Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Next God of War is "God of War: Ascension"

So yesterday, in the wee hours of the Eastern Time Zone morning, God of War:  Ascension was leaked with a mock-up box art and a teaser trailer.  And quite shortly after, it was officially announced by Sony who I'm sure didn't plan on announcing the game at 1 AM PST.  That alone seems pretty much enough to state, coupled with the above trailer but, as we know, I try not to just plop down a trailer and walk off (Not that there's anything wrong with that) because I like to pretend you guys enjoy my breakdowns of them.  And I kind of like to do them since forcing myself to pick away at a trailer lets me pick out pieces I might not see if I just watched it a couple times and was done with it.  It also just makes me feel like I -did- something instead of just found a trailer for a post.  This is a writing blog, after all, so I like to be writing in it.

Anyways, before I really get into the trailer, there are a few interesting little tidbits to share before we get into the meat of it all.  The first, and likely most important bit is that Todd Papy, former Design Director for God of War 3, has jumped up into the big leagues, apparently, as he seems to be the Director of God of War:  Ascension.  I mean, he said it and everything.  This does mean, of course, that God of War is still in the hands of Sony Santa Monica, despite the trailer lacking said branding.  If you don't want to check the blog post linked above, the direct quote is, "For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check out what the team at Sony Santa Monica Studios has been working on", which is pretty indicative there.  And more news about the game is incoming, as soon as April 30th where a live-stream event will take place, showing off the game and answering select questions from Twitter that are submitted between now and....tomorrow.

Now, the fun bit.  For the trailer itself, it's quite lovely to look at, using the same sort of art style that 3 used a lot of at least (I don't remember currently if the other games had it as prominently) which was quite neat.  Of course, we don't really get a lot from the visuals and thus must then pay attention to what the trailer is saying to get the idea of the next game.  And the idea, in keeping with the name "Ascension" seems to revolve around the time before Kratos became a servant of Ares to begin with, and was but a regular Spartan Soldier (General?) fighting against the armies of Mortals.  Or, at least, part of the game will likely be that, as the Ares part might happen towards the middle rather than towards the end.  Maybe.  This is all kind of conjecture at this point, but really, it seems to hammer in the point of "Before Ares", which means a Human Kratos without the Blades of Chaos.

This presents a sort of schism in the schools of thought going into the game.  Some people think that, since in this, Kratos would be essentially a 'normal' human (overlooking that even as a Human, he was pretty much King Badass) which might lead to a different kind of gameplay overarching the game.  Really shaking up the formula instead of having it be another foray into the semi-cinematic Action scene.  Others think that it will retain the God of War spirit, but embody that with a different weapon to start, perhaps a normal Xiphos blade, or the classic Spear/Shield combo that we've come to envision as standard fare for Spartans.  Myself, I'm firmly in the latter camp, but I can understand why there is the hope embodied in the first camp, since some people, crazy people, can't allow themselves to get excited for the type of combat that has been prevalent in the God of War series from its inception.  Or, they say they don't want it, but when it comes down to it, they buy it anyway because it's friggin' God of War.

Now, as this has all been purely conjecture more or less, it leaves one wondering just how much of a prequel the game will -actually- be.  Will it contain itself into a single tale that sits before Chains of Olympus?  Or will it have a connection with God of War 3 in a sense that it will eventually place down a hook for the 'eventual' God of War IV that has made the internet rounds so extensively?  With whispers of a Spring 2013 release, as well as the idea that some First Party devs have already gotten their hands on theoretical PS4 dev tools, it could make a lot of sense to throw Ascension down as a piece to keep the God of War brand in peoples minds so that, perhaps in next year's E3, they show off a God of War IV made for the PS4.  With just so many fours, it looks so tantalizing.  Before I get too conspiracy theorist, however, I believe I should stop, since it is a bit off-topic anyways.

The big bullet points here to encapsulate one last time, I suppose, would be:  God of War: Ascension is the next God of War game.  It will be for the PS3, made by Sony Santa Monica with Todd Papy at the director's helm.  Tomorrow at some point, we'll likely have a little more info thanks to the Live Stream event, but for now, we don't have a whole lot to go on.  It -seems- to be a prequel from the teaser trailer, but anything beyond that, even trying to state something as a supposition or 'fact', is purely conjecture.  Personally, I just can't wait to play another God of War game as, unlike the majority of people who see fit to comment on Gaming News Sites, I still have deep deep wells of excitement that I tap in for the franchise exclusively.  So long as the game is as brutal as the last, if not more, I'll be happy!

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