• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Mar 12, 2013
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 89
  2. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. Mar 7, 2013
    85
    While many find the God of War series to be repetitive in its formula, it continues to deliver a refreshing take that satisfies the core fan base. And though the campaign is shorter and the number of epic boss fights leaves you wanting more, this is the most human we have ever seen Kratos and the story compels you to him unlike ever before.
  2. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    Ascension isn’t a reinvention of God of War; it’s a refinement. It plays on its strengths – exciting combat, great visuals, and huge levels — even when those strengths might overshadow some of the new things it tries to accomplish (like adding emotional depth to its lead hero).
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Its core mechanics keep God of War: Ascension on its feet, but it doesn’t take many risks in order to impress the player. The story starts off slow and the experience is often tempered by uninteresting sequences. Aside from the great combat and the spectacular images every now and then, the game feels uninspired. Thankfully the multiplayer is surprisingly fun, which somewhat eases the pain of this slight disappointment.
  4. Mar 7, 2013
    85
    While still a great action game, it's definitely the least refined of the bunch, and starts to show some big issues when it comes to defensive mechanics, due to some miscalculations in the challenge level. The multiplayer luckily improves the experience, with fun gameplay and some exhilarating moments.
  5. 80
    Ascension delivers on everything that has made the series great. Solid single-player and jaw dropping graphics. Kratos is as angry as ever and the mythological creatures are huge and impressive as we have come to expect. Add a fun multiplayer with tons a gameplay and we have another winner.
  6. 70
    The fans' greatest concern - the multiplayer - is actually one of the highlights of this game. The campaign could have been better paced, though.
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    91
    Although it's far from innovative, God of War: Ascension is a truly epic tale of violence that will tell the origins of its well-known spartan. Aside from an unremarkable multiplayer side, Kratos' new adventure is an amazing production that will not disappoint.
  8. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    ”Same mechanics, new skin” seems to be the motto for God of War: Ascension. A prequel without big flaws that lacks some extra spice. Fans of the mechanics and the character will find instant recognition but somewhat less satisfaction than the previous games.
  9. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    It’s still definitely worth playing, but there’s a nagging feeling that it could have been better...Yes, it’s visually stunning – definitely a showcase for what Sony’s first party studios can do – but it simply doesn’t quite draw you in like it should and without that investment from the player it’s one set piece after another.
  10. Mar 7, 2013
    92
    There's plenty of blood, stunning action, fun and a few puzzles in this game. It's Kratos losing his family, losing his mind and annihilating massive creatures. It's a God of War, and there's little we can say apart from that. You already knew if this game was meant for you or not.
  11. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    A highly-accomplished if not completely fulfilling rampage. There’s a base level of quality that hasn’t slipped from the excellent God Of War III – this looks even better, puts things onscreen that are, somehow, even bigger. But this technical muscle isn’t given the best stage on which to oil and flex, thanks to a story that simply idles the roaring engine of death that is Kratos, and keeps the series ticking over until the next, more substantial step forward.
  12. Mar 7, 2013
    90
    God of War Ascension is one of the most beautiful, brutal and funny action games you can play these days. This prequel definitely lives up to its predecessor, proposing an astounding adventure, and a climax of action and brutality with no equals. On the top of that there is a new multiplayer mode that brings over the character of the series.
  13. Mar 7, 2013
    87
    Bloodier than ever, the god of Sony's IPs come back with a title than focuses on the beginning of the tragedy. Reluctant to remember what happened, Kratos only wants to break the pact he made once with Ares. God of War: Ascension bring us a visual spectacle that pushes PlayStation 3 to its limits, carrying new elements for the gameplay and even a Multiplayer mode that helps to extend the life of this spartan odyssey. A great Good-bye to the character until the Next Generation.
  14. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    God of War Ascension is surprisingly efficient and polished, both in solo and multiplayer. This new chapter of the story of Kratos is as interesting to discover as it is fun to play, thanks to smartly revised combat elements, and the multiplayer is far from being a bulletpoint added on the packshot for marketing reasons: it's fun and rich, even though it may lack a little more content to really capture in the long run.
  15. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    The multiplayer's a bust, but God of War: Ascension's campaign is a gloriously bloody adventure filled with exhilarating combat.
  16. 86
    Instead of watching Kratos become less and less mortal, we are reconnected to him as a human betrayed by the Gods.
  17. Mar 7, 2013
    90
    Ascension is not content to rest on past success, giving players new combat options, a fresh approach to magic and rage, an even larger sense of scale, and some small but meaningful mechanical changes that improve the overall polish to the game.
  18. 90
    While not quite the high-point of the God Of War series, Ascension delivers an action-packed, gloriously-produced, freak-bashing extravaganza with an addictive multiplayer component to boot.
  19. 85
    God of War III left so little left unexplored, so few Mythological figures left unchallenged, so instead Sony Santa Monica broke new ground with a multiplayer offering that lives up to the franchise’s staple combat and brutality, while perfectly complimenting it.
  20. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    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.
  21. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    Irrespective of its title, God of War: Ascension is not the colossal step forward for Kratos that was promised – but a surprisingly refreshing online component and some of the most spectacular set-pieces in the series make the adventure worth traversing all the same.
  22. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    While the single-player will leave something to be desired, you'll find more than you need to stay entertained in online matches and the challenges, levels, and weapons therein. Kratos may have a lot of miles on him, but the gladiators that take to the online colosseum are fresh and eager for blood.
  23. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Also somewhat disappointing are the newly added multiplayer features, which are held up by clever level design and strong game modes, but smacked down by uninteresting gameplay. It sounds great in theory, but in practice it turns out there's nothing less fun than being beat up by someone as powerful as Kratos.
  24. Whether multiplayer was a distraction that led to standards ever so slightly slipping in single-player is debatable. With such a strong combat system and beautiful looks, Kratos’ prequel could have eclipsed them all with a handful of key tweaks. Not quite the murdery meteoric rise we were hoping for then, but certainly not a fall from grace either.
  25. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    The campaign is simultaneously more of the same and less of the same, being marginally shorter than God of War III’s story, yet lacking that game’s ferocity and pacing. It arguably has the lowest ‘wow’ factor of the four mainline games to date, and in a series that trades on spectacle, that’s not the best sign. Yet the multiplayer component is as fresh as the single-player is familiar.
  26. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Ascension’s biggest success is a colour-coding system that effectively lets you know when you have an opening and when to run. Unblockable attacks are signalled by a player glowing red, white denotes invincibility, and blue signals a player in recovery. It’s a simple, smart system further improved by rock-paper-scissors combat (heavy beats parry beats light beats heavy), cooldown-controlled special moves and a logical, consistent approach to hitstun. Consider our expectations defied: this is the star of the show.
  27. Mar 7, 2013
    90
    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.
  28. While this manic multiplayer probably isn’t enough to sell the game on its own, the deep advancement system – where you can unlock and advance armor, relics, magic items, abilities and more – is enough to wring plenty more hours out of Ascension. I actually enjoyed it more than the single-player mode and only wish there were additional modes and maps.
  29. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    It’s not that the Spartan warrior’s step has lost its spring – it’s as lively and bloody as ever. The exhaustion comes from familiarity, that bitter breeder of contempt. Aside from a few rough patches, Ascension is a reasonably competent God of War game. But it’s undermined by an unshakable sense of déjà vu.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 811 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 218
  1. Mar 14, 2013
    8
    While Ascension is fun, it is nowhere near to Gow3. A weaker story and less satisfying combat. On hard mode, enemies are too much making itWhile Ascension is fun, it is nowhere near to Gow3. A weaker story and less satisfying combat. On hard mode, enemies are too much making it sometimes a chore to clear out all the spawns. Full Review »
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    So i wasn't expecting too much out of this game as it wasn't getting the best "pre-release" feedback, which did have me worried. But afterSo i wasn't expecting too much out of this game as it wasn't getting the best "pre-release" feedback, which did have me worried. But after playing through the story mode, (i got an early copy) i came to realize that the ONLY thing this game does wrong, is that it has to be compared to god of war 3. Thats it. The multiplayer is original (for the most part) and fun to play, and the story mode offers a new side of kratos which i'm very happy to see. This game in my opinion though is the second best in the series, with GOW3 still being the best. Ascension was screwed right from the beginning for being a prequel about the furies... That will, no matter what, ALWAYS be less entertaining than scaling mt. Olympus in order to kill zeus an the other gods, which is the only reason i can't/won't score this game any higher than it's well deserved 9/10. Very well done *clapping* Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This game is everything I have expected for it to be; Brutal and Spectacular! This is the most refined GOW game yet (YES EVEN BETTER THANThis game is everything I have expected for it to be; Brutal and Spectacular! This is the most refined GOW game yet (YES EVEN BETTER THAN GOW3), with great combat additions, great variaty on the scenery, nice puzzles and great pacing. I know that it is not as Epic as GOW3, but that is because of it being a prequel, so Kratos cant fight a Titan or other things like that, but still it is freaking epic and ultra fun to play. The weapons system in Ascension is better than in GOW3, because of instead getting different kinds of the same blades (that are not as useful as the original), you alter the original blades with elemental power and thus enabling you to some really crazy stuff, and also you have the ability of using weapons dropped in the stage an complement your combos with lots of great stuff, or if you dont feel like picking them up, there is a new melee system that is also really sweet. You can also use some gadgets in combat and stop time. really really sweet!!

    The grapple here is changed. Now you grab opponents with R1 instead of circle, and now you can do a lot more stuff while you have grabbed them. You can either hit the one you grabbed, throw him against other enemies, or even while grabbing him fight other dudes. The combat is freaking awesome as you may be already expecting.

    Another addition to combat is that when a monster is about to die, and you trigger the killing minigame, there are some enemies, that offer a QTE-less minigame, and now you are the one to dodge and hit him when having the chance. There are also the other minigames with QTEs, but they are done really good too, so they dont take the action out of the game

    The soundtrack is the best of any GOW game yet. Even though it has at times music featured in other GOW games, they have been changed and tweaked, making the experience even more epic.

    How the story unfolds, is really nice. You get a much deeper story experience than in any other previous GOW game. The acting the motion capture is top-notch!!!! I wont spoil the story for you so I will stop right there :D.

    The now features a new game plus option, which is really nice, because it adds even more replayability than before.

    If this game only had the single player portion it would be still the best GOW game out there, with a SP longer than GOW3!! BUT there is more in the package wohoo!!

    The multiplayer is really cool, I have not played much yet, because I also have some responsibilities, but so far it is really entertaining. I picked up ARES as the olympian I would fight for, so that I can also be some sort of Kratos in the MP lol XD. Each Olympian gives to his champions different abilities, so it is really cool to play against and with other people that have different kind of sets of moves, and looked in awe they great attacks even if they are killing you! :P The game is well balanced, and even though it is based on MP modes we have already played in other games, the fact that this is GOW, makes them really fun and visceral to play.

    As you already noticed I am having an spectacular, and fun time playing this. If you are a GOW fan, dont let you to be convinced by reviewers who have not even bothered in exploring all the things the developers have added in this game. This game is quite amazing if play and explore it just like you did the previous GOW games. And if you are not a fan, and you just want to play a great action adventure game, if you play this game, and let it flow you will have an amazing experience with it.

    For me, this is the best action/adventure/hack n slash game I have ever played. the action, the music, the story, the graphics, are amazing, and together bring to life an outstanding package you can not miss.
    Full Review »