Like a dude using a laptop with his pants around his ankles, Kratos has always been known for doing his own thing. The rage-fueled Spartan has gotten his rocks off by slashing enemies into oblivion. Everyone onscreen, even innocent bystanders, were nothing but fleshy balloons to be popped into red level-up orbs. But his next game, God of War Ascension, will change all that.

Multiplayer will be a huge component of Ascension, pitting Spartans and Trojans in 4-on-4 turf wars. The side that gets the upper hand earns the favor of the gods and the chance to unleash the fury of a humongous cyclops on their enemies.

A Joystiq preview drops some other tidbits about the makeup of the game's multiplayer. Like every other game that wants a piece of the Call of Duty pie, Ascension will rock persistent perks that let you torture your opponents in gratifying ways, rewarding those who succeed. These are doled out by -- who else -- the gods. Impress the god you've dedicated your heroism to and he'll reward you with new combos, special moves and skins.

Since most God of War fans have always been cool without multiplayer, they'll expect a single-player campaign that's robust enough to carry the game. While Kratos's dabbling in teamwork is welcome, let's hope the developers don't neglect his solo story.

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