The lights are on
God of War Ascension offers more of the same cinematic gameplay and brutal combat. Sadly by this point the shine has worn off for me. Being so similar to the previous games has removed the novelty and made the problems much more apparent.
1 QTE once more return. Something I've always considered horrible, there is another annoying habit here. On some enemies you must ONLY hit the specific button (x, circle, etc...), on other enemies you are supposed to wail away and simply dodge at specific times. However you never know which you are supposed to do on the fight with an enemy or first attempt at certain stages of a boss fight. This often leads to losing a first attempt by guessing the wrong method.
2 Being cinematic is often done at the expense of gameplay. Very often you will be fighting crowds on moving platforms and the camera will zoom out or pan and you be unable to tell which tiny figure is you, and sometimes your view of the combat is COMPLETELY blocked. But the combat doesn't pause. On harder difficulties where health is so precious its a terrible flaw to penalize when you cannot even tell whats happening.
3 The story itself is poor and jumps back and forth to flash backs, memories, or illusions. Several times I simply could not remember where I was in the story or what I was supposed to be doing. This doesn't effect gameplay as its a linear path. But it just ruins the narrative.
4 Glitches. This game is really prone to them. Some are simply obvious and annoying, sound drop outs, bodies or weapons floating or being duplicated. But some are real hindrances. The camera dropping through the floor, enemies or allies stop moving, sometimes becoming unkillable. But worse is the freezing. My first play through I think it froze 5 times. Usually on the slides when it attempted to save. This is annoying, having to manually shut down the system and then wait through the whole system test because it was improperly shut down before reloading. But on my second play though about chapter 14 with 80% of the way to a platinum trophy it froze again. This time it corrupted my profile and I lost everything. Considering it came out March 12 and I bought it August 15 there is no reason this game hasn't been patched yet. And looking online this is not a rare issue.
After the lose of my profile I'm done with the game. Sadly I didn't start the multiplayer yet so thats not covered in this review.
Aside from the possibility of catastrophic failure, this is not a bad game. But unless you are new to the series or a hardcore fan its just not that impressive. More of the same and feels that way. Not much thats impressive or memorable, aside from some VERY frustrating fight sequences. Well worth the $20 its sells for now, assuming it doesn't wipe out your save. A solid 8 if the glitches don't take you out. A 7 because they took me out.
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