Before today, many of us were speculating that a teaser image Sony had released was priming us for a God of War IV reveal. In addition, game listings, posters, and unofficial game store reports were cropping up all over the Internet confirming the next title in the God of War series. Were we right?
Well, kind of. Sony's big announcement did have to do with the development of a new God of War title, but it wasn't God of War IV. The game is called God of War: Ascension, and it was revealed alongside a teaser trailer today (watch the trailer here) on the Official U.S. PlayStation Blog.
First of all, all the visual reports that we have seen about the rumored God of War IV are essentially de-confirmed. The poster outside of a BT Games was entirely fake. The logo on that poster showed the title God of War IV, complete with Kratos' Blades crossed behind it. However, the actual color scheme for God of War Ascension is nowhere near that busy. It is a dull and pale yellow with dark text on top of it. It's more subdued than previous God of War titles, going for a faded look rather than a gritty and bloody one. This also means that the game's classification as a "shooter" is also baseless. Most likely the poster was nothing more than a Photoshopped image that was used as a placeholder before the announcement hit.
The other big rumor was that the game was going to be a prequel to the God of War series and, in a way, the teaser trailer seems to confirm that. The classic God of War narrator returns tell the story of Kratos, but she seems focused on a time "before Kratos became a monster known as the Ghost of Sparta. A time when something other than rage consumed him. A time when, in spite of madness that plagued him, Kratos would break his blood oath to an unjust god. A time when he would no longer be bound in blood."
So it appears as if God of War Ascension does, in fact, take place before God of War I. However, a couple facts don't synch up. Kratos, though he was stylistically drawn in shadow and blood in the trailer, still appeared to have his white and red color scheme. Kratos's skin was stained white as a punishment for killing his own family while being controlled by Ares. If this does actually take place before that happened, Kratos shouldn't yet be "ghostly," so to speak.
In addition, Kratos broke his blood oath to an unjust god in God of War I, when he betrayed Ares and killed him. Moreover, the trailer shows him caressing and then killing a silhouette of Athena, which he did in God of War II. If neither of these gods are the gods he broke his blood oath to, then what is the trailer referring to?
In addition, Kratos never gained use of his blades until he entered the pact with Ares, but the trailer alluded to him using them nonetheless. Finally, if Kratos is not driven by rage, then that would mean that he had not yet killed his own family. All things put together, this would mean that the game is set in the same time period as God of War: Chains of Olympus, prior to killing his own family but after giving himself to Ares. It's a bit confusing, and the trailer brings us more questions than answers.
God of War: Ascension will be directed by Todd Papy according to the official PlayStation Blog announcement. In the past, composer Timothy Williams and animator David Thornfield had accidentally listed a "God of War IV" on their CV and LinkedIn profiles respectively. It is not yet known whether either one of them is officially involved with God of War: Ascension.
God of War Ascension is currently set for a Spring 2013 release, but Sony is planning on revealing much more info before then. They plan on revealing more to us today during a live stream event, and it would be safe to bet on the game making an appearance at this year's E3.
The game will also be a PS3 exclusive. We will bring you more information on God of War Ascension as it becomes available.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: April 20, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*