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God of War: Ascension Preview

danielrbischoff By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Santa Monica Studio 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content

What do these ratings mean?

Before he was a God, he was a man fighting against other men online.

I used to wonder what Kratos did in his off time. Did he have a hobby? Did he like to play games or... knit? Maybe he liked to forge new weapons in the fires of Hades. Well, now we know. The warriors of Sparta and Troy faced off in online battles for glory and XP.

God of War Ascension introduces multiplayer to the long-time single-player series through a visceral, gory, high fidelity massacre. The developers at Santa Monica Studio are quick to point out that the trailer revealed last week was single-player-focused for a reason: to keep us in the dark.

Multiplayer takes the combat and violence we love about the series and allow people to fight each other with godly weapons. In fact, one of the first decisions players will make is which God to align themselves with. Will you fight for the glory of Athena or Poseidon? Will you honor Zeus with the blood of your enemies or is Ares more deserving?

This relationship is not a one-way street, either. Gods will return your favor with specific weapons and abilities. As you level up, new weapons and perks will become available to you, rounding out the types of attacks you'll have at your disposal. While there's a definite Call of Duty influence, it's hard to create a truly addictive multiplayer mode that doesn't allow for customization.

In the match journalists saw last week, Santa Monica Studio decided to mess with the audience by opening the battle like a typical single-player demo. As the Kratos-looking player character attacked a cyclops, another playerto our collective surprisejumped in to help finish off the beast. That's when the two proceeded down a corridor that opened up into a huge arena.

There, the pair quickly started battle in a 4-versus-4 domination-style match titled Team Execution. In this match type, players must capture points, receive a lightning-infused spear called the "Spirit of Olympus", and brutally kill a giant cyclops.

Each capture point requires quick-time events in God of War fashion to take over. They also take the form of a gear with chains that, when drawn, pulls the giant cyclops closer to one side of the arena or the other. With all points held, the cyclops can be attacked and eventually each member of the team can hold open the cyclops' eyelids. That's when the player on-screen can take the Spirit of Olympus and spike it violently in the monster's eye for the win. As far as touchdown dances go, that's gotta be a big one.

Santa Monica Studio certainly seems eager to prove itself in the multiplayer space. We'll be sure to let you know when they're ready to talk about God of War Ascension's single player.
More GR previews for this game:
Single-player preview posted on 02/03/13.

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