Over the past few years, the "God of War" series has followed a brutal warrior named Kratos through an alternate Greek mythology storyline — beginning on PlayStation 2 and leading up to last year’s "God of War Origins Collection" for PlayStation 3. Soon Kratos will return to his not-so-humble beginnings with a prequel, "God of War: Ascension," set to release on PS3 in early 2013.
Always a single-player game in which you lead Kratos through his adventures, "God of War" gains a multiplayer mode with "Ascension." In 4-on-4 online battles through the PlayStation Network, teams work together to slaughter opponents using hand-to-hand combat, while manually turning cranks on nearby switches in certain areas of the game. These are the setup steps for achieving the primary objective — killing a hulking beast that appears in the background, kept in captivity by chains.
Kratos is reserved for the single-player campaign in "Ascension." But each of the multiplayer warriors will be customizable, as you can choose their weapons, armor types and skills. You can also “level up,” increasing particular talents to bring with you into each new online battle.
The multiplayer portion of the game will feature seven maps, including two smaller areas for quicker combat and five larger, multitiered stages with the aforementioned switches and assassination targets. Sony gave us a sneak peek of a stage that offered plenty of variety in combat, including room to chase down opponents and snag weapons that drop randomly from the sky — among them, the powerful spear you'll need to drive the fatal blow into the large beast that awaits.
The “God of War” series has been a solo adventure up till now. We’ll see how it fares as a team operation as the game moves along in development toward its 2013 release date.