God of War: Ascension developer Sony Santa Monica has been relatively quiet about the story-driven, single-player side of Kratos' next journey — choosing instead to focus on the addition of a God of War multiplayer mode — until today.
At an event in Hollywood, Sony Santa Monica presented a 30-minute gameplay demo of Kratos' single-player adventure in God of War: Ascension. It's the first half-hour of the game and viewable in its entirety in the video above. The extended gameplay clip shows how the God of War team is one-upping the Titan climbing intro from God of War 3. Ascension's Hecatonchires, a hundred-armed giant that dwarfs the Titan Gaia, is the foundation for an entire city that comes to life in spectacular ways during the beginning of the game.
The early slice of Ascension showcases some of the combat skills a younger Kratos is capable of. He can now tether enemies in battle with his chains, restraining a foe for better crowd control. Kratos can also knock the weapons out of certain enemies' hands, taking control of their swords, spears and hammers for his own use.
Kratos' explosive rage powers have also been reworked. Rather than seeing it fill up and explode every 10-15 fights, the game's creators say, it now fills up three to four times per battle, letting Kratos cut loose with bursts of magic powers that augment his normal combat skills.
But Kratos plays mostly like the Kratos we've come to love over the past six God of War games. He's still fast, fluid and brutal, an explosion of chainblade attacks and vicious melee kills.
Game director Todd Papy says players will see "a more human side of Kratos" in Ascension, however. The game will take place roughly six months to a year after Kratos mistakenly killed his wife and daughter, Papy says, as the "Ghost of Sparta" fights to break free from Ares, still the god of war at this stage of the fiction.
When Ascension begins, players will take control of Kratos as he's chained up and tortured by the parasite-spewing Megaera, one of the three Furies. We're not sure how Kratos found himself in this predicament, only that a new hord of ancient Greek myths stand between him and revenge.
"We wanted to start you with a question of how [Kraots] got there," Papy explained, "And why."
God of War: Ascension comes to the PlayStation 3 on March 12.