Everything We Know About God of War: Ascension Multiplayer
Combat and Weapons
The goal of Ascension’s multiplayer is to bring the over-the-top fighting and violence of God of War into the multiplayer arena, and as such, combat isn’t about being better at aiming or, necessarily, bringing the better weapon to the battle. Game Director Todd Papy described it as being more akin to the combat style of a fighting game, with something like a rock, paper, scissors rule set. Players will be able to stun and counter one another, and reading your opponents’ intentions and reacting accordingly will be the key to successful bouts.
Players will also benefit from using teammates and strategies against their opponents, said Jason McDonald, Ascension’s lead weapons and combat designer. In the demo, players all possessed a sort of throwing chain weapon that they could use, it seemed, to hook and stun enemies, or to perform different, often aerial moves. Working together, players could build combos against enemies — for example, we watched one character wielding a giant hammer use an attack that threw an opponent into the air, where the sword-wielding teammate was waiting to finish the combo alley-oop-style. McDonald also mentioned things like the ability to freeze opponents or set them on fire, as well as execute other stuns and moves, some of which will be based on health and so on.
Playing Ascension’s multiplayer will allow players to unlock various weapons that they’ll be able to choose from before heading into battle as part of their load-out, and different weapons will have different moves and effects associated with them. There will also be weapons to be found on the maps that players will be able to grab, use and throw away as they like.
Classes and Customization
The idea behind multiplayer is to allow players to follow Kratos’ path to godhood, McDonald said, going from unknown warrior to a god. In doing that, players will be able to choose one of four gods to whom they will pledge themselves and receive favor. Those gods are Zeus, Ares, Poseidon and Hades, and each will have different abilities and effects related to them that players can unlock over time.
Choosing a god will function a lot like a class system, McDonald said, allowing players to customize how they play and what abilities they have. In addition to standard combat and weapons, magic will also come into play, as will different powers such as healing teammates, supporting other players and so on. Which god you choose to play for will affect how your character evolves and handles. McDonald also said players will be able to change gods, although Papy noted that it’s not something the development team necessarily wants players to do constantly, so there will likely be incentives for sticking with a single class and developing skills in using it. From the sounds of things, development of the god system still has a lot of decisions yet to be made.
Notable is the fact that weapons will not be dependent on the god-path system. McDonald mentioned that these two things would be separated, allowing for greater customization and for different play styles to emerge among players in the game. Expect to pick your implement of death to suit you as a player regardless of whether you’re spec’d toward healing or combat damage.
Maps and Game Modes
The game mode seen during the press demo, McDonald said, was called Team Execution — the goal of which was to sacrifice opponent players and the giant megalops in order to curry favor with the gods. It was a domination-style game mode with two capture points that needed to be gained and held before the megalops could finally be killed by one of the teams, thus winning the match.
Papy said the team expects to build five to seven multiplayer maps, although details about other possible arenas weren’t given. The size of the demo map was pretty expansive, and easily accommodated two teams of four players. It was built on at least three levels and included trap areas where the megalops could attack players, as well as grated fire traps that caught several players and burned them alive.
As to other game modes, the development team didn’t discuss much in the way of details, and from the sounds of things, what modes might actually end up in the game is still being discussed or otherwise worked on. Game modes will likely be pretty similar to the kinds of modes that players are used to seeing in multiplayer games — deathmatch and capture the flag were mentioned as being in the mix for discussion, for example. However, like the Team Execution riff on domination modes, McDonald said the other modes will all have a God of War mutation that makes them into something new, while still being familiar.
“With Team Execution, we’re taking a trope everyone understands and adding to it,” McDonald said. “With the other modes, we’re looking to do the same thing.”