Online warriors can massacre each other in God of War: Ascension.
In a twist that may make some fans just as angry as Kratos, the Greek pantheon will grant Sony's mythological gore-fest God of War: Ascension a multiplayer mode. While the series has been a strictly single-player affair up until this point, the upcoming prequel will feature team-based, competitive multiplayer with persistent character advancement. Details have only surfaced about one mode so far, but as one might expect, players will engage in bloody battles and slay helpless fantastical beasts in the most over-the-top ways imaginable.
The only mode detailed so far is called "Team Execution," which features, appropriately, two four-man teams doing their best to slaughter each other. As players draw closer to victory, they can manipulate an apparatus that keeps an enormous Cyclops enchained. The winners get the honor (and most likely, experience and/or currency) of killing the gargantuan beast. There will be other variations on this mode, and additional multiplayer modes hardly seem out of the question. Players can create either Trojan or Spartan soldiers for multiplayer, and swear allegiance to Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, or Ares. A character's setup and advancement will ultimately determine his role in combat.
While multiplayer represents a departure for the traditionally single-player, story-driven series, it's not necessarily an unprecedented move. The core combat in God of War seems strong enough to support multiple players, and a gradual level-up system is in perfect keeping with the upgrade system that has been in every game so far. Mass Effect 3 demonstrated that the addition of a multiplayer component to a single-player series can turn out well, so fans will have to wait and see for themselves when Ascension ships in Spring 2013. If nothing else, competitive multiplayer makes more sense than cooperative; Kratos doesn't exactly play nicely with others.