'God of War: Ascension'
Sony PlayStation 3
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Sony's "God of War" series set a high benchmark on the PS2 and PS3 by combining excellent game play and awesome visuals with an epic story. Each sequel was bigger and badder than the last, but I'm not sure if the human brain can handle anything more intense than "GoW 3." Thankfully, both the story and game play have been toned down for "God of War: Ascension."
Since Kratos destroyed the Gods of Olympus in the last game, it makes sense that "GoW: Ascension" is a prequel. The anti-hero begins this game as a mere mortal, but he makes a pact with Ares to ensure victory on the battlefield. His newfound powers make him unstoppable, but he's tricked into killing his own family and then sets about annihilating every freakish enemy he encounters.
Fans of the series will be familiar with his wanton destruction, but Kratos' personality seems to be devoid of feeling. Instead of constantly bellowing his rage at the Gods, he seems too melancholy for battle. Just like an emo kid clad in black, at any moment I expect him to say, "I'm Kratos, and I'm sad."
Thankfully, the melee combat is dominated by his Blades of Chaos, which offer quick and flashy combos as well as ultra-brutal finishing moves! A cool new whip-grapple maneuver lets Kratos hold enemies in place or fling them about, and he can now imbue his blades with elemental powers to further their destruction! On top of that, Kratos can pick up various weapons off downed enemies to aid in combat.
"GoW" fans have been asking for online multiplayer for years, and now they can choose between several modes. Deep customization and cool environments are also available, but the game play can be lacking when groups of combatants collide.
Nevertheless, "God of War: Ascension" is a worthy game that will surely satisfy action fans.