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The Art of The Mass Effect Universe (英語) ハードカバー – 2012/2/7
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The Mass Effect trilogy is a groundbreaking epic that has immersed gamers in one of science fiction's richest universes. Now BioWare and Dark Horse are proud to invite fans deeper than ever into the Mass Effect saga with The Art of the Mass Effect Universe! Featuring concept art and commentary by BioWare on the games' characters, locations, vehicles, weapons, and more (including Mass Effect 3) The Art of the Mass Effect Universe is the most complete companion available to gaming's most compelling series!
Mass Effect1作目の時はアートワーク本が出版されましたが、Mass Effect2では海外版のリミテッドエディション付属の小さいアートワーク本と攻略本のリミテッドエディションに少しだけアートワークが収録されているという形だったので、2作目のアートワークは始めてみるものが多いです。1作目のアートワークもArt of Mass Effectからの再録と新規収録になっているので、Mass Effectのアートワークに興味を持ったならとりあえずこの本を1冊持っておけば良いと言えるレベルでまとまっています。（そしてなにより、今まで出版されたMass Effectシリーズのどのアートワーク本より版型が大きいです）
I have collected just about every Mass Effect collectible that has come to market including the limited edition lithographs from Bioware. I actually have a few of the lithographs framed and up on my walls, including "The Team" lithograph which is actually the cover for this book. Its one of my favorite lithographs in the series and was definitely the perfect choice for the cover. All in all, this book is 184 pages and is chock full of amazing artwork from all 3 Mass Effect games. Concept art, character studies, weapons, vehicles, landscapes, ect. You find a little bit of everything in here, including highly insightful commentary. This is ultimately a perfect example of how to create a proper video game art book. Its just hugely satisfying and ultimately made me want to jump right back into the game.
Bottom line - Mass Effect moved me in a way that very few games have been able to match. It has one of the best rosters of characters in the entire history of gaming, has an absolutely brilliant story, and it has some of the best artwork ever to come out of a video game title. For fans of the series, this book should be considered absolutely mandatory. I am a big collector of art books and this is without question one of the best video game related art books I have ever seen come out of the gaming market. No matter what Mass Effect collectibles you may already own, your collection is simply incomplete without this book. Its just amazing in every sense of the word and really should be on every Mass Effect fan's bookshelf.
5 Stars and then some!!
I particularly enjoy the evolution of character, weapon and location designs! The horrors of the Reaper-victim enemies are reminiscent of H.R. Gieger and among my favourites in the book! Sadly, the book is missing some character designs from the upcoming Mass Effect 3 but the major characters look impressive enough. I would have also appreciated the novel covers (which are missing in this book).
My biggest complaint - the anonymity of the grunts that churned out this artwork. Why do I care about what Casey Hudson and Derek Watts have to say when neither really had anything to do with the creation of this book's contents?
Seriously, the video games industry needs fewer figureheads and more credit where it's due.
Every main character, such as all of the companions, has a page dedicated to their origin. In Tali's case, they started with a Geth and with every iteration moved her further away from that model. There is a brief paragraph on the page explaining why they chose to go certain routes with character models or what the initial idea for each race was. The page covering Ashley's progression is one of my favorites. I would say more about Ashley's page but since it covers her story in ME 3, I don't want to give much away. Let's just say they've added a more feminine look to her and with good reason.
The pictures of the worlds were nice but even the Mako page was more in-depth. It was fun to see how the Mako went back and forth from modern tank to hovercraft (which they went with on ME2). The worlds and citadel parts were just a bit flat for my tastes. Still, it was nice to see the concept art.
The book covers all three games in the series and has a nice intro page with the ME3 CE Male and Female Shepard covers. It even dives into the Shadow Broker DLC from ME2. Really wish it had all of the DLC but it does cover Zaeed and Kasumi so that evens it out.
Overall I am quite happy with this purchase and it will be showcased in my bookcase for awhile. For those of you wondering, there is no DLC code with this book. The weapons DLC seem to be only for Barnes & Noble pre-orders, which is still active until Feb 20th if you are really that interested in the DLC.