God Of War: AscensionGod of War: Ascension is a third person action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment . The game was first released on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3 console. It is the seventh installment in the God of War series and prequel to the entire series. Loosely based on Greek mythology, the game is set in Ancient Greece with vengeance as its central motif. The player controls the protagonist Kratos, the former servant of the God of War, Ares, who tricked Kratos into killing his wife and child. Kratos renounced Ares, breaking his blood oath to the god. For this act, Kratos was imprisoned by the three Furies, the guardians of honor and enforcers of punishment. Helped by the oath keeper Orkos, and learning that Ares and the Furies plan to overthrow Mount Olympus, Kratos escapes his imprisonment, defeats the Furies, and reluctantly kills Orkos. Although free of Ares' bond, Kratos begins to suffer the nightmares that will plague him throughout his adventures.
The gameplay is similar to other games in the God of War series. It focuses on combo-based combat, achieved through the player's main weapon—the Blades of Chaos—and other weapons acquired by the new World Weapons mechanic, in addition to four magical attacks and a power-enhancing ability. The game features a revamped quick time events system to defeat stronger enemies and bosses, which includes the previous system that requires the player to complete various game controller actions in a timed sequence, as well as a new promptless free-form system. It also features puzzles and platforming elements. In addition to its similar gameplay, it is the first installment to feature online multiplayer for both competitive and cooperative play. It also features a revamped combat system, new gameplay mechanics, and downloadable content.
God of War: Ascension received generally favorable reception from critics, who praised its fundamental gameplay and spectacle true to the series. Some reviewers stated the story was not as compelling as previous installments, with IGN stating that in comparison to Zeus and Ares, "the Furies don’t quite cut it". The multiplayer received a mixed response. Although reviewers claimed gameplay translated well into the multiplayer, they were critical towards the balance and depth of combat. Edge magazine, however, approved of the multiplayer, stating it is an "evolutionary step" with "some fine ideas ... that will form part of this genre's future template."
God Of War: Ascension PlotA prologue reveals that before the time of the Titans and the rule of the Olympian Gods, there was an aeons-long war between the Primordials, the beings who forged the Earth. The war spawned the Furies, the guardians of honor who punish those they deem guilty. When Aegaeon, the Hecatonchires, broke a blood oath to Zeus, he became the first traitor and a target for the Furies. As punishment, Aegaeon was captured and subsequently tortured and turned to stone. The many armed brute was made the giant Prison of the Damned, becoming a symbol of the consequences of breaking a blood oath to a god.
Gameplay begins with an imprisoned Kratos, chained for breaking his blood oath to Ares. The Fury Megaera tortures Kratos, but accidentally facilitates his freedom. Pursued by Kratos, a desperate Megaera uses her parasitic insects to awaken Aegaeon—revealed to be the prison housing the Spartan and other oath breakers. Fending off the Hecatonchires, Kratos confronts the Fury Tisiphone who attempts to trick the Spartan with an illusion. Overcoming the illusion, Kratos locates Megaera, who despite using Aegaeon as a weapon, is killed by the Spartan. Kratos then retrieves the Amulet of Uroborus, an item previously taken from him.
The narrative shifts to three weeks before Kratos' imprisonment. Confronted by Orkos in the village of Kirra, Kratos is advised that the visions he has been experiencing are mind tricks created by the Furies, and instructs him to find Aletheia, the Oracle of Delphi. Traveling to the Temple of Delphi, he overcomes the corrupted Prophet Castor and his conjoined twin Pollux, who attempted to kill the Oracle so that Kratos could not see her. A dying Oracle instructs Kratos to travel to Delos to retrieve the Eyes of Truth. Taking the Amulet of Uroborus from the now-dead Castor and Pollux, Kratos travels to the Harbor of Kirra and encounters Orkos again. The oath keeper reveals that he is the son of Ares and Alecto. Ares wanted a perfect warrior who could help him overthrow Zeus. Disappointed in Orkos, Ares disowned his son, and Orkos became the oath keeper of the Furies to please his mother. He explained that Kratos was the warrior the God of War sought, and for that reason, Ares helped Kratos defeat the barbarians in battle. Orkos did his bidding as the oath keeper and did not question the Furies until Ares tricked Kratos into killing his family. Armed with this knowledge, Kratos takes a ship to Delos.
A week later, Kratos arrives at the island of Delos and explores the giant, ruined statue of Apollo. He is attacked by all three Furies, and although severing Megaera's arm, he is captured when the Fury Queen, Alecto, intervenes. Orkos, however, appears and frees Kratos, transporting him to another location, and Alecto vows that Kratos will never succeed. Orkos, who gives Kratos his Oath Stone, reveals that he and Aletheia attempted to warn Zeus of Ares' and the Furies' plan to overthrow Olympus. In retaliation, the Furies took the Oracle's eyes and are in fact the very objects Kratos now seeks. After a perilous journey, Kratos uses the Amulet of Uroborus to fully restore the statue and retrieves the Eyes located in the lantern it holds. After completing the Trials of Archimedes, however, Kratos is ambushed by the Furies, who take him captive and steal the Eyes, Amulet, and Oath Stone.
Back in the present time, Tisiphone casts another illusion and as the King of Sparta, she attempts to deceive Kratos, who overcomes it and retrieves the Oath Stone of Orkos. He encounters the Scribe of Hecatonchires, who reveals that he was the first mortal to be imprisoned by the Furies, and they were originally fair in their punishment, but devolved into ruthless beings on account of Ares. Kratos then continues his pursuit after the Furies, and upon reaching the door to Alecto's Chamber, he seemingly returns home to his wife and daughter, only to find it to be another illusion, this time cast by Alecto. She attempts to convince Kratos that he can live within this illusion if he rejoins Ares, but he denies her and states he requires reality. Enraged, Alecto and Tisiphone attack, Kratos manages to retrieve the Eyes, and Alecto transforms into a kraken-like sea monster. After a brutal battle, Kratos uses the Eyes to break through the Furies' illusions before killing them both, which subsequently destroys the prison. Before dying, Alecto promises that her death will change nothing.
Kratos returns to his home in Sparta, where he is met by Orkos. Although praising Kratos' victory over the Furies, the oath keeper reveals that Kratos will not be free from Ares' bond unless he kills Orkos. He begs Kratos to give him an honorable death, as it will free them both from the god. Kratos refuses, proclaiming that no more innocent blood should be spilled. Orkos' continuing pleas, however, ultimately force Kratos' hand. After killing Orkos, Kratos experiences the first of many nightmares—previously masked by his bond—and discovers his path to redemption through continual service to Olympus. Kratos then burns down his house, the corpse of Orkos inside, before departing.
God Of War: Ascension GameplayThe gameplay is similar to previous games in the series. In both the single-player and multiplayer, it is primarily a third-person video game viewed from a fixed camera perspective with some scenes in the single-player featuring a first-person camera view. In the single-player mode, the player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements, and battles foes who primarily stem from Greek mythology, including the imprisoned Hecatonchires, cyclopes, cerberuses, empusas, sirens, Gorgons, satyrs, harpies, and centaurs. Several monsters were created specifically for the game, including parasitic insects, juggernauts (elephantaur), wild hounds, stone talos, wraiths, and manticores (several monsters also appear in the multiplayer). Platforming elements require the player to climb walls and ladders, jump across chasms, and slide down walls to proceed through sections of the game. Some puzzles are simple, such as moving a box so that the player can use it as a jumping-off point to access a pathway unreachable with normal jumping, while others are more complex, such as moving several objects into their correct positions in order to proceed to the next section of the game.
Throughout the game, the player finds chests colored green, blue, or red, and each chest contains orbs of the corresponding color. Green orbs replenish the player's health, blue orbs replenish magic allowing further usage, and red orbs provide experience for upgrading weapons, magic, and relics—making new, more-powerful attacks available. Red orbs are also collected by killing foes, destroying certain inanimate objects, and using the World sword (each attack yields orbs). As in the previous games, the player can collect Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers in white colored chests. The Eyes and Feathers increase the length of the Health and Magic Meters, respectively; finding fifteen Phoenix Feathers and twenty Gorgon Eyes maximizes each respective meter and thus, the player's power.
SettingAs with other games in the God of War franchise, God of War: Ascension is set in an alternate version of Ancient Greece, populated by the Olympian Gods, Titans, and other beings from Greek mythology. Game events are set before Chains of Olympus (2008) and ten years before the original God of War (2005). The narrative takes place over a period of four weeks and it shifts several times between the present and past, while the player controls Kratos in both. Several locations are explored, including the Prison of the Damned and several real-world locations, including the village of Kirra, the city of Delphi, and the island of Delos.
The Prison of the Damned is a massive prison built upon the imprisoned Hecatonchires, Aegaeon, by the Furies to house all oath breakers. Kirra is an abandoned village that lost its water supply after the destruction of its water wheel and the bridge that supplied water to it. Other than monsters, the only life is at its harbor, where the tamed Harbor Master guides vessels in and out of the port. The city of Delphi is located in the snowy mountains north of Kirra and features the Tower of Delphi. After activating the three massive, mechanical pythons, the Tower allows access to the Temple of Delphi, home of the Oracle. Located across the sea is the island of Delos, which features the Titan-sized statue of Apollo, constructed by the inventor, Archimedes, to honor the god.
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