Ascension takes place roughly six months after his decision to break the oath he swore to Ares in the original God of War game -- one that would spare his and his army's life in return for his lifelong servitude. In the God of War universe, when you break an oath to a god, you are to be hunted down by a trio of vicious Furies and forever tortured. Not that we knew of Furies before this game, but it's important to note that if you haven't played at least the first game in the God of War series, you'll be pretty confused while playing this. The frantic storytelling in Ascension doesn't make things any easier.
The idea is that by going back to the beginning, it would allow Sony to explore Kratos' past. But the deeper, more emotional Kratos we were promised was nowhere to be found as I mindlessly hack and slashed my way through massive environments revolving around a loosely constructed premise that fails to draw interest. Kratos is still angry. Kratos is still vengeful. Ascension does little to offer -- in a series of confusing flashbacks -- further explanation than what we've already seen in the past six games. Ascension's story is just unnecessary.