God of War: Ascension

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Sony announces God of War reboot

Sony announces God of War reboot

Featuring Kratos with a larger beard and possible son.

Sony revealed an all new God of War game. It's called (wait for it)... God of War.

Kicking off Sony's E3 2016 press conference, the publisher rolled the following footage showing series stalwart Kratos taking care of a young boy in the wilderness.

Kratos looks a bit older than we remember. Plus he's changed his facial hair from a goatee to a full beard.

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August PlayStation Plus games revealed

Rocket League out, Limbo (PS4) and God of War: Ascension in.

From 4th August there will be a new batch of free games for members of PlayStation Plus. The biggest are God of War: Ascension for PS3 and Limbo for PS4.

God of War developer Sony Santa Monica suffers layoffs

UPDATE: New IP cancelled. Was it a sci-fi game?

UPDATE 19/03: God of War 3 game director Stig Asmussen is among those leaving Sony Santa Monica, IGN learned from sources. It's a high profile departure but an unsurprising one, given his role as leader of the cancelled new IP.

Digital FoundryHow Sony Santa Monica mastered PlayStation 3

From the archive: the inside story on God of War tech - updated with a PS3 vs PS4 GOW3 performance test.

We're currently working on our analysis for Sony Santa Monica's remastered edition of God of War 3 for PlayStation 4, but in the meantime we thought we'd republish our original tech interview with the team, produced in the wake of God of War: Ascension's release and covering the development of both of Kratos' PS3 outings. Originally, this piece was published with a frame-rate analysis video of the spectacular opening level of God of War 3 on PlayStation 3. We've swapped that out with a new performance test, featuring both PS3 and PS4 versions of the game, compared head-to-head. That 1080p60 remaster we discussed with SMM at the end of this article, almost two years ago? Well - there it is.

UK chart: God of War: Ascension launch sales half that of GOW 3

PlayStation 3-exclusive God of War: Ascension has entered the UK all-formats chart in second place. It sold less than half the launch week sales of predecessor God of War 3.

Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot maintained its hold on the top spot for another week, meanwhile. They're probably having a Lara Lara laughs.

Third in the chart is PC-exclusive StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. It would likely be higher in the rankings if UK numbers company Chart-Track counted digital sales.

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FeatureInside Santa Monica Studios, Sony's development commune

It's famed for God of War - but the first party developer is responsible for so much more.

There's no showbiz, and zero spectacle. There never really is inside a development studio, no matter how bombastic the games they produce are - but there's something slightly different about Sony's Santa Monica studio, a small two-storey stretch of red brick tucked away on the outskirts of Los Angeles' Mid-City. For a developer that's built its empire on a foundation of shredded intestines, shattered eyesockets and to the war cries of angry Greek gods, there's an unnerving sense of peace throughout the offices.

With the next generation of consoles looming large, have we actually seen all there is to see on current-gen hardware? Are any further technological advances subject to the law of diminishing returns? Will further innovations be hamstrung by depressed performance, as we've seen recently in titles like Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3? Whatever else we see, if there's one team out there that can buck the trend, it's Sony Santa Monica. After all, that's exactly what it did on PlayStation 2.

God of War: Ascension review

The Greek myths, those vivid tales of gods and monsters, have been retold through the centuries via whatever artistic medium is popular at the time. From the loose oral-poetic tradition of their origins through literature, sculpture, painting and, more recently, theatre and film, the towering cast of Olympus has never strayed far from the western consciousness - these myths maintain their power even though their relevance as religious instruction faded long ago. God of War brought the myths (or, at least, the spirit of the myths) to video games, and Sony's series has remained true to its source, presenting the guts and glory of the ancient Greeks in perhaps their most spectacular and garish form yet.

This prequel maintains the myth, just, but does little to embellish it. The God of War series is beginning to stray from its source material as each new tale in the series presents us with fresh gods and monsters to batter and revile, but their theme is always unwavering vengeance, and their style is always gore, fortissimo gore. Despite the huge number of ways to rip and rend your opponents, the action is increasingly without meaning or a broader purpose.

Ascension begins with just such a gruesome scene: protagonist Kratos, chained atop a stone column, is being tortured by one of the Furies, a repugnant netherworld goddess who raises her arms to flatter her breasts before seeping attack bugs from her pores. Break free of her grip and it's mythology as usual as you're propelled through the world, dissolving grunts into crimson mist with your Blades of Chaos, killing off larger, named foes via the series' divisive QTE finishing moves, and hauling yourself through the scenery by latching onto the glinting hook points.

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Hey it's that platform exclusive prequel with a single word suffix that everyone keeps forgetting exists. No, not Gears of War: Judgement - that's next week's offering - but God of War: Ascension, the one game that keeps reminding me how hard it is to spell Asencion. Ascencion. Or something like that.

The Last of Us demo that comes with God of War: Ascension won't be available until two weeks before launch

The Last of Us demo that comes with God of War: Ascension won't be available until two weeks before launch

Still no word on if a demo will be released for the rest of the public.

Back in January Sony sweetened the pot for prospective God of War: Ascension purchasers by promising those who bought first-run editions of Kratos' upcoming adventure would get an early demo for Naughty Dog's highly anticipated survival drama The Last of Us.

Well, technically speaking, that is true. However, Naughty Dog just revealed over Twitter that The Last of Us' demo won't be available until 31st May, only two weeks before its 14th June launch - and over three weeks later than its previously scheduled 7th May release date.

There's still no word on whether or not a The Last of Us demo will be released to the general non-Ascension buying public.

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With God of War finished on PS3, Sony Santa Monica dares to dream about PS4

"If you give us enough time and you give us those specs, we will blow you away."

Editor's note: If you've come here looking for our God of War: Ascension review and are wondering where it is, it will be slightly delayed. Due to technical difficulties we haven't yet been able to test the multiplayer portion of the game to our satisfaction. We're working to resolve this and we'll bring you a complete review as soon as we can. In the meantime, enjoy this interview with the devs.

God of War: Ascension preview: Kratos' combat evolved

FeatureGod of War: Ascension preview: Kratos' combat evolved

Santa Monica switches up for the most radical change in God of War's combat yet.

God of War has never really had a problem with spectacle - this is a series with set-pieces that fling gods together with happy abandon, and one that toys with perspective and scale with dizzying ease and breathless pace. God of War's only real problem has been with the spectacles it's created itself - how can you trump battles that have consumed the heavens, and where do you go once you've felled Zeus?

The beginning of Ascension provides an answer of sorts to Sony Santa Monica's perennial problem. First it hits the rewind button, sending Kratos back to his time as a Spartan, but more importantly it's drilled down into all the tiny details that help make up the epic vision.

It's there in the spectacular visuals, which are now so embedded within the world of God of War it's becoming dangerously easy to be blasť about them (Digital Foundry's recent tech analysis should snap you out of that soon enough, though). Regardless, Ascension once again manages to look like a painting, even if it's most definitely the kind of painting you'd expect to find on the wall of a slightly troubled GCSE classics student.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: God of War: Ascension demo

Digital Foundry cuts into what may be the best looking PS3 game to date.

March is the month for platform exclusive prequels it seems, and from Sony's Santa Monica studios comes a real belter of a slash-em-up. As the developer's second major foray on PlayStation 3, God of War: Ascension renders out the early days of perpetual angry-man, Kratos, and gives us a chance to see where the team's penchant for striking, mythic backdrops has taken it this time. It may be back to square one for the leading demi-god, but a calm before the storm this most certainly is not.

PS Plus God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta this week

If you're a PlayStation Plus member you'll be able to join the multiplayer God of War: Ascension beta this week.

The official website cites tomorrow - Tuesday, 8th January - as the day the gates open, but Europe typically waits until Wednesday for new PSN toys.

The God of War: Ascension beta has been ongoing for a little while. The existing player profiles will be reset tomorrow, however, in order to level the playing field.

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Piranha 3DD writers discuss God of War film plans

And why they're updating Road to Perdition writer's original script.

You may not have heard of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton - the new writers of the long-awaited God of War movie - but you've probably heard of some their films.

God of War: Ascension multiplayer confirmed

God of War: Ascension multiplayer confirmed

Single-player "just a little bit shorter" than before.

Sony has confirmed long-running speculation that the next God of War game has multiplayer.

God of War: Ascension has online and offline multiplayer battles for up to eight players. There are a variety of multiplayer modes, customisable avatar warriors, armour and weapon types to unlock. Eurogamer's Johnny Minkley saw it in action for a God of War: Ascension preview, published today.

Multiplayer "combines the brutal gameplay and large-scale battles that God of War is known for to create a competitive experience like never before", Sony said. According to game director Todd Papy it's a "fresh twist" on competitive gaming.

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God of War: Ascension Preview: Introducing the Gods of War

It's a brilliantly executed reveal. The first live demo to the press, I mean. Not the one that happened the previous week when, faced with more holes in its hull than it had PR fingers to poke in them, Sony gave up trying and rush-announced God of War: Ascension to stem the swelling tide of tittle-tattle.

The bit that was always supposed to be the actual reveal, though, taking place in a private theatre in Hollywood - "Welcome to one of the worst kept secrets in the industry!" chortles game director Todd Papy - opens with a superbly crafted piece of drama.

A brooding warrior, whom we are supposed to think is Kratos, is revealed by a retreating camera to be another muscular, Mardi Gras-attired brute entirely. Soon he's scrapping with a bulging, barmy cyclops and we're in familiar territory: classical hack-and-slash action of murderous beauty.

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