Ascension. After thoroughly finishing the campaign, here is what I think.
**Gorgeous Environments and Graphics: This is the strongest suit of the game. As I mentioned in the intro, this is the best-looking God of War game yet. Especially the scenery and the environment of the first few chapters blew my mind. An experience that must not be missed.
**Brutality and Ultraviolence: When the developers said, they are going to bring more human side of Kratos I was worried. To me what make Kratos a unique character is his rage and mercilessness. Fortunately, Kratos is almost as brutal as all the previous games (a little less angry and confused though). I had fun punishing enemies with such brutality.
**Good Mixture of Platforming, Puzzles and Action: This is why I loved all of the previous god of war games and this is why I liked Ascension. The gameplay is very balanced in all three aspects. Puzzles do require some thinking but are quite solvable without a guide. Platforming is fun but not torturous like Dark Souls. And both of these are balanced with action heck&slash gameplay so this game does a great job keeping you engaged..
**Well Thought Overall Level Designs: Of all the areas I loved the beginning chapter area and Tower of Appollo. They are both very well designed. And it was rewarding seeing the tower of Appollo transform as you progress through chapter. Very authentic.
**The Combat, Weapons, Magic and Gadgets: They have changed the combat somewhat from previous God of War games. For most part I liked it. Now magic is part of your chain blades. So switching different magic gives your chain blades different combos, ability and finishing moves which don't use your magic bar. And then there are 4 unique magic which will use magic bar. The gadgets also give you pretty awesome abilities. Unfortunately there are a few of those. I wish they had more.
**Upgrades: Like previous game you can upgrade your blades, magic, health and gadgets. Gives you incentives to hunt for chests and explore the levels. Such RPG elements are always welcome by me.
**Bosses and Enemies: This is one of my favorites for God of War series. There is decent variety in enemies. Loved the Juggernauts. Variety in enemies also means variety in brutal finishing moves. Makes the experience satisfying. Bosses are also pretty great. Loved the fights against sisters.
New Game+ mode: Very appreciated. Adds longevity to this awesome experience.
Multiplayer: Fun but.... (see cons)
**Glitches: There are not many. I only encountered one (but a frustrating one because it was in the toughest level... Yes the trials). Fortunately, restarting the chapter solved it. So won't hold it against them.
**Number of Bosses: There are decent number of bosses, but less than God of War 3. Definitely want more in future games.
**Story: This is the weakest point of the game. Compared to other games, it had a decent story but compared to previous God of War games, it was really pale. I was left very unsatisfied in the end.
**Multiplayer: Why? Seriously Why? It is fun but it doesn't belong in God of War. I would rather have 5-10 extra chapters of campaign than Multiplayer.
While it does have some cons, but for most part they are subjective and I will not hold them against the awesome experience this game provides. If you played previous God of War games, this is a must. If you didn't, It's still a great experience. I would give this a 9/10