God Of War Ascension Multiplayer: Combat, Gore & Executions – What You Need To Know
God of War: Ascension has finally been revealed, and aside from the debut teaser trailer – which showed little to nothing at all – Sony and Santa Monica Studio have now unveiled the first glimpse of Ascension’s four-player multiplayer at an event in the States.
It’s a fast-paced mash up of bone crushing combat, massive beasts, and of course, lots and lots of blood. Join us as we make sense of the mayhem, and run down everything we know about God of War: Ascension multiplayer.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer supports up to eight players
Sony’s God of War: Ascension multiplayer reveal focuses on an eight-player brawl, that opens with warriors battering ten shades out of each other on top of a series of walkways. In the background, a colossal Cyclops is chained to the structure, frantically struggling to break his bonds.
The game mode shown by Sony is a four-on-four team point capture affair, that begins as combatants wade into the carnage and start hacking and slashing their way to victory with a wide range of weapons and magical attacks. Fans of Capcom’s Power Stone should get very excited right about now.
Part one of this mode sees both teams fighting each other to control an area of the stage. Controlling all of the points will earn them the honour of finishing off the Cyclops in gory fashion – a fitting prize for veteran God of War fans with a taste for blood and violence.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer hints at the single player story
One of the key questions surrounding God of War: Ascension is that of the single player plot. We know it’s a prequel that will touch on – in some degree – the life of Kratos before he accidentally murdered his wife and child to become the Ghost of Sparta.
During these years, Kratos commanded his Spartan army and waged war on all of Greece. The presence of multiple Spartan warriors in God of War: Ascension multiplayer does hint that the members of the Spartan army will make up some the characters you control online, as well as hinting at this key plot point.
You can also control Trojans online. During multiplayer matches, Spartans are designated by red body paint, while Trojans are adorned with blue paint to distinguish between both teams.
Kratos hasn’t been included in multiplayer to make sure people who don’t get to go him aren’t feeling left out throughout each match. Character customisation is broken down into chest piece, arm guards, skirt and helmet, with new gear unlocked as you progress.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer delivers combat to rival the single player campaign
Santa Monica Studios has strived to ensure that God of War: Ascension multiplayer isn’t just a side offering to the campaign, and that it delivers the same deep and tactical combat fans of the God of War series will be accustomed to. This absolutely rings true in practice.
Aside from heavy and light attacks, you can also unleash executions on downed players and work together to use traps littered around each stage – such as spiked floors, saw blades and flamethrowers.
Teamwork is enforced through making these traps switch based, so one player must lure an enemy into the trap and the other player must pull the lever to activate it.
Alongside God of War: Ascension’s trademark melee attacks, players can also execute dodge rolls, and possible parries, although Santa Monica Studios has explained that these may be left out in the final build.
According to Santa Monica Studios, the reason for this reluctance is that well-timed parries and fair balancing to this degree demand a relatively lag-free game. As God of War: Ascension is still in development the jury is still out on this feature, although the studio stresses that the multiplayer action is as responsive as single player.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer throws tons of weapons into the mix
The Spartans seen in God of War: Ascension multiplayer brandish different weapons, including tridents, warhammers and blades attached to chains – similar to the Blades of Olympus used by Kratos. It seems as if you will be able to create your Spartan’s load out from a set of unlockable weapons.
Each weapon seems to have different speed and power ratings, underlined by one Spartan struggling slightly when swiping with his massive warhammer, bringing it down on his enemy with crippling force.
There is a real weight to the way Spartans attack each other, with blood staining the ground with every strike. Incredibly, the battle looks just like single player God of War, but with other players instead of usual line up of AI-controlled beasts.
You can even use contextual hazards to defeat your enemies, such as kicking them on to spike traps, or using divine weapons earned by controlling points on the map, such as the Javelin of Olympus. This holy weapon gives one Spartan to launch a barrage of spears at enemies for a short time.
When an opponent is near death, you can another leaf out of the Kratos playbook and finish off your target with a brutal weapon execution, slicing your weapon through them painfully, before taking big chunks out of them.
You can even unleash two-on-one or three-on-one executions if you want to add insult to injury. It’s grim, nasty, and just what you would expect from God of War, right down to the fact that the button mapping is largely the same as it was in God of War 3.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer features massive beast executions
As we mentioned, the God of War: Ascension multiplayer reveal focused on two key things – first, the battle between two teams of Spartan players to control two points on the map, and second, the round-winning execution of a hulking Cyclops tethered to the stage.
After one team holds both points on the map long enough to capture it, the chains that bind the Cyclops retract, slamming the beast’s face into the ground, and stunning it to open up a team execution option.
The mode then switches to an attack and defend phase, in which the Trojans must defend the stunned Cyclops from the Spartans for as long as possible. If they hold off the Spartans for long enough, the Cyclops will recover, and the round will go back to the point capture phase.
All four of the Spartan team rush over to the Cyclops and begin their finishing blow. The first Spartan hooks his chained blade right into the beast’s eye, and jumps in close, dragging the blade down through its nose and chin, splitting its jaw in two.
It’s massively painful to watch and is classic God of War. With the beast shocked and in pain, the other members of the team all throw their chained blades into the monsters eye and pull, bringing its head closer to the ground.
With the Cyclops eye in striking range, the final Spartan leaps into the air towards the eyeball, ready to plunge the Javelin of Olympus in and deliver the killing strike. These team executions are a great way of getting all of the team involved in set pieces, and give everyone a role to play in winning the round.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer will feature around seven maps
The stage shown at the Sony’s God of War: Ascension reveal was just one of around seven teased by Santa Monica Studio. However, the studio didn’t divulge any more information to the press at the event. The map shown was a multi-tiered playground of platforms and traps, giving great scope for chaos.
Best described as a blend between Capcom’s Power Stone series, Nintendo’s Smash Bros. and well, God of War, the multiplayer component of God of War: Ascension is fast-paced, manic and littered with on screen mayhem from start to finish.
Add to this the inclusion of Spartan customisation options, levelling up, RPG elements and more that we haven’t been shown yet, there is a very real possibility that God of War: Ascension will be a game of two halves, with multiplayer being just as important to the overall package as the campaign.
God of War: Ascension multiplayer lets you pledge allegiance to one of four gods
One of the most creative aspect of God of War: Ascension multiplayer is that your Spartan must pledge allegiance to one of four gods – Ares, Poseidon, Hades and the big bad himself, Zeus. This is a pivotal choice.
Each of the four gods will open up differed spells, items and unlocks that will help your Spartan grow as he levels up, sort of like a class system. For example, Zeus will imbue your solider with lightening based spells, while Ares will give you fire powers.
Said spells will encompass properties ranging from attacking, defending, healing and more. Gods may also have attacks of their own that can be called in, although this hasn’t been confirmed.