COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Sony’s God of War: Ascension PS3 Review

Created: 03/13/2013 11:25 AM KSTP.com By: Hannah Anderson

 

I know that there are a lot of games that I say are my favorite, but the one series that ranks at the top of my list is Sony’s “God of War.” There are seven games in the “God of War” series and a couple of collections available. 

I just received a review copy of the latest chapter in the series from Sony for the PS3 called “God of War: Ascension.” It is one of the biggest and most epic adventures yet.

The “God of War” series is loosely based on the Greek Mythology and the main character is a Spartan name Kratos.  Ares tricks Kratos into killing his family and Kratos seeks revenge. 

Kratos eventually kills Ares with the help of Athena and soon learns that he is the son of Zeus. Zeus betrays Kratos and once again Kratos seeks revenge and kills Zeus. Kratos does not want to be guided or influenced by the Gods anymore so he seeks out to destroy all of them.

“God of War: Ascension” is a prequel to the “God of War” series. Long ago there was a war between the Primordials who were the ones that are believed to have forged the Earth. 

During the war, “Furies” were spawned and they are the guardians of honor and they will punish whoever breaks the rules.

Kratos makes a blood oath to the God of War Ares and he breaks the oath. The Fury Queen learns about this and captures Kratos and tortures him along with her two sisters Mageara and Tisiphone. Kratos must try and free himself and break his bond with the God of War.

I really thought that the story was very well written and fascinating. The action does not stop at all in the game. Every scene is very surprising and you never know what Kratos is going to encounter next. I also thought the story made sense and was very entertaining.  Fans of the “God of War” story will really enjoy it.

In my opinion I really think Kratos is such a great character because he doesn’t care what he does to get his revenge. All of the characters were interesting and I really liked how the Greek Mythological characters and settings are used in the story.

The graphics are amazing and very stunning. Everything is so detailed and looks great. The backgrounds are breathtaking and look fabulous. The creatures that Kratos fights look disgusting and are all unique. The bosses are huge and there is so much detail that you can really tell the graphic designers spent a great amount of time working on them.

The controls are very easy to learn and everyone will be able to pick up the controller and play with no problems at all. There are tutorials that are built into the game play that will explain to you what buttons you need to push. 

One really cool feature is that you can download the instruction manual on your PS3 from the game disc. This is the first time I had seen this and I think it’s amazing. The manual is unlike anything I had ever seen. There is a main menu so you can jump to any part of the manual you want quickly.

Controlling Kratos was very easy and everything flowed smoothly. You have many different attacks that you can do like light attacks, heavy attacks, you can grab enemies with your weapons and bring them closer to you so you can attack them. You can evade, block or parry enemy attacks.

The combo system is back and it works exactly the same way as the other “God of War” games.  You can just keep attacking creatures and the combo meter goes up. Once you get hit then it goes back down to zero. The higher the combo the more orbs you will get after the combo ends.

You can use the orbs to upgrade your weapons to make them stronger. You get orbs by defeating enemies or by finding treasure chests that contain them.

Along the way you will also find “World Weapons” and they are special weapons that are found in certain areas of the game. They are more powerful and can only be used for a certain period of time.

During Kratos’s  adventure he will get special weapons that will use magic. In the game there are treasure chests that you can break open to get more magic and also health. It seemed like I never had a problem with completely running out of magic, because there was always a chest near by.

When you are about to defeat an enemy they will become stunned and a halo will be around their head. If you go up to them and push the “R1” button you will perform a special kill and it’s unique for every creature. I really liked this a lot and thought that it was awesome, because Kratos did something different to every creature.

Kratos has his rage meter again and as you defeat enemies it fills up. Once it’s full you can activate it and your weapons and attacks will do more damage to the creatures.

There are also a lot of quick time event sequences that occur during the game. At certain points of the game you will need to push a specific button sequence to make things happen.

To open an door you will need to push the “R1” button and then you will need to tap “O” repeatedly until the door opens. The buttons will appear on the screen so you will know what you will need to push. This occurs a lot during boss battles.

The puzzles are back and there a bunch of them that you need to solve. I really like this a lot about the “God of War” series because I think it really makes the game challenging. 

There is a hint guide that can be turned on and off in the control menu. So if you are really having problems with an area, you can get some help.

For the first time in the “God of War” series you can play online and I think it’s awesome.

As you start out, you must choose a bond with either, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus or Ares.

Once you choose your God you will gain some of their powers. Each God has unique magic attacks and abilities that you can use.

There is a very detailed and helpful tutorial that you can go through that will explain how to use the character.

You can also customize your character. You can choose his armor, helmet, weapon and you can upgrade them with experience points you gain as you play the multiplayer games. This was really cool and I think a lot of people will really like this feature.

There are several multiplayer games that you can play and they are all very fun and exciting. I had no problems finding a match and every game I played went smoothly and there were no lags or glitches.

The multiplayer games that are featured are: Trial of the Gods (one player and Co-op), Capture the Flag, Match of Champions (four or eight players), and Team Favor of the Gods (4vs4 or 2 vs 2).

You can choose to do a quick match, where you are thrown into the first game that is available or you can search for a game you want to play.

I really think Sony’s “God of War: Ascension” is the best in the series. I could not put the game down, I had to see what Kratos was going to encounter or find next. I also wanted to see how the story was going to end. 

I think that the story is great and the action does not stop. The graphics are amazing.

I also think that the bosses are the biggest, more complex and most challenging ones to beat in the series.

I must say that “God of War: Ascension” is rated “M” for blood, gore, nudity and intense violence, so it’s not for kids.

This is by far one of my favorite games and I know that fans of the “God of War” series will also feel the same way. If you have never played any of the “God of War” games before, I would highly recommend you checking out Sony’s “God of War: Ascension,” you will not be disappointed.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.