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 a surprising amount of content 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.

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

“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

Poseidon by AndyPark

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

The Art of God of War III cover

0 Author replies

Man this looks amazing XD thanks for the post!

Guri_Tricolor 25 May, 2011 @ 16:06


Late to the party? Maybe … Honestly you’re just warming us up for GOW4, right? Right?! *grin*

On topic: the creatures in any GOW game are amazing, especially the big ones. Oh and the satyrs are a pain in the behind. (That last fight near the Judges, grr!)

Amazing drawings :P Wish i could do that.


Well hopefully well be able to fight these in future God of War games, I miss Kratos :(

god like drawings

very cool .

omg i want GOW 4 NOW…..

Coody-Baroody 25 May, 2011 @ 16:32

how about a 3d patch for GOW3 and maybe GOW Collection? (just like POP 3d Trilogy, Sly Trilogy and the upcoming Splinter Cell HD/3d remakes) I would absolutely love to see Kratos on my tv in 3d ripping out Minotaurs’ Guts! EPIC! along with Nate Drake, Kratos has got to be up there as one of the best video game characters ever.

OMG!!!!1 This post smelling GOW 4 isnt’t please tell ass!!!!!!!!!!
why now? :P :P :P I cant wait for E3

The Poseidon is the most crazy and awesome monster ever. And the final Hades with helmet head its much better!!!!


This post has God of War 4 written all over it.

Not late for me, I’m just playing GoW III for the first time right now having finished of I & II on the Collection disc.

The artwork and concepts are great to see and I’m sure that book is very good but it’s a tad expensive

best game ever


Still in my Top 5 for all time best PS (yes, all 3 consoles) games. “Epic” doesn’t come close to describing this game.
I must say, mad respect to the visual artists and designers for creating such an absolutely stunning game.

How much?


When will the store be back, or has it gone for good?

Immortal-Wolf- 25 May, 2011 @ 18:08

playstation store will be up and running on 31st may as black ops map pack 2 Call of the dead will be in playstation store 3rd june.


I have the book also (2 editions actually) and I love it. Other art books are also worth the buy (Uncharted, Oddworld). Been waiting for the next book anouncement though. Killzone 3 probably?


i got gow1n2 off the store can you tell me if theres going to be any new weapons in gow 4…theres obviously a gow 4 in the making


how much does gow 1 and 2 cost in the ps store?


Whats up with God of War 3 DLC? I thought we were promised that :(

thewickedisting 25 May, 2011 @ 20:48

I tell you now im a HUGE CRAZY fan of the game i like all mosters down to the small ones but my favourite at the moment has to be the god of the underworld HADES so keep up the great art work every title has been better and better ….. surely their has to be a GOD OF WAR 4 who’s with me?

thewickedisting 25 May, 2011 @ 20:53

@13 Agreed

CoolRichy008UK 25 May, 2011 @ 20:59

ps3 home better then god of bore


i love all GOW arts
can we see more arts ?


Good To See Everything back to normal

kool-chris93 25 May, 2011 @ 22:31

Everything was breathtaking in GOW :)

Tekkenfanaat 25 May, 2011 @ 22:36

I’ve had the book for a while now and there is some amazing art in it. I was glad when I saw that Ballistic is also doing a book for inFamous 2 (pre-ordered that one months ago) and Twisted Metal. I believe there’s also a plan to release a Gran Turismo 5 one.


god of war is a good game but its getting of the beaton track of why it was made in the first place. when does he save his kid!!!!??
plus it’s all cool doing competitions but with out the store the codes for downloading would expire with the way things are going..


I love the Roman and Greek mythology behind it, just wish it wasn’t a hack and slash game.


GoW collection was between 299 – 399 kr i think, i forgot =p

GoW collection var typ omkring 299 -399 kr tror jag , kommer inte ihåg =p


why is the store taking so long? what are sony doing thats taking so long?

Gow3 is absolutely stunning but that book is £51 and not even a hardback! whats up with that, iv got over 30 art books all hardback and i think the most iv ever payed is £30

ok £35 on amazon, but still, paperback :-/

Thebackupacc 26 May, 2011 @ 07:36

I bet there gonna break your promise and hoping we will forget about the welcome back program…


My 19″ Krathos maquette from Sideshow Collectibles(a bargain at US$250.00 + $65.00 p+p)has pride of place on my living room chest of drawers, next to Pandora’s Box(I’m only disappointed Sony did not release a Krathos figure à la Cole from the Hero edition figure instead of that box). It’s nice to see Sony promoting God of War by-products that are not games in the blog. I will be getting this baby for sure. RECOMENDATION. For a great place to get this book try TheBookDepository.com on Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I’m guessing they have tax-free status there and if so that maybe why they have FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS to most countries(I buy my books full of antiquated city maps that I love so much from that shop). I will be ordering this book from there and I have no doubt they willhave it as they have thousands of books to choose from AND THEY SEND ORDERS VIA PRIORITY AIRMAIL(takes 5 to 10 working days to reach NZ anyway). Thanks for this blog post Sony. Appreciated. :)

You see the problem with GOW4 is that in the end of 3 (SPOILER) Kratos Kills Himself. REMEMBER. ANyway im happy that PSN is back cant wait for PS Store :)


@algchoo: Take it you didnt watch the cutscene after the credits ;)


Why are Minotaurs almost always the bad guy?

zzfkagqeihd 26 May, 2011 @ 10:26



GoW3 is the best game ever. When the PS Store will be back?

Kratos > Chuck Norris afters he is finised with the Mortal combat players
and then he is going on another planet to find new Gods to kill……………….


@uiuo0o0uiu they exspect the store to be back before end of the month. but dont hold ur breath they lied before. sony is like ur ex-girlfriend for ever telling u what they think you want to hear when all you would like is the truth so you can move on. lets play hangman oopss sony won that last game!! lol

42# They have not said that. They said the are AIMING for the end of the month.


@43 if you read it correct they never said anything about aiming it aint a firing range? in a previous post they said end of the month thats why alot of people state they will believe it when it happens.. u sound like a sony employee?? stop kissing butt!!

thewickedisting 26 May, 2011 @ 12:10

@ algchoo didn’t you see at the end of the credits he goes missing from the cliff but his ment to be dead …. doubt it

Awesome art!

@ Sony The sheer amount of time and effort that Sony has put into making sure hackers can get my credit card and personal info makes me really trust them! Their effort to keep the PS Store shut down for a month has been nothing short of amazing! They only way sony can reward us loyal fans is to keep the PS Store shut down for another month and make sure I can’t download any of MY purchases!!


Just one word: Amazing!
Nice talent.

Thanks for the heads-up on this awesome book Sid. I just bagged me a copy online from the Book Depository. I got 10 quid off of the £39.99 price minus another 10% cos I bought it in may(just reached it before june cutoff). Don’t add any shipping cos they don’t charge postage and it came to £26.95. I’m well chuffed. It should arrive on my doorstep next thurs morn. Thank you again. :)

The Art of God of War 3 arrived from Britain this morning. Finally, but it was well worth the wait. There are three editions of the book available: the folio edition was US$300, the hardback at around $129 & the paperback of this coffee table sized book which was only 25 quid from The book Depository. Even the pb version is lovely. ANY GoW fan will want this tome for their collexion. Thanks Sony, Thanks Santa Monica Studio, thanks Ballistic Books and thank you Daniel Wade. Oh & Enxaristo to Hellas & our mythology for GoW’s canon. peace…

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