Just as Sony's God of War looks like it has finished with all its surprises, developers at Santa Monica Studios are showing fans what lead character Kratos would look like without his newly-grown facial fuzz.
Since 2005, gamers have come to know the bleached skin of the Ghost of Sparta and his rippling muscles. While the Kratos of old was known for his maligned goatee beard, 2018's God of War sees his return with a full face of glorious manscaping. After playing the 25 hours of God of War's story campaign, players have got used to seeing Kratos' winter beard, which makes his clean-shaven look all the more terrifying.
Shared by the developers of Sony's Santa Monica Studios (hat tip GearNuke), the image is effectively Kratos if he had to get some sort of stiff-collared government job. In fact, without so much as an eyebrow on his face, hairless Kratos looks freakishly like Dave Bautista's Drax the Destroyer from the MCU. On a serious note though, the beardless Kratos shows just how close the new game modeled his high-def look on the previous games. A huge amount of detail has clearly gone into the crafting of Kratos' face - which looks all the more expressive when playing God of War of the PS4 Pro.
Sony has done a great job at progressing the series realistically, showcasing a more muscular Kratos with some signs of aging after all those years of battling Greek deities. Alongside a new choice of weapon and a brand new traveling companion, God of War flipped the established series on its head while still keeping Kratos at the core. Sure, he may be boasting a bushy beard on that familiar face, but it shows how Santa Monica Studios haven't been afraid to move with the times to tweak Kratos' characterization.
Whether tracking down all the Valkyrie, discovering a super secret ending, or unearthing lost locations, a hairless Kratos is probably the last thing God of War fans would expect to see since the game's release. Already intimidating enough, a hairless version of the bloodthirsty brute is pure nightmare fuel. Even with all these changes, God of War is the highest-rated PS4 exclusive of all time, is rocketing up the gaming charts, and is an early contender for Game of the Year.
It may have taken a little while to get used to Kratos' new look, but fans slowly seem to have come round to a grizzled new lead and era for the franchise. With a sequel promised to stick with the Norse mythology for now, who knows whether Kratos will keep it neat or return with a Gandalf-esque beard for God of War 5 ? It's safe to say though, keep growing that beard Kratos, it suits you.
Source: Sony's Santa Monica Studios (via GearNuke)