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God of War: Ascension
Rating out of five: ***
There's a feeling of déjà vu that pervades much of God of War: Ascension, a game that dodges the question of what comes next by taking us back to Kratos' origins.
Despite being set before the man became a god, the Spartan anti-hero still deals plenty of damage, spilling blood like a clumsy waiter spills red wine.
But despite all the usual tricks - epic battles, epic vistas and epic violence - the lack of any real narrative, and substitution of the better known residents of Olympus for the Furies (the goddesses of punishment), means there's little to become truly invested in; Kratos himself remaining an alienating force of angst.
Santa Monica Studio have at least endowed him with new tricks - the ability to wield dropped weapons and capacity to channel the powers of Zeus, Hades, et al - but it's not enough as you embark on yet more “find three keys to progress” quests.
An added online mode seemingly confirms the developers thought likewise but, though a reasonable addition, even this can't quite provide that missing spark. - The Independent