Everything We Know About God of War: Ascension Multiplayer
A lot of other questions were answered and other items were mentioned. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of details are still emerging or still haven’t been set in stone for the multiplayer mode, so much of this is potentially subject to change.
Will there be co-op?”
At the moment, it appears that there will not be a cooperative mode, although the demo build included an early joking moment in which two players bested a computer-controlled cyclops monster. That portion of the demo, Papy mentioned, was something of a gag to throw off the journalists and play up the multiplayer reveal.
Papy said there wouldn’t be a cooperative mode because there was “no real co-op story” to tell in terms of God of War. A cooperative story, he said, wouldn’t be much different than the single player experience, except that there would be two players, and that it would be less refined presentation because of the complications of having two people in the game. Papy also said that a cooperative campaign doesn’t really add replayability, which is something the team is going for.
That said, cooperative play looked potentially very engaging in the demo, and very doable. Right now it’s not in the cards, but there’s nothing from a technical standpoint that precludes God of War co-op from happening. Just don’t expect it in the final product.
Will there be split screen multiplayer
No. Online only.
Can You Be Kratos in Multiplayer?
Papy noted that all of the characters are based on the character models and in-game code for Kratos, so they’ll feel and play somewhat like God of War’s angry protagonist, but players will not be Kratos.
“No one wants to be Robin,” Papy said, referring to Batman’s sidekick. “And this would have been a bunch of Robins. So we kept Kratos out of it.”
How many players, max?
Eight: four on each team. Papy and the rest of the development team say this is meant to keep chaos to a minimum and make sure that players are always engaged in the game. One of the points that was emphasized several times is the idea of keeping God of War’s cinematic feel even in multiplayer; larger teams, it seems, would potentially detract from that goal.
There will be maps designed for 4-on-4 games, as well as smaller ones. Papy said the team expects to build five larger maps (one of which was the arena seen in the demo) and probably two smaller ones; however, McDonald said during an interview with Game Front that he hadn’t been told a definitive map count before Papy threw the figure out during the press presentation, so that sounds like a detail that’s still fairly young and potentially subject to change.
Will there be drop-in, drop-out capabilities?
No. Players will be entered into games and have to stick it out for the duration, although Papy had no details about what systems might surround this mechanic, such as experience-point penalties seen in other multiplayer titles.
Will players encounter computer-controlled monsters in multiplayer matches?
In the press demo, two players took on, and killed, a 30-foot cyclops before they entered the arena proper. Papy said that this is atypical — the cyclops fight was merely meant to slow the introduction of multiple players to the demo in order to jokingly throw off the members of the press watching the presentation — and players will actually be dropped straight into the arena when they start matches.
However, Papy also noted that the idea of cooperative fights against big enemies is something into which the team is looking, in the style, potentially, of a Gears of War-esque Horde mode. However, it sounded as though development on such a mode hadn’t yet started, if it ends up being in the game at all.
No. Because all the characters are based on Kratos, Papy said, female characters tend to look pretty horrible, so there won’t be any in multiplayer.
Will players be able to control the game camera?
Yes, to a degree. There will be some camera control when moving around the arenas, but in the demo the camera fixed in relationship to the character — it wasn’t stationary while players move around the map, but it did always give the same angle on the action. Papy says players will be able to move their cameras around, but that movement will be dampened, so don’t expect a lot of capability there.
What are the cinematic elements to combat?
For one, players will have access to finishing moves that includes some pretty gory executions. The two players fighting the first cyclops in the level disemboweled it (with guts sliding out), and twice members of the blue team were literally cut in half — rather slowly — by the giant sword of one of the red team characters. McDonald said there will be other finishing moves players can use against opponents as well. Ending the map included a very gory execution of the giant megalops, including splitting its lower jaw in half and hooking the megalops’ eye with the players’ chains and dragging it part of the way out of the creature’s head.
Other cinematic elements include things like hit pauses right before big attacks or combos by one player against the other, much like what’s seen in single player God of War.
How will players learn the rules?
The Ascension team admits that many of the elements to God of War multiplayer are either dissimilar to existing multiplayer modes are wholly different from them. The plan now is to include some kind of tutorial area that will teach players the ropes before they go into battle. That may be something not unlike Ubisoft’s Animus training area in the latter Assassin’s Creed titles, which give players a quick crash-course on AC multiplayer.
Papy didn’t have much in the way of details on the tutorial, however, so what it will entail is still unknown.
Not really. Papy and the rest of the development team spoke a lot about maintaining the God of War feel and bringing the series’ signature scope to multiplayer. Much of what was mentioned, however, sounded at least a little tentative. For example, Papy mentioned the possibility of a deathmatch mode, but it doesn’t sound like any game mode other than Team Execution, which was seen in the demo, is definitely going to make it into the game.
The demo shown to the press was relatively complete, but other elements, such as the god-pledging class system, also seemed to be in infancy stages. As such, there will certainly be plenty more details to be gleaned during the rest of the year, and probably more shown at E3 2012.
For more on God of War: Ascension, check out our interview with Combat Designer Jason McDonald.