on December 26, 2012
i preordered this book when it was first announced, and never in my history of amazon purchases has the release date for an item changed so much. it changed so many times, in fact, that i was surprised when it showed up at all. but hooray for the better late than never mantra.
for such a quality book, i am surprised it was not made available in hardcover. the pages are very thick and glossy, as is the cover. the pages look like they would show fingerprints easily, however i haven't seen evidence of this yet.
now then, the contents are as follows:
weapons & gear
items & props
first of all, the images in the book are gorgeous. unfortunately, many of them are very small, which sort of goes against everything i believe about art books.
second, if you are looking for anything on gaige the mechromancer, you will be disappointed. she isn't visible anywhere in the book.
third, i had hoped some of the images from the ending credits of the game would be present (more specifically, the image of mordecai holding a tiny bloodwing), yet i saw none of those images. darn.
fourth, if you are looking for a lot of claptrap (as i was) you will be disappointed. he didn't even get as much coverage as handsome jack. boo.
all that being said, the remainder of the book is quite nice, touching on all the topics listed above, albeit in some cases very briefly.
the art style section is only given six pages. six pages? for a game known for its unique art style? weird.
the character section was probably the most well-developed section of the book. i thoroughly enjoyed seeing the transitions the characters went through before being finalized, as well as the 3d models of them. what fun!
the environments section is one of the more disappointing sections. there are some lovely images here, but unfortunately, most are relatively small. i had hoped for more full-page images of these colorful environs.
the weapons & gear and enemies sections are quite well fleshed out, however i wished more pages had been dedicated to other areas than so many on these two.
my favorite sections were items & props, and user interface. i wish far more space had been given to these areas as they were full of fascinating images.
in honesty, i think the highlight of this book was the commentary, and perhaps the quality of the printing itself. this book left me wishing there were more, and that i didn't get to see enough of what i wish i had. for the hardcore fan of the series, i would still recommend it, but for anyone else, you may want to see it in person before you decide.
on January 10, 2013
I love this book. It has so much eye-popping content I can't put the damn thing down. Some movie/video game art books dissapoint by showing a lot of finished content that you've already seen. Not this book, it has so many juicy details about the conceptual stage, the character design, the weapon creation and the environments. It even has section dedicated to ads and the music. Very cool book. Lots of pages, lots of pictures, lots of guns = lots o' fun.
The only thing I wish it had more of was the very thing that makes Borderlands stand out form other FPS games stylistically, and that being the texture maps. I 'd love to see the actual laid out UV texture maps so I can see how the artists made the 3D models look that way. But that's a really specific gripe and in no way a deal breaker.
Awesome book, if you love the visual style mind-hump that is Borderlands, you'll love this book. Buy it now instead of that diamond pony named Butt Stallion.
on March 1, 2013
Just Beautiful! I love this book! Whether you're a Designer, Artist, Gamer, or just someone who likes cool stuff, this book is defiantly worth a gander. The artist renderings and concept designs are laid out beautifully, giving Even somebody who has never played the game, a clear sense of the Borderlands' world and it's characters. I love the ginormous section on guns 'n gear that breaks down each weapons from concept to completion and even by in-game manufacturer. It's even got behind the scenes cameo photos of the Gearbox Team hard at work creating this ode to awesomeness! Fun Read, gorgeous Book, A Borderlands' Fan Gotta-Have!!
on January 31, 2013
Knowing some of the people that worked on this game, I just had to buy it and see all the awesome designs and the process that was put into this game. I've been very happy learning how Gearbox Software and its artists created things step by step. Too bad I couldn't see all of the designs, but I'm still happy with what's inside.
on December 27, 2012
This is pretty close to my idea of perfection in an art book. It doesn't just show the end product, but tries to explain some of how they arrived at that solution, and some of the alternatives and possibilities they came up with along the way. It also hasn't skimped by merely grabbing a small collection of nice art and just blowing those up until they fill the book - all those glorious large images are in there, but between them are hundreds (thousands?) of thumbnail and detail images. A few of them might not illuminate much, but some of them are fascinating, and even the ones I might dismiss are more informative than just throwing in a giant blown-up screengrab and calling it a day, not looking at any art books in particular Art Of Tron Legacy.
The text font is nicely readable while small enough to maximise page space for images, and it is generally interesting and informative (This is not as common in art books as I think it should be). There is a liiittle bit of that tiresome "it was so great to work with John/Jane because they're so great that it was great" crap (the "empty calories" of behind-the-scenes) but not a lot. Otherwise, the text was interesting enough that it makes you wish there was more - even if that meant sacrificed some images to make the space.
I got this book after completing the main story in the video game, but still noodling around in it playing DLC. I found this to be a rewarding time to start reading the book; It means I don't have to worry about spoilers, and the book nicely answers and addresses quite a lot of things that the game made me curious about while playing, and at the same time it's also drawing my attention to a lot of detail and themes that I just didn't notice - so now I'm looking forward to the next time I pass those areas, slowing down and paying attention again instead of just blasting right through. In that sense, it's kind of made the game a little bit deeper/fresher/newer again.
So in summary; the text is good, and the pictures are good. This is easily one of the better art books I have, and the price (US$26 for this buyer) is fantastic value. At that price it could be half the book it is, or Art Of Tron Legacy, and I'd still have my money's worth. If only it were normal for art books to be this good.
on January 15, 2013
I'm an illustrator so I naturally love "The Art of..." books. I bought this book for a friend and I was blown away by the amount of content and the level of detail in which they keep the drawing organized. There is everything from concept sketches of Main characters down to side characters, guns by brand, bad guys, vehicles, environments, treasure chest concepts, color pallette tests for mood and lighting....seriously its thick and every page is JAM PACKED with art. One of the best art books I've ever seen.
on April 30, 2013
I'm a really big fan of the Borderlands franchise. This book has the concept art and final character models/ alternative iteration models for the important characters, the vehicles, the buildings, the enemies, and the environments. It's a great book.