Santa Monica Studios’ God of War: Ascension panel was easily the most disappointing panel of the first day of this year’s PAX Prime. While it was fun getting a little bit of insight from the developers of the game, such as Game Director Todd Papy, Lead Designer Mark Simon, Character Artist Patrick Murphy, and Lead Writer Marianne Krawczyck talking about their inspirations and background in the God of War series - that was certainly interesting, but provided very few insights into Ascension or the series as a whole.
Almost half of the presentation was spent discussing inspirations for the original God of War game, showing footage of early prototypes and concept art. The problem is, we saw all of that art and footage seven years ago, on the disc of the original God of War! Nearly everything that was shown, such as Kratos’ early days as a Dirk the Daring knock-off and his brief stint with a blue body tattoo instead of his now trademark red, was all present in the special features of the original 2005 release of God of War. It was very odd, because everyone at the panel treated the footage and information as it was never before seen or heard.
After that, they played the release trailer from last year (yaaaaaawn), the panel dived into the heavily hyped multiplayer mode introduced earlier this year. Once again, virtually everything was what we’ve seen before, barring a rough prototype that would be the seed for the Titan boss fight multiplayer demo we’ve seen thus far. A new trailer for the multiplayer detailed the different types of characters and allegiances (for either Zeus, Ares, Poseidon, or Hades) you can pick, but nothing too noteworthy.
Finally, we got to the meat of the presentation: new footage from the game’s still relatively secret single-player mode. In this case, the revelation of the main baddies of the game: The Furies. Referred to as Erinyes in Greek mythology (God of War once again mixing up its Greek and Roman terminology), the Furies are often considered the “goddesses of vengeance” (thank you Wikipedia), which seems more than appropriate as the main antagonists to Kratos. Traditionally, the Furies are limited to just three - Alecto, Magaera, and Tisiphone - and Santa Monica insinuated that there would only be three main Furies in the game as well. While this seems like it could potentially retread ground covered with God of War II’s three sisters of fate, I have faith in Santa Monica in making sure this entry doesn’t feel redundant.
Our first look at one of the game’s as of yet unnamed Furies took the form of a decayed-looking woman with spider appendages growing out of her back, using them to stab a helpless soldier and ripping him in half. Knowing Kratos and the God of War franchise, however, no doubt Kratos will use her own spike-legs against her.
Besides a quick look at one of the Furies, there wasn’t a whole lot revealed at God of War: Ascension’s PAX Prime panel, either in the way of footage or information. Still, the game continues to look fantastic, and I look forward to learning more about the game as time goes on. God of War: Ascension hits PlayStation 3 March 12th of next year.