God of War: Ascension is Kratos’ most recent adventure into the world of violence, gore, power and hatred we’ve all come to expect whenever we spot a game with Kratos as protagonist. Does the game match up to God of War 3, a highly praised PS3 title at its time? Read on for our full review of the game to extract an idea of where Ascension goes right, and wrong.

In Ascension, we see a softer, more human version of Kratos. He doesn’t growl, he doesn’t scream and he isn’t filled with deep hatred and anger for everything that moves… in this game, he is different. Ascension is a prequel to the first God of War, so, the game is a story of what occurs BEFORE Kratos becomes the evil, repugnant fiend we see in the God of War I-III trilogy of games. Unfortunately, the story isn’t as gripping as those which came before. Most players will already be aware of what happens at the end of the game from playing the series, however, I won’t mention what it is for those of you who are planning on playing them in chronological order (and if you are, you are in for a treat!).

The enemies are one place where the game does not become as exciting as the previous installments in the God of War series. In God of War I-III, Kratos will be taking on the Gods in action-packed scenes of excitement. In Ascension, Kratos has no reason to be infuriated with the Gods (yet), so, the foes aren’t quite as powerful and the battles aren’t quite as breathtaking. While this isn’t really the developers fault, and by no means does it make the game bad, it won’t quite match up to the other games in the series, but, if you haven’t played any GOW yet, playing them in the order:

God of War: Ascension -> God of War I -> God of War II -> God of War III

will result in a spectacular experience, with a fluid running, continuous story and the games getting better and better as you progress through. My next point is in relation to the graphics. Ascension is one of the nicest games EVER SEEN on the Playstation 3. God of War III was hailed as a breathtaking game in terms of the environments and characters – Ascension pushes the PS3 to its limits (something thought of GOW III) by presenting THE BEST GRAPHICS possible on the system. It would be close to impossible to trump Ascension’s graphics.

In terms of sound and music, the usual in spectacular sound effects and an amazing score grace Ascension, something expected by fans of the series who know the excellent audio work Santa Monica studio have done on the previous God of War games. Top marks for both graphics and sound for God of War: Ascension, it truly excels in both of these areas.

Ascension has a story which will take 10 hours, or, if you are fast at completing the story, you may finish it in around 9 hours. Another thing Ascension does is allow you to see how Kratos progresses into the being full of hatred he is in the later games of the God of War series – something quite similar to the manner in which the new Tomb Raider game shows the progression of Lara Croft from vulnerable, fragile girl into the courageous woman she is in the later games (chronologically).

The combat system in God of War Ascension, apart from the slightly altered moves and controls, is perfect. The battles, for the most part, are as exciting as ever, with the exception of the main boss fights, which, as mentioned above, aren’t quite as breathtaking as the fights with the Gods in the other games of the series.

MULTIPLAYER
God of War: Ascension is the first game in the series to include an online multiplayer mode. The mode allows you to take on your fellow spartans in the arena. This mode makes use of many of the moves Kratos has under normal circumstances, in addition to some special attacks which depends on the GOD you choose to partner with at the start of the tutorial.

The multiplayer is a nice addition and adds some value to the game, however, the main part of the game is the single player campaign. The multiplayer didn’t have me hooked and didn’t quite provide an experience which matches up to the single player gameplay the God of War series is known for, however, it is better to be there than not and certainly is not an unwelcome addition to the game. If you are a major fan of the series, you may get a lot of value from the multiplayer section. The system is solid, however, it failed to entice me into playing more and overall, I enjoyed the story far more than the multiplayer component.