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God of War Multiplayer Beta Impressions

/ Dec 21st, 2012 2 Comments

God of War Multiplayer
God of War Multiplayer

God of War Multiplayer

It would be an understatement to say that the announcement of the God of War multiplayer mode was met with a little head scratching.  Then again, it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise since several single player oriented games are now including a multiplayer portion as well.  With the release of God of War: Ascension only a few months away, Sony has decided to let PS3 fans get a taste of the multiplayer with an upcoming beta.  In addition, Gamestop gave away 10,000 beta codes a few days ago for players who couldn’t wait until next month.

[adsense250itp]The biggest question on gamers’ minds is if the multiplayer really makes you feel like Kratos as you battle people online.  Surprisingly, at this stage the multiplayer does an excellent job of translating the “God of War” experience into the online sphere.  The beta begins by placing players in what could only be an altar of the gods somewhere on Mount Olympus.  Dramatic camera angles and sweeping music really bring the epic feeling home as the player chooses which god to swear allegiance to.  Each god grants different bonuses, giving things a class system feel.  Right now, though, only Zeus and Ares are available.  Ares players have more defense and deal more physical damage while Zeus grants better magic and elemental defense.

A brief training mode teaches the basics and instantly will make any God of War fan feel at home.  At the onset, players will be a bit weak until leveling up as with most competitive online games.  Winning matches and fulfilling goals grants experience and will unlock different customization options.  Armor, weapons, magic, items, and more are present here.  Upgrading abilities is virtually the same as in any God of War game.  There are a surprising amount of abilities available for use in the beta.  Though many will obviously fit a certain player type, mixing and matching creates a powerful (but not unbalanced) loadout.

Currently, the modes being offered for play are pretty basic.  There is a straight up deathmatch mode which can be fun with enough players but kind of a mess with only about three.  The obvious focus of the beta is the “Team Favor of the Gods” mode which blends deathmatch and domination/control points.  Up to eight players are placed on an enormous map called “Desert of the Lost Souls” where they try to rack up kills, capture points, and kill the enormous cyclops, Polyphemus, in the background.  The map is full of deathtraps, items, mayhem, and the trademark God of War spectacle.

On the downside, this mode can lose its fun with only a couple players on either side.  More traps and environmental hazards might mix up the strategy a bit more as well.  A complaint that could be had with the multiplayer is one that is also thrown at the single player game: button-mashing.  Yes, a lot of the combat focus around tapping circle or triangle as fast as possible; but doing so might also get you killed around players that change up strategies.  Special attacks are hard to aim but can be an enormous help.  It is also worth mentioning that it’s entirely possible to stay alive against two other players attacking you.  By using the right abilities, players can come out the victors.  That is, until being smashed by an enormous cyclops’ fist.

After spending a great deal of time playing matches and leveling up, it’s a good feeling not to have been disappointed by the God of War multiplayer.  The series never actually begged for the mode and it still might not be entirely necessary.  The fact is, minus a few minor issues, this is how it should feel to play a God of War game online.  Keeping in mind that this is just a beta should get a lot of fans excited about what is to come in the final release.

The God Of War: Ascension Multiplayer Beta begins Jan. 8 and is open to all Playstation Plus users.  Players who pre-order the game before its March  12 release will receive the “Mythological Heroes Pack” which opens up the armor of Achilles, Perseus, Orion, and Odysseus for use in the multiplayer.

Ben Sheene

Ben Sheene

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ben is from Kentucky where he originally began playing games (an activity he still continues to this day). With a love for writing he graduated from Centre College with a BA in English. He recently moved to California to pursue whatever future endeavors were there. A passion for music, gaming, blogging, and existing keeps him up at night and crafts him into the person he is today.
Ben Sheene

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  • Nosgoth1979

    I was skeptical at first, but it sounds like the multiplayer will actually add a lot to GOW Ascension. I’m getting pumped to play it. For now though, all the hype has made me want to replay the old titles. So I just put the God of War Collection and God of War III in my Blockbuster @Home queue and I plan on replaying all of them before the multiplayer beta comes out for Plus members. I might go ahead and buy Ascension when it’s released but it would be the first game I bought without renting first in some time. I actually got this tip from one of my coworkers at DISH a while back (after several highly hyped games had really disappointed me), to start renting all my games first, THEN deciding if I wanted to buy them. So since then I’ve been renting all my games through DISH’s Blockbuster @Home, and it’s saved me a ton of money on games I would have regretted buying. In addition, since it’s a flat pay-by-the-month service, my bill is always the same, no matter how many games I fly through in a month!

  • xino

    it’s alright. definitely better than the version I played at Euro Gamer Expo. still Metal Gear Solid 4’s Metal Gear ONline has the best balanced multilayer experience:/
    i dislike perks and abilities that increases your power as you level up. Because it means a lvl 2 doesn’t stand a chance again lvl20:/
    the game plays fine but still doesn’t feel balanced to me. It’s hard to explain. But it’s one of those games you level up to be the best which I dislike

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