Review: God of War Ascension

With the initial build up for “God of War Ascension” centered on multiplayer, series veterans began to fear that the grandiose single player would be a thing of the past. Those fears can be put to rest. Kratos’ latest epic journey is just as compelling, heart-pumping and bloody as his five previous tales. The combat — the franchise’s bread and butter — has never been so visceral and developer Sony Santa Monica has added an additional layer of depth to the tried and true Blades of Chaos. Add to that a multiplayer that is unlike anything currently out there, and this is a worthy entry into one of the most beloved franchise in Sony’s stable of exclusives.

Taking place months after being tricked into killing his wife and daughter, Kratos is captured by the Furies, three sisters who dole out punishment to anyone who betrays the gods. Upon freeing himself, Kratos sets out to try to break his allegiance to Ares while also trying to end the visions he sees of his wife and daughter. The campaign then switches to three weeks before his capture, revealing the events that got him to this point. Though the story doesn’t delve into Kratos’ relationship with his family as much as I thought, it does show a more human side of a character that has been defined by rage and vengeance.

As with previous titles in the series, the set pieces are some of the most jaw-dropping in all of video games. The opening sequence rivals anything the franchise has previously concocted, pushing scale and scope to astonishing levels. The camera zooms in to give an up-close look at the brutal battles Kratos is waging and then panes out to reveal the enormous creature — Hecatonchires — that is serving as the battleground. The camera work during this sequence is hit or miss though. Sometimes the perspective is too removed from the action because it’s trying to put the spotlight on the unbelievable backdrop, but this makes it difficult to pick out Kratos from the horde of enemies. But the camera…

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