There's More to God of War: Ascension Than Just Multiplayer

After spending some hands-on time with God of War: Ascension, here's what we think of a few immediately noticeable changes.

by

'

Here at Gamescom 2012, Sony is letting folks get some quality hands-on time with a God of War: Ascension single-player demo that was previously only for looking back at E3. So what has changed in Kratos' latest outing? What are the things you really pick up on once you sit down and play the game for (and by) yourself? Well, read on to find out…

Found weaponry is a nice change of pace

Throughout Kratos' journey in God of War: Ascension, he'll frequently make his way through scenes of war and destruction, and as you'd probably expect, not everyone will survive. Luckily for you, this allows you to pick up the various weapons from these fallen victims. Things like swords, spears, and other more esoteric pieces of weaponry can be used by Kratos for a bit of time to mix up his fighting style. There's something oddly appealing about Kratos picking up the spear thrust through a dead innocent only to turn right back and use it on the enemies responsible for that person's death. Plus, it feels a bit like a guitar virtuoso entertaining himself with a ukulele just for laughs.

Channeling your rage into a single target is disgusting fun

In early God of War games, you'd build up a rage meter by doing well in combat, then cash it in to turn super-powerful for a temporary stretch of time. It was a fun system for going to town on your enemies without having to worry about them hurting you, but seeing the rage meter slowly deplete was a bit like hearing the air wheeze its way out of a balloon.

In God of War: Ascension, however, you can cash in the entirety of your Rage meter for one very explosive, very climactic moment of destruction. Click in both analog sticks when you've got the meter built up, and if you've got fireball magic, you can turn a given enemy into a walking suicide bomber. Cashing in the meter instantly nets you a bunch of health and orbs, and after that you'll see your poor enemy burst apart and take out any buddies unfortunate enough to be standing near him. It's grim, but deeply satisfying.

Buttonless minigames are cool, but need some refinement

God of War: Ascension will make use of what Sony's calling "buttonless" minigames, which are essentially fight scenes where the situation is highly scripted but you're given far more control than a quick-time event button prompt. So, for example, when we approached the end of the elephant-headed boss, we became entangled in his trunk, needing to dodge his swinging attacks while stabbing at his head when it was safe to do so.

Stabbing at him was a simple, delightful matter of jamming on the face buttons when we weren't under threat from his mighty swings. But as we tried to dodge him, we weren't moving for some reason and kept taking damage. Only a moment later did we realize we were trying to dodge using the right analog stick as you do in free combat, but for some reason this little minigame decided dodging should be mapped to the left analog stick. So while we liked the action and the context of these little scripted fight scenes, it's clear that there are some usability issues left to be ironed out.

The visual style is still God of War, but with some interesting touches

If it weren't for all the blood, killer goat men, blood, killer elephant men, and blood, you'd think the setting from this demo were some sort of Mediterranean vacation paradise. Kratos is venturing through ancient ruins out at sea, with tree-dotted islands off in the distant sunset. It's quite a picturesque backdrop compared to the gloomy locales of earlier games. And on top of that, there's a noticeably pronounced depth of field effect compared to God of War III, so not only does the background look more vibrant, but it also looks more cinematic. This probably isn't something that most God of War fans will notice, but it certainly grabbed our attention.

'

Discussion

3 comments
BigB-65
BigB-65

We'll notice, we'll notice...

BTW thanks Shaun, it was a fun and informative piece of work.

bloody_roar_fan
bloody_roar_fan

Oh, and by the way, awesome landscapes are very important in games!

I remember plaiyng in my PS1 and spending some time in the same spot at a game just to apreciate the scenery!!!!

bloody_roar_fan
bloody_roar_fan

Very, very well writen!!!

Congrats Shaun!!!!!!!!!! :) 

gamergath
gamergath

Can't wait for Ascension to come out, then after it makes its debut release God of War 4 will be in works for the next gen consoles, mark my words I tell you, truth be told. :-D

ash162
ash162

I've played all GOWs and even though it's the same every game they just do it so well. I mean you don't really get tired of the brutality of it. Looking forward to this even though it's pretty much the same as the last 5 games.........

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

Can't wait for this one. Thank God Resident Evil 6 is coming in a month and a half, it will make it much easier to wait for this one.

mizoegypt
mizoegypt

Can't wait 2 play it !!!  :D

danilolopez
danilolopez

ok, so it seems the f"··"$ing same game from always¡¡¡ GOW I was brutal... GOW II was of other world¡¡, GOW III was like what?¿ and now this... I know its difficult to surprise fans now, but we deserve it

senjutsu
senjutsu

Multiplayer is a nice bonus, but we're not paying for this, we're paying for the single player campain! I really hope they will keep that in mind and give us a great game like the other ones. Still, I'll buy it and plat it like the other games, lol (I'm gonna plat GoW3 in a day or two, almost done).

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

Dodging should be mapped to Right Stick for everything like every other GoW. Santa Monica better fix that.

Codester_41
Codester_41

This game really just seems like a big DLC to GOW3. None-the-less, I'm going to accept this game with open arms.

ragnarok160
ragnarok160

why not just give us the story and leave out the multiplier cuz ull save about half a year on the release date

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

So, in short, the differences are miniscule. :( I'm a big-big fan of the franchise, but even I'm not happy seeing how this games copies GOWIII in every little respect. Every enemy is almost the same, animations are the same, gameplay is completely the same, the graphics are completely the same (if not worse). Third game was VERY-VERY impressive, this one looks OK at most. Yes, I will still definitely buy it as a fan of classic gameplay, but if the next game will be like this... 

Hodge996
Hodge996

Love the way people are complaining that it hasn't changed enough.... No doubt if they changed it, people would complain that "It's just not God of War any more" etc.  so what exactly should they have changed?!  I'm pretty sure that if you're a God of War fan you'll enjoy this, if you never liked the series this isn't likely to change your mind!

franzito
franzito

I just became a GoW fan, so, any new game now catches my attention. The trilogy is the best IMO

adam1808
adam1808

I'm a huge fan of God of War and I really don't think another Kratos-starring GoW is a stellar move. Since Skyrim the kids are all up on the Nordic mythos, how about a new mythology to deal with? That was Jaffe's vision if I'm not mistaken, to have Kratos kill off each in turn.

shantd
shantd

How about found weapons that you can keep? Nobody cares about throw-away weapons.

iluvOP
iluvOP

I hope this isnt as monotone as God of war 3. It still managed to keep me entertained in some ways so Im hoping this will do that too.

heartindarkness
heartindarkness

definitely will pick it up first day jst like the GOW3 which i truly enjoyed finished tht game like 11 times and still can go thru it i jst love it :D

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

I like the GOW franchise because they are not branching too much into new territory. They are sticking with the same formula that has worked and are just adding some things here and there. Im looking forward to this game but not going insane over it as used to as a kid. Games today dont have much appeal these days anymoe 

seanmcloughlin
seanmcloughlin moderator

As soon as I read the title of this I let out a big "duhhh!!" Of course there's more to it than Multiplaer, it's the main reason everyone is buying it. If you buy this game for MP then you're doing it wrong

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Though I won't be touching the multiplayer, I'll definitely be picking it up. The God of War series hasn't let me down yet.

kratospete
kratospete

this game still neeeds a lot of change for me to want it,i mean i played gow3 only once cause that s the number of time its worth to play , the ist time i gotrally surprised with the boss fights and the graphics but the same proble was still remaining , the bad gameplay ! its too limited , so if this nw gow game wants to impress its gonna take a lot more than just this

Sameerology
Sameerology

More deep button less mini games would be truly something to talk about. Kratos can still be utilized in plethora ways in action if pumped with complexity. Enough with simple stuff.

Getbacktogaming
Getbacktogaming

More pronounced depth of field... LOL and you guys haven't even tried the 3D setting yet?!

EPaul
EPaul

Cool, I'm always down for a new GOW title

kakotan
kakotan

 @danilolopez  Its hard to come up with something new when its a prequel tho, but we will see, i like the other games even tho i thought 3's ending was a little wishy washy 

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

@ragnarok160 nobody cares what you think kid. If the Mp blows people won't play it. The story won't be affected so shut your mouth

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @Ripper_TV I see your point, but what else were you looking for?  If they change the formula too much people will go mad because "it's not GOW any more".  They really can't improve the graphics by much because let's face it, 3 looks AMAZING.  As for the enemies.... the ones we've seen look the same, but you can't say "every " enemy because we've only been shown a tiny part of the overall game. Animations are the same because they were right the first time round - if it ain't broke....

Also, don't judge the graphics by an online video - you know it will look at least as good as 3 once it's playing on a big screen at home.

Hey, I share your concerns about gameplay repetition but personally I think they'll get it right.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

 @Ripper_TV Graphics aren't the issue for me - I mean GOW3 had better graphics than GOW2, but 2 was a superior game because it was still fresh and innovative. Don't get me wrong, GOW3 was still great, but I definitely had a strong sense of 'been there, done that' whilst playing it. I can't imagine what more they could do with this series without completely changing genre, so I'm finding it hard to get enthusiastic about it.

AM-Gamer
AM-Gamer

Funny every person who has previewed it says the graphics look better then GOW 3.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

 @Hodge996 I reckon the point is that another GOW is not necessarily a good idea because it could become 'same old same old'. But sequels are safer for publishers than risking a new IP that might not go anywhere....

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

 @adam1808 I'm tired of Kratos as a character and his storyline ended in 3 pretty nicely, so why bother continuing it? I'm still a fan of gameplay though, so similar gameplay with a new char with a different fighting style would make me very happy.

Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

 @adam1808 Agreed. But they clearly chose a simpler, much simpler path with this. A new hero and new mythos would definitely add up a good 1.5 years to the development period. 

franzito
franzito

@iluvOP GoW III monotone? Did you play on Easy Mode..?

danilolopez
danilolopez

 @kakotanyeah my friend, but that is their problem... ours is buy it and dealing with time for playing it

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

 @AM-Gamer I haven't seen anyone say its graphics were better? This article never said that. It said it had a better sense of depth but that doesn't mean better graphics. And while I haven't played it, just from watching videos and and pictures the graphics are definitely worse. Oh well... let's hope this game turns out well.

Hodge996
Hodge996

 @JangoF-76 Yeah I hear you. I felt the same about Gears and Halo when their new installments were announced.  Like you say the business model makes sense, especially so close to the end of the current gen; there aren't many big new IPs coming (there are some, obviously), I just hope the new gen brings some new IPs rather than just "Hey it's your favourite old games but with new shiny graphics!!"

adam1808
adam1808

 @souther_hill Then end it. Either this franchise evolves past Kratos or circles the drain like DMC did after 4. GoW needs a re-imagining and the first thing they can do is scrap Kratos and find a new protagonist. Gameplay doesn't even need to change, but Kratos barely fit into this generation's lineup of poster boys and he certainly won't next generation. We've moved on from his particular brand of anger.

souther_hill
souther_hill

 @adam1808 If this is the case, then I would end the franchise while it still has the glory and epos to it.