Hopefully, you've already read my review of the single player side of God of War: Ascension. If not pop over there and check it out. Back? Good, lets push on then shall we?
It seems like Ascension is a case of so far, so God of War. If you've played any of the previous games most of the single player experience will be very familiar to you. However, Ascension has another trick up its sleeve and that is Multiplayer.
At an early stage of the single player game, Kratos comes across a prisoner who is seemingly killed by an infested part of Aegaeon. Starting the multiplayer part of the game shows the event from the perspective of the prisoner, who will become your multiplayer warrior. Just before you are killed, a plea to the gods is answered and you are whisked off to Olympus where you must choose a god to align yourself with.
Zeus, Ares, Hades and Poseidon stand in statue form around the rotunda of Olympus waiting for you to pledge your soul to one of them. Leaving aside the fact that you used to be incarcerated in a prison for people who broke their oaths to the gods and are maybe slightly untrustworthy in these matters, the god you pledge yourself to will grant you powers to defeat your rivals.
After a quick tutorial, which mainly reinforces the mechanics that you find in the single player game, and a stop off at the warrior customisation screens for some natty new armour, you can jump into your first multiplayer game. You have the option of choosing a game type to join or grabbing the first game your PS3 can find.
There are various game types which, after stripping away Ascension
's high falutin' language, boil down to deathmatch, team deathmatch, horde mode and the strangely un-falutin' capture the flag.
The horde-alike Trial of the Gods mode is great for quick blast. One or two players face five waves of the various minor bad guys from the single player game followed by a boss fight. The twist is that the mode is against the clock, with seconds being added for each kill. Run out of time and the match ends, there is no life limit.
Deathmatch is covered by Match of Champions in which four or eight players wail upon each other with big weapons, earning "favour" points up to the match ending total amount. Favour is also collected by opening chests or setting off traps.
Capture the flag sees a fairly standard CTF match between two teams of four players, split into teams of Spartans and Trojans. Carrying the flag limits your normal combat moves, but also gives you some minor healing and stunning abilities. There is an added twist with the bonus flag and its base owned by neither team.
The final mode is Team Favour of the Gods, taking the place of team deathmatch if you hadn't worked it out. This is the signature mode that all of the trailers and reveals have focused on. Two teams of 2 or 4 fight it out for favour points like in Match of Champions.