God of war Ascension has been a highly anticipated game by the GOW community ever since we finished GOW 3 but does ascension live up to the standard? That's hard to say, this games graphics are amazing! The first time you see Kratos in a cut scene the first thing you notice is how you can see every spec of ash that's on him crystal clear.I remember the first time I played God of war, it was just before GOW3 came out and I bought the HD collection to play through before 3 came out and I remember thinking how good it looked in HD and how ehhhh it must have looked originally on PS1. That's how i feel about the difference Graphically between GOW3 and Ascension,just a major step up.The Detail they put into Kratos and all the HUGE set pieces is amazing.
The game play is fun fast and furies(pun intended).From beginning to end its non stop action or mind bending puzzles. Action wise you have the same things you've come to know and love about GOW which is good and bad.The kill animations seem to be reused from previous games. When you kill a Harpy and rip its head or wings off its great until the 100th time you've seen it and realize its the same thing Kratos has done in all of his games.A larger variety of kills would be great. They did however add in a neat mini game during battle.Instead of quick time events(QTE's)when killing some enemies you get a infinity blade style mini game where you dodge attacks by moving left or right while attacking who or whatever it is you fighting.Its not hard but is kinda rewarding to know YOU dodged that attack then disemboweled that snake thing instead of feeling like you just pushed a button real fast.
The music for this game is as usual great... when its playing.I noticed allot of moments where there was nothing but background sound,even during at least 1 boss fight.I don't understand that decision at all. They put so much work into making these great scores for this game then leave you with background sound during epic moments of game play. Normally this sorta thing wouldn't even register with me on a different game but for GOW to kill the music at any time just seems wrong.
My biggest gripe with the game tho is a lack of cut scenes. I remember every other turn or hallway in GOW 1,2, or 3 there was a cut scenes. It might not have been long or intricate but it was there giving you a feeling that you were on the right path and knew what you were doing and why. GOW ascension does just the opposite. There are very few cut scenes and while all the cut scenes serve there purpose to push you forward in the story they leave you wanting more that you just wont get.It disconnects you from the game. After an hour of running through halls, climbing walls and killing all sorts of creatures you start to forget where your going or why your even doing it.I would have rather had 20 small short story driven cut scenes then the 10 still short cut scenes that only pop up at the begging or end of the game.(seriously like 3 scenes after the intro and before the end.)its a little disappointing.
Overall this game is a fine addition to the god of war saga even given its few flaws.If your mostly interested in just killing things in the most vicious way possible(even if you saw it in GOW3)then you will love this game.If your a long time fan of the series you will love this game just for the fact that you get to see a slightly different side of Kratos and a bit more of his epic story. If you've never heard of God Of War(not likely)this is a great place to start before getting into the HD collection and GOW3.
For those of you that already have the game and cant get past the "hard part"(you know what I mean) there's a patch coming to make it a bit easier. personally i don't think it needs to be made easier. I got through it and while it did take some time it also made you invest in a strategy and feel like you really accomplished something.I for one take pride that i beat this level the way it was designed and didn't have to play the watered down version of this hard battle.
Update: Audio Issues (taken from Playstation blog)
"We are very aware of the audio drop issues many have been experiencing. This was a critical fix for this update, as a powerful and immersive audio mix is a tremendous part of the God of War experience. We apologize again for those impacted — now you’ll be able to better enjoy our sound team’s painstaking efforts."