God of War: Ascension is one of the more manageable entries in Sony’s savage Spartan series, but it does have one particular difficulty spike. The rage-worthy 'Trial of Archimedes' located at the start of Chapter 28 is perhaps one of the most punishing sections in the series, prompting the ire of many reviewers behind-the-scenes. To ensure that you get through the maddening test of dexterity without crushing your DualShock 3 in a fit of rage, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you to beat the relentless battle. Limber up, and let’s go.

Getting started

Before you reach the test, you’ll need to get your hands on the Eyes of Truth. To do this simply run to the other end of the large symmetrical room that you’re in – not forgetting to open the White Chests on the left portion of the arena – and open the big door revealing a statue of a female warrior. This will unlock the big container in the middle of the room, allowing you to steal the optical object from the mannequin previously contained within the cage. Sadly, it seems that the device is booby trapped.

Gorgon sigh

The platform that you’re standing on will have slipped down a few levels, and you’ll now need to fight your way back up. This is where the fun starts. First use your Eyes of Truth (L2 and Circle) to clear the oil-like matter at the front of the lift. Then hit R1 to pull the wheel and begin the Trial of Archimedes. You may want to take a deep breath at this point, and maybe place a stress ball nearby.

Feel free to use a couple of magic attacks, as initiating the QTE against the Gorgons will allow you to replenish some blue orbs

The test starts simple enough, with two Gorgons. Simply block the attacks of these foes and remember to use the Amulet of Uroborus as frequently as possible to open them up to your favourite combos. You can block most of the snake-like creatures’ attacks except the eye beam which turns you to stone. Roll out of the way of this as it’s an instant death if you’re hit while frozen. Feel free to use a couple of magic attacks, as initiating the QTE against these foes will allow you to replenish some blue orbs.

When in the mini-game against the Gorgons, remember to dodge out of the way of their attacks. It’s easy to tell when the enemy’s going to strike, as blood will stop flowing out of its body. Just move to the right by pushing the analogue stick in the aforementioned direction to avoid the character’s claw attacks.

Once you’ve killed off two Gorgons, you’ll be faced by two more and a couple of electronic warriors. This is where things really start to get hectic. Remember to use the Amulet of Uroborus, the Stone of Orkos, and even the Eyes of Truth as often as possible. Keep blocking and dodging, and use plenty of magic attacks – you can earn this back with more QTE kills. The electronic spell is probably the best option here, as it covers a lot of space and does decent damage. Always remember to hit R1 when an enemy is stunned to initiate the cut-scene kill, and earn back some blue orbs.

Burning sensation

No, it’s not over. You may feel like you’ve just gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson, but there are plenty more to go. The thing that makes the Trial of Archimedes so brutally difficult is the absence of checkpoints and any real supply restocking opportunities. The only way to claw back your health and magic is by initiating QTE kills.

The blue foes are an essential source of green orbs, which should replenish your health after the fight against the Gorgons

To start up the second wave, you must once again use the Eyes of Truth to remove the oil-like substance at the front of the platform and hit R1 to turn the cog. This time you’ll be trapped in a small area in the middle of the screen against harpies and blue Avatar-esque enemies. Block lots and latch onto the harpies in order to throw them out of the way.

The enemies here are challenging, but shouldn’t pose too much of a threat. Guard, use a few magic attacks, and keep moving in the small area. When the blue enemies are stunned, remember to initiate a QTE kill. These foes are an essential source of green orbs, which should replenish your health after the fight against the Gorgons. Kill everything off and then wait. You’ll now be pitted against an armoured soldier.

Once again, this enemy is not particularly tough to kill, but you’ll be hindered by a flame which constantly changes position. Always keep an eye on it and stay out of its way as it drains your energy. You haven’t got much room here but try to play slowly and carefully, moving away from the armoured soldier when he powers up and becomes invincible. Use the Amulet of Uroborus to stall him when the opportunity arises, and then throw your best combos at him to do some serious damage. Remember to watch out for the harpies flying above. Your best bet is to latch onto these from a distance and toss them to the back of the arena, where you can land some decent hits on them unchallenged.

Getting horsey

It’s still not over and there’s still no save point. The next section is not hard, but you’ll probably not have many resources left after the previous two rounds. Play it safe, stay calm, and prepare yourself. Again, you'll need to use the Eye of Truth to remove the oil-like substance on the contraption at the front of the platform, and then hit R1 to turn the wheel.

Keep your guard up and remember to pay attention to your position so that you don’t roll into the deadly wall

This time you’ll be trapped in an area surrounded by spikes. This makes dodging extremely difficult, as if you roll into them you’ll lose health, and you probably won’t have much at this point. You’ll first need to fight a centaur here, so be careful and block. There is room to dodge, but pay careful attention to your surroundings. The centaur is not a difficult fight if you wait for him to charge and play smart. If you’ve got any magic left use it here, and remember to initiate the QTE kill when the opportunity arises. As in previous rounds, you’ll win back some essential supplies.

Finally, you’ll face a couple of sorcerers. These cannot kill you as long as you’re blocking, so make sure that you play it safe. Don’t be tempted to throw everything at them, otherwise you’ll get killed. Wait for your opportunity and strike. If they disappear into the ground then it’s possible to pull them out with a tap of R1. Keep your guard up and remember to pay attention to your position so that you don’t roll into the deadly wall. Finish them off, and breathe a sigh of relief.

Celebrate good times

At this stage you should unlock the Gold Trophy named 'Use the Stairs', and you should have successfully completed the Gauntlet of Archimedes. Crack open a cold can of Coca-Cola and prepare yourself for one of the most epic final boss fights in the God of War series (don’t worry, it’s not as hard). Then get ready to do this all over again on hard difficulty for the Platinum Trophy.

If you’ve got any more tips, feel free to share them in the comments section below. We daresay that others reading this will need as much help as they can get.