In 2014, God of War developer Sony Santa Monica suffered layoffs when a new PS4 IP it was working on was cancelled following years of work. The game was rumoured to be sci-fi-themed but largely remained a mystery.
Now, however, thanks to a gallery of concept art allegedly from the cancelled project, we have a better idea of what the game was about. The images show an idea not a million miles away from James Cameron's Avatar film(s). A gadget-laden human species explores an alien world where fantastical beast roam land and sea. There's a mysterious humanoid species too, riding bareback on hulking unicorn-like beast, brandishing spears. Clearly there's a kind of magic in the air.
The pictures belong to the leader of the concept art team who worked on the project for nearly three years. They were found on the person's personal website by nerdleaks but have since been removed from what I can see. The pictures are, however, preserved on Imgur.
Sony Santa Monica is of course hard at work on the new God of War reboot, Dad of War, where a bearded Kratos teaches his son a thing or two about smashing the living daylights out of godly enemies - Norse gods this time rather than Greek. The camera has zoomed in as has the lens on the characters themselves - there's still a buttload of action but on a more personal level than the God of War rampages that came before.
The new God of War has no release date. Was it for this Sony Santa Monica was moved off the sci-fi IP? Was there perhaps a clash in tone with Guerrilla Games' robo-dinosaur role-playing game Horizon? Or was there another reason altogether behind the IP's cancellation? And is it cancelled for good? Speculation to have with a good old beer on Friday evening.