Meta-review: God of War: Ascension

Happy go-lucky every man, Kratos, celebrates his fourth official console release next Tuesday with God of War: Ascension, a prequel to the existing God of War titles examining what made him the cheery fellow he is today.

Personally, I have never been a huge fan of the God of War franchise. I like my video game violence with its tongue firmly pressed in the necessary cheek. God of War, on the other hand, has always felt like an exercise in brutality. I enjoy it in small doses, but every once in a while, I find my wincing at heads being severed too much of a distraction from the overall enjoyment I am supposed to be having.

That is not to say that there isn’t a place for God of War in video game culture. They are beautiful to look at and usually pretty respectful to Greek mythology. But forget what I think, this is what the big review outlets have to say. Unlike Tomb Raider last week, there is much more of an uneven approach to this game. The praise is there, but it is not as solid of a hit as past God of War games.

Destructoid: God of War has never looked or played better than this. Kratos has never been as deep or interesting as this. They’ve set the bar so high that I have no idea how they’ll be able to follow this one up. Sony Santa Monica should be proud. Series fans should be proud. (9/10)

Game Spot: The multiplayer’s a bust, but God of War: Ascension’s campaign is a gloriously bloody adventure filled with exhilarating combat. (8/10)

Polygon: 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. (7/10)

Rev3Games: I was a little bit surprised that it fell short in a lot of design aspects. Overall the game didn’t live up to a satisfying sense of experience. (3/5)


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Adam Sessler on Violence and Video Games

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