God of War: Ascension is one of the most anticipated games of 2013. Set as a prequel to the original God of War game the player finds themselves once again witnessing the journey of series hero Kratos. He has been sentenced to eternity in prison and will encounter tests from the gods while he seeks redemption for his sins, independence and lucidity on vengeance for his family. This installment to the God of War series will offer just as good of a single player experience with the addition of one of the most polished multiplayer modes in the industry.
The multiplayer mode in God of War: Ascension can be considered a slightly controversial subject among players because this is the first time the development team has implemented multiplayer into the game. While players are torn in what to expect from this new mode, we can assure them that after our hands-on time with this multiplayer that God of War: Ascension is staying true to itself while expanding into something even greater. To put fear at ease, the multiplayer portion of God of War: Ascension matches the franchise to a tee; feeling natural as if this has been an undiscovered part of the series and now that part has finally been found.
GamersBliss.com was able to get hands-on time with what players will be able to witness in the beta once it goes live. There was an area to train and two different multiplayer game types to play. The training portion of what was played was detailed enough for a player to survive but not long to where what you have learned becomes pointless. In the multiplayer tutorial area the player is asked to gain an alliance with a god. For the portion that was played Ares and Zeus were the gods that can be sided with although in the actual game there will be more to choose from. Ares gives the player a sword to start and lets the player get used to the move set with that sword. While in this area the player can try out either god and change between the two if desired. Zeus allowed the player to wield a hammer, with a tutorial following the moves for that. Ares seemed to offer players a fast-paced well rounded approach to a first match while Zeus was all-mighty but a little slower. One of the things that was a bit interesting about this multiplayer is that the character the player takes control of is a blank slate that they can literally make their own. Through a variety of different customization options the player can choose, the character they use in multiplayer almost becomes a version of themselves.
In the menus, before a match, the player can look through a variety of different things that will upgrade their character. There are a great amount of things to choose from like different types of armor, weapons and magic. The armor section was great as it allowed the player to see what the armor looked like, its effect and how to unlock it. The armor can be applied in pieces from the legs all the way up to the head which is a great was to keep your character formed to your play style while making them look the way you wish for them to look. The player will gain access to new items by XP and items that can be found in a match. Getting new weapons, armor and magic will be a key element in the game that will keep players glued to the screen.
One of the game modes was sort of like a team death match style of game. It was four on four and whichever teams score hit a certain point first they are the winner. The glory of the way the multiplayer is set up is that kills are not the only thing that can add to the teams overall score because there are areas to control that also give points to the team in control. This does not take competitiveness away from the game yet it makes it so that not every player is doing the same exact thing so it seems less likely for team members to be overly aggressive toward one another.
The classic combat style from single player is implemented into multiplayer. The controls feel so natural to the player’s hands yet it is an entirely new experience. There are great finishers to online opponents in the form of brutal kills that aid in helping the players overall score. In the 8-player matches it was a big trend to use traps. There are multiple traps set around the map, if a team sets a trap it will automatically unleash damage on any opposing team member who stumbles upon them. Utilizing traps to your advantage can help give your team the upper hand in any match.
The objective-based game play is something that can be raved about because of how well it fits in with the series. Not only does that stay true to the game it has always been but the interactive maps bring memories of the story straight to multiplayer. In one of the 8-player maps a large Cyclops distracts players from the background and occasionally busts into the map to dish out damage of his own. This creature doesn’t play for any team but causes havoc which is just another thing that the player has to look out for besides their opponents. In a 4-player free for all type match, Zeus will occasionally jump down from a podium and make an electric shock cross the map that the players are forced over. It is these AI controlled interactive experiences in a multiplayer match that makes God of War: Ascension just that much more unique.
As stated above, there is another multiplayer match type which is a free-for-all type match. This kind of match tends to be held in a smaller arena. In this type of match the players were able to use magic to help defeat their opponents. Magic isn’t something that can be used all the time but something that needed to be gained from a certain point the lights up on the map. Once one person charges their magic with that fountain then it is gone, so getting to that point to gain your magic power is a big part of who wins the game. Of course players can win the game without using that ability but having such an effective move gained in this manner in such a small map once again adds almost like a side objective to the main objective to the match.
The way this multiplayer has been set up and created is revolutionary. They use the means of objective to take a creative turn on multiplayer gaming. This isn’t your average multiplayer but it is something that will stick to players and will surly get them hooked. God of War: Ascension’s multiplayer mode is the creative turn the industry needed on multiplayer gaming; a way to pull players from other games and force them to love something different then the past. What we have seen with the multiplayer portion of the game it would be an understatement to say we are blown away. This is something that was much needed and we cannot wait to here, play and see more about it.