This is Ballistic Publishing's first Art of the Game series and it is amazing. Well, what more can you ask for when it's based on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, one of the best Playstation 3 games around, perhaps across all game consoles.
Mine's the paperback version, but there are also the leather-bound Special Edition and a collector's Limited Folio Edition, both available on Ballistic Publishing's website.
I'm thrilled to get this book, more so when I opened it for the first time.
This book is pretty thick at 272 pages, glossy paper. Inside, you'll find concept art for the characters, environments, cinematics, animation and special effects. About a quarter is on the characters, with the environment and story related art making the bulk.
The first thing that captures my attention is the astonishing amount of details from the art, from all the adventure dirt to the facial pores of those Zbrush head sculpts. You're going to find beautiful textures everywhere, be it from the brushes, on the weather battered walls off some monastery on some mountain, fabric of clothing, etc. The textures are easily what I like most about this book.
For character designs, there are paintings, 3D models of the body and close up on face. The 3D models are really intricate. In terms of the amount of details, the one on Lazarevic belongs to the you-have-to-see-it-yourself-to-believe-it category. Those artists and modelers who created these are definitely at the top of their game.
The environments featured in the book are gorgeous. Tropical forests, mountains, Nepal warzone, villages, temples, monastery, Shabhala and all the places in the game. They really nailed the colours, lighting and textures. Looking at some of the wire frame overlays, I can't even imagine how much time it takes to paint all those textures in. Most of the illustrations shown in the book are good enough to be framed and mounted on walls.
Oh, yeah, there are also commentary from the staff to fill you up with the concepts and ideas behind all that's shown.
This book is your adventure in print. It will make you appreciate the game even more after looking at the immense effort that went behind the scenes to creating the visuals.
Most highly recommended. It doesn't matter if you've not played the game but you should definitely check out the game — seriously.
PS. This book is a review copy provided by Ballistic Publishing. Thanks a lot!
That's all for the pictures I have for you. You can check out more preview pages (smaller) on Ballistic Publishing's website.
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