A Bloodthirsty Multiplayer for Someone Like You (E3 2012)
Yes, you read it right. In case you didn't know, let me enlighten you right now. God of War: Ascension will feature a multiplayer portion with an array of play modes that are nothing short of entertaining. God of War was never a shooter or a strategic warfare title, so don't expect a mere imitation of other games' multiplayer. We have something new here: an inspiring addition that makes us realize we've barely scratched the surface when it comes to multiplayer fun.
Right after checking out the single-player demo at Sony's huge and flashy E3 booth, another God of War: Ascension developer gave me the opportunity to try this part of the game, and I can say even though my time with it was short, I had a blast.
Starting with assigning your loyalty to Zeus or Ares, you'll get the chance to customize your burly character in several ways. Players will be able to pick from a few different body and skin types, clothing, armor, weapons, and more. The options weren't very extensive in the demo, but we can imagine there'll be quite a bit of variety to allow players to make their characters unique. Why? Because Kratos is nowhere to be found; the multiplayer is about you being you, that almighty warrior you've always wanted to be but never were due to fear of betraying Kratos. Let's just have Kratos worry about the intense single-player campaign, and let's take care of business here... with a multiplayer that's worth it. Is it necessary? Okay, maybe not. But, is it worth it? Heck yeah!
A number of locations you'd find in the typical God of War campaign mode will be your scenarios here. The GOW: Ascension multiplayer will allow up to eight players to participate, though the setups will vary. In some instances, players will team up with others, while at other times they'll have to work for themselves, always depending upon the objective set in the game. During the demo, we played a fun mix of game modes that helped to keep things varied and resulted in a very rewarding experience. Hopefully this "remix" will be an option in the final game, because it's all the more satisfying if you learn to do everything well, rather than just excelling in one category.
If you have your doubts about losing the essence of God of War in the multiplayer, worry not. You're not going to give up fighting tremendous mythological bosses, pulling a beast's eyes out, or ripping a pewny enemy apart. You'll also have magic at your disposal, which varies depending upon your alignment with one god or the other. Even little puzzles involving switches and cranks are part of the formula, much like in the single-player. Oh, and setting traps will be an option too. That way, each player can find their favorite way to play and strategize depending on the goal.
One of the battles I played was a 4-on-4 Spartans vs. Trojans, and the target was to kill members from the other team to acquire points. Also, you had to make it difficult for the other team to reach the Cyclops boss, Polyphemus. Instead, you had to rush to the one-eyed monster who is causing havock on the top platform and rip his eye out yourself, not without first cutting his jaw open, which is utterly disgusting. Destroying him grants you substantial points that might (or might not) determine the winning team, so it's in your best interest to do it yourself, or at least help someone in your team do it while you distract the opposing players. This kill results in a gruesome scene to watch that luckily all players will witness too, no matter who the killer is, so you won't miss those special moments from the main God of War campaign.
This is just an example of how the multiplayer in God of War: Ascension is going to play out, but the developers affirmed there'll be many fun game modes like Domination and Attack-and-Defense encounters that'll keep players engaged for hours on end. Since the multiplayer controls as well as Kratos does in the single-player, gamers shouldn't have any regrets; they'll be able to execute satisfying and brutal attacks, devastating kills with traditional weapons, magic attacks, and even evade to escape incoming strikes. Some approaches are more effective than others, but it's great to see that there won't be a huge disadvantage for those who don't spend their days and nights staring at the screen, unlike what happens with other multiplayer titles.
While God of War: Ascension's multiplayer won't be able to rival the wonderful campaign we know is coming, this action-packed feature seems to be powerful enough to attract even the less traditional multiplayer gamers. With more melee, third-person action than any other multiplayer offering out there, the battle will be bloody and fierce when everyone finally gets their hands on it in March 2013.
If you haven't checked out my single-player God of War: Ascension hands-on preview yet, do so now! There are quite a few new features that might just make this game the best one in the series.
An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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