God of War: Ascension took Sony’s franchise a step backwards chronologically, acting as a prequel to the 2005 original, though it also felt like a step backwards for the series in terms of gameplay and narrative too, feeling like an unnecessary story which we had already heard most of in every other game.
I’m still adamant that it would’ve worked much better as a PlayStation Vita title, though their need to outdo God of War 3 graphically and the addition of multiplayer clearly prevented them from doing so, meaning the single player product felt not only as if it was set before the original God of War, but that it was made before the first game in the series in terms of the narrative.
There were some lovely set-pieces and boss fights however, the final of which was a blast and felt more like an actual development of the franchise than anything else in the game. The addition of multiplayer, too, well-balanced and a joy to play saved the game from being a mediocre title, in my opinion.
Alex gave it an 8/10 in his review, concluding that it “doesn’t feel as relevant as the PSP games, nor as necessary” but that the fact that it’s a God of War title might be “more than enough” for some.
When it concludes, with the first God of War all set up storywise, Kratos finally gains his anger. Before then, it’s all illusion and confusion which quickly grows tiring, the same rug being pulled at least once too many times. It’s a fun ride – there are some lovely set pieces – but it’s largely a ride to a conclusion we already know and without enough focus to make it an unforgettable experience. Kratos’ backstory is fleshed out, his motivations explained and the rest of the series built on solid foundations, but is this really an essential slice of the story?
Alex hits the nail right on the head, although he gives much more praise to the game than I would; I don’t think that the set-pieces and fluid gameplay can excuse this disappointing and ultimately unnecessary entry into the series.
It sits at 80 on Metacritic, which is a bit lower than the other instalments but still a great score; perhaps my judgement is unfair due to my love of the previous games – I’m sure if I had played this before the others I would have enjoyed it more, but it just doesn’t live up to what we’ve seen in the past.
But it’s not up to me or Alex now, it’s up to you to decide Ascension’s fate: did you feel as though it was a worthy God of War game, or a pointless prequel?
Simply drop a comment below with your thoughts on the game and we’ll collate all of them into a WeView Verdict article on Monday. You’ve got a good chance to be included if you get your comment in by Sunday afternoon and put a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end.