God of War: Ascension Review

The game signals oncoming unblockable attacks with a red glow, invincibility with a white glow and a blue glow denotes a player in recovery. This system of visual cues allows players to monitor cool-down based special moves as well as concentrate on the balanced ‘rock-paper-scissors’ mechanic of the game, where a Parry beats a Light Attack, Light Attack beats Heavy Attack and a Heavy Attack beats a Parry.

Whereas the ‘Match of the Champions’, ‘Team Favour of the gods’ and ‘Capture the flag’ modes offer competitive melee action that is similar to the God of War style combat, the cooperative ‘Trial of the gods’ section presents gameplay that mirrors the story mode’s experience down to a tee.  It is basically a Melee focused horde mode which focused on solo or two player; co-op endurance battles against perpetual waves of enemies in the multiplayer arenas.

On the presentation front, it is amazing how much of the audio and visual splendor present in the singleplayer is translated into the multiplayer. Though nowhere near as epic, the presentation in multiplayer arenas still evokes the theme and look of the franchise. They even tie in the beginning of multiplayer setup with a scene in the story campaign. It is such attention to detail that makes Ascensions’ multiplayer mode feel part of the God of War universe rather than a stitched up after thought.

While it proves to be a worthwhile edition to the game, the success of Ascension’s online component depends on whether or not gamers warm up to the melee based multiplayer experience.

All in all, Ascension certainly holds up to the lofty standards of its critically acclaimed action franchise. The game features a level of polish and an attention to detail in gameplay, visuals and sound; that few other games can boast. While I did experience two glitches that forced me to restart from checkpoint, these were small issues that can easily be solved with a patch. God of War: Ascension is truly a AAA title and deserves to be played by any fan of the hack and slash, action genre.

Gameplay: 8
Ascension offers the same amazing level of polish and precision in its action that the God of War series is known for. While there have been little changes here and there, the majority of the singleplayer gameplay is the same as what was God of War III. There is still room for improvement in areas like platforming and there are couple of glitches that need a quick patch.

Mutliplayer portion offers the same core gameplay as found in the singleplayer, however the melee focused online multiplayer might not appeal to players used to online shooters.

Graphics: 9
What the series is known for; the graphics of Ascension have the same level of polish, detail and scale that was offered in GOWIII. Comparing game from 2013 to a game from 2010 might seem like a slight, but God of War III is still a visual delight; and so is Ascension.

Sound: 9
Again a series staple; each dialogue is well delivered, each blow is audible and the music is ambient in quitter areas and thunderous in action packed moments.

Presentation: 8
The game tries to go a different route in its narrative with non-linear storytelling and a focus on Kratos as a person. While the execution is done well, due to fluid animation and suitable dialogue, the content of the story holds little bearing on the greater narrative of the God of War saga.

The attention to detail continues in the multiplayer department as the user interface is clear and easy to navigate.

Value: 8
Matching the length of previous console iterations in the God of War franchise, Ascension offers a single player campaign that can take anywhere from 9 to 12 hours to complete. Depending on the difficulty and amount of items you want to find.

The multiplayer portion of the game has solid foundations and might give a boost to the game’s replayability if it is up to the player’s liking.

Verdict: 8.5
God of War: Ascension is a game that caters to its fan base. If you have liked God of War games in the past, you will definitely enjoy this game as well. If God of War games have never been your cup of tea, then there is nothing new in this recent outing that will change your mind.

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2
Game Score
8.5

out of 10

  • Gorgeous Graphics

  • Action is polished and precise

  • Camera pans out to an absurd degree in certain areas

  • Clunky platforming returns

By Omar Majeed

Omar has been a hardcore gamer since the 80s, so you know he's going to act all superior and snobbish when you meet him. He's a fan of Stealth, Action and Fighting games, which hints at his innate bipolarity.

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