God of War: Ascension is yet another prequel in Kratos’ mythos. This time the Furies, punishers of those who break their bonds to the Gods, capture him. Tortured by false visions, Kratos breaks free in order to see the truth. He barely says anything for the first third of the game, which is a nice compared to Kratos screaming at everything that moved in GoW 3. This game isn’t well paced and Kratos’ motivations are murkier than past experiences. It’s incoherent and not engaging at all.
Gameplay is equally uninteresting. Aside from Kratos’ dual chain blades, his inventory is sorely lacking compared to past games. There are weapons to pick up from enemies, but they break easily. Four elemental powers can be gained, but they’re pretty weak compared to previous entries. The enemies are mostly rehashed, except for a few new entries like an elephant warrior. Except for the gruesome over-the-top gore, there’s nothing special about the combat. Tack this onto Kratos’ terrible platforming skills due to the bad camera that still hasn’t been fixed from the first game and it’s a pretty painful experience; though not as bad as getting your skull ripped open. The multiplayer was clearly where the team put their effort, but that too gets old fast. Still, if there is anything fun about this game it’s the multiplayer.
What GoW: Ascension does have is beautiful visuals. The environments are pretty bland, save for a few awesome areas, like again, the beginning and end levels. These areas and the bosses accompanied with them are impressive; showing off the amazing scale God of War has made its name on. The sound design of the monsters, voice acting, and music is pretty good as well despite the dull experience of actually playing the game.
God of War: Ascension proves that making a third prequel was a mistake. The well has dried up and this series needs to end, or go somewhere vastly different for the inevitable fourth entry. Even the good this game has accomplished cannot make up for all the wrong it has wrought. This may even be too much for God of War fans to swallow.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on March 22, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.