The Art of Borderlands 2 Paperback – December 21, 2012
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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.
Top international reviews
so as soon as i discovered this article i pre-ordered it straight away.
After delivery i wasnt disapointed, it is filled to the brim with high quality artwork,
the printing finish is nice and glossy and the paper is thick, this was well made.
The only downside i think this book has is that it doesnt have a "hardback" version, most of the artbooks i have are all hardback.
still its well worth the price, i've payed double this price for artbooks that weren't half this good.
If you like Borderlands (and even if you don't), and if you like game art books, this needs to be on your shelf tomorrow!
As a collector of numerous video game and movie art books, mostly in the sci-fi genre, TAOB2 is a fantastic art book. It is a hefty book at 272 pages and each one chock full of artwork as well as design notes. There is a ton of information on each character's design and aesthetic and similar detail in the villains, props, and background items. There is also extensive concept and in-game artwork of the various geographic locales in the game. I particularly enjoyed the lengthy section on guns, which is part of what the Borderlands series is well known for. It was really interesting to see the decisions that made into creating the look and feel of each of the different gun manufacturers.
If I were to rank the Valkyria Chronicles design guide a 10 as the most informative and detailed video game art book, I'd give TAOB2 a solid 9 out of 10. It's got a wealth of details, terrific artwork, and a really nice flow that conveys all of this information in a coherent way. I am very happy to add TAOB2 to my collection and perhaps may pick up the game eventually!
There's no beating around the bush with this book; every page is filled with something relating to the concept art and design development of the game. There's something to spend hours looking at on each one of the 272 pages. This book should be worth 150-200 paperback. 30 dollars is more than a steal. You will not be disappointed.