Building (Critical) Consensus: God of War: Ascension

Has Kratos worn out his welcome? God of War: Ascension is the fourth game in the God of War series for the PlayStation home consoles. The GameRankings and Metacritic scores for each of the first three games were 92 or higher. The aggregated scores for Ascension are around 80%.

Critics haven’t taken to GoW: Ascension quite like they did with the numbered GoW trilogy but does that mean that this is a bad game?

PlayStation Universe (9.0/10): Overall, GoW: Ascension is a fine addition to the series, offering a tremendously extravagant adventure that, like the warm duvet in your bedroom, fits snugly into the whole universe… Kratos may be in touch with his human side in God of War: Ascension, but he’s still one hell of a bad, violent and blood-thirsty mutha.

Machinima (8.5/10): While many find the God of War series to be repetitive in its formula, it continues to deliver a refreshing take that satisfies the core fan base. And though the campaign is shorter and the number of epic boss fights leaves you wanting more, this is the most human we have ever seen Kratos and the story compels you to him unlike ever before. Ascension sets out not to reboot the franchise with a prequel but to add yet another layer of depth to one of the more complicated characters Sony has ever created.

GameTrailers (8.3/10): God of War: Ascension combines bold action with a certain level of restraint, taking a few chances but still hewing close to the familiar… This Ascension is perhaps more a small step than giant leap, making an interesting motion toward more calculated combat and ultimately crafting a satisfying side-story that’s assuredly part of the myth, but not quite a legend in its own time.

Polygon (7.0/10): God of War: Ascension is a pair of halves that don’t add up to a cohesive whole. The multiplayer succeeds at making God of War work as a cooperative and competitive experience, but doesn’t have the depth to exist on its own. The campaign feels derivative and lacking the forceful confidence that made the series a showpiece for cinematic character-driven action games. When Ascension works, it still does what no other game save God of War manages to achieve. But it lacks the vision and force to stand up to the rest of the series.

GamesRadar (3.5/5): God of War: Ascension is confident, executing the franchise tropes flawlessly with an amount of self-awareness not often seen in gaming. It knows it’s good–it knows it doesn’t have to try hard to be good–but it struggles to be anything more than that.

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on March 13, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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