Well this must be one of Sony’s most popular exclusive franchises to date, and being so it doesn’t come as a shock that they are milking the living hell out of it. Being a fan of the previous titles in the saga, I couldn’t help but feel skeptical about Ascension, partially because I didn’t see a need for another title and also because I can’t see how it can follow the masterpiece that was God of War 3. But like all top series, the fun needs to end at some point, so let’s see if the fun ends with Ascension for the God of War series.
Audio and video: Well I have never been disappointed by the audio aspect in any main Sony franchise, generally because they are one of the few entities pushing 7.1 Surround support, and in a game such as God of War, 7.1 surround effects make a hell of a difference, allowing you to immerse yourself in a world of dismemberment, disembowelment, and bouncy boobs. Video quality is nothing short of fantastic, I think this is one of the best looking games this generation. The textures and lighting are spot on, and enemies and environments are rendered beautifully well, bringing to life Greek mythology at its best. A lot of attention to detail has been given to battle sequences and cut scenes, which are jaw dropping in their visual aspect.
Gameplay: Right before purchasing this game I traveled a lot and played through God or War Ghost of Sparta again, so I was really in the mood of playing through Ascension. As soon I started playing it I couldn’t help but feel that the controls felt different, and it wasn’t because I was playing it on another platform, it was something else, something which till now I can get my head around. The equation is pretty much the same, button smashing, combos, gore, and boobs, and as far as powers go, throughout the game you collect different elemental powers which will offer you different abilities when selected. The battle system in my opinion changed, and not in a good way, I can’t figure out what changed, but in all honesty it has been totally ruined. The character felt a bit stiffer, the motion doesn’t flow as well as I hoped, and the camera is extremely bad. In fact the camera is the worst aspect of the game, it always wants to give you an artsy perspective, which only manages to piss you off and fall off ledges you can barely see. The angles are so bad that I constantly go to the left analog stick to move the camera (which always ends with me rolling off a cliff). In one instance I was battling three enemies and the camera started panning out to show you how large and beautiful the environment is, and I was left there fighting in ant mode and not managing to chain one single combo. The pacing is also bad, in one arena or chapter you have constant battles after each other without a break, in the next arena you have puzzles after puzzles, and in the next it is back to constant fighting. It really feels like the game was created by someone who wanted the game to appeal to someone completely different rather than the core fans of the game.
Personal Experience: I played through all the titles in the saga, and I love the series to bits, but in my opinion God of War Ascension shouldn’t have even existed. The series should have ended on a high note with God of War 3, instead of leaving fans of the series with a sour taste, wishing they didn’t grab a copy of Ascension. All in all I wouldn’t suggest fans of the series to buy this game, but new comers to the series might enjoy it, because they would be able to adapt to the battle system quicker without constantly comparing it with the previous installments. The gameplay mechanics worked fine throughout the series and I can’t understand why there was the need for change, like they always say ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
P.S: Advertising you have The Last of Us demo included with the game but not actually being able to play it until the end of May was a dick move. Just saying.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Written By: Matthew C.