- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Prima Games (November 23, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761543643
- ISBN-13: 978-0761543640
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar Hardcover – October 7, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
This book collects sketches, drawings, screenshots, script pages and personal statements about each by the artists behind this game. It talks about some of Valve's earlier visions before work on Half-Life consumed their offices. You'll get creative renderings of the evolution of most every adversary, friend, monster and location you'll come across in Half-Life 1 and 2, including bits and pieces that were removed from the games.
But be warned - there are spoilers in this book. If you haven't finished Half Life 2 yet, put this one aside until you do. Otherwise you might spoil the story for yourself.
If "four stars" seems too low, well....I was hoping to see more about the creation of Half Life 2's engine - "Source". Barely mentioned within these pages.
If you are as much of a fan of Half-Life 1 and 2 as I am, its a worthwhile purchase.
If you're one of those people who wants to know "What changed from Valve's original vision for Half-life 2?" (and some of those changes are surprising and quite substantial) or "How did the artists and designers and coders work together?" or if you just enjoy seeing sketches and concept designs (which are always interesting to look at and in some cases, even beautiful) this is the perfect book for you.
As a fan of the game myself, I enjoyed seeing all the places and ideas that never made it into the game and the evolution and design of those that did. One area, I feel the book ought to and should have delved into more, was the development and evolution of the plot itself which except in reference to other points was never brought up significantly.
Fans of the Half Life franchise and people interested in the creative development of games will find this book of interest. Others may want to pass on it.
I have to believe the continuity throughout each installment of the HL world comes in large part because they laid such a solid foundation in their creation of so much beautiful, detailed concept art. Some of the materials displayed in the book missing from HL2 have shown up in later installments. It seems even years ago they knew where they were headed.
What you will not find in this book are details on the source engine, details on the writing process behind the storyline, or any mention of the delay in production of HL2. This is a book almost exlusively about the visual art present in the game.
No matter where the storyline for HL2 ends, this book will show where it began, and how concepts led to one of the greatest games, and franchises, in PC gaming history. If you're a fan of Half Life 2, buy this book. You will not be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is truly amazing part of masterpiece. So happy it finally arrived!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is definitely not to be missed. If you're a Half-Life fan, or just in love with concept art, this is a must! Read morePublished 23 months ago by Verity
The book has everything regarding HL:1 and HL:2. Concept art, commentary and development. Its fantastic. The MOD section is particularly interesting.Published on February 5, 2014 by Jantzen S. Gambill