At this point in Ascension
, I had been stomaching the graphic gore that saturates the game well enough. It was gross, but it was all cartoonish and over the top. I violently collided with my threshold an hour or so later during the latter point of one of the key boss fights in the game, which, without divulging plot details, involved a scene which forces you to violently beat a female character to death with Kratos' fists.
Yes, this character is an antagonist, and yes, you kill other female characters throughout God of War: Ascension. But there's an almost pornographic level of intimacy to the violence here that pushed things too far for me. The brutal, bone-shattering assault on a realistic female avatar was horrific regardless of its context, the imagery too loaded for me to shrug it off as just another God of War Moment TM
. And then the assault was robbed of any narrative impact whatsoever by a throwaway story device. It didn't matter. I had to watch it happen and then it didn't mean anything. And then approximately 45 seconds later, I unlocked a trophy called "Bros before Hos."
If I wasn't reviewing the game, this would have been where I stopped. I didn't
stop, but regardless, this is where God of War: Ascension's
campaign lost me. I could go on about the nonsensical puzzles Sony Santa Monica closes the game with, or the brutal combat sequences that practically demand that you've found all of the health and magic upgrades in the game in order to successfully clear them. But after the moment I just described, it all just seemed gross and disturbing and unnecessary. It makes any trivial attempt at humanizing Kratos via God of War's now routine evoking of the wife and child he murdered while under the spell of Ares even more hollow.