Praise the Gods (or rather have them trick you into killing your family and swear vengeance on them) I have been granted the gift of access to the God of War: Ascension Multiplayer Beta. Ascension is a long awaited continuance of the GoW series set in the events leading up to the first game, starting with the binding of the blades of chaos and presumably ending with the tragic murder of Kratos’ family. With the trend of single player games getting a multiplayer mode to add longevity and offer the chance to sell fans more DLC on the rise (read as greed), the addition of a multiplayer mode is not surprising. However, what is surprising is how well it works. As a long time fan of the series, to say that I was excited about the beta would be an understatement, but with great hype comes great disappointment so I began my odyssey with apprehension, on the lookout for any perils. And with that our story begins…
From Slaying Gods to Serving One
The second you press start and you enter the multiplayer, it’s clear to see that the game took its inspiration from the song It’s Raining Men. You are instantly greeted with a bald muscular scantily clad Adonis who falls from the sky and lands, begging the question: “Do you even lift??” This lets you know one thing right off the bat: if you love beefy half naked men, you will love this game. As you take your first steps you enter a shrine devoted to the Greek pantheon, from here you will decide in which god’s name your enemies will fall.
While the beta shows Ares, Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon (along with empty slots for even more deities), the development team shows themselves to be quite the tease and limits you to only Zeus and Ares. Each god gives a different set of boons, where as followers of Ares start with a sword and fire magic, Zeus worshipers rock the hammer and lighting magic. Once you have picked your reason for genocide the tutorial starts. Here you will learn the basics of the game and be treated to a sneak peek into how the single player mode will handle. That being said, if you have played a God of War game this will all feel very familiar and it is obvious they are not reinventing the wheel gameplay wise. After learning the basics you will finally get to appease your god with murder and earn the right to progress into the real multiplayer.
God of Options
As weird as it seems to say it, the opening menu was incredibly auspicious. At its most basic the menu consists of Game Mode, Quick Play, and Champion. From Game mode you can select one of two modes “Favor of the Gods” and “Team Favor of the Gods,” with strong hints to a third type being available. As for the Quick Play option, it is rather self explanatory, it gets you into matches…..quickly. In Champion you will instantly notice the wide array of customization options and while I won’t go too far into each item, here is a few of the main things you can come to expect. For each weapon type and armor there are numerous pieces to fit your play style, each one with different stats, cool looking skins, and the ability to level them up as you play.
While only the most basic set is unlocked at the start, as you complete challenges and slay foes in your god’s name much more is unlocked. Next we have Abilities and Relics; Abilities focus on your God specific magic, while Relics offer small bonus while equipped. The option for these are on par with the amount of weapons and armor but they are purchased using points given through level ups. While the options already seem plentiful enough it is important to realize that when the new gods enter the fray at release, there will be even more goodies to make your character the perfect killer.
Check out the next page for the rest of our impressions and more gameplay footage!