Last week's supposed God of War "leak" – where an animator listed some CG work on his resume – has brought a spate of rumours out of the woodwork, because it seems that every "industry insider" and his pet gerbil wants to talk about Sony Santa Monica's next game now. Earlier today, the ever cryptic Shinobi602 – an over-active NeoGAF account being his main claim to fame – hinted that Norse legend may be next on the cards for Sony's flagship character action franchise. Fair enough, that sounds somewhat reasonable.
Now the industrious Nerd Leaks has followed up with what it claims is concept art from the forthcoming game. It appears to have acquired the images by cracking the restricted area of concept artist Finnian MacManus' personal website. According to his Linked In page, he did work on an "unannounced project" at Sony Santa Monica between September 2015 and December 2015. The pictures generally look very amateur to us, though, showing a muddy character model [This could actually be enlarged artwork - Ed] and, a couple of nice sketches aside, some generally basic environment designs.
Perhaps the biggest worry is that they also show Kratos – albeit bearded now – which would suggest that the studio's going to continue the miserable main character's dismal story arc if accurate. We just don't buy the pictures at all, though, to be honest with you; if MacManus worked with Sony Santa Monica late last year, then we'd expect much more "final" designs than what's on display here. So, it could well be that the next God of War will explore Norse legend – though that contrasts the previous leak – and it may well star Kratos yet again, but we'll need to see better proof than this before we buy it.
Update (01:00AM): MacManus has pulled his entire website. The poor guy even had the secret stuff password protected – is nothing sacred on the Internet?
Update (10:30AM): The Nerd Leaks website has since been pulled offline as well. The drama surrounding this leak has seriously made us reconsider our stance on it all – it's looking likely to be real at this point now.
[source nerdleaks.com, via twitter.com, fmacmanus.com, linkedin.com]
Just when you thought the writing in God of War couldn't get any worse, they bring the character back to life just to shove into a mythology he doesn't even belong in. I can't wait to hear him scream about how angry that makes him.
No, it's okay... Logic says this is all nonsense. Right? I mean, they wouldn't be that stupid, would they?
Might not be Kratos, I suppose. If this turns out to be true, they might just be reusing the design - it is iconic, after all. I mean, he does look a little different, aside from the obvious beard.
I'm genuinely hoping this turns out to be bunk, or something they were exploring but ditched.
A Norse-themed GoW game could be incredible, unless they shoehorn Angry Dad into it. Let us play as a betrayed Odin or something.
Yea I don't believe it
@get2sammyb So, does the guy pulling his website add more or less credence to the story? I think more, but I could be read I got it wrong.
Oh, and I'm all for Kratos kicking some Viking butt. I haven't been watching Vikings, I'm waiting for it to end like I always do, but it seems like half of it takes place in England. Wouldn't take much effort for Kratos to get on a ship off Greece, head out to sea looking for Atlantis, then get blown off course and wind up in Scandinavian. Watching hi fight Thora crew from those movies would be cool. If they want to hire Chuck to reprise his role of Fandriel the dashing I'm OK with fan service too.
So bring on Beowulf, it's all good. Maybe Kratos can loose his power, fight some Vikings, then work his way up to Asgard. Heck make it a trilogy, Vikings, Odin, Thor, it's all good.
@ShogunRok Looks identical to me aside from the beard. Tattoos and even stance is the same.
@rjejr Yeah, I'd imagine so.
I don't quite understand the complete disdain for Kratos in this website. Sure the whole angry vengeance thing got a little long in the tooth by the final game, but that's what gave the game it's edge and identity. The main character just didn't care, and was willing to be viewed as a murderer and villain to achieve his goals. That is very different than most other "hero" games. I would be SHOCKED if Kratos was not in the next game. He is one of the top 3 or 4 iconic playstation mascots. The vocal minority may be tired of his angry antics, but the millions upon millions who will buy this game are EAGER to see Kratos again. Expect to see him, just don't whine so much when you do.
@DopeSamurai Yep, true talk
yeah love yes.kratos is bacccccccckkkkkkkmmm
@playstation1995 Watch the language please -Tasuki-
@playstation1995 @Tasuki lol what did he say wrong?
C'mon. A kickass Kratos in a Norse Mythology is actually a pretty awesome idea. The game is called God of War. Not Greek God of War....
Beside, the greek-theme is kinda at it peek right now. The GoW 3 ending pretty much concluded the franchise. So i expect the Norse Myth is gonna be the new world after the old world (greek) destroyed and Kratos will arise and become the God of the New WORLD! the NORSE!
But this time, he's driven not by vengeance nor hatred, but purely from his grand design to conquer the whole world! The one and truly, God of War aka Kratos the great Alexander!
Some segments of the gaming media must bash certain IP's, God of War, Crash Bandicoot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Knack.......I think it's in a contract or something,......or it could just be blindly following the opinions of others (X and Y made fun of this game......so it must suck!).
Outside of that, a Norse mythology God of War sounds pretty awesome to me!!!
A refresh makes perfect sense. Sales declined with god of war acension.
I don't mind Kratos either. I like the writers here but the stuff they choose to make a big deal out of is completely ridiculous.
@get2sammyb Whilst he may have a similar look to Kratos, I really don't think it will be if the setting is Norse. Kratos (a Greek name).
He will probably be named something like Þórrbjörg, Óðinn, or Knut
Nerd Leaks seems to be gone, even their Twitter page is gone?
@get2sammyb GoW's writing had always been top notch, just because you don't (annoyingly) hate the character doesn't mean the series (all of them being critically praised) is bad
@Majic12 finally someone using their head
@sub12 To be fair Sonic hasn't had a great game since sonic 3 on the mega drive / genesis.
Maybe it'll be a little bit like Blackadder, in that the protagonist is essentially the same character in each setting but is obviously a descendant. Perhaps you play as Kratos' great great great grandson who bears the family tattoo/war paint?
I dunno I'm just excited to see what Santa Monica is up to, they're a fantastic developer.
Just another update: the Nerd Leaks website got pulled offline over night. I think this leak is looking increasingly more real now.
@viciousarcanum Do you really think the writing in God of War is top-notch? Really?
Kratos is an iconic character and I'm not talking Ubisoft iconic, so I don't get why he gets flak the way he does.
@quintumply That's a pretty sound theory, it would make the most sense. Have a new setting but keep a familiar looking character.
Wow, uh, weird. I think maybe if I was a huge fan of the franchise I'd maybe react more to this, but haven't played a God of War game since the PS2. Should catch up on some of them really. I can see why they'd want to branch out into other mythological themes but yeah, would certainly have been better if they just started with a new protagonist rather than send Kratos on a ridiculous and bloodthirsty gap year.
Would be interesting to see if they remain so QTE-heavy now that QTE is somewhat out of favour.
Different charter same fate, Norse God of war (Thor I believe), tricks a war chief into killing his family and is made to wear their ashes on his kin, hence looks like Kratos, which puts our new grumpy man called Kratoason on a path to destroy the gods and bring about Ragnarok. Something I could well believe.
I've...er...I've never played any of the God Of War games..
Looks good. I've never had a problem with Kratos, or the storytelling, in fact, I like both. My problem is that I get bored of the repetitive combat. Still, I look forward to playing this.
The first God of War is the only game I've ever returned to the shop I bought it from. I completed it in one go and couldn't believe how brief the whole thing was. I've always meant to give the series another shot since then, just not at full price.
Well, I would consider Sonic 1-3 to be all-time classics, like some of the best 2D platformers ever. Sonic Adventure 1-2 were pretty amazing show pieces but unfortunately haven't aged the best. In modern times, Generations was pretty good.
@Peterdavid123 Probably just a coincidence, but saw your name and this popped into my head.
@get2sammyb Why is this a problem i would love to see another GOW Kratos is a good character. The setting looks cool i would like another character but to trash Kratos like this insane.
@SegaBlueSky You should get part 3 it was awsome so brutal.
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