Sony unveils new God of War game

[UPDATE]: Publisher releases teaser trailer for PS3-exclusive God of War: Ascension; prequel set for spring 2013 launch with no multiplayer mode.

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Fans of Sony's God of War series have much cause for celebration today with confirmation that Kratos will be returning to the PS3 for one more adventure. Sony released a teaser trailer showcasing the next entry in the franchise, to be titled God of War: Ascension.

While Sony released no other information on the new game, the teaser trailer points to a possible prequel: images of a bloody, shadowed Kratos bound in chains are presented with a voice that speaks of "a time before Kratos became the monster known as the Ghost of Sparta."

Kratos is returning to the PS3.

In the final moments of the trailer, Kratos breaks free from his chains while a voice proclaims: "A time when he would break his blood oath to an unjust god, a time when he would no longer be bound in blood." The trailer ends with an image of the PS3.

In mystical and religious context, the word "ascension" refers to those who ascend to heaven without dying; the word can also be used to describe spiritual enlightenment.

Sony first hinted at an upcoming teaser campaign for a new God of War game earlier this month, posting an image of Kratos on the official PlayStation Facebook page. In February, retailer BT Games posted a product listing for God of War IV, and a month before that, multimedia composer Timothy Williams indicated he was working on a fourth entry in the franchise.

Last year, job listings at Sony Santa Monica called for people to join the God of War development team to create multiplayer services for the franchise, including matchmaking infrastructure and leaderboards. While the new trailer indicates the title will be headed to the PS3, last month Sony Santa Monica senior director of product development Shannon Studstill said the franchise might be headed to the PlayStation Vita or mobile platforms.

The God of War franchise's last outing was God of War: Ghost of Sparta for the PSP in 2010, whose events took place in between the original God of War and God of War II. God of War Origins Collection, featuring God of War: Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, was released in September last year for the PS3 in HD. The last entry in the main series was God of War III, released in 2010 on the PS3, whose story seemingly concluded the main franchise.

[UPDATE]: Sony confirmed this morning that God of War: Ascension will take gamers "right back to where it all began." The game will let gamers "discover the origins of Kratos as he takes his first steps on a now legendary quest for freedom."

The console maker also launched a product page for the game on its US PlayStation website, revealing a spring 2013 launch window. Additionally, the page notes Ascension is a one-player game, with the maximum number of online players listed as zero.

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