I had a long pause in gaming. More then a month I've spent without touching the controller to play a good game. My backlog is made up of games such as, Dishonored, Hitman, Darksiders 2 and Metal Gear Rising to name a few. Even popular new releases such as Tomb Raider and Bioshock: Infinite did little to catch my attention.
This is where, God of War: Ascension came in. To my disappointment with the story, the overall experience was engaging and well deserving of the money I invested in. I was back to enjoying games again and what better companion to rejoice than, Kratos. But this opinion piece isn't about summarizing the review I wrote. This is solely targeting the story of, Ascension.
Back when they announced the game I was honestly skeptical. Another prequel to a franchise that has had two prequels before it wasn't going to end well for them and likewise, poor sales in the, States proved it. However I had a glimmer of hope that they were going to tell the story about, Kratos before he became the ghost of Sparta with how they were marketing it.
Ascension did very little to show the most impotant things to, Kratos
Much like any game I'm hyped for, I try to ignore developer diaries, trailers and demo's for the sake of keeping the game fresh in my mind when I play it but once I did and saw where the story was heading, my first impression was "These guys messed up" The whole concept about the fury sisters holding, Kratos' pact with Ares in tact with your goal being to get rid of it was a very bad direction for the game. It was a bad timeline for this prequel that gave the series very little meaning.
My expectations was telling the story of Kratos when he was a high ranking Spartan who is close to promotion to, General. The game would start with our protagonist spending time with his family in a wheat rich field, strengthening his character along with who his wife is and forging that human side of the to be, God of War. He would go into missions with two of his most trusted companions, this in turn would change the battle system since, Kratos doesn't have the Blades of Chaos yet.
The Barbarians will be focused as the biggest threat, building tension for war
As per your comrades I'm sure that giving them unique characteristics would help develop the story and Kratos since he'll care about their safety unlike previews, God of War games. Puzzles would also require their assistance, each one having a unique use for certain problems that need to be solved(For example, one is both flexible and quick of his feet while the other is a sharpshooter and technical expert) I could see some complex puzzles put in place to clear some areas.
Boss battles would also require team work, especially if they are larger ones that are beyond, Kratos' abilities since he's still mortal here. Santa Monica studios could have done one hell of a job with this frame. Their idea of showing us a human, Kratos would have been more successful here and as each mission, Kratos completes, he would return to his family to give us an idea of how important they were to him while giving us a brief story on the two Spartans.
Kratos obtaining the blades of chaos for the first time during the war against the barbarians
The conclusion to all of this is the monstrous final battle with Spartans against the barbarians and ultimately making a pact with, Ares. Kratos then goes on a deranged path to please his god. His comrades will try to stop him but they are considered traitors and killed in the process. The end sequence will be the death of his family by his own two hands. With the character development build up to this point would have made a larger impact.
Ascension could have become one of the greatest, God of War games if they had gone back further. I still wonder why they went with the time frame in, Ascension. God of war fans will figure the plot quickly, there are no plot twists and the ending was anti-climatic. While it was tough fighting the fury sisters, they didn't seem important nor did they leave a lasting impact for the series.