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

7 March 2013

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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