Format reviewed: PS3
Other formats available: None
Developer: SCE Santa Monica
Games it seems are following the annoying trend of doing prequels rather than coming up with something new as is the case with the God of War series.
As you would expect from a God of War game, Kratos is back. This time though it’s at the start of the story, not that this really makes much of a difference to the sort of things that happen to him.
At the start you get a rather long cut scene that, as you would expect, sets the scene for things to come. As with the previous games this is loosely based on Greek mythology and to be honest this is rather confusing. Names are banded around and none of them is that memorable or even that necessary.
Thankfully you are soon into the game and can, finally, get on with it. Unfortunately, as with so many games, the story isn’t really that relevant. Basically the premise is that as Kratos you have to defeat three furies, strange, mutated beasts that are part human, part, well, lots of nasty things.
The first one you meet has distinct arachnid qualities, mixed in with no small amount of female human attributes as well.
In fact later on Kratos visits a place of ill repute and there is a small amount of what can only be called rudity. Where’s this going you ask yourself? Well this being a God of War game, you don’t have to wait long. I won’t spoil it for you.
But what of the action? Well this is much the same as previous games as it’s generally based on linking together either heavy or light attacks into combos.
This is how you fight the lesser beasts that you encounter. After defeating these you move on to some of the biggest enemies I have ever seen in a game. Some of them are as big as a building and you wonder how on earth you are even going to give them a scratch let alone a black eye.
It’s basically trial and error. Even the biggest foe has a weak spot, you just have to find it and then exploit it without being beaten into a week next Sunday. Once you do manage this, often you are presented with a QTE sequence that then means you have caused some lasting damage to said foe.
Often you have to repeat this process two to three times in order to defeat the foe. Failing the QTE doesn’t kill you though, in fact you just have to remember the sequence of button presses to succeed the next time.
We found this combination of button mashing and then QTEs somewhat repetitive and not that compelling. It actually meant that you brought down some ridiculously large foes quite quickly and with relative ease. Maybe we just underestimated Kratos’s strength?
What is amazing though is the level of detail. Often you will be zoomed in fighting small foes.
The camera then pulls out and the settings look amazing and totally far-fetched. The large beasts that you take on also look amazing and must come from the minds of some very twisted individuals.
If you like the God of War games then Ascension is more polished in some ways and a worthy addition to the franchise. For years I have bemoaned endless sequels, now we seem to be getting endless prequels. I fear for what comes next. Remakes?!
Review by Tuckski for BCS