God of War Ascension is chronologically, the first game in the God of War franchise. The series centers on Kratos, the Spartan warrior tricked by the god of war, Ares, and his pursuit of vengeance. The story gets more intriguing as the series progressed and with the addition of a prequel and in-betweequel game (released on the PSP) and this prequel released on PS3. Ascension is set 10 years before the first God of War game and focuses on Kratos as he breaks the blood oath that tied him to the God of War. This act attracts the wrath of the Furies, guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment for those who break their oaths. Kratos escapes his imprisonment and must face the Furies to destroy his oath to Ares. The game functions as most God of War games do as a hack and slash game, but it doesn’t really offer anything new to the series. The story, while it sounds gripping is very bare bones in comparison to the instalments that came before. It feels very devoid of substance, though there are plenty of hints and creepy foreshadowing moments that hint at the end of Kratos’s journeys in the Greek world and the devastation he has yet to unleash. The story is also depicted in a non-linear way which is refreshing but sometimes tiresome to have to remind yourself. I don’t mind when a game starts out with a flashback, but when you jump from past to present so much that you have to remind yourself what happened in either time period, it becomes distracting. Kratos also comes off as being a little to open and accommodating to another character in the game, maybe there is a reason for this but the lack of story and development between both of these characters make the final scene between the two rather jarring. Kratos isn’t one to be so open to others. The Furies are really cool, but it’s a shame that the game doesn’t really develop them well. Megara is one of the only ones that gets any semblance of motivation and the other two Tisiphone and Alecto look cool and have cool powers but all of that is poorly handled until the end of the game. There really aren’t any new enemies that offer a challenge in the game, if you’ve played any of the other God of War games then you have faced the enemies that appear in this game. The gameplay is still the same, with the small addition of weapons like spears, swords and shields that I actually ignored and didn’t prove as useful in the game as they may seem to be. There are some interesting weapons that Kratos acquires in his journey in this game, but they seem forced upon the player with little time to see them in action and to use them to the fullness of their potential. The game seems to insultingly hold your hand during puzzles and fight sequences as you are forced to sit through a 30-40 second camera pan that shows you what to do next or that shows you the path ahead. I don’t get offended by things like that in video games, but this actually pissed me off a little bit, especially when I’ve played all of the games in this franchise. God of War Ascension is a good game, but it lacks a lot of the elements that make the other God of War games fun and engaging.
Rating: 3 1/2 / 5
Rating: 3 1/2 / 5