Aside from being unable to actually play a video game art book, the only detractor to enjoying the material is the lack of sound. You might think that’s a major deterrent when it comes to the enjoyment of a video game’s ambiance, but the book is a format that quickly shows a culmination of art and cutting edge technology all in a compact physical format. I took a peek at the recently released Titanfall art book to figure out, is it good?
The Art of Titanfall (Titan Books)
I haven’t seen an art book quite like this since reviewing the Elysium art book. Similar to that book, this one breaks down content from the main tech introduced in the material—here it’s the titans, and then vehicles, weapons and locations follow. There are also some similarities in the weaponry and robots within the book, but by the end of this book it was clear the world was much more vivid in Titanfall. That’s because the world and science fiction is a bit more far removed than Elysium. Elysium was a bit more entrenched in a world similar to our own, while Titanfall has aliens and distant planets to showcase. Enough with the arbitary comparisons though, how is this damn book?
That’s a big’un.
This book runs at 192 pages, broken into four chapters. The first is Titans and Pilots, and surprisingly is the shortest of the chapters at 34 pages. This chapter shows the three Titans, a few of the characters and a page of creatures. You get some interesting details on what inspired the Titans and characters as well as some honest commentary from the artists involved. It’s a good chapter, although again a little surprising that it’s the shortest chapter. For a game called Titanfall you’d think the Titans would be the major aspect to the art. This ends up being a saving grace of the book though.
The book also offers a unique thing I’ve never seen in a video game art book: preliminary visuals of what the game could have been. Originally you’d be inside the Titan and could see the controls. That meant your screen would be looking out another screen from within the Titan. A neat concept that is visually interesting, although it’s clear they made the right choice making it all first person.
Vehicles and weapons get a bit more pages, and there’s a hell of a lot spent on spacecrafts. How much of this game is in space, anyhow? Hard to say at this point obviously, but there are some beautiful ships within this book. Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars should at least crack this book open, as the ships are a sight to see. The weapons are also pretty cool; in fact, there’s one gun (below) that I could have sworn was in the Elysium book. There are cool details on many of the guns, much of which talk about practicality and purpose. These are tools within the game and the book divulges details that explain how and why they are used.
Neat gun…does it floss your teeth too?
Really pretty paintings within.
Cool use of the Titan to show scale.
A whopping 100 pages is spent showcasing the landscapes. Given there are 11 landscapes, I figure that means 11 levels. Or maybe those are broken into multiple levels—who knows, but darn are they cool. Each one exhibits a different type of science fiction setting, from an earthquake-broken suburbia much like Los Angeles to an Endor-like campsite, there are a ton of different types of locations. There’s certainly a lot of mood and atmosphere dripping from these locales and the book goes into detail about the story behind each. From the degredation of technology to a super advanced air base, there’s a lot to see.
The jungle takes back from the concrete version.
Is It Good?
This is quite a good book and if you can’t wait till March 11 to get your play on, this is a great way to get yourself ready. I enjoyed the landscape portion the most, and as luck would have it that’s over half the content in the book. I’m sure some people might be let down by the lack of Titan art, but the book effectively immerses you in the universe and delivers interesting details on the world you might not get from the game. Highly recommended.