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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

God Of War: Ascension's Multiplayer Is The Freshest Competitive Experience In Years

Posted on Monday, March 11 @ 17:00:00 Eastern by

I didn't think it would be fun or even vicious, but God of War: Ascension's online multiplayer component is the best thing in Sony's prequel for Kratos. In fact, it's easily the best new multiplayer experience since Assassin's Creed introduced online-stabbing with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Here's a competitive team-based match from start to finish. Be sure to check out who came out on top.

A quick note: This video was recorded last week during private multiplayer time on pre-release. I had no trouble with bugs or connectivity, but there's a patch for the game at launch nevertheless.


A Place in the Mythos

Your character in Ascension's multiplayer appears in the game's single-player mode, but the feeling of existing in the universe goes a few steps beyond that. When you first select multiplayer from the menu, you'll go through a tutorial that has you face to face with the four gods you can curry favor for in the game. Choosing a deity affects your progression, weapons, and powers, so it's a big choice, but you'll have the opportunity to switch around.

That may seem like a cop-out, but if you've been a god of war throughout the series, you'll feel right at home in front of Hades as he pledges power and skill in your endeavors. Later, as you jam a powerful spear square in the iris of a cyclops, and opposing players stand in shame, you'll feel like you did your deity proud. There's a cinematic quality in the presentation and style, and it's not lost on the microphone chatter either.

Be sure to hail Zeus when you strike an opponent down with a special power.


Insane Map Design

Ascension's tutorial takes place on one of my favorite maps. It's a plain, open space, but the simplicity makes the small, four-player free-for-all battles intense and skill-focused. The best map in the game, in my opinion, is the Labyrinth, a series of boxes that rotate in and out, making it impossible to really "learn" the map.


Still, the traps within are astounding. Some burn enemy players with fire; others limit movement with fans. Players can even take control of a block and spin it, killing everyone inside. There's not a single space in the map that can't come under fire from some unknown element.

Still another map gives you control over a Medusa head so you can blast players looking to steal your team's point or flag. Never stop moving and always watch the environmental traps as you compete for the Gods.


New Weapon, New Powers

Just like Kratos, you'll pick up a lot of different weapons in battle. You can choose from the sword, hammer, and spear to start, but with each newly unlocked blade also comes new special abilities. You might get comfortable with one set early on, but the lure of cooler, more powerful weapons will quickly force you to step out of your comfort zone and experiment.

For example, the starting hammer features two specials that launch enemy combatants for grapple combo opportunities. The next hammer features a wide area attack and another special that powers you up into a hulking beast for a period. Specials have a cooldown, though, so don't expect to spam them.


Finish Him!

You know, Kratos really was a perfect guest star on NetherRealm's most recent Mortal Kombat game. He's brutal, he's got special powers, and he loves tearing people limbs off. Now, you can have that same finishing satisfaction with your customized warrior.

Yes, in the video above, I finish off most of my kills without the splash of blood of a cinematic kill, but you can still see a few performed on me. Like Mortal Kombat, the variety of brutal kills can really shock you, but the points will make you try for one every time.

I'll be playing more of God of War: Ascension's competitive modes tomorrow once the game has launched and there's some fresh meat on the servers. You can add me on PSN (ID: danielrbischoff) or drop yours in the comments for other Revolutionaries to add.
Related Games:   God of War: Ascension
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