God of War III: How to Make a Monster

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God of War III: How to Make a Monster

Call me late to the party, but I’ve been flipping through Ballistic Publishing‘s 272-page opus The Art of God of War III — and I like it. It reads like a cookbook for wannabe creature creators, chronicling God of War III’s evolving monster designs throughout the game’s extensive development process. The luscious artwork is accompanied by insightful commentary and anecdotes from the game’s visual development artists and the phenoms at Sony Santa Monica Studios.

In addition to pages and pages of unseen concept art and reference sketches, The Art of God of War III showcases characters and creatures that didn’t make it into the final version of the game, including several monster designs that were (sadly) left on the cutting-room floor.

Which creature design is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Chimera by Andy Park

Art by Andy Park


“This is a creature I initially designed way back during the previous game, God of War II.… I designed the Chimera thinking of the three personalities of the creature: lion, goat, and snake. They are one being, but they have three different brains and therefore, three different personalities. This illustration showcases the creature in all its vicious glory; with three heads vying to be the one that gets to kill the infamous Kratos. It’s a battle against Kratos and its inner self.” — Andy Park, Visual Development Artist, God of War III

Argus by IzzyArgus by Izzy

Argus sketches by Izzy

Art by Izzy Medrano


“Definitely the tragedy of the game for the character department….After lots of sketches, including a pretty bad-ass multi-limbed elephant, the final design was a monstrosity covered with eyes meant to look like a very uncomfortable viral outbreak. It was this freakish frog-type thing with no mouth. I imagined that it would make an awful deep rumbling when out of camera, and all you would hear aside from that was the buzz of blood-bloated flies that follow it everywhere it went. I gave him the name Argus to tie in with the hundred-eyed shepherd from the old myths, and it stuck.

After he was modeled and built, he got scrapped because it was felt that he was too alien-looking. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with a hulking monster with one huge arm that also had tons of eyes all over his body in a herpes-like pattern. We even got the tech working so that all the eyes would follow Kratos, but he was scrapped again due to time constraints.” — Izzy Medrano, Visual Development Artist

Hades by Andrew KimHades by Cecil Kim

Art by Andrew Kim and Cecil Kim


“The God of the Underworld needed to be a big imposing guy….There were a lot of discussions regarding what would be revealed when Hades’ helmet was finally pulled off in the game….Here, we experimented as if Hades took the souls into his own body and used them as some kind of weapon. The original concept called for these horrifying tentacles — each with their own head — almost as if Hades had all these demons within him trying to escape. In the end, this design felt out of place and we gave Hades a simpler, but still terrifying, skeletal burn-victim-like face.” — Andrew Kim, Visual Development Artist, God of War III

Centaur by Andy ParkCentaur (female) by Andy Park

Art by Andy Park

Centaur General and Female Centaur

“I wanted to create a look that was a departure from the original Centaur in the first God of War. I designed a more intelligent, and more imposing, Centaur that would act as a general in the Olympian army…He ended up feeling raw, brutal, and very intimidating.

I also got to design a female version of the Centaur that was unfortunately not used in the game. This time I gave the horse part of the creature white fur and tried to have a more slender feel to it while still maintaining a bulk necessary to keep it intimidating. These were really fun to design.” — Andy Park, Visual Development Artist, God of War III

Satyr by AndyParkSatyr by AndyPark

Satyr sketches by AndyPark

Art by Andy Park


“The Satyr is half-man and half-goat. I did a bunch of variations on what this character could look like, but I also kept in mind that this creature needed to be very agile, and even acrobatic…In the end, I gave the Satyr a more man-like, creature-esque face, and gave the armor a more goat-like feel. I saw it as the Satyr hiding his true visage with him denying his more human side.” — Andy Park, Visual Development Artist, God of War III

Cerberus by Izzy

Cerberus sketch by IzzyCerberus sketch by Izzy

Art by Izzy Medrano


“The Cerberus was a really exciting project. I eventually came up with this really awesome burnt and tortured beast that was pregnant with little magma fireballs that would launch out of the central blind head’s throat. I wanted them to feel like they were so violent and aggressive because of they constant pain they were in, hence the chains woven through and underneath their skin and the awful burn scarring. In the end, this version got scrapped in favor of a concept from the very first game. I was really sad to see her go.” — Izzy Medrano, Visual Development Artist

Poseidon by AndyPark

Art by Andy Park

Poseidon Tentacles

“This is the design of the tentacles that protrude out of the main body of the Poseidon creature. It’s an amalgamation of the Hippocampus, crustacean parts, and water. In its open state, I designed the crab-like legs protruding from its back to mimic the shape of Poseidon’s Trident. In its closed state, it acts simply as a crazy claw-like creature that then opens up to reveal the sea horse within.” — Andy Park, Visual Development Artist

Want to see more monsters, character concept art, environment paintings and weapons that didn’t make the cut? Check out The Art of God of War III from Ballistic Publishing and let us know what you think!

The Art of God of War III cover

Comments are closed.


17 Author Replies

  • Is it just me or is it hard to make a goat look terrifying…I think he did a pretty good job making the goat head on the Chimera look scary, since a lion and snake beat it anyday lol.

  • With the network being down, I achieved the GOW3 platinum. So thanks for the post, it still has relevancy although some people were so eager to conquer it .

  • God of War 3 was a great game it should have been game of the year from the spike game awards

  • anyone hear the rumor that the gears of war series coming to ps3?

  • Zoryu_of_Setsuna


    + aguzm098

    It’s only you and the other guy who don’t want to see it, why stop it when people actually like looking at it, they did this before so it should be no problem.

    I also enjoy looking at others art of monsters etc.

  • I wasn’t a huge fan of the God of War series but the third one was fantastic. I’m really looking forward to seeing whatever these guys announce at E3.

  • my personal fav is the satyr you dont see much in games i like their take on the satyr ferocity very nicely done

  • to everyone posting off topic comments RE: playstation store
    try reading past replies to that question . especially people saying ‘ just tell us you don’t know or an estimate ‘
    there have been several posts all saying the store is expected to be up by May 31 – that’s the date so deal with it and stop asking .
    past posts from Sony always say either ‘ I don’t know yet but will post as soon as I do ‘ or ‘ May 31 is the targeted date ‘
    how freaking hard is it to read a reply and say ‘ ok I’ll have to wait until the end of May ‘ ?

    seriously – just stop whining , it doesn’t speed up the process and it’s annoying .

    on topic only please –
    and on topic …. great pics , love to see how the art in gaming is getting better all the time .

  • Already have this folio edition, as well as the equally excellent one these guys did for Uncharted 2. I’m not normally one for art books but the level of detail and insight into the dev process is pretty interesting, and it’s a nice “director’s cut” kind of insight into what could have been. One of the artists has a pretty salty sense of humor as well :P

  • I’m going to go with the Argus as being my favourite. I honestly feel looking too alien is a boon rather than a curse. He’s fantastically unique and I can’t help but imagine how terrifying he could have been, how fun different the mechanics fighting him might be, and how enjoyable smashing each of his tiny little beady eyes…oh, well, you understand.

  • That looks incredible!!!! Hopefully there will be a director’s cut or an add on to where you can play the director’s cut version!

  • Sid, Awesome art.

    Could you teach other people who work with the Playstation Blog how to type a comment/reply?

    I know a lot of us would appreciate this skill being transferred to others–especially the Sony PR department.

  • I <3 these Blog Features.
    Concept art has always been so awesome to me!

  • @gargoyle30

    If you are going to troll and “Be a jerk,” you may want to brush up on your spelling/grammer. With PSN being down, this seems like a great time as you must have less distractions.

    “there mouths intirely” should be “their mouths entirely”

    There are things in this world that are more interesting than playing videogames.

  • I would love to see this game engine used for other genres. Simply the most amazing game to ever land on a console.

  • bigwellistyle007

    its never too late to talk about a good game, hell i still talk about how awesome is Metal Gear Series been, especially 4…..and you know what, i never played any of the god of war games, so this has inspired me to pick up a copy and play, so you sold me man lol. great work……p.s cant wait for the store to come back, i miss my demos

  • To bad that Argus didn’t make it in the game. The top right version with the blue eyes looks great.

  • “There are things in this world that are more interesting than playing videogames.”

    like what?

  • Natural_Killer47

    Hey Sid can you tell us if any GoW IV news will anounced at E3 2011!

  • Damn Hades is ugly. It’s a good thing that he wears that helmet when you fight him. Seeing his face in HD would Traumatize me.

  • why take these out!!! They look sick!!

  • I HOPE GOW4 gets an onlune component… the game will sell more as people tend to buy used copies of gow since there is no replay value!

  • Looks real good will try to draw it when i get home form work today.

  • perfect

  • sony puts really lame things in there blogs lol monsters


  • Awesome artwork! All though I’ve imagined Hades to be much more slender, like a shadow of death and sorrow.

  • How to Make a God of War Monster:

    1) Pick an old Myth that was a great story, is in the public domain and free of any intellectual property concerns, and would totally rock if God of War through fanfiction favorite Kratos into the mix.

    2) Have some underpaid artists throw their painstakingly developed talents into designing over-the-top spiky fanfic fantasy junk to turn classic myth into totally rad.

    3) Rewrite Mythology so Kratos can be cool in it. Add blood and overdramatic, totally impractical combat maneuvers.

    4) Put in game.

    5) Release game.

    6) Profit.

  • This is around the lines..
    Sid you’ve posted a “How-to-use Kratos in Mortal Kombat” before, since it’s a PS3 exclusive not many people are making guides for him.

    I think you should make a more in depth one.. With more then just combos, like a Tom Brady guide.

    Pretty please?

  • Fantastic Monster designs guys, I really like ur spin on Cerberus & gotta give u Mad props for the creative Poseidon Tentacles …gives a New meaning to Horseshoe Crab LOL!.
    Out of all those my favorite would have to be the Chimera since it combines alot of the elements from the other Monster types into into one lethal package!

  • Beautiful GoW art. Now is there a GoW art-book available to purchase anywhere? Love all the art styles that GoW has brought to us over the years.

    Almost forgot…how is the PSN store looking? Any news you can share with all of us?? O.o

  • Wow sweet! So evil, but so good…

  • The Cerberus is the sickest looking one on there that they should have on god of war 3 and 2 , but instead of the hounds that were easy to kill,the Cerberus but up scale them so there a bit bigger then the hounds , im a huge god of war fan . gow2010 ( god of war ) i love the series and hope theres a 4th

  • Ahhh I see a link for The Art of God of War III from Ballistic Publishing. That answers my question.

    Hope to see the store soon

  • sony should make an art book for god of war 3 if there isnt one allready

  • easyriderzombie

    This has nothing to do with PS OR SONY at all but what are your thoughts on the illuminati and NWO?

  • This is pretty cool. Great post.

  • OrangE_KusH_SodA

    these are really sick….god I miss god of war :(
    hope god of war 4 is really coming out and as good as gow 3.

  • Awesome looking God of War monsters. I like the Cerburus the best.

  • Amazing! I can’t even draw a perfect circle. The talent and imagination are incredible.
    You have to love the God of War games

  • its a PERFECT ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ive never played this game before but i have to say these monsters look awsome, some people have said over the top but isnt that what concept arrt is all about, pushing the limits. anyway maybe i will give this game a try.

  • Why does Hades look like more of a monster than a god?

  • Looks like a cool game.

  • Why can’t this game be one of the games you can get with the welcome back package?

  • Is anybody answering these?

  • Anybody?

  • Oh yeah I like the satyr the best.

  • And the Cerebus.

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