By Sam Coles:
I don’t what it is about prequels that generally get a lot of negative attention maybe it is because it shows a character in a different light or maybe it is made by a different studio. This is more evident with God of War Ascension as I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this game and they generally say they either don’t like it or they are not a fan. It’s not a bad game by any means it’s actually a good game, yes it has some flaws but overall it is a good game.
The story takes place obviously before the first game where you once again take control of the angriest game protagonist Kratos. He keeps having flashes of his past and is trying to find out what they mean as he tries to break his bond from Aries the God of War and he does that by the usual way by killing everything that gets in his way whether it is human or not. The story is a bit of a mess and I did struggle with what was going on, but it was good overall.
The gameplay is more or less unchanged from God of War III where you have light and heavy attacks which you can string together for some devastating combos. However instead of having different weapons you have different elemental powers tied to the Blades of Chaos and this ranges from the fires of Aries to the electricity of Zeus. This could be seen as a negative with fewer weapons but honestly in God of War III I didn’t switch between weapons often in fights as I tend to just use the default weapons as they generally got the job done.
The game is generally good for the most part in the gameplay department but there are some annoyances with combat. For starters throwaway enemies take far too long to kill and it drags combat segments out for longer than they should be. Enemies seem to have attacks that are hard to dodge or block and you tend to die easily and they don’t telegraph their moves very well so you don’t know whether to block or dodge. These nit-picks will get you killed a lot in this game. The visual ques are subtle as well with objects you can climb; now look I’m not asking for massive red arrows to show me where to go but you have to give some indication of what I’m supposed to do.
Visually the game looks pretty good not as good as God of War III as there seems to be a lot of texture issues as there is a lot of pop in and some of the textures can be blurry on some of the character models. Krato’s character model looks the best and the other characters even the main ones just look really odd in some scenes. The game’s performance is a big issue as the game strives to run at 60 frames per second but most of the time it does even hit close to that frame rate and drops below 30 during some of the really busy combat scenes, God of War III never really had this problem and I don’t understand how the sequel struggles. Another issue I have is that the camera gets way out of hand in some parts of the game during combat, yes we get it your landscapes are huge and impressive now let me focus on the fight please.
Overall God of War Ascension has its flaws but it is still a competent game in the series so if you own a PS3 go back and play it I picked up my copy for £5 from my local game shop second hand.