One of the most highly anticipated games of this year is God of War: Ascension. The demo for the multiplayer of the game has been released, and those with a PlayStation Plus subscription can access it. The beta can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store for free.

When you start playing the beta, your first stop is the Rotunda of Olympus, where you learn the nitty-gritty of gruesome gladiator combat. Here you'll pick up vital techniques on special attacks, blocking, parrying and combos.

These early battles are essential to master, as the computer-controlled opponents are a lot more forgiving than other fellow gamers you'll face in the multiplayer modes. Don't be afraid to replay these training stages to brush up on your skills until you're confident of your battle prowess.

Before you leave the Rotunda of Olympus, choose which god you'll pledge your allegiance to. In this Beta, you can pick between Zeus or the Greek god of war, Ares.

The demo for God of War: Ascension has been released

The demo for God of War: Ascension has been released

If you're a combo brawler who likes close combat, give Ares a try. You'll be blessed with defense-crippling fire magic and items to give you the edge in physical confrontations. However, if you prefer a more tactical fight, pick Zeus. With the Greek god of thunder and lightning on your side, you're able to call down powerful electrical magic to stun opponents, as well as use items which improve your defense.

You can use environmental traps, such as the spikes on the wall in Hercules' pit, for extra damage. Other ways to win include ring-outs and the more typical fights to the death.

Even if you're getting hammered by a merciless adversary, don't quit the game. You'll get bonuses for completing the match, which you'll need to make your Champion stronger.

If you know there's no way to win the match, focus on completing achievements, which can give your character a boost for future battles. Opening a specific number of red orb chests or grabbing special treasure can help improve your Champion, letting you buy armour, weapons and items before your next match.

Back in December, Sony had released the Evil Ways multiplayer trailer for God of War: Ascension. It shows some gameplay for the multiplayer part of the game. If the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like the God of War: Ascension multiplayer is going to have players fighting each other, as well as giant monsters from the Greek mythos, all with the same hack-and-slash blood and gore gameplay that made the previous games so well loved.

Earlier in 2012, it was revealed that God of War: Ascension will have multiplayer. So far only one gameplay mode has been revealed, which has eight players battling it out against each other in two teams of four. After one team has been dominated by the other, the team that controls all points, gains access to certain weapons that will help them take down a gigantic AI controlled foe. In this case, it was one unfortunate Cyclops that met his end in a brutal way via some very painful looking finishers.

The God of War series is the story of Kratos, who was a soldier from Sparta. Kratos was the servant of the gods and worked primarily to defeat the enemies of Olympus and run away from his past. The first game begins with Kratos declaring that “The gods of Olympus have abandoned me” and flinging himself over the tallest cliff in Greece; the rest of the game details how and why this happens. The game mostly takes place in the temple of Pandora where Kratos must find the power to stop Ares from destroying Athens.

God of War: Ascension is set to be released on the PlayStation 3 in March 2013.

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