God of War: Ascension is an upcoming third person action-adventure video game in development by Santa Monica Studio and to be published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE). The game is scheduled to be released on March 12, 2013, for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) video game console and will be the seventh installment in the God of War series and a prequel to the entire series. Loosely based on Greek mythology, the game will be set in Ancient Greece with vengeance as its central motif. The player will control the protagonist Kratos, the former servant of the God of War, Ares. Kratos attempts to sever ties with Ares—who tricked Kratos into killing his wife and child—by defeating the three Furies.
The gameplay will be similar to that of its predecessors. It will focus on combo-based combat, achieved through the player's main weapon—the Blades of Chaos—and secondary weapons acquired later. The game will feature revamped quick time events that require the player to complete various game controller actions in a timed sequence to defeat stronger enemies and bosses. It will also feature puzzles and platforming elements. In addition to its similar gameplay, it will be the first installment to feature multiplayer for both competitive and cooperative play, and include a revamped combat and weapon system, new gameplay mechanics, and downloadable content. A multiplayer beta was held from December 12, 2012 to January 21, 2013.
The story behind God of War: Ascension tells the journey of Kratos' redemption from his past sins and the rise of his rage to break free from Ares' bond. The game is set six months after Kratos murdered his wife and child; about ten years before the original God of War. Joystiq confirms "players will be introduced to a more human Kratos than ever before" with director Todd Papy stating that the game will be "giving people a look at Kratos' human side so fans can relate to him better and understand some of the stuff he went through when he was younger." Papy also confirmed that Kratos will have the "Blades of Chaos" and that the story takes place after Kratos sold his soul to Ares. At PAX 2012, Santa Monica announced that the three Furies—who Kratos must defeat to break his bonds with Ares—are the main antagonists of the game. Megaera, one of the Furies, was featured in a new trailer.
On February 1, 2013, Santa Monica previewed the first 30 minutes of God of War: Ascension's single-player to the media; the same content of the demo released on February 26. A cinematic narrative voiced by Linda Hunt describes a time before the Titans and the rule of the Olympian Gods when there was an aeons-long war between the Primordials, the beings who forged the Earth. The war spawned the Furies, the guardians of honor who punish those they deem guilty. When Aegaeon, the Hecatonchires, broke a blood oath to Zeus, the King of the Gods, he became the first traitor and a target for the Furies. As punishment, Aegaeon was captured and subsequently tortured and turned to stone. Aegaeon was then made a giant prison of the damned: now a symbol of the consequences of breaking a blood oath to a god.
Gameplay begins with an imprisoned Kratos, chained for breaking his blood oath to the God of War, Ares. Megaera, one of the three Furies, tortures Kratos, but accidentally facilitates his freedom. Pursued by Kratos, a desperate Megaera begins to awaken Aegaeon—revealed to be the prison housing the Spartan and other oath breakers.
As seen in the demos, the gameplay of God of War: Ascension is similar to that of its predecessors. It is a third-person single-player video game viewed from a fixed camera perspective. The game also features a first-person camera view. The player controls the character Kratos in combo-based combat, platforming, and puzzle game elements. Kratos is guided through various environments while fighting enemies, who come mostly from Greek mythology. Platforming elements require the player to climb walls, jump across chasms, and slide down walls to proceed through sections of the game. Some puzzles are simple, such as moving a box so that the player can use it as a jumping-off point to access a pathway unreachable with normal jumping, but others are more complex, such as finding several items across different areas of the game to unlock one door. The single-player will feature a "revamped" combat and weapon system, "promptless" mini-games and new puzzles. Sony stated the game will offer "fluid, life-like characters, dynamic lighting effects, and world-changing scenarios", although the story is "a little bit shorter" than previous games.
Kratos' main weapon is the Blades of Chaos: a pair of blades attached to chains that are wrapped around Kratos' wrists. The blades can be swung around to attack enemies. Kratos will be able to imbue the Blades of Chaos with different elemental properties, such as fire, ice, and black magic. Although little has been revealed about new weapons obtained in the game, Kratos will be able to pick up the weapons of defeated foes and use them (also allowing Kratos to switch weapons mid-combo) for a limited time. Little has been revealed of the magical abilities that will be acquired, except for the Life Cycle mechanic, which will allow Kratos to freeze enemies and manipulate time for puzzle solving. As in previous games, a "Rage" mode is included, which provides increased attack damage and different attack combinations. Unlike the previous games, the "Rage" meter is filled by attacking enemies and once full, the ability is automatically activated and remains activated until Kratos is attacked, thus requiring the meter to be refilled.
As in the previous games, players will find chests colored green, blue, or red, with each chest containing orbs or the corresponding color. Green orbs replenish the player's health, blue orbs replenish magic allowing further usage, and red orbs provide experience for upgrading weapons and magic—making new, more-powerful attacks available. Red orbs are also collected by destroying certain inanimate objects. As in the previous games, the player can collect Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers. The Eyes and Feathers increase the length of the health and magic meters, respectively. In combat, a quick time event (QTE) feature, also called context sensitive attacks, is initiated when the player has weakened a strong foe. The player performs a sequence of actions on the game controller shortly after the appearance of an on-screen prompt. This allows for limited control of Kratos during a QTE cinematic sequence, which, if successful, ends the battle; failure usually results in damage to the protagonist.
The game will offer a multiplayer feature for up to eight players, with a small story element. Players will be either on two teams of four, or alone, and will try to take control of a map in order to earn rewards from the gods, although the players must first sell their champion's soul to one of four deities: Ares, Hades, Zeus, or Poseidon. Each god offers a unique combat play-style and abilities in battle. Players will unlock special magic abilities, new and upgraded armors and weapons, relics, and other treasures as players earn experience points (XP) to level up their warrior. The attack-style of the god with whom players align is critical to their warrior's path.
There will be four multiplayer modes: Team Favor of the Gods, Favor of the Gods, Trial of the Gods, and Capture the Flag. The signature multiplayer mode is Team Favor of the Gods. In this mode, two teams of four—Spartans versus Trojans—try to accumulate a target amount of points in order to claim victory. Points, known as Favor, are earned by kills and other methods. When players are not on the offensive, they may help their team earn points by capturing altars, collecting red orbs from chests, and setting traps for opposing players. Every multiplayer map features several special power-ups awarded by the gods, such as the Boots of Hermes for accelerated speed, providing players with a brief advantage.The non-team version, Favor of the Gods, is a four player deathmatch with the same goal as the team version. Trial of the Gods is a two-player, cooperative, time trial mode. In this mode, players face five increasingly hard waves of mythological monsters, followed by a boss fight, whilst surviving against the clock. A single-player version will be available. In Capture the Flag, the Spartans and Trojans battle to steal the opposing team's flag and return it to their base until a target amount of flags have been captured. Each multiplayer map is based on a signature God of War location (e.g. Desert of Lost Souls from God of War and Forum of Hercules from God of War III)
The first demonstration featured the Team Favor of the Gods mode on the Desert of Lost Souls map. Players serve either Sparta or Troy and battle in teams for control of territory, with the Titan cyclops Polyphemus also in play and attacking the warring armies. Contested zones contain mechanical gears that control the chains binding the one-eyed giant, and after capturing multiple gears and earning a certain number of Favor, the gods will award the winning army with the Spear of Olympus, which in turn provides the power needed to dispatch Polyphemus. The mode fluctuates from attack and defend, forcing the offensive team to hold the territory gained as they attempt to destroy Polyphemus. If the defensive team regains control of territory, Polyphemus resets to original position and the Spear is lost.
Edited by MysteryMike, 09 March 2013 - 07:57 PM.