So after being delayed a couple of days due to moving in to a new appartment, i finally had time to beat the latest game in the God of war series. Booting up the game, my expectations where sky high. I'm a huge fan of the other games, and so I had been excited for GoWA since the announcement.

If you havent picked up the game yet and wondering if the GoW series is anything for you? Read on! Please note that since i have so many different thoughts on the game, this review will not be split into gameplay, visuals and sound like the others, but will be a collected review on all in one.


God of War: Ascension is a prequel to the very first game in the series. Interestingly, this means that you don't neccesarily have to oplay the previous games before playing this one. I'd recommend it, but it's not necessary.
The game revolves around Kratos' life in the immediate period after having being tricked by Ares, and sends Kratos in search of the truth behind the conspiracy that robbed him of his family.
The story itself has always been a huge part of the GoW games, since they've always been single player only, and even in God of War: Ascension, the multiplayer is in no way tied to the story. So the plot of the games are of huge importance.

This is also my first concern with the game. The story seemed to take too long to start, and despite having extensive knowledge of the GoW universe, it took me a long time to make sense of what the story was about. The first hour or so had very little explanation, which disappointed me. The story however does still rely heavily on elements from ancient greek mythodology, and so the universe itself is still just as it's supposed to be from the previous games.

The scale of the game is another thing. GoW has always been about gigantic bosses and huge interactive landscapes, and God of War: Ascension is absolutely no exception. Sometimes it even becomes hard to make out where Kratos is running around when the camera zooms out to include the impressive environment. This can be a bit bothersome in certain situations when you are actually in the middle of fighting, but I'd say that it happens so little that it doesnt affect the overall gameplay. The landscape always something interesting to look at!

The controls of the game and the "inventory" is directly imported from the other games. Once again you collect xp in the form of red orbs from killing enemies and destroying stuff which you then use to upgrade weapons and items to fit your taste. I'm familiar with the system and thus was glad that they didn't change anything. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Attacking, dodging and blocking are tightly screwed together. At first I thought the combat system was a bit broken since many enemies on the screen combined with the camera zooming out leaves you blind to dodging and blocking because you can't see when enemies attack. this can become bothersome. Especially when you're constantly tryign to fill your rage meter.
That is another thing. The health and magic meters in the game are as per usual filled up by killing enemies and upgraded by collecting chests with gorgon eyes and phoenix feathers. And right here is a problem in God of War: Ascension. As usual, you're awarded trophies for fully upgrading both meters. In the previous games, you had to collect all chests to get this reward, so naturally, I thought this was the case as well here, since no one tells you otherwise. But in God of War: Ascension, there are many more chests than necessary, and so it's actually okay if you miss a few during the story.
But some chests become inaccessible due to forced plot progression, and this forced me to restart chapters multiple times, since i thought I needed all of them. This caused me to waste more than 1½ hour restarting chapters, and is a big problem gameplay wise. God of War: Ascension is a lot more cryptic as to hinting progress paths than previous games. In my case, i was stuck at a cross road. Turning right was the path to chests etc., and left was forced progression. But thinking I'd be allowed to fully explore before progression made me go left first, forcing me to delete multiple hours progress when I later found out I'd missed a lot of stuff. Huge problem for impatient gamers like me.

Furthermore, the game tends to feel quite buggy. Multiple times I was forced to restart checkpoints due to bugged enemies that could not be killed, thereby blocking progression. Minor details, but considering the huge success of the previous games, Santa Monica Studios are just too good to let stuff like this happen.

With all that being said, God of War: Ascension is still an awesome game. It has all the elements necessary to capture its audience. Awesome characters, great voice acting and amazing environments. Not to mention (no spoilers) that the final boss fight is one of the most awe inducing things i've ever experienced in any game, topping all previous GoW games. The general gameplay is incredibly well balanced in terms of puzzles, fighting and exploring, something that I've always felt was off in the other games in the series. The story, once it sets in, is also really enjoyable, and with a little over 8-9 hours gameplay depending on the chosen difficulty feels just right. Those who are familiar with greek mythodology are especially in for a treat, and in general God of War: Ascension is enjoyable due to its very characteristic universe, something that very few other games dare explore. This is God of War: Ascension's trademark.

It may seem strange that I can say so little collectively about the positive things of the game compared to the negative, but it's really hard to define the individual elements, since it is the interplay between the little things that makes God of War: Ascension a worthy successor in the series. Not many franchises see releases of so many games as God of War and still manages to uphold greatness without compromise, despite a few obvious flaws.

REVIEW SCORE: 4/6