(R) God of War: Ascension (Single Player) (PS3)

April 23rd, 2013 -

Back when God of War III came out, FFoP Ryan gave the game a raving review and a score of “Buy It”. By raving review, I of course refer to the definition of “Epic” posted from the dictionary. If I were to choose a word from the dictionary for this game though, it would be…

dis·ap·point·ed

adjective \-ˈpȯin-təd\

Definition of DISAPPOINTED

1: defeated in expectation or hope
2 obsolete : not adequately equipped
dis·ap·point·ed·ly adverb
Pros:

Great Gameplay: The gameplay of this game is by far the smoothest and well performing in the series. I went into Ascension expecting no big changes from previous entries and actually got some. One could argue that the combat changes aren’t big, but you have to at least say they are decent ones. Magic attacks for instance, are now easier to use and can be chained into long combos much easier. Basic magic attacks also don’t consume mana, which is now saved for larger magic attacks. Optional weapons like swords, maces, and spears are now picked up in battle or while traveling along the map. This again allows you to pull of brutal combos while switching weapons on the fly. All in all, this game plays great.

Great Looking: A really quick pro point here, but this game looks absolutely gorgeous. I really thought God of War III couldn’t be topped in this series and I was proven wrong. Santa Monica did an amazing job of making this game look the best it could and it really shows. When a game can make you just stop and say “WOW!” that’s a good thing.

Cons:

The Story: Ascension is a prequel to the God of War series. Taking place only one month after the unfortunate events surrounding his wife and daughter, Kratos is depressed, whiny, and really not Kratos at all. I understand prequels kind of limit what you can do in a series, as we always know what’s going to happen afterwards, but the story of Ascension just doesn’t cut it. The pacing is really bad and makes no sense as it constantly flashes back and forward in time. After I finished the game, I had to go online to make sure I was getting the plot straight. The only thing that I really liked about the plot was at the end, which was one of the last things the furies tell you, and that’s only because I’ve played the rest of the series.

The Tone and Feel: As an extension to the story, the tone and feel of this game are really weird. Kratos just isn’t Kratos. I know he is supposed to be presented as more human and relatable, but it just comes off as mopey depression.

Multiplayer: Here is yet another example of a single player game series that really didn’t need multiplayer. Now don’t confuse my negativity on this topic with “F**k your multiplayer!” it’s fine if you like it. I’ve read online about how fun it is, but I just can’t be bothered to try it. I buy the God of War games to experience the story of Kratos, and it’s hard not to put this topic as a con when it so clearly affected the single player. I really wonder how things would’ve turned out if more focus was given on the single player end.

I do have to say this game is less than I was expecting, hence being disappointed. I really think it’s time to move on from Kratos. His story is done. For fans of the series I’d say pick this game up when it hits the budget section. Until then, stay away. For the rest of you out there, I’d say it’s a solid rent.

Verdict: Rent It!

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