God of War Rumours PS4 PlayStation 4 IV
Yeah, no

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]