By Chris Gill
April 11, 2013
The god slaying Ghost of Sparta has returned for yet another saga of brutal violence brought about by swirling blades of death. The question players have to ask themselves is after eight years of combat, is
Kratos’ story getting a bit tired?
Those of you who are die-hard fans of the God of War series will be familiar with the backstory of the brutal anti-hero. This new installment takes place as a prequel to the original story and puts Kratos at the mercy of the Furies; who are angry with him for breaking his oath to Ares.
The game maintains it’s classic button sequence boss battles and puzzle platform feel; with a few changes that players may come to love and some that may make them throw the controller across the room.
The first major difference is the change in the combat system; where many of the old combos have been removed or refurbished, the rage meter no longer charges unless in combat and drops if struck, and the Blades of Chaos are the only permanent weapon Kratos carries.
The focus of battle seems to have shifted from sweeping powerful spinning attacks to grappling with foes and using the blades to throw them across the map. The trouble with this system is one you advance further in the game enemies can block your grapple and require a heavy pounding before they can be put down. This combined with the overwhelming numbers faced in tight spaces can make combat very frustrating.
The only redeeming grace for the combat in this, is the secondary items, which played almost no role outside of the puzzles in previous games, can be game changers in a tight battle here; be it the time stopping Amulet of Uroborus or the body doubling Oath Stone of Orkos.
With the game clocking in at about nine hours it feels a bit short, but the real worth of this game comes from the content unlocked once the storyline is beaten. Unlike the other God of War games or really any game of this genre, God of War: Ascension has a multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer mode allows the selection of fealty to a single god granting your hero certain abilities based on whom you choose. The maps are laid out with traps, healing and mana restorations, experience chests, and endgame sequences that prove clutch in desperate spots. The only downfall of multiplayer is the uneven level match ups that can occur, but again these gaps can be mitigated with the in-map traps and endgame sequences.
Ascension will likely frustrate veterans of the series but I find it offers a lot of new ways to play and innovates the multiplayer genre. All in all: a worthwhile pick up.
Chris Gill is a junior majoring in secondary education English and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.