by Nick Henderson on Feb. 24, 2013
DISCLAIMER: (Titan Books was kind enough to send me a copy of their recently released book - "The Art of Dead Space" and while we don't normally review books, I figured I would leave some thoughts here and give any art book connoisseurs a chance to snag this one.)
Dead Space is one of the few games that helped keep the horror genre alive and in the mainstream eye this generation. Many might argue that the series quickly lost sight of it's roots and evolved into an action game but the elements that make the experience unsettling are still present even now. The series came on the scene in 2008 and quickly set itself apart from other horror experiences by combining elements of Aliens, Event Horizon, and other famous sci-fi horror franchises. The unique approach to combat (using engineering tools to dismember aliens) and the breathtaking romps through zero-gravity made the game a force to be reckoned with in the gameplay department as well. Until now, horror and fun gameplay mechanics rarely went hand-in-hand.
Titan Books, a division of the Titan Publishing Group, is based in the UK and has become known in the gaming community for publishing detailed art books for games like Halo and Assassins Creed. This year, along side the recent release of Dead Space 3, Titan has released a wonderful, hard-cover art book that celebrates the hard work that went into developing the Dead Space franchise. With art spanning all three major releases and insight into the development process, the art book is more than a simple book full of pretty pictures.
The book provides amazingly detailed conceptual renderings of key characters, creatures, environments, and props while explaining the thought process that allowed the artists to arrive at the final product. For anyone interested in the actual development process, the information provided here is fascinating. I really enjoyed reading about the process that eventually led to the engineering suit that has become a staple of the franchise.
If you are anything like me, games are much more than the moment-to-moment experiences. A lot goes into making a game and when a game accomplishes something special, I always find it very rewarding to learn more about what made that experience come together. Art Books, when done well, can be windows worth peering through. In this case, "The Art of Dead Space" is a book worth checking out if you enjoy concept art or simply enjoy collecting quality gaming memorabilia. For roughly $45 (£29.99) the book isn't cheap but considering the amount of content included and quality material it is printed on, I would consider it worthy of your hard earned cash.
As I said before, I don't normally choose to review products outside of games so consider this a friendly recommendation from one collector to another. "Of course, you don't have to take *MY* word for it..."