As many of you would recall the 2010 release of God of War 3 signalled the end of the current trilogy of God of War games, but it certainly wasn't the end for the franchise with God of War: Ascension announced in April 2012 (with a worldwide release set down on PS3 for March 12-15, 2013) being the latest game in Sony's hit series. The first thing to note, and the reason for this not being called God of War IV, is that it is a prequel to the events in the other main titles in the series. So what's it about then...
Six months have passed since Kratos stood over the bodies of his wife and child, his hands stained with their blood - tricked by Ares into murdering the only people he ever loved. Swearing to avenge them, Kratos broke the blood oath that bound him to Ares, but oaths to Olympus are not so easily broken...
It's confirmed GOW: Ascension has multiplayer.
As expected God of War: Ascension is another third person action game in the same vein as the previous games in the series. Not only can Kratos hack and slash his way through the levels, but power up weapons, and collect power-ups. Of course we also expect the QTE (Quick Time Events) to reappear. But single player isn't the most exciting aspect. What's that you say? Well...
As you may have noticed from the details table at the top of this preview the big inclusion to the franchise in this game is multiplayer. With support for up to 8-players the multiplayer modes provide objective based gameplay. In these modes you will align yourself to one of four gods - Zeus, Ares, Poseidon or Hades - and perform "favours" to unlock new customisation options.
According to rumour a Beta for the multiplayer component of the game will commence in November 2012 for PlayStation Plus subscribers, however we aren't sure if this will be worldwide, or just America, or if it will be a select group or open to all.
God of War continues to look stunning.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots (and the trailer below) this game is simply jaw-dropping as one would expect. The game uses an enhanced version of the engine used in God of War 3. Ever since the first title appeared on the PS2 in 2005 the franchise has been a shining light on Sony's consoles of technical accomplishment with visuals that push the system as hard as any other game release. That looks set to continue here with God of War: Ascension being the first game in the franchise to include stereoscopic 3D (we're excluding the recent HD ports). With the developers working on this feature from the outset the 3D effects should not only be spectacular, but superbly integrated into the gameplay.
Yet another frantic multiplayer screenshot.
Music in the game is being composed by Tyler Bates and Timothy Williams (who have worked together on films including 300, Sucker Punch, and Watchmen. Of course the dialogue and effects should also be top- notch and we expect long-time series narrator Linda Hunt to return for the game (her voice is in the trailer).
God of War: Ascension looks like a stunning title and with the PS4 just around the corner probably the last in the franchise to hit the ageing console. Fortunately this franchise doesn't look aged so I'll be first in line to get my hands on this stunning looking title in March 2013.
Below is two trailers for the game, the first is the Single Player World Premiere from E3 2012, while the second is the Multiplayer Combat Trailer. Check them out, they're bloody, and bloody impressive.