Sony released a new God of War Ascension demo today and I decided to give it a try to give you my impressions. First up I should give you my personal opinion on the series so you know what I think going into Ascension.
My History With God of War
- God of War: Very good.
- God of War 2: Awesome, peak of the series.
- God of War 3: Pretty but disappointing.
- God of War Chains of Olympus: Good.
- God of War Ghost of Sparta: Awesome, best in the series after God of War 2.
What Did You Think Of The Demo?
God of War Ascension is actually one of the first games in the series in terms of story even though in terms of general release it’s the seventh game. It’s fair to place Ascension under “Origins” story but both PSP God of War titles already explored the past of Kratos so is there anything left for Ascension?
Going into Ascension I had a bad feeling that this was going to play it safe, it was going to be a “let’s do another one because we can” and if the demo is any indication, it’s pretty much that.
The demo starts off with the usual voice over regarding gods and begins with Kratos being held prisoner but he’ll soon free himself after a nice set piece featuring an early boss encounter. Before long you’ll give chase and those with are familiar with the series will be right at home here. Spam square and triangle attacks until the little icon appears on their head, at this point hit R1 to perform a finishing attack.
Easily the most exciting new feature to God of War is the ability to use your chains to grapple on to enemies, from here you can continue to attack them or throw them around. Personally I really enjoyed keeping an enemy grappled whilst attacking another one, it’s almost like you’re multi-tasking within the game and not in the screen clearing attack type way. Clicking in the left analog stick makes Kratos sprint for a sort while (insert angry Call of Duty comment here) and the circle button is no longer grapple but as an extra attack button used to swing items Kratos picks up along the way.
Slighty changes to the combat system aside this is the same God of War game we’ve been seeing for a while. You pull some stuff here and there whilst defeating enemies to unlock doors that allow you to proceed. The game will throw the usual set piece moments at you but as usual it’s simply a QTE cut-scene which looks nice but never feels like you’re in control of the action. OTE’s in God of War are a tradition but now but I still think it’s silly how disconnected from the game they are compared to a game like Shenmue. The reason they worked in Shenmue is because the OTE’s were an extension of the gameplay, in God of War they are button prompts on top of a cut-scene.
In terms of sound there is something wrong with Ascension, it all feels very quiet and not so in your face like the series normally is. The music feels more toned down and relaxed, in some cases it wasn’t even there at all. I understand sometimes the ambience is used to set the mood but in Ascension it just felt like something was missing.
The God of War Ascension demo will last you around 20 minutes and it’s a big 3Gb download so those of you with slow internet speeds may prefer to stick to YouTube videos instead. In fact the videos released by Sony online have been pretty promising so far but the demo itself is rather boring and certainly didn’t get me excited for the final game like the God of War 3 demo did. In fact the demo just sort of randomly ends, there’s no real cut to black followed by the game’s logo or anything.
There’s nothing wrong with God of War Ascension, it looks great and plays smoothly enough but perhaps it’s time Sony Santa Monica moved on to create the next big thing. It’s obvious that this game is designed by a group of talented developers but the Ascension demo feels like one game too many.
From the looks of it, God of War Ascension is more of the same and that’s both a good thing and bad at this point. I thought Ghost of Sparta was one game too many and that turned out great, better than III if you can believe that. We’ll have to wait until next month to find out if Kratos has still got it or if he’s become the guy you thought was cool in school but no longer speak to.
Will it suck? Highly unlikely but it probably won’t blow your mind.
Worth a download? 3Gb and it’s not a very exciting demo, you could hold off until launch.
When is it out? March 12th in North America, March 13th in Europe, March 14th in Australia & March 15th in the UK.
YouTube Source: PlayStation