Santa Monica Studio's community manager Aaron Kaufman answers questions from the PlayStation Community about the brutal PS3 action adventure.
Top five questions:
If God of War's game director Todd Papy was a Greek God, what would his special power be and why? (BAMBO_19, UK)
From my perspective, Todd would be a Titan - he often feels about 8 feet tall! His special power would be similar to Hephaestus' ability to craft amazing weapons and armour - Todd creates unforgettable and epic experiences we've all played and enjoyed since God of War.
Were there any gods or monsters that were considered during development that didn't make it into the final game? (SephDK, Denmark)
Let's see. Artemis. Argus. A Cyclops variant equipped with an arm cannon. A couple more Titans... a few nymphs and a bunch of the older cast for our Trials mode, too.
What is your favourite moment in God of War: Ascension and why? (kasa73, Norway)
Todd's favourite moment has to be the epic Trial of Archimedes... he really enjoyed watching players sweating out a gauntlet style fight and barely come out on the other end of the challenge, thumbs bleeding and feeling worthy of being called the God of War! Okay, maybe that isn't exactly his favourite...
How hard was it to create and balance the new weapons in the multiplayer modes? (DarkCloud79, Portugal)
The creation of the new weapons and their move sets from a creative standpoint was challenging, but not overwhelming. The Barbarian King Hammer, the Blade of Olympus and the Spear of Destiny were weapons we started prototyping with and it was fun, but they didn't offer an effective multiplayer experience.
Every weapon class must have a purpose, range and reason to use it over others. One must not be overpowering in a normal fight, yet each weapon type must have unique powers. This suits the players that can really exploit the abilities of their chosen weapon. This may mean unlocking a weapon type's speed, area of effect, or the player's combo abilities.
Finally, we test a lot and find that some Specials are too powerful, some weapon types have infinite combo loops, others may be ineffective and so on. We change their attributes, hit ranges, priorities over other moves and continue making progress towards the ultimate goal: perfect gameplay balance.
Which feature in the game are you most proud of? (Keldj, Denmark)
This is difficult for me to answer since there are so many features that I think our team did an amazing job on. Our team crafts everything from scratch and recycles as little as possible to make each game fresher than the last. There are a lot of features to be proud of.
Now the game is out and everyone that has played it sees what a truly formidable experience we've crafted! Don't forget, when we started this game there wasn't a foundation or design for the multiplayer mode. Talk about a massive challenge! After three years of blood, sweat and tears on the most talented team I've ever been a part of, you end up with the feature I'm most proud of - God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode.
Kratos versus all the cats in history - who would win? (Kramlar, UK)
Alright Kramlar, what's the score here so far? We already know that Kratos defeated both the Manticore and Chimera. I think he could take a Liger. He would most overpower Narasimha. A fight with the jaguars in Mesoamerican cultures would be brutal. And Sad Cat has a shot. So, what's left? There are so many battles to imagine against all the cats in history... that's like a really long time...
The Sphinx was a pretty awesome creature, right? You don't get a statue that big if you aren't memorable for a very important reason! What about the Lion of Babylon? That had to represent pure power of the highest order. But my favourite challenge for Kratos would be to have him face off against the fearsome Nemean Lion, proving once and for all that Hercules pales in comparison to the Ghost of Sparta!
I guess no matter the challenge, I'm going to bet on Kratos every time. Even against all the cats in history, at the same time!
What character from God of War: Ascension would you most like to be stuck in a lift with, and why? (Nukkapallo, Finland)
As much as I love the big guy, the one person it would not be is Kratos. He's huge, has shoulders like a rhino and is covered with the ashes of his dead wife and child. Not to mention his temper or the fact he has deadly blades forged in the pits of Tartarus chained to his wrists. Would you want to share a lift with that?
If I had to choose one person from God of War: Ascension it would probably be the Scribe of Hecatonchires. He's not too dangerous and he would have some awesome stories to tell.
How do you incorporate Greek and Roman myths into God of War: Ascension without deviating from the original too much, yet still make it an interesting video game? (punkmuis, Netherlands)
We read a lot of mythology and there is a ton of stuff that we'd love to use. We think about the recognisable elements from the myth and see how we can incorporate Kratos or the God of War world into that story. In a lot of mythology, the reasoning of why something happens is usually left as "that's the way the gods wanted it." We try and dig a little deeper. Can Kratos be the reason? Would this person help Kratos or be in his way? What would Kratos do if he met this person? Also, a lot of people are related to each other in Greek mythology, either by marriage or blood, so it's not hard for Kratos to have some kind of history with someone.
Do you have any tips for the multiplayer mode? (Samfliegenfisher, Germany)
Well, first and foremost, don't die! Second, we've provided a wealth of tips since launch that will take you from Warrior to Champion:
Why does Kratos have red tattoos on his body? (ybfdvkj, Greece)
We recommend you play God of War: Ghost of Sparta on PSP or via God of War Collection Volume II on PlayStation 3 . Why let us spoil it for you - play the game!
Thanks to Aaron Kaufman for answering the above questions and congratulations to the winners. The top five will each receive a 500GB PlayStation 3 system and a copy of God of War: Ascension, while the five runners-up will also get a copy of the game.
Don't forget, you can experience the spectacular action adventure yourself by buying God of War: Ascension from retailers today.