Ok so I'm a die-hard God of War fanboy. I pre-ordered this game as soon as they announced the game. But after playin it, there's definitely something lacking. There was air of mediocrity surrounding the game. I think think it was a good game, but God of War quality we expect. Now yes the story was weak but so were the PSP ones but I still thought those were amazing. Then bame it hit me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nplCABR24CY that is the boss fight with Pollux and Castor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLv8Wj_M10g this is the boss fight with Hercules from God of war 3.
Notice the main difference? THE MUSIC. The music in Ascension was so low and it wasn't because of the audio glitches people have been complaining about (I never even noticed them because the sound was too low to begin with). The music in all the otehr games were loud and epic and made the games feel awesome but Ascension, they just put the music in the back and for me made the game feel more mediocre than it really is.
1 - The music is indeed almost absent from the game. There is no "amped up" grand theme being played while you are trekking around looking for the next task.
2 - Far too many platforming areas and not nearly enough combat. The bulk of my deaths were from the sliding and QTE Action sequences that seemed to fill up the game, not because of difficult battles. I always hated sections that just required you to slide down an area and move quickly in order to avoid instant death. Things like the chain sections in GoW III, or the trek across the bridge in what I believe was GoW II where you had to press the button at the right time and move at the right moment in order to avoid death. In this game, there is one of those long sections every other "chapter" it seems.
3 - Lack of variety in the enemies. We seemed to only have a handful of enemies in the game and most of the game was spent traversing the platforming sections without any real battles to worry about. When there were battles, they just seemed to be like they were plopped in there for the heck of it and not with any real reason.
4 - The parry system. Here's where we get into the multiplayer being forced into the series causing problems with the singleplayer. In order to make things "easier" for the multiplayer aspect they copied over the same parry system. It just flat out doesn't feel right in the singleplayer.
5 - Removing the ability to save the game. They had this done beautifully and perfectly in all other games in the series, but borked it for this one. You are no longer able to make multiple saves for the game and have to rely on the buggy game code to remember to autosave for you. If your profile gets corrupted, you are completely S.O.L. as there is nothing you can do but completely start over. This was a horrible design choice by the developers and I would love to hear their explanation as for why they think this idiotic system is better than the existing one.
6 - Lack of narration. All other games had a pretty good balance of narration which would flesh out the story mode in the game and give some good detail about where you were and what you were doing. Whether it was the off-screen narrator, or on-screen NPC interactions, you had a good idea of where you were, why you were there, and what you were doing. In this game, they jump around with present time, two weeks ago, present time, three weeks ago, present time, etc. etc. After a while, you soon lose track of where exactly you are and why the heck you are even there. Now I don't want to be hand-held and given the story like it's a children's bedtime story, but I'd like to have an idea on where in the Greek pantheon I am. As the furies had the ability to use illusions to trick Kratos, did all of the story take place in the prison of the damned? Where was this prison located? There just wasn't any real tie into real Greek locations like the other three games had.
7 - The game was very short. I'm sorry, but this had the length of the story that I would have expected if this was on the PSP, not the PS3. I expected to play this game for more than just a couple of days before I had beaten it. So much time was spent just walking around in areas where no enemies existed that it made the game feel empty and even shorter. Throw in the incredibly lackluster musical score for the game, and it just felt let down.
8 - Nixing the "mini-game". This one didn't really bother me a great deal as I don't play GoW to assuage my sexual desires, but I did notice that it was missing from the game and it is a feature that has been in every single GoW game since the beginning. Yes, at the beginning of the game there's the room with all the ladies in there, but there is no interactive "game" like we've seen in each of the other games. Made it feel like the game itself had something missing from it.
9 - No Challenges of the gods/titans/olympus/etc. in the game. While I generally struggle mightily with these things and don't usually complete them, their absence, like the sex mini-game, is noticeable as it's a feature that has been present in every single GoW game ever made.
Sadly, I think that the focus on shoe-horning multiplayer into a singleplayer only series resulted in a lot of these deficiencies and overall mediocrity of the game. After playing this game, and knowing that multiplayer is likely to be included in any future game in the series, I have no good expectations at all about any further God of War games.
When it is playing, it is silent by design and too quiet. Also, it does nothing for me. Even music for derping about in GoW1 was a good listen.
>too much platforming
And it was useless platforming that lacked combat or challenge. One rope (no combat). Lots of walls, but they're all point-to-point (not free-form with combat) *no ceilings*. No beams. Two small swim sections with no puzzles, no chests, no hidden areas (more chests and optional fights), etc. GoS and GoW1 are better models for water sections. The sliding of GoS was made even more pervasive and boring. Not much of any real jump platforming. GoW1 had plenty of that. They're too far removed from GoW1 in general. The platforming they have is crap, so it is hard to stomach. I'd rather it wasn't there.
>not nearly enough combat
Most especially with interesting foe mixes and interesting places to fight (with interesting tools). Lots of bland scenarios with the same trash mobs.
More than usual and used less effectively.
That's pretty easy, it is over with quickly and happens just the one time. As you note, GoW:A keeps pulling this crap. Once is enough. More than enough. Stop.
>lack of enemy variety
Talos, Satyr Grunts, Parasites, Harpies, Manticore Spawn, etc. Very pervasive. Became very boring, very quickly. They didn't port nearly enough of GoWIII's beasts into this to vary things up. Not remotely enough.
I'll not go into it again after the last time a few hours ago. Same for rage.
A hideous change. GoWIII was praised for its system and this one takes that away.
Something about Chapter Select might be invoked. Not sure why, but that's what I'd expect.
It was there, but didn't do anything for me (just like the story that did nothing with the potential of the material and time it had to work with).
I loathed this. Once right at the start is more than enough. Not having us gaining abilities and changing 'times' while keeping what we get (story confusion aside).
Presumably Tartarus (which is looking awfully beautiful since GoWIII's wasteland and CoO's damp, dark, gloomy cave).
If it were good, this would be excusable. Also, if the length wasn't owed to filthy navigation and puzzles with trash mob respawn filler and other such trickery. Cutscenes and visual cues...
>areas with no foes
Like a handheld entry.
A tradition lost. At least Boat Captain got a mention, but it wasn't a cameo. We were even at a damned Harbor. Might have been comical if he were on the boat that took us to Delos only to get crushed by Ally (he survives). "You again!" - Boat Captain
Lots. We don't kill any innocents. We don't sacrifice any or even beasts in a brutal fashion. We do 'burn' some for an elevator at least. No murder puzzles at all. The closest to it was with the Martyr. Kratos feels OC. I can even make him walk backwards (something they kept droning on about how he would never do that as part of his character). This besides now making upskirting Kratos a highlight of this entry (twice).
No f***ing 'Arena' either. The Extras videos? Crap that is already online. Nothing about dropped material (a tradition). Costumes? MP champion with MP sets...and not even all of them. Why not Kratos in them? Why do they not have special stats? Why is Chapter Select so limited? Why is NG+ so limited? Why have an artifact for 10x EXP when you have nothing to spend it on (forced MAX upgrades)? How hard would it have been to put Kratos into their silly 'Trial of the Gods' to run around to solo the trash mobs? Not. Very. Why just time attack anyway? Why not survival and other modes? Why not a Temple of the Gods with high EXP costs to unlock worthwhile crap (helps make use of the EXP we'll have and nothing to spend it on). Artemis could have been the Gravedigger (GoS) of this entry for the Arena even if I hated the design they were going with. Why didn't the hidden message reward with a massive EXP fountain? Why weren't there UBER chests to find?
The list of complaints could go on and on. Especially with combat design.
>MP is to blame
You better believe it. This was the expected outcome (maybe not bringing it down this low, but low, yeah).
>likely to not be going away
Not even to be blamed for the poor sales or franchise damage. Even if it is, they're not smart enough to stop and apologize for their deliberate disregard of consumer (fan) desire.
>no good expectations for the future
Nor should you.
Poseidon: >no Arena
Right you are. A particularly offensive failing for me especially. It's like they were actively looking for ways to **bleep** me off.
The gods overestimate themselves.