Eurogamer 2012 – God Of War Ascension Demo Impressions

If you live in Britain, then Eurogamer is the place to be every September if you want to sample the latest games. And lets face it, you do. Well I’m no different so I checked it out representing Analog Addiction. Eurogamer is a big expo with a lot of games and some very queues, I wasn’t able to sample every game but don’t worry, I sampled some of the best. Next up is God Of War Ascension. 

I was able to get a decent sample of Santa Monica’s latest God Of War game and play both the multiplayer and the single player. It didn’t blow my socks off, but it was good enough to have me buy the game when it releases in March 2013.

The single player demo was that of which we saw unveiled at E3 this year in June and it feels exactly like God Of War. Now, it’s not a bad thing as the God Of War games play beautifully and there a few iterations on the game this time around such as being able to pick up enemy weapons at various points. There was also this new magic system that allows you to rebuild destroyed structures or in turn dismantle them. What was used in the demo was that Kratos was using it to mend a structure but had it in a half way point between fixed and dismantled and it enabling him to climb the destroyed structure. It’s a cool idea and I hope we get to use it more, it has something of a puzzle element to it.

Combat is the same as ever in Ascension. You still have your quick and heavy attacks which can then be amplified by holding L1 and combining that with Square, Triangle or Circle. The combat has changed little since God Of War 3. There are still quick time events, finishing moves and executions and big boss battles. But it’s worked for the franchise for years, so why should it change now? There can be a lot happening on screen at any one given time. Kratos could be fighting a hoard of enemies and you could see a big battle in the background or in the case of the demo, you can see the Kraken thrashing about. The framerate holds up very well as it always has in God Of War.

But you want to hear about the multiplayer don’t you? Yeah you do. If you follow my blog and ever caught my first blog on God Of War Ascensions multiplayer, you’ll know that my initial reaction was that I thought it wasn’t need it, that God Of War is a single player experience. I’m happy to say that Sony Santa Monica have shown me that this once “tacked on” multiplayer isn’t merely stapled to the side of the game, it’s it own experience and clearly as a lot of work put into it.

Like most multiplayer components, Ascension puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork. You’ll be playing as part of a team that worships on primary God. So essentially, you’ll have team Zeus, team Hades, team Ares and team Poseidon and like any multiplayer, the objective is to win the favour of your God.

I was terrible at the multiplayer getting my rear end handed to me various times but the time I wasn’t spending kissing the business end of some guys sword was spent securing  control points that you had to ensure stayed yours until a certain time. The map was the same one we’ve seen time and time again with the giant Cyclops that’s chained to the map. When you had successfully managed to secure and keep your control points from enemies, a spear was sent down from the Gods to which anyone can get to. The losing team could get to it and it could ensure them victory or you could get to it. When someone gets to it, a cutscene ensues that shows us the Trojan/Spartan team killing the Cyclops in a very violent, typically God Of War fashion.

The combat in the multiplayer works the same was as it does in single player with the same buttons unleashing different attacks. Players are able to have their own weapons which comes as part of the customisation for you character. You’re giving an angry looking bald man in his underwear to which you’ll add various bits of armour including chest pieces, helmets, shin guards, gauntlets, war paint etc. The appearance of your player will depend slightly on which allegiance he holds to his God.

Like Assassins Creed 3, two of the players were kind enough to allow me some of their time.

So time to see what you thought of it….

Cardaniel: “I think the multiplayer’s an interesting twist because the single player seemed pretty much like the same thing so I’m hoping that the multiplayer will make it feel like something different from the last five God Of Wars. It’s seems like a good venture but I’m not sure how long it’ll last and if the community will be there after launch. It’s probably the most interesting God Of War game in a while because it’s the most different but I’m just not sure if it’ll be around for long [the multiplayer community].”

“I will definitely look out for buying it but it’s a lot like Uncharted’s multiplayer. When I was done with the single player, I was pretty much done with the game. When the single player was finished, everyone just kind of moved on and I think it [Ascension] will have the same fate.”

Gary: “As far as the multiplayer for God Of War Ascension, I don’t think that it was really worth it. I can see myself playing it once or twice with friends but after that just don’t think that there’s that appeal after the single player is finished. I just don’t think there’s any long term appeal for the multiplayer”.

What I think the guys say here could be very true. Whilst it was fun and different, it was nothing that made come back to play it. Sitting here writing this piece, I don’t feel the desire to run back and play it like I do with Assassins Creed 3 or Hitman Absolution. It just feels like God Of War again and whilst I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, it wasn’t an experience that fills me with anticipation for the games release.

So tell me reader, did you get a chance to play the game? Tell us what you think in the comments below. My thanks to the interviewee’s for allowing me a moment of your time, it’s a big help.

George Sinclair is an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find the latest reviews, previews and news. And in case you’re wondering, Kratos did yell in the game. Several times. Be sure to follow George on his Twitter and his blog on IGN


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