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God of War: Ascension - impressions from the first few hours

Posted by: Jeremy at 3/11/2013 12:41 PM
I’ll be honest, we’re running a little behind on our God of War: Ascension review. We didn’t receive our copy until this weekend but we are fast away at working through the experience to give you our official review. In the mean time I thought I would give some impressions from the first couple of hours of the game:

As I am sure that you have seen or heard by now, Ascension is a prequel in the God of War saga, similar to the PSP titles. The game takes place a decade before the first game, shortly after the death of his family. He has already sold his soul to Ares and is in possession of the Blades of Chaos, but he is just beginning to understand the power that he holds. That being said, Kratos is a little more “human” in this game than we have seen him in the past. Sure, you have some magical abilities and powers that you will come to possess and use, but the you also have to spend a lot of time showing your skill swith traditional human weapons.

That is one thing that I have come to appreciate from the start of the game: there are quite a few new weapons to enjoy. You can pick up a lot of the weapons that enemies drop such as slings, swords, javelins, and heavy clubs. They all have their own strategies and combos that go along with them, as well as the abilities to unleash a super-attack as a last resort (which drops the weapon in hand). These weapons take the place of the your traditional physical attack which compliments the Blades with the circle button. Plus, they can be mixed in with your combos with the Chains which lead to some great variety in combat.

I have come to the conclusion that Sony Santa Monica is perhaps the master of the video game camera. Too often you read or hear about a bad camera dampening an otherwise great experience in an action game. That hasn’t been the case thus far. In fact, the camera adds to the GoW experience just as it has in the past. The series already features epic battles and set pieces, just as you would expect, but those are intensified by the spectacular points of view that add even more “scale” to an already intense experience. It really feels like your watching these epic battles, not partaking in them.

Hopefully I will be able to tie up the campaign and put some time into the multiplayer when the servers start filling up tomorrow, after the official launch. There is a lot to this game and I have just barely scratched the surface of the experience. So far however, it seems like more of the same which many would expect from a God of War title, and that is a good thing.