Kratos used to be such a compelling character. We don’t know much about him but what we did know was brutal as it was vague. Hopefully this will help clear matters up.
This isn’t true: well, not entirely. Sam really doesn’t want the fourth edition to be a prequel but there really isn’t anyone left for Kratos to fight, save himself. It’s not only the natural progression of the series, it’s the only step that really makes sense and is probably being taken as a measure of redemption for God of War 3.
Kratos, in his onset, was interesting. His mythology allowed for people to connect to him on a personal level while still being in awe of his power. In some sense, that power transferred to the player and we were able to feel as if we were the ones waging the war as well as wielding the weight.
The heady and generically barbaric modus of Kratos’ operandi in God of War 3 didn’t allow for that same connection. We couldn’t be as compelled by his story at this point in his all-out rampage because we (as well as seemingly he) had forgotten what it was.
Ascension serves as a reminder: a path for the wayward warrior to return home. For us to be reconnected with the prodigal son and be reminded of the specific mass and trajectory that could drive a person to such grave extreme.