[Editor’s note – Starting with The Art of Titanfall, we’re going to start looking more at tie-in merchandise for games. From comics and novels, to soundtracks and artbooks, gaming merchandise has become big business; it’s only fair that our output starts to reflect that]
It’s fair to say that we rather liked Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment’s first-person, multiplayer-only shooter that features giant Mechs and plenty of free-running.
Now, Titan Books (a rather appropriate choice of publisher, given their name), has released an Art book filled from cover to cover with renders, concept art and in-game screenshots alongside commentary from the team of artists who worked on the game.
The first thing that strikes you is the high production values. This is a big book, printed on high-quality glossy stock. It’s just as well, as the book comes with a not-insignificant price tag – $34.95 in the US, $41.00 in Canada, and £29.99 in the UK. Thankfully, it justifies it’s premium price-point.
Filled from cover to cover with hundreds of images – all of which are accompanied by commentary providing insight into the design process – The Art of Titanfall is an excellent addition to anyone’s collection. If you like gaming Artwork, or are just a fan of Titanfall, the book is worthy of your consideration.
Broken down into a number of different sections, every facet of the game gets its time in the spotlight. From the characters, maps, the Titans themselves and the weapons, no stone is left unturned. There are also stills taken from earlier builds of the game, back when Respawn was still hammering out the details of how it would play (originally, the plan was that the game would have a single-player focus, and players would spend far more time inside their Titan). Unused concept art is featured, as well as before-and-after comparisons which show the evolution of various designs.
The commentary never dominates, though it does provide valuable context; the artwork is the real star here, showcasing the talent at Respawn in a way that allows you to appreciate the game in a whole new light. Everything, from the couch in a bedroom, to the color scheme of a level and the original weapon concepts, are all analyzed and explained, while some beautiful splash pages will have you stopping in appreciation, poring over every little detail, before turning the page only to see yet another gorgeous piece of art. The Art of Titanfall allows you to really stop, consider and take in the sights. Hell, some of the images on display are worthy of hanging on the wall of an art gallery.
The Art of Titanfall isn’t an essential purchase – it’s expensive, and it’s certainly no substitute for playing the game itself. But it allows you appreciate just how much effort went into the art design of the game, and you’ll come away from it with a new-found appreciation for just how much work goes into crafting the worlds which we, as players, frequently inhabit. It’s rare that we are able to appreciate the gorgeous concept art and design decisions that go into making a game; we’re usually too busy actually playing the game itself, distracted by all the explosions and frenetic gameplay to be able to stop and pause; The Art of Titanfall remedies that, giving us the chance to soak in the details of the worlds, the characters, and yes, the Titans themselves.