March 10, 2013 By Will Dixon
Name - The Art of Dead Space
Publisher – Titan Books
The Art of Dead Space is certainly a dive into a grim alternate reality.
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Compiled and written by Martin Robertson, the book is bound in a hardcover with a very fine paper sleeve with a very stylish red, black, and silver bust of Isaac looking over his shoulder. Inside, there are over 300 images of concept art spread over 190 pages, peppered with developer commentary at almost every turn.
Robertson has included many quotes from some of the artists that have been onboard with the franchise since Dead Space 1.To name a few we have Ben Wanat, Ian Milham, Chi-Wai Lao, and Brett Marling. The commentary adds a lot of insight to where they drew their inspirations from, such as games like Resident Evil 4, and movies like Aliens. The book also works to delve into what creative processes helped them achieve the universe Dead Space has today.
There was quite a bit of work that went into finalizing Isaac’s initial look, however, I feel that there wasn’t enough light shining on his genesis. There are a handful of images, and maybe that’s all that was concepted, but it’s just a tad underwhelming. Not to mention there isn’t a whole lot of time spent on any of Isaac’s allies, as few as there are within the series, there’s barely two pages covering their conceptual birth. The book tends to focus more on the latest Dead Space game, Dead Space 3, for it’s characters.
“A GREAT IN-DEPTH FEATURE ON THE LOCATIONS THE GAMES TAKE PLACE IN”Let’s not get too disappointed though, we get a great in-depth feature on the locations the games take place in. They discuss the Ishimura’s visual style, and its “ribbing” motif, a motif which ran throughout the first game. Moving into Dead Space 2, they talk about how Asian markets were a big influence to the layout of “The Sprawl” and the Titan Station. Finally for Dead Space 3 we see how the development team wanted more of an outdated look to the ships and to Tau Volantis, as well as the Necromorphs. They even discuss how Isaac’s suits change throughout the franchise, and what sorts of thought processes were behind them.
|For the latter parts of the collection, Robertson spends a lot of time discussing the Necromorphs and how they came to be. There was a clear focus through not only commentary, but through the art itself, showing me that all Necromorphs were once human, and that’s where a lot of Dead Space’s horror is generated. As a final word, the book is certainly an interesting read and a visual treat.
It contains a plethora of information on the creative origins on the Dead Space locations, religion, and of course, Necromorphs. I would recommend flipping through it first if you’re not a Dead Space loyalist, I can however, guarantee its physical quality. Fans of the franchise should definitely give this a look.
The Art of Dead Space was reviewed using a physical copy provided by Titan Publishing Group