God of War is a series close to many of our hearts. Spawned from the mind of the criminally talented David Jaffe, the original God of War introduced us to Kratos, the brutal ex-Spartan soldier that vowed to kill Ares, the Olympian god of war. God of War exuded quality; the plot twisted and turned before culminating with a gratifying finale, the gameplay was unbelievably fluid and satisfying, and the visuals were the finest to grace the PlayStation 2. It was a masterpiece.
When we discovered that Jaffe wasn't directing God of War II, we were devastated. What would become of our beloved Kratos? As it turned out, God of War lead animator Cory Barlog was a more than suitable successor. The brilliant God of War II was the PS2's swan song. The story continued to entrance us, the gameplay was refined, and the game engine pushed every last polygon and rendered every advanced effect the console could handle. It, too, was a masterpiece.
In a surprising turn of events, Barlog -- like Jaffe -- also left Sony, consequently just as God of War III was revealed. Since then, over a year has passed, and the God of War III media onslaught has begun. As the first God of War game for the PlayStation 3 and (allegedly) the final installment in the series, the game faces incredibly high expectations, and Sony Santa Monica seems prepared to confront that challenge.
We thought that as production on God of War III goes forward, it would be helpful to look back at the older games to see how the series has changed over the years. Behold, the evolution of God of War.
(Click on the images to enlarge)