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God of War III: How to Make a Monster

Sid Shuman's Avatar + Posted by Sid Shuman on May 25, 2011 // Senior Manager, Social Media

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

//Add Your Own

133 Comments   17 Replies

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+ Smooth423 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:02 am said:

Now that is some amazing art. I never thought a monster could look so good.


+ dark_midori on May 25th, 2011 at 8:03 am said:

wow nice art


+ jvasq on May 25th, 2011 at 8:04 am said:

very nice thats why i love the game


+ MadmanV10 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:04 am said:

If there is no God of War 4, then don’t post things like this. It’s somewhat decieving since this is a news blog, not a “This is why GoW is cool!” blog.

Unless you know something we don’t and that more God of War is on the way….otherwise, don’t do this.


+ Smooth423 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:06 am said:

Argus looks like a monster to me but not monster enough. My favorite would be Poseidon Tentacles. I like monster fights to be not only gory but tactical in the same manor. Now this is finally some PS Blog material. Keep up the good work.


+ lilcanuck on May 25th, 2011 at 8:09 am said:

all these creatures were visualy appealing i wish they would of made it into the game i think they would of made it that much more stunning mythology does deserve a tweek now and than just to shock the senses


+ seejay666 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:10 am said:

O i’m gonna kick those narly bastards asses>>


+ donvarone on May 25th, 2011 at 8:13 am said:

is it me or are some of the pictures misplaced?

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:21 am said:

    Yup, I futzed up one of the html tags — fixed! ^_^


+ Kryshalis on May 25th, 2011 at 8:13 am said:

The designs are nice, and God of War is awesome, but it’s a it of a dated game to be posting concept art for isn’t it? This seems like a filler post.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

    I guess you’re right…but it looks cool, doesn’t it?


+ WAY2STRONG4U on May 25th, 2011 at 8:13 am said:

Nice. Its amazing what your imagination can do.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

    Agreed. I’ve always been a huge fan of bizarre monsters (the Alien and Space Jockey from the Alien movies being two of my favorites). God of War’s creature collection is definitely near the top of my list.


+ Busca-Cabezas on May 25th, 2011 at 8:14 am said:

GOWIII… Simply EPIC!!! I can’t have enough of it…


+ jc18378 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:14 am said:

I cannot believe people think video games are art. This proves that a lot of skill and dedication makes a great game


+ PainOfSarrow on May 25th, 2011 at 8:15 am said:

awwww man this is sweeeeet, i love god of war, one of the most amazing games ever. even my mother aint into video games and she found it amazing when she came to visite. great work of art. those are some realy great looking bad asses. i must say Chimera looks brutal. realy wish it made it into the game, maybe next time.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

    Chimera’s in the game! Glad you (and your mom!) liked the post.


+ D-Squad3 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:15 am said:

When are the winners of the contest going to be announced?


+ Berae on May 25th, 2011 at 8:16 am said:

I wish I could draw like that lol


+ bigdaddykraven on May 25th, 2011 at 8:21 am said:

To those complaining about it being a bit late to post this…they are selling the art book so posting a few pictures and comments about it is a way to forward sell the art book.

Personally I like when blog posts from Sony gives you inside thought to the minds of some of the developers of our favorite games. Also as a graphic designer, I’m a sucker for a good concept art.


+ BLEACH-Fan on May 25th, 2011 at 8:24 am said:

I smell a God of War 3 Directors cut ( a man can dream)


+ a7x_RoCk3r on May 25th, 2011 at 8:27 am said:

argus and cerberus


+ BAEZE_L on May 25th, 2011 at 8:29 am said:

A Man Can Dream… Of Naruko.


+ alok893 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:30 am said:

That poseidon tentacles are ridiculous.But Poseidon himself is awesome.
The Cerberus enemies are not as good as God OF War 2 Cerberus.
The smaller enemies needed more work in design.
But the Chimera is Awesome
Please tell this Andy Park.


+ DrakeLake on May 25th, 2011 at 8:32 am said:

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

I’m a fan of the Chimera, personally.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

    Chimera seems to be the big winner, judging by Blog comments :)


+ Kamiboy on May 25th, 2011 at 8:32 am said:

Given that the typical far off third person camera placement in most combo action games tends to make enemies occupy a very small space on the actual game screen I feel most work going into creating intricate details upon these sort of foes is lost. Their small zoomed out stature and the fast pace of the game means that you only ever really just get a feel of their general silhouette. This is why enemies having a distinct stature and visual profile even in post stamp sizes is important in these sort of games.

Of course God of War has it fair share of really gigantic boss enemies in which case you get to enjoy the full glory of their model and texturing detail. Anyway, what I am trying to say is I wish the normal sized enemies in the God of War series were designed to better show off despite the typically small sizes that they are often seen by the gamer.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

    Great points. And you’re right — the silhouette is so important in character design for video games.


+ RicAn6483 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:33 am said:

Argus reminds me of something i would see in Silent hill. I like the cerberus drawing the best.

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:38 am said:

    Agreed! Still a cool creature concept. The Argus might have looked a little out of place, but I still love him :)


+ LilTRaNe on May 25th, 2011 at 8:40 am said:

Ow Pra quem gosta Essas Imagens são Exelentes Valeu vlw ai … (For those who like Ow These pictures are excellent Thanks vlw)


+ remanutd5 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:42 am said:

God of War 4 ps3/ NGP !!!!!!!!!!


+ MarinoBrea on May 25th, 2011 at 8:43 am said:

Is this some kind of hint a new game from these guys is coming soon? E3 surprise?


+ jonny2010 on May 25th, 2011 at 8:59 am said:



+ aguzm098 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:01 am said:

i agree with MadmanV10 if there is no god of war 4 dont make gow fans suffer but otherwise its some nice art


+ CernaML on May 25th, 2011 at 9:04 am said:

Off topic but very curious. Will there be another pre E3 PS Blog meet up like last year’s?

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

    Stay tuned.


+ yazter on May 25th, 2011 at 9:06 am said:

Simply amazing! Wow, kudos to the artist(s)!!


+ Leonidas740 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:09 am said:

God of War is one is And Shall Forever be a very interesting game,Congrates to its creators


+ Leonidas740 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:12 am said:

Speaking of GOW,When is there going to be a movie(real live version)


+ J-ToWne421 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:13 am said:

Another worthless post Sony owes me a month of Internet service


+ NotoriousGamer on May 25th, 2011 at 9:17 am said:

make it a contest so you can win it in the blog. CANADA TOO!!!


+ Sebartigan on May 25th, 2011 at 9:21 am said:

Dude !! Hades look just sick !!! amazing !!!!!!! well done… the Centaur General yes … very intimidating
i was like… ooh ! no here he comes ! lol .. Cerberus in the game look good… but the mouth piercing on this one.. looks awsome..

well done mate !

cheers !


+ blueDragon666 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:23 am said:

Wow this thing is amazing! I absolutley love to draw creatures and something like that would help me. Im absolutly just drooling over the limited folio eddition…. ! But I dont have $300 at the moment xD

Are these going to be available in store in all of north america? please dont leave Canada out :( I am unable to buy things off the internet.


+ Trieloth on May 25th, 2011 at 9:28 am said:

Hey wow! thats some really cool airbrush art work! I wantz MOOOORE pictures!


+ FireDragonGod on May 25th, 2011 at 9:29 am said:

God Of War 4
The Return Of Deimos (He Fights The Egyptian Gods)

God Of War 5
(Deimos Fights The Viking Gods)

GOW 4 Life Man
Best Game Ever


+ station3fever on May 25th, 2011 at 9:32 am said:

hey sid, does “Hades” remind you of “pinhead” the guy from the movie Hellraisers? i think it came out in 1987, which was at that time really scary :)
hades could be the new look for hellraisers 2011 movie horror lol.
Love that pic :)

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

    He sure does! Very cool concept design art for the big guy.


+ Santos21 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:38 am said:

This guy Andy Park is a beast at drawing. Incredible drawings and creations. Got to love the god of war franchise.


+ Shaowstrike on May 25th, 2011 at 9:42 am said:

Adding on to station3fever’s comment about how Hades looks like Pinhead, the unmasked picture of Hades has souls coming out of his head that look remarkably like the Dream Demons from Freddy’s Dead from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.


+ piff92 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:46 am said:

Oh man, this just makes me wish there is a God Of War 4. It would be awesome getting Modern Warfare 3 this year then god of war 4 next year. Since black ops was a complete fail. Im a huge god of war fan. I beat all the games but one thing always confused me about God Of War 1. At one point you meet an old man who was digging up 2 graves, I never got that part. Who was the guy and why was he doing that?


+ katzmsa2323 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:55 am said:

Oh and the Satyr looks badass considering its attributes!


+ r8rsfans75 on May 25th, 2011 at 9:57 am said:

Hmm, store is still down and today we get a Black Ops bundle pack and GoW 3 concept art…Don’t get me wrong, big fan of both (just look at the avatar) but is it at all possible to get an update mixed in with all this game stuff? I mean the 31st is less than a week away, even if someone would come out and say, “Store will be up on the 31st by x:xx time” or “we have no idea when it will be back up, we have no exact time frames on any of the development or testing, they are all working at their own pace and when they say they are done, well we will just turn it on and let everyone know after the fact.”


+ Dann92_ on May 25th, 2011 at 9:59 am said:

I don’t see anything wrong with this kind of post, is nice to remember specially one of the best games I’ve played thanks for posting this!

    Sid Shuman's Avatar


    + Sid Shuman on May 25th, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

    You’re welcome, glad you liked it ^_^


+ vojtik666 on May 25th, 2011 at 10:00 am said:

wooow ! nice pictures


+ Deathspear666 on May 25th, 2011 at 10:01 am said:



+ UchihaIkki on May 25th, 2011 at 10:02 am said:

I’m a huge fan of Cerberus in almost every game he is in,but Chimera looks better in GoW III


+ ShadowOfEden on May 25th, 2011 at 10:04 am said:

It’s one of the first time in video game history where the female version of a warrior has more clothes than the male version.


+ David–Clark on May 25th, 2011 at 10:07 am said:

woOow I really Love this ART it’s just fantastic :D

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