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The Art of Borderlands 2 Paperback – December 21, 2012
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
BradyGames, an imprint of DK and a division of Penguin Random House Inc., is the world’s leading publisher of strategy content for PC and console video games. BradyGames understands what gamers—both casual and hardcore—want and need from strategy guides. Every guide features in-depth content, detailed screen captures, quick-reference tips, and professional strategy. Prima Games is also a leader in the digital strategy realm, offering interactive maps, streaming video, searchable online guides and apps, and a full website at primagames.com.
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The concept art features the characters, weapons, environment, enemies, items & props, marketing art, and other miscellaneous art like user interface, etc. That is a load of art.
Character designs takes up roughly a third of the book. The characters are great looking, comes with many sketches, and commentary. There's a nice comic style to them with the outlines. Selected have 3D renders.
The environment art of Pandora's world covers Zone 1 to 3. The locations are beautiful. Unfortunately, some of them are printed rather small and the wonderful details are lost.
The weapons section should delight fans who love the guns. There's a good amount of guns to look through, their variations and the many discarded concepts. No gun is too wild.
The rest of the book features the other items like props, vehicles and promotional art. Commentary is everywhere. I like the parts where they talk specifically and technically on creating the style of the game, such as how they render the scenes, creating the day night cycle, developing the environments and of course the technology to creating the bazillion guns.
This is a great video game art book. Highly recommended to fans of the game and art. It's well worth the money.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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.
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.