In an announcement made this morning Sony revealed that the multiplayer beta for the upcoming God Of War: Ascension “is coming to PlayStation Plus this winter.” That should be seen as good news, not only because it gives devout God Of War fans a chance to play the game early, but also because it indicates that the Ascension development team realizes that it has to get the game’s online multiplayer component just right. After all, this is the God Of War series, Sony’s flagship action franchise, and with Ascencion being the first God Of War title to feature online multiplayer action there’s a lot of pressure to make sure that it performs flawlessly.
Say you don’t happen to be subscribed to PlayStation Plus though. What then? Well, according to this PlayStation.blog post, the company is also making the beta available to those fans dedicated enough to slog through a web-based “quest” on the newly re-launched God Of War website. Dubbed “Rise Of The Warrior,” the “game” tells a tale set within the God Of War universe that is driven by choices players make on the website as a collective. If a player’s chosen army (you’re asked to align yourself with either Spartan or Trojan forces) wins its members could receive a week of early beta access and a month-long PlayStation Plus subscription. Other items on offer through Rise Of The Warrior include “early in-game unlocks for God of War: Ascension multiplayer” as well as exclusive armor and weaponry.
While this is a boon for God Of War fans (and the new Zeus-centric trailer found below is quite pretty), it does lack one crucial feature: Any solid word on when exactly we might see this beta test. Both the PlayStation.blog post and Sony’s PR blast simply state that the beta will open at some point this winter, but given that Ascension isn’t scheduled to hit store shelves until March 2013 we’re left with a huge window of time in which this beta could possibly go live. We’d hope that Sony would want to roll this thing out as soon as possible, if for no other reason than to give its developers ample time to react to bugs and glitches discovered in the beta, but for all we know this beta could be less of an attempt to test the game’s multiplayer functionality and more a simple marketing gimmick, designed to increase hype among prospective buyers months before its expected retail debut.
Regardless of when Sony decides to officially commence the demo, we expect to hear more on this story shortly. As updates roll in, we’ll keep you all informed, but if testing the multiplayer component of God Of War: Ascension sounds entertaining to you, this might be a good time to start exploring the new God Of War website. Even if you don’t get into the beta, you’ll still likely receive a solid primer on God Of War canon and we have to assume that there are at least a few of you who don’t play these games exclusively for the over-the-top brutality.