Demo Impressions: God of War: Ascension (PS3)

We got our hands on the demo for God of War: Ascension, the upcoming prequel title when before the events of God of War began.

The demo opens with a bit of storytelling about what happens when traitors break a blood oath with gods, from where we find Kratos chained and imprisoned in a prison formed out of Aegaeon the Hecatonchries (Greek mythology, look it up) turned into stone.

Kratos’ daily routine consists of trying to break free and being tortured by one of the enforcing Furies, but today will be different. Mistakes were made and suddenly Kratos manages to free himself, naturally raging against the Furies and seeking means of escape.

The first thing that hits you when you gain directional controls of Kratos is how lovely the graphical environment is. There is some slick lighting and shadow effects players can absorb like a prisoner’s first breath of sunshine. Fans of the previous God ofWar will know how the game plays. God of War has Kratos in third-person, but the camera are at fixed angles, and due to that, the right analog stick is assigned for player evasion.

Staples like platforming and breaking of chests for health and experience are still around. There’s a little bit of puzzle solving with one part of the demo, nothing too tough for the average gamer.

And like most hack-and-slash games, you fight waves of enemies as you progress through the use of light attacks, heavy attacks and perhaps, melee attacks. Enemies featured in the demo are the pesky housefly bugs and the mutants produced after a fly parasites its way into a human. Either are easy to defeat with the Blades of Chaos.

GoWAs_demo01

Sony has done a good job in keeping the flow of slashing so important in hack-and-slashers like this one. I didn’t find myself taking a break until all the man-flies perished because everything just melded together in one fluid movement.

The demo stowed away all its shiny new weapons, leaving us with just Kratos’ signature blades and swords, which Kratos can pick up or snatch from disarmed enemies and use them until they’re ruined. Sword-fighting will replace any hands-on action on melee attacks. The use of the D-Pad is also locked away, likely for the quick-switching to the yet unrevealed weapons.

If you do pretty well in the demo, you’d eventually reach to where the game points out you have enough orbs to upgrade your blades. You can do so at any point in the game, and I found I could’ve really used the upgrade, being in the middle of a boss fight.

The demo hands you two bosses to fight, most of their moves are expectable, so the game does give you a break. But there is still some mad slashing to do regardless. Both battles involve some dynamic change to the gameplay environment around you, reminding you that you’re on a living prison, and is a very nice way to show off the dynamic lighting effects.

Aside from controlled attacks, the boss battles involves quick-timed events in which the player must latch on to the beast and do some major damage to make the battles that much easier, but forces the boss to use more aggressive manoeuvres as the battle progresses. The demo ends shortly after you finish the second boss battle, demanding you buy the game to find out what happens next.

Multiplayer modes are not featured in this demo, which will be available to the public on February 26th. If you’re done with and are a fan of the recent DmC: Devil May Cry or the previous God of War game, for that matter, you may just want to pick this one up.

God of War: Ascension releases March 12th 2013 on PlayStation 3. Let Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong tempt you with their localised game bundles.