God of War: Ascension Beta Impressions

Ultimate God Of War  Ascension Wallpaper 7 By Sonicx2011 D52hmx6

As I initiated the download for the Playstation Plus Exclusive God of War:Ascension Beta I wasn’t sure what to think.  Is this just another “tacked on” Multiplayer suite that won’t really add anything to the God of War experience.  After all how are you supposed to create the type of combo mashing mayhem the God of War series is known for in an online Multiplayer space without suffering from intense lag and possible cluster f*#$ environment?

My initial worries were put to rest early on in my first couple of sessions.  The lag is simply a non issue.  God of War: Ascension’s Multiplayer appears to be striving to create somewhat of a League of Legends MOBA experience of which I’m assuredly not a fan.  The difference between League of Legends and the GOW multiplayer is the apparent lack of skill necessary to thrive in the GOW online space.  I had literally plowed through the competition in my first session online without knowing the “advanced” control scheme.

The hack and slash element known the the God of War series is best known for is definitely retained in the online space.  But, is that necessarily a good thing?  I never felt like any skill was involved in my successful sessions.  The combat style is a necessary component to empowering the player in the GOW single player environment.  Kratos needs to have God-Like strength and endurance to correctly represent the character and the mythos behind him.  There’s simply no room in competitive multiplayer for button mashing style combat.  Once I got a hold of an opponent it was nearly impossible for them to effectively break my combo.  That lead to one kill after another with capture points falling to my four player team like raindrops.

The control scheme retains the simplicity we all know and love from the GOW single player campaign.  However,  that actually hampers the multiplayer experience.  There aren’t many effective ways to turn the tables on your enemy in GOW’s multiplayer.  The parrying system completely breaks the flow of action, and doesn’t necessarily give you that “reversal” high that many other fighting titles do.  Oddly enough potions are another way to break away from your assailant momentarily when receiving an  exorbitant amount of damage.  The problem here is that the animation for the momentary breather is slow enough for your enemy to engage you immediately afterward (much like the stun animation in Ubisofts first attempt at multiplayer with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood).  Suffice to say I was unimpressed with the combat system.

Moving along here to graphics.  I realize this is a beta and doesn’t necessarily represent the final product but Jebus the graphics look like I’m playing a PS2 title.  The downscale is the most apparent in the character models themselves.  Lack of definition in the body and face models stand out like sore thumbs in this console generation and GOW definitely had a thumb slamming accident.

So here’s hoping that this is an Alpha build of the multiplayer suite and that Santa Monica will do more than polish this sub par online mode.  The funny thing is my initial worry/hesitation with the GOW multiplayer ended up being the least of my complaints when all was said and done.

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.