God of War : Ascension review round up 
  TweetTweet

Geoffrey Tim
March 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

totalyepicbro

Next week sees the release of just one of the platform exclusive GoWs; God of War: Ascension for PlayStation 3. It tells the prequel tale of the muscly Greek bad-ass before he lest everything, showing that he’s pretty much always been unnecessarily angry. I’ve considered it unnecessary; it’s a story that doesn’t really need to be told, but hey, it’s more God of War, and that’s never a bad thing. So wot’s it like?

Critics seem divided. It’s technically impressive, as God of War games always are, and offers the same sort of slick, brutal mass killing we expect from the series – but complaints have been levied against the needless inclusion of multiplayer  – and the whole template becoming a bit uninspired.

Here’s what they had to say.

  • CVG: 7.5/10 – "Despite samey combat and a story low in scope, Ascension remains a visually stunning reminder of PS3′s pulling power, its sprinkling of incredible set pieces and time-refined combat laid on top of a familiar – too familiar – blueprint.”
  • Destructoid: 9/10 – "God of War has never looked or played better than this. Kratos has never been as deep or interesting as this. They’ve set the bar so high that I have no idea how they’ll be able to follow this one up. Sony Santa Monica should be proud. Series fans should be proud."
  • Edge: 7/10 – "While this series’ singleplayer template is showing its age, there’s plenty in Ascension’s multiplayer that deserves to survive the transition to PS4."
  • Gamespot: 8/10 – "The single-player is where you should spend your time. No, it doesn’t quite reach the audacious and rage-filled moments of God of War: Ascension’s predecessors, nor does it move the series forward in any way, but it’s skilfully put together, and wonderfully satisfying to play."
  • GamesRadar: 3.5/5 – "God of War: Ascension is confident, executing the franchise tropes flawlessly with an amount of self-awareness not often seen in gaming. It knows it’s good–it knows it doesn’t have to try hard to be good–but it struggles to be anything more than that. While it’s worth experiencing for the massive battles, remarkable cinematic moments, and strong combat, it doesn’t feel like a necessary chapter in the God of War franchise."
  • IGN: No Score (review in progress) – “Few games embody the definition of epic quite like God of War. From tangling with the Hydra at the beginning of the first game to facing the Colossus of Rhodes and more recently the breathless, brutal battle against Poseidon, Kratos’ first steps into a new adventure are never forgettable. So it’s somewhat surprising and indeed disappointing that the beginning of God of War Ascension kicks off with more of a muted hand-clap than the usual rib-shattering bang.”
  • Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 8/10 – "God Of War: Ascension is a fantastic game, just one that quite can’t compete with the true greats of the genre, like Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow. Whether multiplayer was a distraction that led to standards ever so slightly slipping in single-player is debatable. With such a strong combat system and beautiful looks, Kratos’ prequel could have eclipsed them all with a handful of key tweaks. Not quite the murdery meteoric rise we were hoping for then, but certainly not a fall from grace either."
  • Polygon: 7/10 – "God of War: Ascension is a pair of halves that don’t add up to a cohesive whole. The multiplayer succeeds at making God of War work as a cooperative and competitive experience, but doesn’t have the depth to exist on its own. The campaign feels derivative and lacking the forceful confidence that made the series a showpiece for cinematic character-driven action games. When Ascension works, it still does what no other game save God of War manages to achieve. But it lacks the vision and force to stand up to the rest of the series."
  • TheSixAxis: 8/10 – "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?"
  • Videogamer: 7/10 – "The campaign is simultaneously more of the same and less of the same, being marginally shorter than God of War III’s story, yet lacking that game’s ferocity and pacing. It arguably has the lowest ‘wow’ factor of the four mainline games to date, and in a series that trades on spectacle, that’s not the best sign. Yet the multiplayer component is as fresh as the single-player is familiar."

God of War: Ascension is out next week; 13 March locally – currently sits with a Metacritic score of 79%. Are you getting it?

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • FoxOneZA

    Ouchies!

  • Decembermaloy

    After Castlevania : LOS came out, I just don’t seem as interested in GOW as a go-to hack and slash anymore.

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    *waits for deadpool game*

  • Tetsuo

    I haven’t played all the GoW games so I assume the Singleplayer won’t be so familiar to me (which it seems is the main gripe with the game), and most of the reviewers agree that the Multiplayer is awesome so yes, without a doubt, I’ll get it.

  • caponeil

    This is seriously a case of “too much of a great thing”. If this was GOW1 then it will be rated as highly. I will still get it as the franchise is about as close to the perfect action adventure as you will get. Just the depth alone based in myth is spectacular and not just another “historically-accurate-point-and-click-first-person-role-playing-survival-horror”. GOW defined the genre in a way that few could. I still think one of the all time greatest gaming franchises. “now where the hell is my youtube clip?” :-)

  • Deon Steyn

    Yes please! This and Bioshock 3. Then it’s two minute noodles and horse meat for the rest of the month. Finished the first one finally and it was epic. Thanks PS+ for the free download.

  • Melasco

    I’ll get it, but only later this year. Currenly catching up on other games I have not played.. No rush :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/daryl.eksteen Daryl Eksteen

    Super amped for this game! The God of War series is why I own a PS3!

    • Eetcarr

      God of War and Uncharted in my book

      • Tbone187

        I Reckon You can ad MGS to that list as well…

  • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

    Am I the only that thinks GOW is kinda stale?I mean they havn’t tried anything new, I haven’t tried Ascension but from what I’ve seen it looks pretty much like …. GOW

    • Tbone187

      Nope, I concur…The 2nd was the best in my books…Even with inferior graphics on the ps2…testament that graphics isn’t everything…

      • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

        Indeed, 3 felt more or less the same hey and not to mention the psp games. it’s a great game but there is nothing new being done at all

  • Purple_Dragon

    It sounds like it will be a good God of War game but not fantastic. I’ve heard varying opinions on game time but some say it is quite short?

    But I’m still miffed they wasted their time with multiplayer. I hope it hasn’t detracted from the single player game but it does sound like it did detract. What is the point of suddenly having multiplayer? How many people are actually going to still be playing the multiplayer in a few months time?

    Why oh why do companies shoe horn multiplayer into games that have inherently been single player games. Nevermind online connections like the SimCity sheningans. It’s stupid shit.

    I just get so disappointed when what should be a great single player game is deprived of greatness for reasons unrelated to the single game development and experience..

    I’m still looking forward to this God of War but mainly for the special controller I ordered! But I do get the feeling the game will leave me disappointed.

    • Tetsuo

      It actually sounds the other way round. Single player detracts from the multiplayer :D The Single player is more of the same, the multiplayer is actually a excellent addition.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLesQqsAkQU – Have a look at the multiplayer, it looks amazing.

      I’ve read that the SP is just a bit shorter than GOW3, which is fine with me. Anyway, I’m still super psyched to get the game!

      • Purple_Dragon

        It’s never been a multiplayer game.

        • Tetsuo

          Well, it is now…

  • OVG

    I LOVED GOW 1… WOW the PS2 was the shit. But… why did Kratos get so greedy? I felt for him in 1 because he was dooped BUT killed his family amongst all those innocent people. It was a good revenge story BUT KRATOS IS A COCK, ALWAYS HAS BEEN A COCK AND ALWAYS WILL BE A COCK.

    GOW 2 Blew my load with the powerful 2005 PS2 BUT STILL KRATOS WAS A COCK AND EVEN KILLED ATHENA…

    Sorry but the dude is a cock, I never liked him. ASURA is my best revenge videogame.

    Trololoolloloololololol

    • OVG

      COCK