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New God of War Concept Art and Early Designs Revealed

New concept art and early environmental work for the recent God of War reboot has been unveiled.

After discussing the animation processes of the title, the Gnomon School’s ‘Making of God of War’ panel brought environmental and concept artists to the stage to reveal previously unseen art and inspiration for the project.

An early image of Kratos and Atreus, embedded in the gallery below, was cited as the original source material and design proposal for the world of God of War. A series of other paintings were also revealed, with the panellists discussing details regarding the game’s inspiration.

The primary inspirations behind the art direction and environments were Norse mythology, Icelandic architecture, monolithic temples, and The Revenant. The design proposal was summed up as “mythical realism,” with creative director Cory Barlog emphasising that the project drew from “not the TV show Vikings, but Norse mythology.”

Architecturally, the artists had a strong preference for minimalist design and avant-garde shapes, attempting to capture a sci-fi and futuristic undertone. The team endeavoured not to repeat simple Norse tropes, but to offer a unique, personalised take on that mythology.

Some gameplay details were also leaked out, including a look at a primordial look of the opening level of the game.

The art team revealed that an attempt was made to incorporate open vistas into the game, as opposed to the finished project’s preference for linearity and branching paths. The vistas, however, could not be reconciled with the game’s engine and gameplay, making for an experience that was “not fun” for God of War‘s mechanics.

A 3D design of a vista level was revealed, showing off the more open design that these vistas may have called for.

Overall, the team made a conscious choice to trade-in the “poorly paced” design of God of War III for an ethos that “[nailed] smaller moments.” The final product achieved that goal, with the entire game acting as a meditation on simplicity.

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