A deluxe version of Kratos's next adventure offers swag and multiplayer bonuses.
If Sony isn't careful, it's going to run out of God of War stories to tell soon. God of War III wrapped things up pretty definitively, but that didn't stop Sony from releasing the interquel Ghost of Sparta or planning the upcoming God of War: Ascension, which takes Kratos's story back even further. Nevertheless, Sony will provide a Collector's Edition for those who want to enjoy Ascension before the story well runs dry. With physical collectibles, digital goodies, and multiplayer boosts, the package may not exactly be the plenty vault of Hephaestus, but it'll probably please hardcore God of War early adopters.
In addition to an 8" statue of Kratos to glower at you from your desk while you're trying to be productive, the Collector's Edition sports a "Premium Steelbook case," presumably to fend off attacks from rival demigods. A digital soundtrack, PSN avatars, and PS3 themes come as no surprise, but multiplayer aficionados may be intrigued by the last two pieces of the mosaic. Ascension's Collector's Edition comes with a "Multiplayer Double XP Unlock" and a pass that entitles players to all future DLC at no extra cost. While it's not clear how long the double XP buff will last, a free DLC pass could easily pay for itself over the course of the game's lifetime.
Like its plainer analogue, the Ascension Collector's Edition will launch on March 12, 2013, although players will have to dish out $79.99 instead of the standard $59.99. Neither the Collector's Edition nor the pre-order bonus (for both versions of the game) appears to vary by retailer; like Kratos himself, Ascension pays little attention to the niceties of commerce, and is satisfied to dish out devastation equitably.