God of War Character Concept Art: Kratos Before And After

By Ishaan . January 4, 2011 . 11:30am

While skulking around the corners of the ‘net this week, we came across the blog of a concept artist, Charlie Wen, who worked on the first God of War game, and went on to become the visual development director for God of War 2.


A lot of the concept art we came across on Charlie’s blog was work we’d never seen before…especially some of the designs for Kratos and Ares. Kratos, as God of War fans probably know, went through several redesigns until original creative director, David Jaffe, settled upon a look.


There are entire separate “Making of” series for all three God of War games that you can find on YouTube to supplement the concept images below with, so we’d recommend seeking them out if you want to learn more about the look of the games and its characters.


Onto the concepts. Keep in mind, the last image represents the final look of each character in the game:



Kratos conceptKratos concept 2

Kratos concept 3 Kratos final

                                                             Final design



Medusa concept Medusa final

                                                                                                         Final design 



Ares conceptAres concept 2Ares concept 3 Ares concept 4Ares final 

                                                                                     Final design


Fat Medusa (God of War 2):

Fat Medusa concept 

And here’s a Kratos painting by Charlie with the different detailing stages recorded:

You can find more art work for both games at Charlie’s blog. Look at the top-right corner, and you’ll see links to concept galleries for both God of War and God of War 2.

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  • OH nice find, the images make me want to open my copy of God of War Collection and play the games, as well as buy God of War III. I think the designs are all visually stunning.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    I’m glad Kratos didn’t turn out to be another generic spartan. They really went left field with his final design and that probably paid off for visual impact.

    …Ares, on the other hand, could have looked a lot more menacing and dangerous.

    • SolidusSnake

      I totally agree with you about Ares… he looked like a metalocalypse guy who washed his hair with glitter paint.

    • I like the Ares with claw-thingy on his back. Even better if it could function as fin funnels/ Dragoon units

  • Those Youtube videos are actually extras from the games themselves. Both the PS2 and Collection versions have these videos. They’re actually quite old.

    • What YouTube videos are you speaking of? This is concept art from one of the artists on the original God of War.

      • There are entire separate “Making of” series for all three God of War games that you can find on YouTube to supplement the concept images below

        I was responding to that sentence in the article. There’s an EXTRAS section for all three games. In fact, if I recall correctly, there was a separate DVD that came with GOW2. That making of is still on the Collection Blu-Ray, but you don’t watch it in-game, but in the video section of the XMB.

        In the “Making Of” for GOW1, it shows these early Kratos designs.

  • Kratos final design blows the early ones away by a clear mile. None of the other ones has any “character” to them…..they’re not bad designs by any means but I don’t see any of them as a main character type. The art is nice though, I really like the free falling early Kratos piece.

  • PrinceHeir

    i kinda like ares first pic and last concept before the final designs, he just looks more menacing ^^

  • Heh a few of the early Kratos makes him look like to be a greek version of the Predator. Also sad that they didn’t make Medusa into the hottie that the middle two concept art have her portraying as.

    Love the last painting. Kratos would fit right into the Monster Hunter universe.

  • xxx128

    This series character design is so bad. Kratos reminds me of 3rd rate independant superhero comics characters. Give him some spandex and he is complete.

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