Review: Art of Titanfall

titanfallTitan Books is definitely on a roll with releasing these quality artbooks! Like the previously released Art of Assassin’s Creed IV, they have come to release The Art of Titanfall. Organized and put together by Andy McVittie, who previously put together The Art of Assassin’s Creed III, this compilation of work from the Respawn Entertainment creative team gives us a huge sampling of the artwork created for the award-winning shooter, Titanfall.

ArtTitanfall06And while I could say it follows the same design articulations like those in my review of the artbook for the movie Elysium, the special place that my idea of concept design has for Titanfall is that it touches on the three major categories: character, vehicle, and environment.

ArtTitanfall04What is strongly impressed upon me by the content in this book, plus some feedback from one of the Respawn artists (William Cho), is that there are many concepts and designs in this artbook that did not make the cut in the game. However, much of the material in the actual game is shown at various stages in the artbook itself.

The first section deals with characters, which includes the Titans themselves (Ogre, Atlas, and Stryder), aside from the human characters on both IMC and Militia factions. What you can also learn from this artbook, which I did not notice when playing the Titanfall Beta, is that the Titans had different colored livery depending if you were IMC or Militia. This section also includes raw design frames for the Titan cockpits and the UI interface within the Titan. When speaking to William about the short section detailing the “exotic creatures”, he briefly noted that they had intended to have wildlife in Titanfall, to give it the natural fauna, but at this time it has not been implemented in the game (this may change on release).

ArtTitanfall03The immense blessing that comes with starting a new IP (intellectual property) is that you are starting your designs from scratch. You aren’t following Halo, Call of Duty, or anything else, because you are creating the beginning! William expressed that he’s really proud of the work he and the others committed to this. And assuming his fellow artists shared the same sentiment, it really shows through the various articulations in their designs. Whether it’s the armor and clothing of their characters, or the various vehicles and ships that fill the sci-fi universe of Titanfall. When it came to technical designs, they all stemmed from something in the real world, but you can see the artists try out different styles and emphasis, whether it is to put more detail into one area or to make it sleek. I know many gun fanatics will get a kick out of the eight packed pages showing the variations proposed for each weapon.

ArtTitanfall07I’ve always been appreciative with dystopian futuristic designs, it’s why I would elect to review artbooks such as this one, Elysium, and potentially anything similar in the future of Nerd Reactor. Although one can easily assume these various levels in Titanfall are based on one planet, it is clear from the commentary by the artists that each of these levels are located on different planets. And each of these planets have a story when it comes to the conflict between IMC and the Militia. When designing these levels, they focus on how certain socio-economic paradigms would affect the environment. Examples include the ruins of a once-affluent neighborhood which creates the Fracture level, the industrial colonial slums of the Colony level, the frontier life in Boneyard, and the pristine realm of Corporate. These levels are simple codenames, but each has a rich backstory that is briefly explained in the artbook. And to note, there are WAY more levels than what I just mentioned here.

It just blows my mind how many different types of designs are included here, and I implore you to get your hand son this artbook! Art of Titanfall was released on February 25, 2014. Titanfall is to be released on March 11, 2014.

  • Hardcover, 192 pages
  • Dimensions – 12.2 x 9.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Full color
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