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Sony Santa Monica's Vincent Napoli recently took to the PlayStation Blog to let everyone know that an update for "God of War: Ascension" will increase the game's multiplayer level cap, address audio issues, and optimize matchmaking sometime this month.

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God of War: Ascension

Kratos. Just hearing his name can simultaneously strike fear in the hearts of gods, and bring glee to gamers. The Ghost of Sparta has been the star of Sony's break-out "God of War" franchise since 2005, when players began taking on some of history's most storied gods. Over the years, Kratos has endured some of the most intense battles that video games have ever offered, while suffering through one of the most heart-breaking stories in the medium. Between accidentally killing his wife and daughter, and going head-to-head with some of Olympus' most powerful residents, it's pretty clear that Kratos has lived a challenging and stressful life. In his latest game, "God of War: Ascension" we get a better understanding of just how that life began, as it takes gamers through some of the earliest events in Kratos' journey.
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Even as some of struggle to catch up with the backlog, it's nice to see a week so satisfyingly varied. From the massive expansion to "Starcraft II" to the HD update of a pair of "Darkstalkers" games, to... well, "God of War" is back, so there's that.

Hit the jump for a selection of this week's new releases.

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A Naughty Dog tweet has revealed that their upcoming survival horror (action?) game "The Last of Us" will be available to gamers who pick up a copy of "God of War: Ascension." The demo will be available on May 31 via the main menu of "Ascension."

While the demo will provide early access for "God of War: Ascension" players, no word yet on when it will be available for other PSN users.

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Sony details the "Trial of the Gods" mode for "God of War: Ascension" where you and a friend can rip minotaurs apart... together.

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The latest trailer from "God of War: Ascension" shows off some of the opening combat sequence as well as choice story bits from the Sony Santa Monica prequel.

You can see Kratos' QTE-enabled escape from captivity, along with the Ghost of Sparta being drafted into the defense of his country by his fellow soldiers. Also, more monster-smiting.

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Today Sony revealed that anyone who buys "God of War: Ascension" from Best Buy will get an exclusive DLC item related to History's upcoming original series "Vikings." While God of War is steeped in ancient Greek mythology, the characters in the new show are clearly followers of the ancient Norse gods. That's where Mjölnir, the Hammer of Thor, comes in. Read More...

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If you want to dodge in "God of War: Ascension," you'll have to flick the right analog stick as in previous entries in the series. I'm not sure why I thought that would change with the latest--although chronologically first--in Kratos' saga of revenge and making a graveyard of Olympus. "God of War" and its sequels have been so influential and vital to the character action game, it's hard to imagine the way the series handles making any kind of leaps and bounds in a new direction.

And yet, here we are, three years after "God of War III," and Kratos still has that ungainly, rolling dodge (even as Sony Santa Monica promises that they've worked in new animations to reflect a younger, more limber version of the character). My hands-on time with "God of War: Ascension" was disappointing because it felt like I was playing a bad game, it just felt like the roll-light-heavy attack combo was the same as it ever was in a series that really needs to start coming up with new ideas (and not just new set pieces).

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In this trailer, titled "From the Ashes," is one of the rare times we get to see the Spartan murder machine's vulnerability. During a preview event last night (look for my post on that later today), "God of War: Ascension" Game Director Todd Papy talked about using the prequel to get at some of the emotional/softer elements of the character, something the last act of "God of War 3" attempted, albeit clumsily with a stand-in for Kratos' dead daughter.

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If you're anything like us, the PS3 bundle you see above is looking pretty darn sexy. Not only will Sony's latest set you up with a limited edition Garnet Red PS3, it also delivers the entire catalog of "God of War" games, including the upcoming "God of War: Ascension." Read More...

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