hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Books

Review: The Art of Titanfall

Mar 15 // Ian Bonds
The Art of Titanfall (Book)Publisher: Titan BooksReleased: February 25, 2014MSRP: $34.95 The Art of Titanfall is an impressive tome. At 192 pages, it's nice to see that no details have been spared. Or at least, that's the impression the book gives, as it delves into so much thorough detail that I'm not sure Respawn didn't given them every single asset from the game. Beginning with the Titans themselves, the book details all the different classes, as well as intricate cockpit views and brief descriptions detail how they went from drawing to concept renders, some even before it was decided the title would be a multiplayer game. The Ogre, Atlas, and Stryder are each given several pages of detailed paintings and renders, and are described with little details that most may not pick up on while playing the game, such as Atlas not being so named for the mythical character, but rather for the globe-like "head" so you can tell where the Titan is looking. Character models of the pilots, militia, grunts, and creatures round out the first section, with minimal details. While the different types of soldiers and such each get a brief description to go along with the specific characters, the creatures don't fare as well. I would have liked to have seen a bit more in the creature department, as we really only get a few sketches in that section, but the rest of the book more than makes up for it. The vehicle section is truly impressive, with practically each spaceship, aircraft, and ground vehicle getting full-page representation, mixing between sketch and final render, and sometimes both. There's also an extensive section on the weapons and tech of the game, from assault rifles and drones, to gorilla tanks and rail guns, each getting a brief description on design. For fans of the game, the level of detail here is impressive, but the next section will really be what most players of the game will enjoy. Each of the locations in the game are all represented here, with beautiful detailed renders are paintings of each locale, some taking up full two-page spreads. It always fascinates me how much detail goes into concept art, with each little sign, plant, and bullet ricochet painstakingly visualized. Don't expect it to showcase each choke-point or focus on strategy placements here, as these are more focused on the design aspect of the level. The industrial  dockyard of Angel City, the cold sterile environment of the Colony, the sheer staggering size of the Boneyard are all given multiple pages to pour over, giving more background detail as to what each of these environments represents in the world of the game, and how their design came about. The locations section is easily the biggest part of the book. My favorite section, however, is the final one: the Graphics and Modeling section showcases the signage you may not really notice in the background of the levels, as well as the physical maquettes made to show how the Titans and pilots would look in 3D. These models are all hand made from scratch bits, and it's a neat inclusion in the book. However, these can't compare to the full-sized Titan that was built for E3 2013. Damn, that thing is impressive. There's a lot of detail in this collection, and practically every description along with the art has quotes from the development team or artist involved in its production. There's a lot to absorb here, but if you're drawn into the world of the game, this is a great companion piece.
Titanfall photo
So. Much. Art.
When you create a new IP from scratch, it's pretty much a given that you'll have to go through a lot of the design phase until you land on an idea that jumps out at you. The developers at Respawn Entertainment had no idea wha...

Console Wars photo
Console Wars

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg directing Console Wars movie


Nintendo vs. Sega
Feb 24
// Jordan Devore
Author Blake Harris' Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation will be available in the US this May, but the story doesn't end there. Sony Pictures is adapting the book into a feature-length movie...

Review: Dark Souls: Design Works

Jan 14 // Chris Carter
Dark Souls: Design Works (Book)Publisher: UdonReleased: January 21, 2014MSRP: $39.99 Design Works is a modest little book that mostly delivers environments and characters with little exposition. To be clear, this is a book for those who truly like to look at art for hours on end, as there's very little in terms of expanding the lore of Dark Souls. It starts off with a number of pages dedicated to specific areas and creatures, then it moves on to the concept art, and the early designs of some bits that never made it into the game. It's a rather full artbook with 112 pages of pure art, so there's plenty to flip through. It is a hardcover book, but the silver gloss printing on the front looks a bit cheap (like it would rub off), and the quality of the book itself isn't all that impressive. As for the art, most fans will be able to recognize obvious bosses like the Gaping Dragon, but there's a tiny bit of text next to each character to identify them. Despite hitting most of the major facets of the game, what the book decides to focus on is uneven, as some minor creations get a lot of love like Havel the Rock (who sports a full page), but others like Frampt get one tiny box. It's a bit puzzling and might be because it's the only bit of artwork they could get their hands on for the book, but you should be prepared to be underwhelmed by some of the inclusions. Sadly, a few areas are erroneously marked in the process to localize the book, like the case of the Mimic (a treasure chest monster) and the Serpent Mage, who are mismatched. Bosses are shown off in all their glory however, and the art for foes like the Four Kings is phenomenal.  Next up is the weapons and armor section, which displays an impressive array of equipment -- but if you don't play the games, they're going to look all the same to you. One area I was particularly disappointed in is the lack of unused material, or art we haven't seen before in some fashion. Flipping through the hardcover guide that launched with the game, I noticed that a lot of the same pieces were re-used, so I was really looking forward to the concept art. There's some interesting unused areas and characters to ogle at but not much. Poor Artorias (one of my favorite characters) is lumped in this section, before he ended up heading up his own DLC campaign. To cap it all off, there's an interview with director Hidetaka Miyazaki and four From Software designers (Daisuke Satake, Hiroshi Nakamura, Masanori Waragai, and Mai Hastuyama). It's 12 pages altogether (with tiny print to boot), and pretty in-depth. It's from December 2011, but it's still pretty insightful, and sheds a few facts like how bosses are created (unlike the rest of the project, these are apparently done in isolation with a singular artist in charge of a boss), and how each map and layout was achieved. Story-centric origins are also discussed, and I particularly liked the bit where the Ceaseless Discharge's backstory was revealed, despite the fact that it wasn't outright explained at any point in the actual game (barring some item-centric lore). There's even talk of influences and a whole lot of anime is name-dropped, including Record of Lodoss War, Saint Seiya, and Jojo's Bizzare Adventure. This is easily the best part of the book, and I wish there were more sections like this peppered throughout. Unlike Hyrule Historia, which contained multiple interviews and tidbits to shed some more light on Zelda's massive universe, there aren't a whole lot of extras here to augment your enjoyment of the Souls series. Dark Souls: Design Works could have been a lot more expansive, but at a discount price (it's approximately $25 on Amazon), it's mostly on the mark for those of you who can't get enough of this franchise.
Dark Souls art book photo
Mostly for the fans
The art of the Souls series blows me away. It truly is an adventurous experience, because although the style is consistent, you literally never know what you're going to walk into next. Whether it's a series of decadent ...

Capcom book photo
Capcom book

Review: Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia


From Ada Wong to Zero
Dec 25
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update: The book is currently on-sale for just over $8] The people running the show at Capcom have been irritating fans and employees alike for years now -- burning bridges, nickel and diming consumers, canceling games, land...
Wario Land 4 eBook photo
Wario Land 4 eBook

Wario Land 4 to be critically analyzed in 600-page eBook


I'm jealous I didn't think of this first
Dec 17
// Brett Zeidler
Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is a 600-page eBook that will analyze the entirety of Wario Land 4. I'll just give you a moment to let that sentence sink in. Seriously, Daniel Johnson has put togeth...
StoryBundle photo
StoryBundle

Pay what you want for these videogame books


StoryBundle 2.0 offers bonus items for $10 or more
Nov 26
// Alasdair Duncan
I eagerly picked up the first videogame collection that was offered by StoryBundle, purveyors of pay-what-you want eBook bundles, so I eagerly snapped up the 2.0 bundle. You can pay what you want for six eBooks and magazines ...
Telltale photo
Telltale

Telltale is reportedly working on Game of Thrones


Try to keep your cool
Nov 21
// Jordan Devore
This is one of those rumors that you can just picture being true. According to IGN, sources say Telltale Games is making a game based on Game of Thrones. Whether the project will draw inspiration directly from the HBO show or...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Upcoming Sega Genesis/Megadrive art book looks marvelous


25th anniversary book celebrates Sega's 16-bit glory
Nov 17
// Wesley Ruscher
SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, an officially licensed 25th anniversary commemorative compilation of artwork, development sketches, hardware manufacturing plans, and interviews from Sega's golden years looks to be t...
Books photo
Books

Diablo book Stay Awhile and Listen now available


A tale of two Blizzards
Nov 01
// Jordan Devore
We had previously posted an excerpt from David L. Craddock's Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire - Book 1 and it's now available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Google Play....
Deadly Premonition photo
Deadly Premonition

Deadly Premonition 'Visual Companion' ebook released


They sure do know how to milk a success
Oct 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
Fans of Deadly Premonition are being offered a new "Visual Companion" ebook through the iTunes store today. The supplement features more than 350 pages of material, including some of Swery65's notes, and an assortment of...
Yoshitaka Amano photo
Yoshitaka Amano

Look at Yoshitaka Amano's Deva Zan story and art book


Literary debut of legendary illustrator
Oct 04
// Jayson Napolitano
I've been looking forward to getting this book for a long time. When we featured The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy some months back, we were told about the impending release of Deva Zan, Amano's literary debut that not ...
Tom Clancy  photo
Tom Clancy

Author and game contributor Tom Clancy dies at age 66


Rest in peace
Oct 02
// Darren Nakamura
Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr., best known in the videogame industry as the name attached to several Ubisoft-published military and espionage franchises, died yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Baltimore area. Clancy wr...
Diablo photo
Diablo

The origin of Diablo


An excerpt from Stay Awhile and Listen
Sep 26
// Jordan Devore
Recently, I've been making my way through Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire - Book 1. Considering the game's humble beginnings at Condor, it blows my mind to think about...

Contest: Win a copy of DmC: The Chronicles of Vergil!

Sep 17 // mrandydixon
About the book: Taking place a few months before the smash-hit reimagining of the videogame series, DmC: The Vergil Chronicles unveils all-new aspects of Dante's reimagined world! In a world controlled by demons, Dante is humanity's last remaining hope. But Dante is lost, imprisoned far from the human world. Accompanied by Kat, a human psychic, and nearly driven insane by his inner demon, Dante's twin brother Vergil must now attempt a rescue! Discover the shocking secrets behind the stunning new Capcom videogame, DmC: Devil May Cry! A complete story in a single volume, this story provides never-before-seen information on the iconic characters of the game.
DmC Graphic Novel Contest photo
The graphic novel prequel to DmC
[Update: Contest over! Winners are Scield, HammerShark, and Sephzilla!] Our friends at Titan Books have given us three copies of their new graphic novel DmC: The Chronicles of Vergil to hand out to the Destructoid community! ...

 photo

Meunier's guide to games journalism is thorough, sober


Up Up Down Down Left Write
Aug 05
// Niero Gonzalez
I don't know Nathan Meunier personally, but after powering through his book on freelance games writing I can tell that the man has been through the trenches -- and still managing to thrive within them. Up Up Down Down Left Wr...
Sweet UDON books photo
Sweet UDON books

SDCC-exclusive UDON books up for pre-order August 1


MM25 will be MINE, I say! MINE!
Jul 31
// Tony Ponce
San Diego Comic-Con came and went, and despite my best efforts to use the Dtoid team to my own ends, I was unable to score the coveted hardcover edition of MM25. Thanks a lot, DALE! But no worries! UDON promised that all its ...
Nobuo Uematsu photo
Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy composer talks to us about upcoming e-book


Three pieces of music and a touching story
Jul 19
// Jayson Napolitano
We mentioned a few days ago that Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu was preparing an e-book titled Blik-0 with accompanying music. I was immediately curious to learn more, and fortunately Uematsu was on hand at San Diego Co...
 photo

UDON brings a Mega load of new books to SDCC


Mega Man 25th anniversary and more
Jul 18
// Dale North
The blue beauty pictured above? That's the Comic-Con exclusive blue laser foil hardcover edition of MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works. This thing is heavy, packed with over 400 pages of content -- everyt...
 photo

Final Fantasy composer's first e-book coming soon


Nobuo Uematsu branches out
Jul 15
// Dale North
Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu is an amazing man. He's one of my personal musical heroes and I've had the pleasure of chatting with him a few times. Aside from being a talented composer, he also makes his own bee...
MM25 art book photo
MM25 art book

SDCC-exclusive Mega Man 25 art book looks sexy


Check out that hundred-dollar sheen
Jul 10
// Tony Ponce
San Diego Comic-Con kicks off next week, and UDON will be there with a mountain of convention-exclusive tomes. Being the guy I am, I only have eyes for MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works, the 432-page fol...
Art Books photo
Art Books

Dark Horse is tackling Final Fantasy, Halo, Tomb Raider


Lots of news planned for San Diego Comic Con
Jul 08
// Jayson Napolitano
You're likely familiar with Dark Horse's recent Hyrule Historia book, which did amazingly well for the company. At Anime Expo, however, it was all about their upcoming Yoshitaka Amano box set, The Sky, featuring three volumes...
UDON at SDCC photo
UDON at SDCC

UDON to sell SDCC-only Street Fighter, Mega Man books


Exclusive Brutal Legend and World of Warcraft volumes will be available as well
Jun 24
// Tony Ponce
As it does every year, comic and videogame art book publisher UDON Entertainment will be attending San Diego Comic-Con with a bunch of event-exclusive goodies in tow. Technically, all these books will be available elsewhere i...
Capcom 30th anniversary photo
Capcom 30th anniversary

Capcom 30th anniversary encyclopedia coming October


Holy crap, Capcom is a Gemini like me!?
Jun 06
// Tony Ponce
Though I'm not too crazy about a lot of what Capcom has been doing lately -- boy, that's an understatement -- it nonetheless holds a special place in my heart as the first gaming company I truly admired. Games like Mega Man, ...
 photo

UDON brings Dark Souls: Design Works this Fall


Here's a six page preview
Jun 04
// Dale North
When you're not busy dying, have a look around. Dark Souls is as beautiful as it is difficult, so it's nice to see that UDON will be bringing art book Dark Souls: Design Works to us this October. This is a full-color har...
MM25 art book photo
MM25 art book

Sample pages from the Mega Man 25 Complete Works art book


Over 100 pages of unprinted work
May 31
// Abel Girmay
Close enough to taste it, the wait is almost over for the UDON release of the MM25: Mega Man & Mega Man X Official Complete Works art book. To tide you over, here's some sample pages of the upcoming book by way of Capcom-...
Art of Dead Space photo
Art of Dead Space

Impressions: The Art of Dead Space Enhanced Edition


Grotesquely Beautiful
May 26
// Jason Cabral
Earlier this week I got the chance to take a closer look at one of Titan Books' recent iOS endeavors, Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 Enhanced Edition. While I enjoyed seeing the beautiful and picturesque vistas created by John ...
Archie Mega Man photo
Archie Mega Man

Hop through time with the fifth Mega Man comic collection


Mega Man Vol. 5 arrives this Wednesday
May 20
// Tony Ponce
Ladies and gentlemen, a new Archie Mega Man graphic novel is arriving this Wednesday, May 22. I have confirmation from fellow editor Chris Carter that he's been picking up back issues and graphic novels to prep himself for th...
MM25 photo
MM25

MM25 Complete Works up for pre-order in North America


It's finally coming in August
May 15
// Chris Carter
If you're a Mega Man fan, you're probably aware of the rare Mega Man and Mega Man X Complete Works books that can fetch a price anywhere from $100-$200 each. Thankfully, after years of demands for reprints, UDON is on the cas...

Contest: Win Art of Halo & Dead Space digital art books!

May 13 // mrandydixon
[embed]253610:48630:0[/embed] More info for The Art of Dead Space: An extraordinary behind-the-scenes multimedia celebration of the hugely successful horror gaming franchise, The Art of Dead Space Digital Edition is an innovative e-Book collecting interactive galleries, video interviews, 3D render videos and gameplay footage.Paving the way for the future of digital publishing, the eBook edition of The Art of Dead Space features the pages of the print edition -- showcasing the staggeringly beautiful and gloriously gruesome concept art from Dead Space, Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 and the Dead Space graphic novels -- all of which can be pinch zoomed for amazing detail, plus never-before-seen additional galleries of concept art for the recently released Awakening DLC (following on from the story of Dead Space 3).The Art of Dead Space Digital Edition also collects exhilarating gameplay footage, detailed 3D videos, and fascinating exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the brilliant minds behind Dead Space's design -- including Steve Papoutsis (VP/GM Visceral Games/Executive Producer, Dead Space 3), Alex Muscat (Art Director, DS3), Ben Wanat (Creative Director, DS3) and Ian Milham (Art Director, DS1 + DS2). Never has an art book offered such breadth and depth of visual and interactive scope, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the universe of Dead Space and see gameplay spring to life from the very concept art that imagined it. More info for Awakening: The Art of Halo 4: Halo 4 -- the fastest-selling Halo title ever released on the Xbox 360 -- received outstanding reception from fans and critics alike. Celebrating the epic design of the bestselling fourth instalment in the iconic series, the Digital Edition is an innovative behind-the-scenes collection of interactive multi-media content.Paving the way for the future of digital publishing, Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 Enhanced Digital Edition features exclusive video interviews with the creators, gameplay footage and interactive galleries set to an iconic background soundtrack.It showcases behind-the-scenes interviews with the minds that conceived and created Halo 4's design, including John Liberto (Senior Concept Artist), Matt Aldridge (Lead Character Artist), Kenneth Scott (Senior Art Director) and Sparth (Lead Concept Artist).Each page and image can be zoomed into to incredible detail, while the digital edition additionally collects interactive galleries of the intricately detailed concept art created for Halo 4, including the games' characters, weapons, vehicles, and environments.
Digital art book contest photo
Courtesy of Destructoid and Titan Books
[Update: Contest over! Winners have been contacted via Dtoid PM.] Our friends at Titan Books have hooked us up with three codes for The Art of Halo 4 and The Art of Dead Space digital editions! These enhanced editions contain...

eBook bundle photo
eBook bundle

StoryBundle has a collection of game-related eBooks


$10 for 10 DRM-free eBooks
May 02
// Jordan Devore
I've long been meaning to check out Confessions of the Game Doctor, and now that it's available digitally in StoryBundle's The Video Game Bundle, what am I waiting for? This package, curated by Simon Carless of Gamasutra, the...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter?
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -