The God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta is open to PlayStation Plus members from today, Sony has announced.

The beta allows players to fight on behalf of Zeus or Ares in eight-player deathmatch and capture the flag matches, or partake in the game's four-player “free for all” mode.

Two maps are available: the Desert of Lost Souls and the arena-style Forum of Hercules.

Features missing that will appear in the completed game include two more God Allegiances (Hades and Poseidon), a third weapon class, more maps, warrior customisation, an extra game mode, and the ability to team up with friends.

There has been no word on a wider beta test as yet.

God of War: Ascension is due out on March 14 on PlayStation 3.

In related news, the game is getting its very own special edition Dual Shock 3 controller:

God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta hits PlayStation Plus
God of War: Ascension multiplayer beta hits PlayStation Plus