If you were asked to list strong, single player titles that have made their home on Sony‘s family of consoles over the years, the God of War series would probably be near the top. Kratos’ brutal journey through Greek mythology has always consisted of a single player killing anything that was even remotely threatening, but now, Santa Monica Studios is looking to mix up the formula. God of War: Ascension will be the first entry in the series to feature multiplayer modes, alongside a single-player story that fleshes out Kratos’ (probably) bloody past.
So far, the only mode that Santa Monica studios has thoroughly shown off is one that features eight players – four to a team – in a gladiatorial arena-style match, where the ultimate goal is to bring down the big monster that prowls the area around you. It’s not all about co-operative play, of course; you are able to attack the other team in the arena with you, but if you don’t learn to play nice with the people around you, you’ll likely be squashed under a large, oddly shaped foot.
The multiplayer modes are Santa Monica Studios way of adding a twist to the tried and true formula of God of War. By adding a cooperative focus to the multiplayer, in addition to the brutal, bloody competitiveness you’d expect, they are moving the new addition away from the journey of the lone, god-like figure, to make the multiplayer feel distinct. As such, it will not feature Kratos in any form: instead, players will be given nameless characters that they can customize to their desire. They will also be able to pledge allegiance to one of four gods – Zeus, Ares, Hades, or Poseidon – in order to gain special powers and bonuses.
There is no word yet on how many modes are to be added, (Santa Monica Studios has stated that they are shooting for “quality over quantity”), or exactly how many maps there will be (they are hovering around the idea of 7 right now – 5 large, 2 small), but it’s certain that there will be no local splitscreen or drop-in-drop-out mechanics. There will also be no female characters to play as, if you were curious. God of War: Ascension is still quite far from completion, so there is no release window yet, but hopefully, with E3 just around the corner, we’ll hear more soon.
I don’t know how I feel about multiplayer in God of War. As a single-player series, it’s one of my favourites. As long as the multiplayer doesn’t subtract from the single-player story in any way, it should be all right. I’ll admit: I’m curious. But cautiously so. What about the rest of you? How do you feel about multiplayer in God of War?