God Of War Ascension
Produced by Santa Monica Studios
Released March 12, 2013
Cosplay Media Rating: 4/5
Story/ Overview: 3/5
What seems to be a High Resolution PSP God of War title in terms of storyline does very little to fill in gaps to Kratos’ struggle with the gods. This takes place after Kratos had betrayed Ares and the punishment that he was faced with by the hands of the Furies. No, not the furries….that would me much more terrorizing. The story jumps back and forth in different time frames. One moment you’re defeating a boss, then you’re getting a…”2 weeks earlier” message. This it to fill in the gaps on why Kratos is being hunted and how he tries to recover from the loss of his family and the illusions that plague him.
The game forces you to make some morally bad decisions. This is the part of the game that is a huge disappointment. Yes, we know Kratos is a bad person, but the game forces you to make every morally bad choice. You don’t get a chance to save people from being killed by enemies, they’re all killed for you in a cut scene before you can even play. You want to give Kratos some sort of redemption, otherwise, what you feel for him is that he really deserves to be tortured for all of eternity for what he’s done. One scene in particular forces you to torture bodies. Yes, in order to move on in the game you must use torture devices on bodies by ripping their arms off and sticking their body in an iron maiden. OK, that’s really not my thing. I would have done anything to avoid having to do that. Forcing players to torture in order to move on in a video game is just wrong and not giving you chances to save people just adds more insult to injury. In the end, you really question why you would want Kratos to complete his quest. His single emotion of anger and his thirst for vengeance is all you get. Sure, you get some flashbacks of his family in an attempt to gain your sympathy and then you realize that his selfish wish for the power to defeat his enemies and the death of his family was at his own hands.
Ascension is definitely the spawn of talented artists. The game boasts what may possibly be the best graphics the Playstation 3 has ever produced. Large characters that fill up the screen. Distant backgrounds that go out as far as the eye can see and a remarkable near absence of aliasing issues. The character textures are extremely well done with Kratos not just having his standard white ash covered skin, but you can see specs of his original skin tone, which really gives the look that he has this permanent white ash on him. The textures and alpha maps for the characters are just amazing. It really shows off the hardware to it’s full extent, (which is to be expected with AAA titles at the end of their console run).
Sound/ Voice: 5/5
Plain and simply put, the same top notch cast and score that you’ve heard in previous God of War games. Everything fits perfectly. At no point did a character speak and their voice didn’t match their visual character. Music and sound blend in nicely with the action.
Gameplay/ Controls: 2/5
There are certain sections of the game that ask too much of the player with what controls and reactions are given to them. Mostly sections where you are asked to climb up something as quick as you possibly can, while something is chasing after you. Ascension gives you no time for hesitation when leaping from object to object to avoid being killed by something below you. What adds to the aggravation is that after each jump, Kratos hangs by one hand and swings his other arm over to grab the ledge. What you end up with is you yelling at the character to, “Just grab the freakin’ ledge”. Other hindrances include the camera, that you have zero control over. Not being able to control the camera is fine. It worked in all the God of War games before it, but in this title, to show off the incredible graphics, the camera will zoom out to the point that you’re the size of an insect and cannot even see what you’re doing. If the player has a 19″ TV, they’re completely hosed. There is no way you can tell what is going on. Just keep swinging away in hopes that you don’t fall or get killed by the enemies. One final issue that came up was that there were objects that needed to be pushed/ pulled in order to progress through the game. I was stuck at a section because I pulled an object and it refused to move. It had a hint that object could be pushed or pulled, so I tried it and nothing happened. Got stuck and kept going back and forth until I tried to push the object from another direction. This made no sense at all. There was nothing blocking the object from being pulled, but it just really wanted to only move from one direction.