Part of God of War Ascension’s multiplayer tells a story. In the campaign, Kratos finds a captured soldier who is apparently smashed by a miles high creature. Kratos continues on, but for that soldier, his new life is just starting. Looking to seek the favor of the gods, he chooses an allegiance and sets off into multiplayer arenas. So, all of the people in multiplayer are this same person then?
Logistical issues aside, there is some merit to what has been done here. In two different modes with varying player counts, players tackle each other, open chests, and work within a rock-paper-scissors combo system. Light attacks counter strong, strong will overpower light, etc. In concept, it’s great, the God of War combat engine especially fluid in movement and striking ability. In execution, it is little more than a mish-mash of color, sparks, particle effects, and complete chaos.
These fighters can work. Power Stone is rightfully revered for its persistent energy, yet here you will find a button mashing fest that just crushes itself under its own weight. The camera is in motion, stages are changing, and players are slamming on their controller hoping they win. Sure, you can counter, but without knowing specific attack openers or what counts as a light/heavy attack, you will be devastated. This comes out to luck, not skill.
As just a time waster to toy around with friends with melee combat instead of guns, there is something here. What Sony seems to be running into is that many of their franchises are not suited to multiplayer, but they insist anyway. Titles like Killzone and Resistance make sense, as does Gran Turismo. Uncharted and God of War? Not so much. At least they left Sly Cooper alone.