God of War: Ascension update 1.03 tweaks Trial of Archimedes, adds customisation features

Lead image GOWA-HadesMark1

Champions! With God of War: Ascension out in the wild for two weeks now, we’re seeing our ever-growing community becoming a legion of Champions in Multiplayer, and thousands conquering Kratos’ latest single-player journey.

We’ve been listening to every bit of constructive feedback on our boards, Twitter, Facebook, here on the PS Blog, and around the internet-stratosphere. Rest assured our development team here at Sony Santa Monica is committed to supporting you.

FACTOID – Ares is the most popular God allegiance thus far, but also has players with the lowest overall skill rating. Hades is the second most popular, and the highest skill rated players, evil incarnate FTW!

We’re pleased to announce the release of our latest 1.03 update. Though small this update may be, it throws an added support line at the Trial of Archimedes, and enhances multiplayer customisation with a new appearance feature for your Champion – “Marks”.

We received extensive feedback from the community that the “Trial of Archimedes” section (Chapter 28) near the end of the game was excessively challenging. In every God of War game, establishing a well-paced difficulty ramp towards the end of the game is paramount to us. Based on player response, the degree of challenge offered here was short of our goal of being perfectly balanced.

In the 1.03 update, at the end of each elevator stage (3 total), players will now receive a measured amount of Green Health Orbs and a nominal amount of Blue Magic Orbs back. This change affects all difficulty levels. We are confident this revision will address feedback regarding “Trial of Archimedes” while still preserving the level of challenge appropriate for this late section of the game.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Good fortunes in your quest to conquer the Trial of Archimedes and complete Kratos’ ascension!

As noted, 1.03 also adds “Marks” for added customisation to your Champion in multiplayer, and eight additional new tints, including “Ash”. Now you have an opportunity to become a “Marked Warrior”. These are the six mark’s we’ve added in this update, with more to come:

  • Mark of the Thief, for HADES
  • Mark of the Trojan, for ALL
  • Mark of the Spartan, for ALL
  • Mark of the Legionnaire, for ARES
  • Mark of the Mercenary, for ZEUS
  • Mark of the Deep, for POSEIDON



Unfortunately, the time necessary to diagnose and explore audio issues cited by many of our fans during their play experiences made a solution in time for inclusion in the 1.03 update unfeasible. Despite this, we are still very aware of these reports, we continue to monitor user experiences in this regard, and we are working as quickly as possible to find a fix. We understand that this issue is of particular frustration for many of you in the community; your patience is greatly appreciated!

This is just the beginning of post-launch support for God of War: Ascension. As stated previously, we have an influx of DLC in the weeks ahead to support your strategic play-style, and an unannounced fourth weapon class. We’re also exploring other new enhancements we can’t disclose just yet, however you can try asking The Oracle (aka @SonySantaMonica) – you never know.

Now do well warrior, ascend! And stay in touch with everything God of War at www.godofwar.com.


0 Author replies

Aaron Kaufman,

I think it’s frightening when game developers change something because a certain amount of fans didn’t feel like it. What about me? What about those of us who liked the challenge in the Trial of Archimedes, I think it’s unfair, but that’s just how I personally see it.



Too late! I traded it in today, with the sound issues I had to re-watch each cut-scene in single player on youtube.

WHAT!! “This change affects all difficulty levels.” WHY!? do it on easy and normal. but keep hard and titan as it is.

god damn trophyhunters getting on your nerves.
games getting traded in then!

im mad. SSM and god of war, has always been “try once more”.. but this is low

Easy there Rytteren – I only played it on normal, but the pre-patch difficulty spike that was the Trial of Archimedes was huge – far, far higher than your average late-game difficulty spike. In this case, the fan feedback was downright appropriate. I’ve also played it post-patch, and the change isn’t that big (at least on normal – I’ll leave hard/titan to you lot ;)). It’s enough to make the difficulty curve a curve rather than a bit of a choke in game design, but it’s not enough to make it a walk in the park (even after over an hour of trying pre-patch, I still didn’t make it through the first time post-patch, and by that stage I’d read and practised the strategies available online, so I knew what I was doing, even if I wasn’t necessarily that good at it). It took me well over fifteen tries to get through the Trials, when no other stage of the game (including the final boss) took three. If that isn’t a disproportionate difficulty spike that needs ironing out, nothing is.

Is Adam Sessler YOUR God now SSM? Stop listening to him, your fans don’t.

ShinYagami13 27 March, 2013 @ 01:21

@Rytteren LOL u got it all wrong dude! they made it easier for people like you not trophy hunters! REAL trophy hunters (NO hannah montana, up, megamind etc platinums!) can beat it easily ;)
@Axe99 wanna see what a disproportionate difficulty spike is? try beating the last challenge of Vanquish, the supercars levels in motorstorm RC or survival in DOA5 (this one i havent tried yet but its time will come SOON… LOL)

Not downloaded this update and I will not download.
Who says that this game is hard nor should it buy and very easy to not like the game is that it is very short, expect more of the series one game longer and more challenging.
Even my eight year old son this without resetting the game update 1.03, so I’m finishing hard getting ready for the Titan.
Hopefully Last of Us is being even more challenging than most other studio I hope these new games.

LOL @ 3 – you are the biggest trophy hunter i know :D Thats for sure.


Really? I cleared the trials on my first attempt, and I’m not even very good at this kind of game. :-?

DoYouLikeMyID 27 March, 2013 @ 08:08

@6 The supercar levels in Motorstorm RC? Those weren’t that tough, I’ve even gotten the platinum trophies for that game (I mean, On Vita and PS3)

I haven’t played GoW Ascension yet, but I will sometime. I’ve beaten Chains of Olympus & Ghost of Sparta on the highest difficulty, so I don’t know if the Trials of Archimedes will be a problem for me or not. I think it creates more fluid gameplay when there aren’t any huge difficulty spikes in the game. Then the story can progress more fluently, there’s less frustration and more players can actually beat the game, so this update might be for the best.

Besides, I’m sure the game will still be difficult on the hardest setting, so it’s probably fine. :)

Robinworldwide 27 March, 2013 @ 08:57

Lol at #3…smack talking about trophy hunters while you have 100 plats yourself, amongst them Hannah Montana, Up!, Madagascar, Lego and Terminator Salvation. According to your standards, shouldn’t the devs have upped the difficulty of those games first before they were even worthy of your royal like efforts? You gotta love a hypocrite! :D

On: I was on the fence for this game, mostly because in a lot of reviews they mentioned this ridiculous difficulty spike…now if you guys fix the sound too, you have one extra purchase!! :)

Just to put some balance on these comments, played the game through once, fantastic opening and amazing finale, and especially liked the temple of appolo so gorgeous. It seems like God of War is running out of ideas though, with 3 prequels. I haven’t touched multiplayer yet, but might do so in a few months time once the factions are balanced and I have got some feedback on who best fits my fighting style.

Hint: you don’t have to install a patch, if you want original experience.

And I don’t really see problem in changing something because it’s bluntly imbalanced, compared to the rest of content, it’s just a design flaw. Granted, it might have been left unchanged in highest difficulty, but /look at point one.


Traded this in today as the multiplayer didn’t hold my interest.

I can’t believe people whinged about the Trial of Archimedes, yes it was hard but if you utilised your block and parry move it becomes very easy, as there are only a few moves that negate your block.

Excellent game though but imo I though 3 was far more enjoyable. I’ve worked my way through 1, 2 & Chains of Olympus. Ghost of Sparta next, then that’s the complete Saga completed and what an excellent Saga it is! :)

Great. So does this mean I can play the blooming thing now.

My experience with the singleplayer campaign has been nothing but shocking. Seven attempts, and each time it has crashed. But wait…not just a simple re-start crash. But an “auto save during the glitch so your save game and PROFILE is corrupted type of crash!!” SEVEN BLOOMING TIMES!!!

Has nothing to do with the “having it set to surround sound when you don’t actually have it” audio glitch, as I’ve been using 7.1 for a couple of years now.

God of War Ascension is just a buggy, glitchy mess. Avoid.


Played it and finished the game on hard before the patch. I wanted a challeging experience and that’s why i went for hard in the first place. I’m really disapointed that the patch affects hard and titan difficulties as well, as the whole point of harder difficulties is to get a real challenge and not just a button smasher. Oh well…


I enjoy the co op but not too long at a time, as there are only 3 maps and 3 weapon types it gets pretty repetitive after a while. But definitely enjoyable in short sessions. Haven’t tried the actual multi yet, that might be too hardcore for me with all those GOW freaks on there :p

The patch did not give me health items after the first wave. Anyone else experinced this?

thank the gods i finished the trial just before the patch on hard for my plat phew

отлично сделали, но мультиплэер слегка сыроват

CharcoalDragon 03 April, 2013 @ 03:27

Im not gonna download this update till i finish my titan run. that means i cant play multiplayer until that time, and frankly bioshock infinite is gonna get played before a second playthrough of GOW. so in the meantime you’ve ruined mp for me, VERY annoying.

I’m just glad that ps plus hasn’t automatically updated the game yet.


I myself do like a challenge but I have truly done this more than atleast 50 times. On one occasion I was on the third level but those purple ghost things killed it for me. The patch should have given me green orbs, but nothing. People will say that I should just get on with it but its hard. The patch didnt work for me. I bet if anyone tried on my game, they would not be able to do it. Mine is like its cursed to forever repeat that stage and not go further. Its like Groundhog Day.

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