Why God of War Ascension is bad?

God of War Ascension Review:

I recently finished God of War Ascension (Before anyone says anything, I realize it’s a little late) and it’s mediocre.

I’ve played all GoW games except GoW Ascension, which I skipped after reading some internet reviews. After finishing GoW: Ascension, I can state that it isn’t a masterpiece, but it improved the fighting from GOW III, has considerably better puzzles, and the plot is terrible in my view. It also included unneeded involvement in the cinematics.

When I initially played the original God of War in 2005, I felt sad for other action games. Kratos outperformed his contemporaries by such a large margin that keeping up with his violent rampage appeared impossible.

Other games borrowed lessons from God of War, but with each succeeding iteration, the bar was set higher, creating even more gap between Kratos and his opponents. After years of supremacy, God of War: Ascension is the series’ stumbling block, perhaps allowing the rivals to narrow the gap.

Why God of War Ascension is bad

It’s difficult to pinpoint where Ascension goes wrong because it offers everything a God of War title should have.

Blades that whirl? Check.

Awe-inspiring boss battles? Check.

Is there a story regarding Kratos’ terrible past? Check.

The list goes on, but just because Sony’s Santa Monica Studio incorporated the crucial aspects doesn’t imply they were performed to the high standards of the series. Ascension either pauses or goes backward in areas where fans want a new entry to advance, such as story and combat.

Kratos is on a mission to break free from Ares’ connection ten years before the first entry. This puts him in conflict with the Furies, who are responsible for upholding vows. Fans of the series know how the narrative ends: Kratos triumphs breaks his link, and finally murders Ares. The difficulty in a prequel is to tell a story that expands on the events that players have previously experienced – something Ready at Dawn’s portable God of War titles excelled at. 

Players were able to experience a new side of Kratos by seeing him shove his daughter away in Elysium and battle his brother Deimos. Ascension does not provide such understanding. Its major contribution is to emphasize that Kratos misses his family and regrets killing them, which is tired stuff at this point. As a result, the plot revolves around players seeking artifacts and battling bad people with no stake in the conclusion.

Even though Kratos loses the driving objective that propelled him onward in previous episodes, he is nonetheless full of heroic escapades. In terms of spectacle, Ascension strikes a similar chord as God of War III.

From start to finish, the trip is punctuated by towering animals, gigantic structures, and horrific deaths. They all look fantastic as well, due to their excellent production qualities. I paused numerous times to marvel at the graphics, which ranged from Kratos’ ashy skin to giant mechanical snakes writhing across icy slopes.

In most cases, cinematic camerawork effectively accentuates the action. It occasionally zooms out so much that you can’t tell what’s going on or who’s attacking, but you’re generally right in the middle of the action.

Kratos dealing out stunning combinations and executing legendary terrors through complicated (and fun) timed button-press sequences keeps the core of warfare intact. If you simply look at the action, you’d assume it’s more of the same, but the battle system has been tweaked, which changes how you play. The elimination of extraneous alternate weaponry pushes you to concentrate on your swords, which is what everyone does anyhow.

Players can still spend red orbs on other things; blade attacks can be laced with upgradable elemental qualities that give unique powers. Unfortunately, its most beneficial elemental power (area-clearing magic) is hidden at the final upgrade level. The regular attacks appear to be different, but they don’t feel distinct in practice, making fighting feel less diversified than in prior editions.

Other combat adjustments combine to push Ascension back. The updated fury meter unlocks more powerful techniques and allows your elemental augments to create diverse orbs, but maintaining it charged is too difficult when confronted with hordes of foes – just when you need it the most.

The choice to disconnect the parry move (which used to trigger automatically with a well-timed block) from the natural combo flow disrupts the natural combo flow. The addition of dull auxiliary weapons laying on the ground is also a letdown, as they are never as cool or helpful as Kratos’ main armory.

I appreciate the urge to experiment and change the formula for a new game, but Ascension is different in all the wrong ways.

The flaws are most visible in the last hour of the game when Kratos faces the Trial of Archimedes. This part is punishingly difficult, due to flaws in battle design rather than the precise arrangement of adversaries you meet.

I’ve beaten previous God of War games on the hardest difficulty setting, yet it took me almost an hour of continual dying on the standard difficulty setting to complete the trial. This passage sadly poisons the last chapters, replacing any leftover joy with dissatisfaction, just as the quest should be approaching its climax.

Is God of War Ascension worth playing?

Is God of War Ascension worth playing

Perhaps the changes to the fighting are the result of multiplayer. Perhaps Sony was more concerned with creating a warfare system that was geared for multiplayer than single-player. If so, that aim has been met.

The multiplayer in Ascension is a well-tuned experience, and features that felt awkward in the solo campaign (like the parry and secondary weapons) feel natural when you’re facing off against actual opponents. Multiplayer is likewise not crammed in haphazardly; gameplay is excellent, and the leveling system and different weapon and armor unlocks are admirable attempts to add longevity.

However, fascinating modes would have been the greatest approach to keep people playing. You may put your abilities to the test by playing standard deathmatch, capture the flag, and co-op horde modes. All of the modes work well and give some excitement, but they don’t capture what makes God of War so amusing or extraordinary.

So, if you’re a God of War fan you should try out the God of War Ascension to fulfill your cravings and have more sight of the War God Kratos.


God of War: Ascension is a decent game despite its flaws. The action is exciting, the visuals are stunning, and players are dragged from one adrenaline-pumping moment to the next. But it’s also disheartening. Fans have become accustomed to the growing stakes and escalating scale that propel Kratos to deific heights, but Ascension demonstrates that he is, after all, mortal.