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The Art of The Mass Effect Universe Hardcover – February 7, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595827684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595827685
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Length: 1:20 Mins
The first Mass Effect art book, The Art of Mass Effect, was quite good. The Art of Mass Effect Universe is even better.

This handsome 184-page hardcover art book covers art for Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3. Yes, you'll be able to get a sneak peek at the upcoming Mass Effect 3, that's if you don't mind a little spoiler.

The book is packed with concept art for characters, creatures, environments, props, weapons and vehicles. There are a few sketches but most are just gorgeous fully coloured designs. The art is top notch, the environment paintings are spectacular.

There's some overlap of content with the first art book that features the first game. Here, there are additional content which makes you wonder why they weren't in the earlier book. Anyway, the first art book is already out of print so it makes more sense to get just this one.

As all the designs come with insightful commentary, there will be a bit of a spoiler when you're reading the last chapter on Mass Effect 3. If you're just looking at pictures, then it should be alright and it'll give you a nice idea of what to expect visually in the next game.

Unfortunately for a book this good, the artists aren't credited, not even with a page on the list of names like they did in the first art book. In many instances, I wanted to find out who these artists are and their websites. This is a silly exclusion, a downer.

Overall. this is a great art book for fans of the game and sci-fi art. It should be one of the top art books for 2012.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Matt W on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of the ME series and in addition to the game, own several of the comics and previous art books. In advance of the ME3 release, I was happy to pick up this universe art book too. The book itself is big, hard bound, and features terrific, colourful, glossy images. If you are a ME fan you are sure to enjoy this. However, since I own several other ME books I figured this review would be more useful highlighting the differences as far as I can tell.

Mass Effect 1, pages 10-59
This sections details a lot of the concept work in ME1 including the alien species and the design aesthetic, such as the vehicles, mass relays, and weapons. I have the 2007 Art of Mass Effect book that came with the Prima strategy guide and some of the content in the Universe book overlaps it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see new content as well. Given the 170+ pages of the 2007 book they could have easily poached from it wholesale to fill 49 pages so I am very pleased they added in stuff that I hadn't seen before; quite a feat given ME1's release 5 years ago.

Mass Effect 2, pages 62-129
This section is awesome and I have been eagerly awaiting the ME2 art content for some time now. I have the Prima Collector's Edition strategy guide for ME2 that has a small art section which is disappointing, showing mostly in game shots and some 3D renders. I have the ME2 Collector's Edition art book as well, the one included in the game, 48 pages long and about the size of a 4x6 picture, give or take. This one contained more concept work of the various worlds and some of the technology, like the Normandy 2, but was also underwhelming given it's size. Thus, I was very pleased to see the content in the Universe book for ME2.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Mullins VINE VOICE on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of the Mass Effect games the world created around it. So with Mass Effect 3 on the horizon I jumped when this book came up for pre-order. And it was well worth the wait. It is full of the unique feel and art of the Mass Effect world. But it isn't endless amazing art, a lot of it shows the various sketches and design changes that different characters went through. It is broken into three section for each of the Mass Effect games. This shows how some character have changed over the course of this universe spanning adventure. Since the game is not out there are a few spoilers you will run across in the book in the Mass Effect 3 section. It doesn't give away any story that I could see, but it does show the art for some characters you will meet and recruit that haven't been mentioned yet in the previews. If you read between the lines it also strongly hints at some story elements. That said I saw no harm in it and was actually a little excited to know a little more before the game releases. It just increases my desire for the game. All in all I was very happy with this book. The hardcore Mass Effect fans will see it as a must have. But for any fan of the Space Opera genre will find a lot of wonderful art and design elements in this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Hernandez on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of art books and this one did not disappoint. From cover to end, it was informative and beautiful.

Every main character, such as all of the companions, has a page dedicated to their origin. In Tali's case, they started with a Geth and with every iteration moved her further away from that model. There is a brief paragraph on the page explaining why they chose to go certain routes with character models or what the initial idea for each race was. The page covering Ashley's progression is one of my favorites. I would say more about Ashley's page but since it covers her story in ME 3, I don't want to give much away. Let's just say they've added a more feminine look to her and with good reason.

The pictures of the worlds were nice but even the Mako page was more in-depth. It was fun to see how the Mako went back and forth from modern tank to hovercraft (which they went with on ME2). The worlds and citadel parts were just a bit flat for my tastes. Still, it was nice to see the concept art.

The book covers all three games in the series and has a nice intro page with the ME3 CE Male and Female Shepard covers. It even dives into the Shadow Broker DLC from ME2. Really wish it had all of the DLC but it does cover Zaeed and Kasumi so that evens it out.

Overall I am quite happy with this purchase and it will be showcased in my bookcase for awhile. For those of you wondering, there is no DLC code with this book. The weapons DLC seem to be only for Barnes & Noble pre-orders, which is still active until Feb 20th if you are really that interested in the DLC.
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