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Book review: ‘The Art of Titanfall’

The Art of Titanfall
Titan Books

The Art of Titanfall


On February 25, 2014 Titan Books will be releasing “The Art of Titanfall”, an art book dedicated to the upcoming video game from EA and Respawn Entertainment, and the publisher gave us an early look at this heavy addition to the “Titanfall” lineup.

Developed by Respawn Entertainment, “Titanfall” will be available for the PC and Xbox One on March 11, 2014, and on March 25, 2014 for the Xbox 360. To learn more about the game, you can visit the official site. In "Titanfall", players will battle it out in online multi-player across war torn environments, as they run along walls and double jump throughout the battlefield. The big draw for the game however, is the use of Titans, giant mech suits that can be deployed throughout the battlefield to help change the tide of battle in their favor.

The Art of Titanfall” is written by Andy McVittie and gives gamers a glimpse at what they can expect in the game. This includes location, vehicle, weapon and tech designs, as well as character, Titan and creature art. The art book includes a Foreword by Lead Artist, Joel Emslie, an introduction by Game Director, Steve Fukuda, and an Afterword by Respawn CEO, Vince Zampella.

The first section of art focuses on the Titan’s and the pilots, showing off some of the early artwork for the three Titans, the Ogre, Atlas and Stryder, as well as the finished product, which gives you an idea of how the original concepts were changed along the way. The first section also includes images of characters from the Militia and IMC, including grunts and not-so-important characters, as well as the Marvin and Spectre androids. Some of the monsters that characters may meet in-game are also shown in this first section, and from the artwork, the finished products look like they will be mean.

In the second section of the art book, fans can look forward to some of the vehicles and weapons that they will see throughout the game. This includes huge spacecraft like the Annapolis and the gun-shaped Birmingham as well as smaller aircraft like the Hornet and the Goblin and ground vehicles like the Assault Car and the heavily armored Samson. This section also includes designs for commercial and construction vehicles and even Titans designed for things other than destruction. The weapons section is also found here, and from the look of things many of the designs look like weapons we could be using today, with the exception of the Arc Cannon, Railgun and the Avenger.

The section that seems to get the most pages in this art book is the third, which focuses on the game’s locations. Each one seems to get between 4 and 10 pages and everything from building designs, creatures, concept art and even action shots are shown. This helps to give a little perspective on just how large the environments are as well as the size of the massive Titans, which would seem to be dwarfed by the Leviathan, a creature so large that according to the notes from 3D Artist, Tu Bui, mountains are only as tall as its knees and land shifts and clouds scatter when it moves.

The final section is only a few pages long, but it highlights some of the graphics that gamers will see throughout the game, including signs, posters and billboards, a personal favorite was the “Conejo Pendejo” poster, which shows a rabbit holding onto a lit stick of dynamite. Also found in this section are some images of highly detailed models and images from the construction of a full-size Titan for E3 2013.

Throughout the 192 pages, this art book shows off some great concept art, from linework to finished concept art, complete with people and Titans to give them scope. Out of everything I think that one of my favorite parts were the concepts for the Titans, each one is unique and designed for a specific purpose and the notes included help give a little more understanding in the designs.

The locations section was also filled with interesting information, not only is the level described, but the team offers insight into each area and a little bit of backstory. The location that I liked the most out of all of the was Lagoon, an “island paradise” full of wood shacks that looks more like a fishing village out of “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag” than it does a science-fiction series, but then again, the giant spaceship towering over the village helps bring the location back into the future.

Chances are, reading the many notes found throughout “The Art of Titanfall” isn’t going to give you a competitive edge when you play the game. It will however, give you a glimpse at the work put into the development of “Titanfall”, from the team that made the game, and show you things that you may not typically notice when you’re playing. You will also find a few interesting designs that didn’t make it into the game and learn about some of the real world weaponry and aircraft that inspired some of the games designs.

If you’re looking forward to “Titanfall” and you would like to get a sneak peek at what you can expect from the game visually, then “The Art of Titanfall” is definitely worth picking up for fans.

The Art of Titanfall

Publisher: Titan Books
Written by: Andy McVittie
Number of Pages: 192
Release Date: February 25, 2014

(A review copy of “The Art of Titanfall” was provided by Titan Books.)

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