"Huh?" seemed to be the common reaction to the announcement of multiplayer in God of War: Ascension. I have since warmed up to the concept, though it is admittedly different. Sometimes, it's worth exploring such options just to see where they take you.
The Penny Arcade Report chatted with Ascension director Todd Papy about how and why "Favor of the Gods" came about. "I understand it’s a franchise," he said. "I'm not going to take Kratos into space and say, 'Okay! You're on Mars!' But I understand this is a franchise.
"People expect certain things because of that, but it's more about how can we take what they expect and freshen it up to make it feel new? I worry more about complacency than I do the new stuff. The reason for that is after awhile it might start feeling stale. To me, if you’re not pushing, you're losing ground."
So, where did multiplayer come from? "At the end of God of War III, there's a challenge mode, where you can fight Kratos on Kratos. One of our content designers got it working where you could actually play against each other. That was really the genesis of the multiplayer," explained Papy. "It was like, 'Oh shit, we could do this!'" And they totally did. The longevity of the mode post-release seems questionable, but I like that they're trying in the first place.
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