There’s no denying that Gears of War is one of the top 3 best looking Xbox 360 games. From the very first time Epic Games wowed us in 2006 with Gears of War we knew what to expect every time a new Gears of War game came around.
It’s impossible not to notice how much detail goes into the games visuals when playing, but I must admit that most of the time I’m too focused on killing monsters to fully appreciate the amount of thought that goes into every design.
Thankfully Ballistic aims to solve this problem by teaming up with Epic to produce this fantastic “The Art of Gears of War 3” volume. Let me start off by saying that I have the Special Edition of the book, and from the moment I touched the leather cover I felt the value of this product. If you’ve read my reviews on previous Ballistic products then you’ll know to expect a level of substantial product quality.
The art itself is split into two sections, Concept Art and Production Art. Each section is split into chapters showing off art based on Characters, Monsters, Weapons, Vehicles and Environments. The Concept Art provides a look at preliminary sketches and paintings, whereas the Production Art is a showcase of the in-game art itself.
Not only is the art amazing but you also get annotations from the game designers themselves describing the design process. There’s nothing better than learning the thought process behind behind every little detail in you’re favourite characters design. The annotations prove just how much every single pixel means to the Gears of War universe.
I have to say that this is the best Video Game art book that I have had the pleasure of owning. It’s not just about the quality of the product, but it’s also the fact that every single character, vehicle, weapon and environment in the game is explained. The way they breakdown entities from the game that may have been taken for granted, and show you just how much thought went into it’s design is beyond fascinating.
For example, every nook and cranny of the Raven’s Nest is detailed on page 81. I cannot begin to imagine how one even begins to think up the schematics of such a creation; but when you actually play the game you tend to just take it for what it is, not even thinking about what must have went behind designing such a thing. It really makes you appreciate the Gears of War franchise even more.
My only complaint is that there was no Concept Art on my favourite character Samantha Byrne (she is included in the Production Art section). But that’s just a personal gripe and takes nothing away from the product.
Whether you’re a Gears of War fanatic, or you just appreciate game art and design – I fully recommend checking out The Art of Gears of War 3 book. There are two editions available; the Soft Cover and the Special Edition, with a Folio Edition on its way some time in the future. Click here to see more information on purchasing the book from Ballistic.