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[NYCC 2012] Preview: God of War Ascension is equal parts brutal and kick ass

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Posted by: Vito Gesualdi

There were plenty of games on display at Sony’s exclusive New York Comic Con press event, though I made sure to make some time to check out God of War: Ascension, the forth installment in this wildly popular action series. The demo on display was the same build shown during Sony’s E3 press conference, which seems to be the very beginning of the game, letting players get a chance to learn Kratos’ new powers and put them to destructive new use.

The coolest new feature is definitely the ability to hook an enemy with Kratos’ blades, essentially tethering them to the burly greek. From there, it’s easy to cause some serious damage, giving the enemy no way to escape your grasp. The other new addition to combat are Kratos’ new magic time powers, which let him slow down enemies in order to let loose with explosive combos. The new time powers also play a part in the exploration sections, letting Kratos reverse time in certain areas in order to repair destroyed structures, or use falling rocks as platforms. I’m definitely looking to see how many other uses of these time powers will come into play.

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Kratos, being pissed as usual

The demo also showed off a few weapons Kratos can pick up around the levels. Grabbing a spear not only extended my combat reach, though also let me toss the weapon away for a one-time special attack, raining spears from the sky, and I look forward to seeing what other special attacks different weapons will offer. The remainder of the combat is traditional God and War hack and slash, a clear case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” God of War fans are sure to be right at home, using evasive rolls to get away from enemies before letting loose with a flurry of blade combos.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the demo however, is how brutal it was. While Kratos’ enemies explode in gleeful fountains of blood, it’s the impressive boss battle which showcase especially violent action. To be fair, God of War 4 earns its M for Mature rating, and the final boss battle against a mighty elephant warrior was a good show of this. When captured in the elephant’s mighty grasp, Kratos can use his dagger to stab deep into his captor’s thick arm. Then, after enough damage has been inflicted, Kratos gets to go for the coup de grace, jamming his blades through the ‘phant’s skull and splitting it wide open, slicing straight through the brain.

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The combat is fast, brutal and fluid

As seen in previous demo coverage, this is immediately followed by Kratos being snagged by a kraken, pulled off towards a mysterious fate. I’m very excited to see exactly how things pan out for Kratos, and look forward to seeing more game footage as we get closer to the game’s March release date.

Tags: God of War Ascension, Preview, Sony

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