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

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17 Author Replies

  • Argus is my favorite. I’m interested in this book, but would like to see it in a store instead of purchasing it online. Thankfully the website has the ISBN so I can ask for it.
    Here’s a suggestion: release some wallpaper for the PS3 featuring artwork from the book.

  • @ spyrodragon
    they updated us just the other day to tell us nothing had changed from their origional plan of having everything up and running by the end of this month. do you really need them to come out and say it again. and should the people whos jobs it is to promote games not be allowed to put a block up until the i.t people have fixed the problem? give it a rest.

  • blog not block….doh!

  • This is some cool stuff!

  • any news on a new god of war title for ps3 or psp??? own, played, and beat all the god of wars out now!!!!

  • I wish the Argus and Cerberus would have made it would be so cool to fight them

  • Very nice creations (brutal and grotesque, but awe-inspiring for sure)

  • Assasinator0240

    If you were to make GOD OF WAR a movie im pretty sure it’ll be a very scary gorey movie

  • @piff92:
    For anyone who hasn’t played God of War, and is concerned, SPOILERS HERE.

    The old man was Zeus. The grave he was “digging” was an exit for your eventual return from the Underworld. It took me a bit to really piece that together, as well, since there’s very few hints and even those are pretty vague.

  • Wow. It’s hard to say which one I like the best. I think I am partial to the general centaur, he looks really well designed. I also like the Poseidon tentacle creature, I like the change from a man -like guy to the seahorse-like creature; I think it’s a very unique design. I also think the bottom right Argus is wicked.

    The only one’s I don’t really like are the hades character who looks more like a butcher or grunt of hades and the look of the Cerberus thing because it looks too much like a boar or porcupine then it does a dog.

    Other than that I think the artwork is great. The Satyr and the Chimera are cool but look very much like the original concepts in most mythology drawings, so I can’t say they feel very original to me but they look amazing fully fleshed out.

  • we need more Posters to come with games

    art like this would be awesome as a free little poster

  • the art work looks cool. i platinum this game, it was fun

  • I have that!!!! It was on my pre-order GOW3!!! But back to your question Argus could have been a great creature to kill maybe they’ll put it on GOW4.

  • Well done Sid, I loved this article. Its like watching the characters evolution, just amazing. I actually would like to see more of these concept art blogs.

  • i was just playing grid and got 1002 wins over 192 totals and got kicked off wtf?

  • theft

  • wow this is bad ass game

  • DrewManeLaflare

    I wanna hear about GOW 4!!! LOL

  • Cerberus looks really awsome. However my only complaint is that he seems a little undersized. My greatest Cerberus memory came from the original Kingdom Hearts game many years ago when it’s daunting size was such an important aspect. All of the art is simply amazing, but I wish they would bulk Cerberus up :)

  • SONY am i going to get my downloads back or am i going to have to switch and spend my money with microsoft… i play one game now with no add ons want them back last week make it happen or buy my stuff back

  • sony the laughing stock of the online gaming industry….. pitiful you guys cant even let us on our DL list… just give it up and go to macking toasters and irons

  • The cover of the art book should have been the game cover art. Awesome stuff by the way.

  • Blades_of_Chaos2

    These are amazing arts! I like the Chimera and Poseidon’s tentacle the most.

  • Lets try again…my last comment was deleted ill be moderating myself this time… =(

    I Love the Satyr art, allways love the desing and art, and allways had trouble to fight it.

    I Would like to ask: What drove you to change the original Art. of Hades and Poseidon from GoW 1? Its not that it was a negative change but i saw and feel the change a little akward between games without an explanation.

    The Hades art for GoW 3 with the helm is great, but without the helm, i didnt like it, he looks not so much intelligent.

    Poseidon: Was transform from an older to a younger guy and i allways wonder why that was necesary? I mean Zeus has white hair too and he’s awesome fighting it coul be the same with Poseidon and not make a big difference.

  • out of all the artwork on this post. Cerberus is more detail, most eletircfying, and make an entrusting enemy. the Argus on the right remind me of the boss fight from a different game called Castlevania: lord of shadow, But the left one seems that its will be very hard to do any moves on with 4 heads staring at kartos. And Satyr. the one of the closest one out of the three reminded me of Doom 3. Now i maybe picking similarity out of these art work but am not bashing the Artist artwork. im just a picky little artiest and comparing my artwork against these. makes my artwork look like 5 yr old done it. and im saying that as an compliment as in “These artwork are amazing!”. and to some of these artworks. I wish they where in the GoW games as shown in this post.

  • my favourites are 1= Chimera definitely epic.
    2= hades.

    but they have to make hades less fater he looks like a orc here. u know what i miss in this game? kratos always fights big enemies, its always the same he kills them brutally and everyone has a easy weakspot, why dont they make someone who’s just as badass, someone from his own match with also the same reputation as him, that everbody is afraid of. they meet each other in the final battle who is more badass, that will be the clash of the titans and they have to make him more creative more like kratos himself, not those predictable attacks. and one thing that would really be cool.

    PUT IN THE BALROG!!!!!! (like the one from lord of the rings)


  • i loove poseidon tentacles! speacially in gameit looks fantastic

  • Hades was an interesting and unexpected design. I also liked the Cerberus design. Poseidon’s tentacles was an interesting take with the horses and crab claws.


    I hope that God of War Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta are the many games that get remastered to the PS3. It might be cool if you guys made them a double pack and added extra stages, bosses, and cut scenes. =) I have them both on the PSP (got them at release), but I’d get them again. Then I’d have the entire God of War series on the PS3.

  • Awesome art sketches! I like Poseidon because he looks cool and aquatic

  • This art looks stunning, is there any chance of you releasing full size posters? I would really like some :)

  • very nice art

  • Id have to day the Chimera and the Cerberus get my vote but if there where Centar in here it’d take the cake for me one of my fave mythical creatures in the GOW games.

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