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Review - God of War: Ascension

PCN Review: God of War: Ascension
Posted on March 21, 2013 by Shak
 

While the boss battles are as always very impressive, the rest of the enemies are less so. It seems that most of these new enemies are based on animals and insects, and it feels like there is very little originality here. I donít know if that is what the Greek mythology references though, so it may just be that the source material is the root of this problem. There are also a few instances where the chronology of this game and Kratosí abilities doesnít make sense. As far as I can remember, Kratos only just learned to ďrideĒ a Cyclops in God of War 3, but he can do the same in this game. There were always going to be minor problems such as this, so I can forgive them for that.

The biggest difference in the single player, other than new elemental magic, is the addition of an alternative weapon which can now be used by pressing the circle button. These weapons can be picked up one at a time and are often dropped by enemies or littered around the battlefield. Some of these are limited use weapons that can be thrown, such as spears or bolas, and some of these are unlimited use such as swords or hammers. If you donít have any weapons currently picked up, Kratos will instead punch or kick an enemy. The hammers are particularly useful for larger enemies that tend to have a better guard against your Blades of Chaos attacks.

Another new feature is the ability to grapple enemies by hitting the R1 button, and attacking them whilst grappled. This is good to use against enemies with weapons that are blocking your attacks, and a simple hit of R1 and circle tends to break their guard. R1, for the most part, does what the circle button used to essentially do, and is also used for enemy take downs, and regularly as a precursor to quick time events in boss battles. Itís actually a very good change because it means it frees up the circle button for more useful functions.

The multiplayer mode is the most talked about addition in God of War: Ascension, and tries itís best to stand out from the pack. You align yourself with one of four Greek gods; Hades, Zeus, Ares or Poseidon. Each one will give you different abilities and strengths, and will determine your warriorís upgrade path, so you will need to choose carefully who you align yourself with. There are four multiplayer modes to choose from; Team Favor of the Gods, Match of Champions, Trial of the Gods, and Capture the Flag. Team Favor of the Gods is possibly the most enjoyable of these modes, which involves a basic team deathmatch style of gameplay, with the added goal of trying to capture bases and score points.

Trial of the Gods is a horde-like mode that is played by two players in co-op. You must fight off all the waves of enemies in the time allotted to you. Capture the flag is fairly self-explanatory, and the Match of Champions is simple a free-for-all deathmatch mode. The combat is the same as in the campaign in all of these multiplayer modes, but there are power-ups or items of the gods that can be collected throughout these multiplayer modes that can help you get a leg up on your competition. Itís a great little time-waster of a mode, but it is unlikely to have any sort of longevity for most gamers.

If you love God of War, you will love Ascension, but donít expect major strides in what this game has to offer over something like God of War 3. It looks just as good, and plays a little better and smoother. Itís a shame that the story isnít more prominent because a lot of the time it feels like you are simply fighting for the sake of it. The multiplayer is a good addition to the game, but will not keep most gamers interested for a very long time. Itís a story that really doesnít need to be told, and thatís the biggest problem with the game. Despite that God of War: Ascension is a perfectly acceptable God of War game, but it doesnít really push any boundaries.

9.0
Graphics
There hasn't been any real improvement from God of War 3, and there seem to be a little more aliasing issues in this game.
9.0
Sound
Great voice acting and sound effect. Music is slightly different from what we're used to, but it works well.
8.0
Gameplay
Good, but not the best in terms of pacing. There is also one extremely difficult spot that is incredibly annoying.
8.0
Replay Value
Multiplayer adds some replay value, but single player can be beaten in around 8 hours and there isn't much reason to return to it.
8.5
Overall
A good God of War game, but not as ground-breaking as other games in the series. Still worth playing if you are a fan of the series.
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God of War: AscensionGOD OF WAR: ASCENSION
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica
Genre: Action Adventure
ESRB: Mature 17+
Release: 2013-03-12
Wished: 0
PCN Rating: 8.5

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