As someone who played God of War 3 a month after playing the first two games, it's safe to say I had too much God of War at once. So being offered another God of War experience even after the PSP collections have been made available to me is like offering me a KFC bucket after I just finished a King's Banquet. One of my problems with games this generation is that they keep getting rehashed and reissued way too often, with little to no innovation. This was one of the things that prompted me to shake my head upon the announcement of God of War Ascension, but I was hoping Sony would come through and erase my doubts by offering some new innovative features.
After playing the demo build at Eurogamer Expo, I am sad to say that I am disappointed. The single player demo was short and showed nothing we haven't seen in a God of War game before. Ok so Kratos can build and destroy platforms to help pave the way forward, big deal! I think either this was the wrong single player demo to offer us at an Expo, or this game just lacks any major improvement to be excited for.
I also found the Multiplayer to be quite bland. It consists of six players split into two teams who must compete by racking up points for kills on the various enemies around the map. Once the required amount of points is met the Spear of Olympus falls from the sky, awarding the winning team the pleasure of taking out the Cyclops. Taking out the cyclops was definitely the most interesting part of the multiplayer experience. In theory it's a cool idea for a multiplayer mode, but I just don't feel like it has enough substance to make me want to play it over the single player campaign.
My thoughts may come across as negative, but believe it or not I still hold interest in God of War: Ascension as I'm sure once I have the game in my possession I'll see that it is in fact another gem in the series. I just feel like what I was shown at the Eurogamer Expo wasn't enough to erase my doubts.
“Before he was a god, he was a man” that was the tagline Sony used when God Of War Ascension was first announced back in April. And with such a powerful tagline you’d be forgiven for thinking that Santa Monica’s upcoming God Of War game would be radically different from the five games that came before it. Maybe we’d get to see Kratos and his wife shopping in the ancient Greek equivalent of Wal-Mart, or maybe you’ll be attending one of Calliope’s school plays before taking her out for burgers and milkshakes. But nope, from what I’ve seen and played God Of War Ascension is just another God Of War game, a God Of War game with a questionable multiplayer mode thrown in so Sony could shove an online pass in the box.
I hate being cynical about games, especially games that are several months away from being released but unless Ascension has an extremely strong narrative hook it’s going to have a hard time trying to justify its existence. Within the past 3 years Sony has released a God Of War Collection, another God Of War Collection, a SUPER God Of War Collection, God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta and of course, God Of War III. With so many God Of War games on the market I’m finding it hard to get excited about the prospect of yet another God Of War game and the demo I played during Eurogamer Expo did very little to sway me.
If you saw Sony’s E3 press conference then you’ve already seen the single player section that I played through. Kratos was still angry at the world and I mashed the square and triangle buttons a whole lot so he could exact his vengeance. Graphically Ascension looks phenomenal but that’s like saying a Metal Gear Solid game contains cutscenes. I’m not sure how Santa Monica plans to raise the bar set by God Of War III, which featured grand encounters against the likes of Cronos, Hades, Poseidon, Hercules and even Zeus, but I’m sure they have a few tricks up their sleeves.
As it’s becoming increasingly hard to sell 6-10 hour experiences for $60, Ascension now features a multiplayer mode that will hopefully keep you trading in the game 2 days after purchasing it. The mode we played was a 3 vs. 3 arena brawler where players fought to take control of the map and brutally annihilate a large titan who looms in the background. Unlike Gary, I actually enjoyed my time spent with Ascensions multiplayer however I still feel conflicted about its longterm viability.
With its release date 6 months away Sony still has plenty of time to convince me that God Of War Ascension is the greatest game ever made but from what I’ve seen so far it’s essentially just God Of War 3.5.