Could the next God Of War please lay off the platforming?

Let’s make it clear before I begin: I’m a fan of the God Of War series. I’ve just completed God Of War: Ascension--loved it, in fact--but I made it clear in my review that the platforming sections don’t always hit the mark in this latest iteration.

I’d even go as far as saying that the long-winded platform sequences, when you’re climbing a rock face or structure for the dozenth time following a pre-set path of shimmering ledges (Nathan Drake-style), sucks some of the fun out of the campaign. The problem is that GoW: Ascension is incredibly fast-paced, brutal, intense and immersive during combat sequences, so when you move away from that sort of rhythm to slower-paced, linear excursions up the side of a mountain, I just can’t help but wonder, why bother?

              

One of the predicatable on-rails sections kicks in

What’s the point of these sections being included when they largely just serve to draw you out of the action and slip you into a robotic, path-following mindset? You could argue that it’s to add a sense of adventure, to give players a break from some of the manic fights, or simply to show off some stunning vistas from a different perspective. And yes, while any or all of those reasons make sense, when plopped in between an intense fight against a giant Cyclops and a pride of Elephantaurs, they feel out of place; like you’ve slipped into an Uncharted-style adventure.

God of War isn’t Uncharted and nor should it pretend to be, because the platforming isn’t up to that sort of scratch; it’s a hack ‘n slash beat ‘em up, and its strength lies in combat and the range of freaky beasts it throws at you. I don’t believe for one moment that the platforming sections in God Of War: Ascension go as far as ruining the campaign, as there’s so much more to it than sliding down pathways in on-rails sections and waiting for the ‘X’ prompt to jump. But, there’s a little too much hook grappling and sliding down predictable pathways where you have to dodge objects and following linear paths while scaling objects for my liking. Frankly, I don’t really see much point to some of the platforming sections at all as they require little skill or thought.

I do hope I haven’t put you off giving GoW: Ascension a shot, because it is a great game and Sony Santa Monica has pulled it out of the bag in terms of raw action. However, I would like future games in the series to lay off the platforming sections a bit more and just give us more crazy beasts to fight instead.

Read the full review of God Of War: Ascension and let us know what you think of the platforming in the God of War series by posting below or in the forums.

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A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again. Follow @steven_gamer
 
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  • Related game: God of War: Ascension

    Release date (US):
    March 12th, 2013
    Developer:
    SCE Studio Santa Monica
    Genre:
    Action - Adventure
    Rank:
    0 of 2,667 Games
    Up 0 places (in last 7 days)

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