PS3 Review: God of War: Ascension

Does Kratos ascend in this prequel?

Fuelled by anger and swearing revenge on Ares, Kratos breaks his blood oath that binds him to the God he now loathes. But as Kratos finds out, breaking such as an oath is no easy task. Cast into a prison of the living damned Kratos must battle insanity at the hands of the Furies.
The God of War games are marvels of combat, visuals and epic storytelling of Kratos’ fight against the Gods. Ascension is a prequel to the trilogy, but can it push the series forward as well as satisfy those curious about the multiplayer?

It’s an answer of two halves. It doesn’t really add much new to the table, but the combat has been refined to a near-perfect edge. The story is a muddled mess though and the new enemies known as the Furies don’t quite hold the same weight as Kratos’ past villains. What is odd is that for a game called Ascension, Kratos does an awful lot of descending. Collectables are placed in clear sight for the most part as well.
Difficulty has always been an element of the combat in the series, but Ascension is the easiest game so far. There is an arena-type area that is painfully unfair, but it’s being patched to reduce the difficulty. The biggest change to the game is the 8-player multiplayer which is actually a nice fit and definitely the game’s most interesting element, but it does have its share of problems like balancing and annoying word pop-ups that clutter the screen during combos and kills. It has potential and a decent replay value, but it will wear thin after a while.

In terms of presentation, Ascension does a great job as you would expect. Visually it’s amazing, but it does have its issues with the camera during combat, while it does look a little messy online. The voice-acting of Kratos is still decent, but the Furies just don’t come across as very threatening, while the soundtrack is epic as usual.

The Verdict

God of War: Ascension is a curious one. It’s not a dreadful game; it’s actually damn good…but it is the weakest in the series, which is a shame. The Furies are weak villains, multiplayer has its moments and the combat has been refined. Overall, it’s a game that will easily please fans of the series but will disappoint for not taking a step back.