Despite the lack of a number "4" in the title, God of War: Ascension is every bit the game that God of War 3 was—and then some.

"When you hear '4,' you automatically think of it as a sequel," Ascension Game Director Todd Papy told us at Sony Santa Monica Studio on Monday night. "This is a prequel. That right there is the main reason [behind the name]."

Papy said that they wanted to "let the trilogy stand" as it is, and this time show Kratos's human side for once instead of continuing the story chronologically.

"We never really explained how he went from being Ares' servant to being indentured to other gods," Papy added. "The whole idea behind the story is: how do you induce selling your soul to the devil?"

That sounds great, and we're looking forward to playing it some day. But during our visit to Sony Santa Monica we were treated to a few sessions of Ascension's multiplayer. It's a first for the series, and it's definitely unique as far as multiplayer games go.

The levels that we played weren't huge, but they've got a lot going—so much so that we decided to write a list of all the things you can focus on during any given multiplayer match. Check it out.