Set before the events of the original God of War, God of War: Ascension is set up as a sort of origin story for the perennially tortured Spartan general Kratos. A sequence early in the game even depicts how Kratos first earned those iconic Blades of Chaos. Watching that scene, I couldn’t help but flash back to the genesis of Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, two other social misfits who transcended a personal tragedy to become living legends.
But God of War: Ascension isn’t some dry history lesson. The game begins in the Prison of the Damned, a sprawling structure honeycombed around the body of a vast creature called Hecatonchires, who possesses nearly as many arms as his name has syllables. Sentenced to eternal damnation for turning his back on Ares, Kratos manages to escape his shackles. The newly freed Kratos wastes no time in pursuing his captors, a group of sadistic bounty hunters called the Furies, with predictably antisocial results.